Matt 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. NASU
What if the peacemakers multiply and become successful? What would happen to society and our world? What if the church began praying…
1 Timothy 2:1-4 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. NASU
What if God answered? Would we see peace on earth? What is so “good and acceptable” about this? What relationship does peace on earth have to do with one coming to the knowledge of the truth?
The answers to these questions are crucial for us to remember and apparently Paul knows well we are apt to forget or neglect these matters altogether. Hence, he “urge[s]” the church to make such prays for peace a priority.
It should be a priority because peace is fundamental to the Gospel. True Biblical Christianity does not spread by the point of a gun, manipulation, or any other type of intimidation; false Christianity works that way. Paul’s detailed discourse on the Gospel in Romans says this…
Rom 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? NASU
“do you think lightly…not knowing” – Paul is saying, think and you’ll uncover some basic facts about the Gospel. Cruelty, intolerance, and impatience do not spread the true knowledge of Christ, but kindness, tolerance, and patience do. These are the core components of peace.
James 3:18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. NASU
Clearly, such peace extends beyond our vertical private relationship with God. This peace extends horizontally to our relationships with others, going so far as to influence entire nations. This kind of peace has an effect on earth in the physical realm, not just the spiritual. Remember what we are to remember?
Ephesians 2:11-22 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands — 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. 17 AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. NASU
The Church will preach peace as Jesus preached peace. This peace will have its effect on the world as it did on a small portion of the world 20 centuries ago. I believe this Gospel light and its effect will shine worldwide before the world comes to an end.
Matt 24:14 “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. NASU
Further, I believe the effect of such prayers for peace and such preaching peace will assist man’s effort to bring the best form of government he can to his nation and world. By saying this I’m not saying I believe in a utopian world. Far from it, I believe the net result of the Church’s obedience to pray and preach peace, mixed with the efforts of man in governing, will be something temporal, fragile, and imperfect. Imperfect, but it will be enough to give men everywhere a strong sense of peace and safety as much as any good government has done for any people thus far.
So, let me ask this final question. Jesus taught a parable about a time when the plant would be full grown (Matt 13:31-32). Is this the same time period Paul was referring to when he said, “while they are saying, “peace and safety?”
1 Thess 5:3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. NASU
I’ll look into this next.