WAR AND PEACE 12-8-19

War and Peace

December 8, 2019

“War and Peace” is not only the title of one of the most famous pieces of literature written in the 19th century, it also sums up life here and in the hereafter.  Until Christ returns there will always be war on this earth, because of a war that started in heaven before mankind was even created, and which has incited the countless bloody battles we have raged against each other ever since.

There is a wide range of thoughts in regards to war.  George S. Patton once said, “I love war and responsibility and excitement.  Peace is going to be hell.”  On the other hand, General William Sherman stated, “War is hell”.  And indeed it is.  But also consider this thought, which appeared in a recent article written by Mark and Grace Discoll, “For Christians, this life is as close to hell as we will ever be; it is as bad as it will ever get.  Conversely, for non-Christians, this life is as close to heaven as they will ever be; it is as good as it will ever get.”

And on that note I would like a share a bit more of the Discolls’ article:

“World War II was the biggest and bloodiest war in the history of the planet.  More than 30 nations were involved in the battle for six years, starting with the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 under the leadership of Adolf Hitler.  Historians estimate that between 40 and 50 million people died because one man sought to rule as a demonically empowered false god over many nations. 

At the war’s conclusion, despite Hitler’s suicide and his successor Karl Dönitz’s signed surrender, individual skirmishes continued.  As is often the case in war, some German soldiers kept fighting long after their nation was defeated and the triumphant nations had cleaned up their victory parades.  Some refused to accept the reality that their kingdom had fallen.  Others did not care that they were defeated and simply wanted to inflict as much pain and death as they possibly could. 

The war between God and Satan is much like World War II.  At the cross of Jesus Christ, Satan was defeated.  But skirmishes rage on until our King returns to once and for all round up the rebellious people and spirits and sentence them to an eternal prison as His kingdom overtakes every nation of the earth.  These skirmishes in your life are not the big battle – King Jesus already won that!  Your battles are fought in the context of a war that is over with a foe who is defeated and will ultimately be disarmed and destroyed. 

We were snuggled up on the couch watching television late one night, flipping back and forth between channels.  When watching the History Channel, even though the program showed footage of World War II with building suspense, we were not anxious or alarmed.  On the other hand, as we watched real-time footage on the news channel, we were noticeably more agitated and anxious.  Why?  We know the ending for the old news but not for the current news, which caused us to respond differently.

For God, everything is the History Channel, and nothing is the nightly news.  God sees everything in its finished state and invites us to trust Him for a happily-ever-after ending for all of His people.  To walk with Jesus is to march in the angelic army with the God who overcomes the world.  We are to believe this by our faith until we see it by sight as God does.

The enemy and his empire are crumbling and will be crushed.  Knowing this and by faith believing that the Bible accurately records the end of history will give you the courage you need to win your wars.  In our daily battles against sin, Satan tries to tempt us to join his army.  He wants us to hate others, hurt others rather than help them and punish them rather than share the good news that Jesus was already punished for them.  This not only harms them but also harms us, as we experience anxiety instead of peace, angst instead of joy, and acrimony instead of harmony.

Not only is Satan a deceiver, but he has also apparently deceived himself into thinking he can rewrite the storyline of the Bible and defeat God once and for all.  This might explain why Satan continues to wage war even though the Bible is clear that he loses in the end. 

Nevertheless, the same Jesus who defeated the devil in His first coming will finally destroy the devil in His Second Coming.”  (Driscoll, Mark and Grace, “Finish the Fight”, Charisma, Nov. 2019, pgs. 36-37)

So as we near the celebration of Christ’s first coming, let us also keep the promise of His second coming in our hearts, and so enjoy peace within until we can enjoy it externally as well.  Amen.

VIDEOS:

"Peace Be Still"  (Lauren Daigle)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N78TZFBspgA

"Prince of Peace"  (Hillsong United)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kc0DKzPdv44