Why Can't We Have World Peace?
Thousands of world leaders and media personalities speak and dream of a coming world peace, usually with good intentions, but the Bible paints an entirely different picture. The Bible has much to say about peace and also about the conditions for peace. In fact, one could rightly claim the Bible as God's "peace treaty." All of God's conditions for peace are laid out in the Bible for everyone to read. But, as we shall see, when one rejects God's peace treaty, he rejects peace altogether.
"If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; then I . . . will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid." (Lev. 26:3, 6) "But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you." (Lev. 26:14-17)
Who gets peace in the Bible? Those who obey God's commandments. A nation which lives as though the Bible had never been written is a nation which will not know peace. The same is true in any home or any church. When God's word is applied, it establishes peace. When it is not applied, men have war. That's a fact of life which world leaders refuse to accept, therefore they will never know peace. Also see Deuteronomy 29:18-20, I Kings 9:22, Psalm 28:3, 34:14, 119:165, 120:7 and Isaiah 48:18-22.
"The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity." (Mal. 2:6) Notice that peace here is preceded by truth. (also see the same order in Mark 5:33-34) God doesn't grant peace to those who are too cowardly to search out and embrace truth. One of God's conditions for peace is the acceptance of truth. Those who run from truth run into war and hardship. In the Bible, wicked Ahab thought he would return from battle in peace, but he returned dead because he rejected the truth as preached from the mouth of Micaiah (I Kings 22).
As long as people seek to fill their minds with everything but the Bible, they will have everything but peace. Homes will be wrecked, churches will split, political groups will fight within our borders, and the military will fight beyond. There will be no peace until truth is more valuable to men than popularity, money, or power.
Peace is for a special people, not people in general. The world thinks that a person or nation is entitled to peace if they want peace. That's the world's only condition: if you want to live in peace, then you should be allowed to live in peace. That's the world-view, but not God's view.
God has a very different view, and, since God is the only real giver of peace, man will have to meet God's conditions or do without. There's no other source for peace. Man can't buy it at any price. God has the product, and no one else does. If man wants peace, he'll have to go to God and get it: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Mat. 6:33) "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Rom. 14:17) When will man find peace? When he seeks the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Self righteousness is man's problem! The first murder on this earth was committed for this very reason (Gen. 4), and billions have died and went to Hell because of it since then, yet every generation thinks they'llproduce the magic potion for a lasting peace. Men never learn, and peace never comes, because God's peace treaty is continually refused. See Deuteronomy 23:6 and II Chronicles 15:1-5.
Like heaven itself, peace is not for everyone. "The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace." (Psa. 29:11) Peace is for GOD'S people, not everyone. Those who seek it without first becoming children of God are guilty of theft, and such people will be judged for their crime. The more the world seeks for peace, the more war they generate. This explains the miserable failure of the United Nations over the past five decades.
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." (Isa. 26:3) Do you think the leaders of this world really have their minds on God? No, they have their minds on power and money. Do you think the average American has his mind on God? No, he has his mind on money, entertainment, sex, sports, and education. Be- cause of corrupt minds, there is no inner peace. Because there is no inner peace, there is no outer peace. A man who isn't at peace with God is not at peace with himself. A man who isn't at peace with himself will not be at peace with others. There are millions of people, perhaps even billions, in this world who will not have even one thought about God today, much less pray or read the Bible. Psalm 10:4 says, "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts." They will not seek God, yet they seek peace. Peace is impossible for such people.
Psalm 147 offers some words about peace: "The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion. For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee. He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat."(verses 11-14) Who gets the peace? Those that fear God. Romans 3:17-18 says, "And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes." What's the rule? It's FEAR GOD TO FIND PEACE. World diplomats can shake hands and sign treaties till their fingers fall off, but there will be no world peace until they learn to fear God.
Wisdom and understanding also play a vital role in God's peace treaty. Note Proverbs 3, verses 13 and 17: "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding . . . Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace." Remember, it was King Solomon who enjoyed a peaceful kingdom, but it wasn't until after he prayed and received wisdom and understanding from God. Men can't lean to their own under- standing. Things that seem wise in our eyes often end up very wrong and harmful. King Hezekiah thought it would be a good plan to be friendly with the Babylonians and show them his many treasures, but this was a foolish move which led to much agony (II Kings. 20).
God's law of sowing and reaping is a foreign thing to most people. Why does a woman marry a bum, divorce the bum, and then marry another bum? She didn't learn from her mistake. She didn't seek wisdom and understanding. She failed to consider the fact that her present lack of peace is due to her past mistake of marrying a bum. So, she blames the entire marriage failure on the bum and sets out to repeat the mistake over and over again. She has no wisdom and understanding, so she has no peace. The same is true in the business world, in the political world, and in our churches. A wise person realizes that every action produces a consequence. If we want peaceful consequences, then we must invest in actions which produce peace. We reap what we sow.
