LUKE 12:51-53: “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you. I have come to separate people. From now on there will be five members in a family, each one against the other. There will be three against two and two against three. They will be separated. Father will turn against son and son against father. Mother will turn against daughter and daughter against mother. Mother-in-law will turn against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” (NIRV)
OBSERVATION: Why is there so much division in our world today? Why does the call for tolerance seem to include every point of view, except that of Christianity? Why is the Bible continually attacked and marginalized by our present culture? Isn’t Jesus for world peace?
The desire for world peace is a noble goal. It looks forward to a world that can live in harmony, without war, without poverty, and without discrimination. Yet, it looks to achieve these goals without dealing with the very thing that makes it unachievable. What makes world peace unachievable? SIN! Sin keeps man warring against man, and it also keep man positioned as an enemy of God and all the things that pertain to the Kingdom of God. When Jesus came to this earth, He did not come to bring world peace. Jesus came to bring LIGHT!
- “Life was in him, and that life was the light for all people. The light shines in the darkness. But the darkness has not understood it.” John 1:4-5 NIRV
Notice what John writes – “The light (Jesus) shines in the darkness. But the darkness has not understood it.” Light and darkness do not mix. Light always dispels darkness and reveals it for what it really is. Jesus life, His teachings, and His call to mankind – was a light that revealed man’s sin and his need to repent. Jesus was not crucified for the love and good works that He did while on the earth. Jesus was crucified because He was light – shining on the darkness of humanity. And when humanity did not want to receive the light, they tried to put it out by nailing it to a cross.
Yet, that light still shines! The empty tomb proclaims that death and darkness could not prevail against the light of truth. Jesus is alive, and His light continues to shine through men and women who have received Him as Savior and Lord. It is this light that shines on mankind’s need for repentance and faith. And it is this light that causes the same struggle and division that took place in Jesus’ life, and that led Him to the cross. Until mankind deals with the sin issue, there can never be peace. And unless one submits to the light, and surrenders to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, there can never be forgiveness and victory over sin.
World peace will never be achieved through hearts that are bound by sin. Jesus lived, died, and rose again – to bring victory over sin and death through the cross. It does not come through tolerance and a dimming of the light. Salvation, and true peace, come only through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Repentance acknowledges our sin, and faith embraces Jesus as the only means for salvation. Jesus alone is the way, the truth, and the life! Jesus is the light that divides. There will continue to be division as long as men and women love darkness rather than the light. The Christian’s call is not to establish world peace through tolerance. Rather it is to establish God’s Kingdom in men and women’s hearts through the preaching of the Gospel.
There will be world peace. However, it will not come on the wings of progressive political advancements. World peace will not flow out of tolerance, which simply tries to extinguish the light and exchange it for darkness. World peace will only be established when Jesus Christ returns to establish His Kingdom. Until that time, His peace, perfect peace, is found in hearts that are truly and fully surrendered to Him. All Christians should be peacemakers. Yet we should never confuse being a peacemaker with making an agreement with darkness and sin.
As long as we shine forth the light of Gospel, there will be division until Jesus returns. We must be willing to count the cost of true discipleship and let our lights shine, in His love, in His peace, and in His truth!
Lord, give me the grace to shine as a light of Your truth and love in this dark and dying world. When there is division because of the light, help me to love and pray for those who oppose Your truth. Give me the ability to be a peacemaker, as I call men and women to the Prince of Peace.
In Jesus Name!