Peace on Earth
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14
Peace on earth. What a concept! This promise of peace on earth was given at our Lord Jesus’ birth by a host of heavenly angels. Glancing at the world’s situation today, what do we find? War, terrorism, religious conflicts, political factions, financial problems, disease, family strife, hatred, sorrow, and selfishness at every turn. Will this promise of peace on earth ever be fulfilled?
Yes! God’s promises are always fulfilled. Isaiah 55:11 assures us of God’s faithfulness when it says, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
God’s promise was specifically for peace on earth. He was not referring to the peace that exists in heaven, or even the peace which Christians living now can experience in their hearts. No, this is a promise that there will be peace on earth, as Jesus confirmed in his prayer in Matthew 6:10, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
How Will Peace on Earth be Accomplished?
In this proclamation of peace given by the angels, we are told how it will be accomplished. Luke 2:8-11 says, “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
This babe born in Bethlehem was to be the savior of the world, who would bring about this peace. The prophet Isaiah foretold Jesus’ birth 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 for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
Because Jesus has given his life, he will redeem the world and be “the everlasting father,” or the life-giver, to the world of mankind. He is, therefore, given the title of “Prince of Peace.” The peace he will establish in his kingdom on earth will last forever.
Psalm 72 states: “Give the king [Christ] thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son [God’s son]. He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. The mountains [symbol of a kingdom, that is Christ’s kingdom] shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. He [Christ] shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain [symbol of truth] upon the mown grass [symbol of the world of mankind after they have been shorn from everything that prevented them from receiving the blessings of truth]: as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.”
When Will This Take Place?
Right now God is selecting a bride for his son Jesus. This bride is elsewhere called the church. The church is comprised of those Christians who accept Christ’s merit and follow his footsteps of sacrificing their earthly wills to do the will of God. Once the church class is selected and exalted to heavenly power and glory, Christ and his church will assist the world of mankind in his kingdom on earth, instructing them in righteousness.
Present and Future Peace of the Church
Those Christians who have taken up their cross and are following Christ receive peace in this life as well. Romans 5:1 tells us why the spirit-begotten Christian has this peace now: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” They are able to rest in the justification they have through Christ’s blood. Apostle Paul in Hebrews 4:3 also talks about this rest the true Christian has in the present life: “For we which have believed do enter into rest [of justification].” Apostle Paul then goes on and speaks of a promise of a greater rest to come to the church when they reach their heavenly glory. Hebrews 4:9 tells us, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” At their resurrection change to spiritual glory, they will enter into a more complete rest than they enjoy now.
The trouble we see about us is all a part of establishing Christ’s kingdom of peace. As an illustration: An old, dilapidated building must first be torn down before a new building can be erected to take its place. This is what Christ is now doing. He is tearing down the present social system, “the present evil world” (Galatians 1:4), for the purpose of establishing a new earthly government in its place. This great time of trouble will be used to humble mankind in preparation for their instruction in the kingdom on earth.
Psalm 46:8-10, “Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
And then the world will be still.
Peace on earth.
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