Again, we see that God is the author of peace in Isaiah 45:7: "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." God, and only God, will determine when and how this world enjoys peace. There are some things that men just can't accomplish. God gives peace at his own will, and, according to Jeremiah 6:5, withdraws peace at his own will: " . . . I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the LORD, even lovingkindness and mercies." If God hasn't granted world peace, then he doesn't want world peace, and no man has a right to usurp God's authority by attempting to bring it about himself. Sure, we should live peaceably and not look for trouble, but to think that we can get everyone to do so is ridiculous.
Peace is like a location on a map to which one must travel. Does man know the way? No, he does not. Isaiah 59:8 says, "The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace." Man thinks that if enough world leaders can agree to live peaceably without fighting then we can have world peace. God says that this is not the way. It seems like the way, but it is NOT the way.
What if man did establish a lasting world peace? What would be accomplished by this? Yes, it would be great on the surface to live on earth in peace, but what would be the long term effect? Answer: more sin, more rebellion, more infidelity, more atheism, and more apostasy! Men don't seek God during peaceful times. It is during such times that men pursue their carnal and selfish dreams. It is during such times that churches fall into apostasy. War, hardship, and persecution tend to bring out the best in people, while peace and prosperity do just the opposite.
Furthermore, if man were to bring about world peace, God would be declared a liar, and all the false "peace prophets" would be looked upon with admiration. Consider Jeremiah 14:13-15:"Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place. Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed." And let's not forget what the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 24:6-7: "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places." Liberal preachers throughout our land have been preaching peace for decades. These preachers have very liberal views concerning the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, the blood atonement, the bodily resurrection, the literal second coming, the reality of hell, the authority of God's word (KJV), the autonomy of the local church and a whole lot more. If their prophesies of world peace were to come true, then Jesus Christ would be discredited, less people would believe the Bible than ever, and true Bible believers would be less believable than ever. The philosophy of the world would be, "You see! Man isn't that bad after all!"
God said that man is bad, and God said that there will be no world peace. Isaiah 57:20-21 says, "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." They CANNOT REST, and they CANNOT HAVE PEACE.
One of the biggest "peacemakers" on the globe is the United Nations. The very UN Charter speaks of maintaining "international peace and security." That would be just fine, except for one problem: that's not what God said! In fact, that's not what God said about the UN! God certainly has a purpose for the UN, but it isn't world peace: "Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent." (Zph. 3:8-9) Notice that GOD, the true Peacemaker, will establish peace after the UN has been BURNED. The Bible says, in I Thessalonians 5:3, that when men start saying "peace and safety," then SUDDEN DESTRUCTION shall come upon them.
Luke 2:14 offers some words of peace. Here, at the birth of Christ, we find the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Naturally, these words are slaughtered every Christmas by at least eighty percent of the preachers in the country. Notice the proper order is "glory to God" (first) and "peace, good will toward men" (second). When will men have peace and good will? Not until God has the glory.
Jesus Christ is called the "Prince of Peace" in Isaiah 9:6 because it is none other than Jesus Christ who will establish a lasting peace on earth. No one else has ever done it, and no one ever will. Jesus offers spiritual peace today to those who will receive him as Lord and Saviour, and he offers a literal kingdom of peace tomorrow to those who serve him today. The present "peacemakers" will miss the boat totally. Yes, God has a peace treaty, but men are too proud and too wicked to sign on.
What about you? Jesus Christ came into this world to lay down His sinless life for YOU--to pay for your sins, because you couldn't. Jesus is your only hope for salvation. Only by receiving Him as your Saviour can you enter the gates of Heaven. There is no other way.
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me." (John 14:6)
The Lord Jesus Christ has come and PAID for your sins by shedding His own Blood on Calvary. By receiving Him as your Saviour, you can be WASHED from all your sins in His precious Blood (Rev. 1:5; 5:9; Col. 1:14; Acts 20:28; I Pet. 1:18-19). Notice these important words from Romans 5:8-9:
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."
Jesus PAID your way to Heaven for you! By receiving Him as your Saviour, you will be receiving God's ONLY means of Salvation for you. Are you willing to forsake YOUR righteousness and receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your ONLY HOPE for Salvation? Romans 10:13 says, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:9 says, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Are you willing to forsake your own righteousness, and trust Jesus Christ alone? He will save you just as He promised. Why not receive Him today and trust Him to give you the kind of peace that this world knows nothing about? This wicked world cannot know peace, but YOU can! Why not now?
Copyright © 2002 James L. Melton
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