Sunday, June 28, 2015

Jesus the peacemaker who divides

Jesus – the peacemaker

The grace of Christ unites (all who accept Him)

The truth of Christ divides (evil from the good)

So many people sing with gusto –“ Peace upon earth and goodwill toward men”. And so it is that the prince of peace came to Bethlehem. He it was who said “Blessed are the peacemakers”.

How then does this fit with the fact that for 2000 years He has been a great cause of division and strife? The answer is two fold :
1st  the opposition to Him under the influence of the god of this world – Satan – is very real. For example – Herod the king, very quickly gave in to jealousy and had all the children of Bethlehem slaughtered, in his attempt to eliminate the child that was born ‘King of the Jews’. So much today remains an attempt to crush the Name of Jesus Christ and His followers.
2nd is the age old problem of unbelief. The Lord of glory came to earth in humility so that all people could believe in Him of their own choice, and not as a matter of dominance in religious or political power. He presented Himself in meekness, yet with signs of proof and words of heavenly truth. Through faith in Him, peace with God was enacted, but unbelief  in Him left the people estranged to God . Unbelief has the normal effect of inciting persecution toward the believers.

So the critical thing to note in the matter of ‘peace’, is the persons involved i.e. the most important peace, is peace between God and mankind. Only through the Son of God, and only by His death is there peace with God for we who have disobeyed God. Love initiated the sacrifice of Jesus and grace implemented the blessing of the cross. His blood shed made atonement before the throne of God to bring peace instead of wrath.
“Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our 
Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 5:1

Peace among people is quite different. An ongoing conflict is between Jews and Gentiles. For 3000 years this conflict has raged and on a human level seems unsolvable. The Bible answer is once again the cross. When Jesus Christ is accepted, all , Jews and Gentiles find their nothingness and their everythingness at the cross.
“That He might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility” Ephesians 2:16 . Thus God is putting together all people as a house of praise in perfect harmony and Peace.

The angels wonder at the glory of this, but sadly unbelief scoffs at God’s method and then wonders why this world is not a place of peace.

This is just where the United Nations mission has failed the very purpose of it’s existence. By eliminating Christ and the Gospel, the very means of peace is lost. The tragic violence in the world today with increasing persecution of Christians demonstrates the the UN has lost its way. Australia has like so many nations, fallen into the trap of the Devil with the idea that everyone is a independent, responsible to no-one but themselves. This destroys authority, morality and spirituality.
“Every man does that which is right in his own eyes” ( Judges)

The real wonder is that the creator does not come in with a flood of fire to destroy such  insult and anarchy . ( He did flood the world once for this). But such is the character of God – in patience waiting for mankind to repent and turn again to the Prince of Peace.

John McKee

P.S. I should have pointed out the vast difference between “peace” and tolerance. “peace” and compromise. “peace” and truce. ”peace” and ceasefire. “peace” and isolation. True peace is about reconciliation, acceptance, unity, understanding and sharing.

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