With all that is going on throughout the world and in our nation, it’s important to know where our only hope can be found–in Jesus Christ. No man-made laws, no rallies, no rioting, no political election, no wars, or disarmament of nations or citizens will bring forth peace. I’m reading the book, “Storm Warning” by the Reverend Billy Graham. In it, he gives the text of a speech he made at the Moscow Baptist Church in 1982 (yes in Russia) at a religious conference on the subject of peace. That year there were hotly debated political battles over nuclear proliferation and other volatile issues. Today, we are facing some of those same issues with Iran and North Korea, all the while the people in our nation are turning against one another politically, dividing our people across more lines than I ever remember witnessing previously. I find this address quite relevant today, and especially before we celebrate our Savior rising from His tomb.
Man has far exceeded his moral ability to control the results of his technology. Man himself must be changed. The Bible teaches that this is possible through spiritual renewal. Jesus Christ taught that man can and must have a spiritual rebirth.
From a Christian perspective, therefore, the possibility of a nuclear war originates in the greed and covetousness of the human heart. The tendency toward sin is passed on from generation to generation. Therefore, Jesus predicted that there would be wars and rumors of wars till the end of the age. The psalmist said, “In sin did my mother conceive me” (Ps. 51:5). Thus, there is a tragic and terrible flaw in human nature that must be recognized and dealt with.
The word peace is used in the Bible in three main ways: First, there is spiritual peace. This is peace between man and God. Second, there is psychological peace, or peace within ourselves. Third, there is relational peace, or peace among men.
Sin, the Bible says, has destroyed or seriously affected all three of these dimensions of peace. When man was created, he was at peace with God, with himself, and with his fellow humans. But when he rebelled against God, his fellowship with God was broken. He was no longer at peace with himself. And he was no longer at peace with others.
Can these dimensions of peace ever be restored? The Bible says yes. It tells us man alone cannot do what is necessary to heal the brokenness of his relationships–but God can, and has.
The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ [is] God’s unique Son, sent into the world to take away our sins by His death on the cross, therefore making it possible for us to be at peace–at peace with God, at peace within ourselves, and at peace with each other. This is why Jesus Christ is central to the Christian faith. By His resurrection from the dead, Christ showed once and for all that God is for life, not death.
The Bible states, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). The ultimate sign of man’s alienation is death; the ultimate sign of God’s reconciling love is life.
Throughout all Christendom you will notice there is one symbol common to all believers–the cross. We believe it was on the cross that the certainty of lasting peace in all of its dimensions has been made.
The Bible says about Christ that “God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things…by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross” (Col. 1:19-20). The Bible again says, “For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near” (Eph. 2:14, 17).
The Christian looks forward to the time when peace will reign over all creation. Christians all over the world pray the prayer Jesus taught His disciples: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). Only then will the spiritual problem of the human race be fully solved.
The Bible teaches that there will be a universal judgment. Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead (1 Peter 4:5). Then the kingdom of God will be established, and God will intervene to make all things new. That is our great hope and confidence for the future.
But in the meantime God is already at work. The kingdom of God is not only a future hope but a present reality. Wherever men and women turn to God in repentance and faith and then seek to do His will on earth as it is done in heaven, there the kingdom of God is seen.