ISIS. North Korea. Russia. ALT-RIGHT. ANTIFA. White Supremacy. Hurricane Harvey. These and a list only Santa could compete with causes us to stop and wonder. We wonder what peace is anyway. Or maybe a better question is how we can get peace? The cycle doesn’t ever seem to end.
Take ISIS for instance. American troops were leaving Iraq at the end of 2011 hailing the war was over. And now we’re back. Why? Because there’s no peace.
Every year we enter hurricane season and wonder what will comes.
The world has provided its input. They produce self-help books, preach inner-peace, countries enact peace treaties. But it doesn’t ultimately bring peace and we still see the world in want. We see a lack.
You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes. Haggai 1:6.
This verse is a look into what we look like when we try to solve our problems, like lack of peace, apart from God. The world attacks the symptoms and not the disease. They puttimy their money into bags with holes.
The Apostle Paul spoke often about peace. He taught that for there to be peace the solution was going to have to be much deeper than behavior modification through books, treatises, or lets-all-get-along-ism.
Notice what Paul says in Colossians 1:20 “And through Him [Jesus] to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” Paul knew that true peace only comes through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross.
Paul also taught in his letter to the Romans that, “…since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” We only avail ourselves of the peace everyone so desperately wants through faith in Jesus. We only experience peace if the blood of his cross has washed us clean of our sin and the Holy Spirit has regenerated us to new life.
So, as Christians, as church leaders, as ambassadors for Christ, what do we offer the world?
I’ll tell you what we don’t offer them. We don’t offer a lie. Do not go out in the world and imagine you can be a peacemaker without sharing the Gospel of peace.
There is no peace without Jesus.
If you are telling others that they can bring peace without sharing the Gospel, you are lying to them. If you are preaching that people can have peace without coming to Jesus first, you are preaching a false gospel. The ultimate source of our turmoil is sin. Sin in us cause racism, selfishness, pride, hate, etc. Natural disasters are a result of sin ruining the harmony God originally intended in creation.
Alas, God did not leave us in this mess we made. Look back to what Paul said in Colossians and remember that Jesus is reconciling all things to God. All that was broken, lost, marred, and ruined.
The chaotic unpredictable earth, our broken bodies and sinful hearts will be made new through the blood of Jesus cross.
Not pyramids of how to be a peaceful person. Not stretches and breathing to achieve inner-piece. Not a new treaty. Only Jesus. If your promising peace without him, you’re a putting money into a bag with holes. You are preaching a false gospel.
It’s All About Jesus.
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