Peace is a major theme in the Bible. At the beginning there was peace on earth in the garden. In the Fall that peace was interrupted. At the cross Christ became our peace. But, when you look around we cannot find any peace in the world. It is filled with never-ending upheavals. Following the horrific events of World War II, in 1945, the UN was established to maintain global peace. However, statistics tell that since that time there has not been one single day of peace on the earth.
At the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that God has promised to bless people who are peacemakers and call them sons of God. It seems as if God is calling for agents who make peace in the world. What is the peace Christ actually talking about here?
Jesus is not referring to any global organizations or diplomats or arbitrators. He is referring to the people who set about to bring divine peace. Peace is not the absence of conflict. Rather, it is the presence of righteousness that leads to right relationships. Where there is real peace, there is righteousness (Psalm 85:10).
The reason there is no peace is because of two things: the opposition of Satan and the disobedience of men. From the beginning man and Satan are at war with God. There is a war waged between God’s truth and Satan’s Al-Qaeda. Being puffed up with pride and rebelled against God’s will, he, with one third of the hosts of heaven, was cast down to earth, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will. Satan rages in the hearts of the men, and stir them up to rebel against that which is good. He promotes nothing but the works of the flesh. He cannot be brought to cooperate in the maintenance of peace, and bringing peace requires the elimination of Satan’s influence. Peace is not just stopping the war; peace is creating the righteousness that brings the man and God together in love.
The Bible never calls for peace at the expense of God’s truth. Sure, we want to avoid needless strife, however, in that process, if we were to sacrifice the truth and compromise divine principles, that is not real peace. Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), did not come to bring peace at any price – “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34).
We are called to be peacemakers who bring the truth so the peace can be established. Should true peace be established, first the sword must fall. The word of God is alive and powerful and it is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow (Hebrews 4:12). It is the sword of purity. It is the sword of righteousness. It is the sword of holiness. Without the purity of heart, all our attempts at peace will be futile. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Matthew 5:8).
God actually calls believers to wage war against the terrorist of the truth. Jude, a brother of Jesus in his letter, commands Christians to fight for the truth (Jude 3). When errors and lies are exposed, and the sin is confronted people will get hurt and offended. Any threat to false belief systems is automatically resisted. What do we do? Hide the truth and abandon divine commands for the sake of keeping peace? “Do not turn your back like a coward, but play the man. Follow boldly in your Master’s steps, for He has made this rough journey before you. Better a brief warfare and eternal rest than false peace and everlasting torment.” – Alistair Begg
The men who turn the world upside down
We as Christians are responsible to hold up the truth against all the attacks and speculations against the knowledge of God. We are commanded to proclaim the truth, to bring deceived souls to the knowledge of the truth. Proverbs 24:11-12 says: “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Doesn’t he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?”
We must have a peaceful disposition towards all people. However, we will not be held innocent for our complacency (Isaiah 5:20). Peace usually costs us something. If you are going to deal with the truth, you are going to be a divider, you are going to be a trouble-maker, you are going to be a disruptor. The world will react negatively, and you may have to go through the hottest conflicts and suffer. There is no way to get around it. Because, you are trying to be a peacemaker and help people to make peace with God and make peace with each other and make peace in their own hearts.
There is an illusion of peace (Jeremiah 6:13-15). The world loves a lie as long as it portrays the illusion of peace. Biblical peacemakers are not quiet people or compromisers who just want to make no waves. These are the men who turn the world upside down (Acts 17:6). Peace belongs to God. Since the fall of man, in Genesis 3, man has never known peace unless he received it as a gift from God. This peace is only available by faith through grace in Jesus Christ alone who died on the cross for the sinful man and defeat the power of Satan. He is the only one who can gives the righteousness that brings the man and God together in love.