And on earth peace…
As you read this devotional, likely November is behind us, and the annual celebration of the Savior’s birth is a few weeks before us. As I was reflecting on a theme for this article, I thought it would be interesting to consider a theme that is not typically addressed as a “pro-life” doctrine, and perhaps it doesn’t technically “qualify” as such as we define it. Yet countless lives have been lost across the ages, accompanied by mass destruction of property and immeasurable resources in technology and expense. As you may have gathered, I am referring to “war.”
Across our history, approximately 1,200,000 Americans have lost their lives in times of war. Certainly, there are just wars that, sadly, have to be fought in order to defeat tyranny and injustice. Nevertheless, war is among the great tragedies of our fallen world.
November 11 was Veteran’s Day, and America has observed this special date to celebrate the close of World War 1, and as time progressed, the date was used to honor all those that have served in defense of our nation. It’s been 100 years since “The War to End All Wars” ended in victory for America and the allied forces. However, an even greater war soon followed – World War 2 – only to be repeated by numerous wars across the world. Instead of a world governed and abiding in righteousness, liberty and justice, many of the world’s nations remain under the brutal heel of totalitarian dictatorships, with people living under intense oppression.
With the exception of dictators, almost every “normal” person prefers to live in peace (though the meaning and application of peace may be diverse). Yet the words of Luke 2:14, “… and on earth peace, good will toward men,” as understood by the world, has become little more than empty words, a vain search in a world filled with hatred, darkness and death. In current history, with the threat of nuclear war, the unrest in the Middle East, the aggressive actions of North Korea, the provocations by Russia and the massive population and power of China, it seems as though peace, by the world’s definition, is nothing more than a hopeless goal sought through a humanistic ideology. Clearly, both Scripture and history confirm that genuine, lasting peace will never occur in the realm of human governments.
But it will occur through the King of Glory, the Lord Jesus Christ! Isaiah 2:4 states, “And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” There is world peace on the horizon, not ushered in by man, but by the Son of Man!
As we approach the celebration of our Savior’s birth in Bethlehem, we are reminded of Who He is and what He is going to accomplish in Isaiah 9:6-7. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” This prophecy is yet on the horizon for the Millennial Kingdom, and be assured, it will come to pass!
When the Lord Jesus Christ comes to earth the second time, He will come in wrath and judgment with His army from Heaven and destroy the warring nations on the earth at the Battle of Armageddon, as described in Rev. 19:11-21. His Second Coming will truly be the war that ends all wars!
Then “He shall speak peace unto the (nations): and His dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth,” Zech. 9:10. Finally, world peace will come, and Christ Jesus “… shall reign for ever and ever,” Rev. 11:15.
To be the recipient of that glorious time of peace, you must know the “Prince of Peace,” and be at peace with God. Rom. 5:1 promises, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus is the foundation of the Christmas narrative, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men,” Luke 2:14.
May you have a very blessed and peaceful Christmas. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
by Pastor Richard C. Rogers
Calvary Baptist Church of Sturtevant
President of the Board, Baptists for Life of WI