And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.
It’s Christmas Eve.
The night when we celebrate the coming of the Son. The Son who would be called the Prince of Peace… yet in our nation and around the world there is evidence of a great lack of peace.
In the Middle East the terror of ISIS is still raging strong, in North Korea threats are being made toward civilian businesses in our nation, a war against Ebola is still being waged in places in Africa, and the Ukraine crisis continues. Our own headlines are flooded with the murder of our men and women in blue who have taken oaths to serve and protect us.
Scabs are being picked off and old wounds that were being healed are being ripped open again. It’s like the childhood saying of what hurts worse… going down a slide of razor blades into a pool of alcohol or admitting the root cause of it all is that we are a wicked hearted deceived people.
It all should be a wake up slap in the face reminder that this world is not our home. This world is corroded in sin and its effects. Sin is the cause… immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these (Galatians 5:19-21) are its effect.
The headlines testify to the truth of the words of Scripture.
The wars and rumors of rumors. The repeated horrid acts of violence. The continuos and growing popularity of these disgusting television commercials, shows, and movies. These do not make me doubt the existence of God or the validity of His Word… they confirm Him.
Those who see Noah and Moses through the interpretation of Hollywood and Oprah, those who see the flood, the death angel of the Passover, as an act of a cruel heartless God… no… beloved that is an act of a merciful God.
That is the work of a God of great love.
Hollywood’s interpretation comes from a pampered people who have never experienced the full throttle level of the evil of men. This comes from men and women who disregard the fact that their mere ability to dream up the evils that they write into scripts is evidence of the depravity of their minds. It’s not just entertainment… wait let’s add this to the evidence… that the simple fact these evils are called “entertainment” is evidence… let’s also be reminded that before men could “safely” and “non-judgmentally” act out these evils in the fantasy of the big screen or the video game… they simply fleshed them out on real people… (thus Genesis 6:5) and if man remains in this place of fantasy it will eventually not satisfy and man will once again act them out on real people.
For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
Our God of great love showed how very great His love was in that He, knowing the evil of our heart, knowing the depravity of our mind, knowing the sinfulness of our soul, sent His Only Begotten Son to us…
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
God did not just “so love” a certain people group… He “so loved” the world. He could have stayed up high in the heavenlies with a big ole bucket of popcorn and a large sized pop with a bag of juju beans and watched the show, but He didn’t.
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
God knew what we still can’t seem to come to grip with…
You can’t legislate peace.
For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,
You can’t teach peace.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.
Colossians 2:8, 20-23
Peace is a promise (Psalm 29:11, Isaiah 26:3)
Peace is a person (Isaiah 9:6, John 16:33)
Peace is a gift (John 14:27)
Peace is for people with whom the Lord is pleased…
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
How do we please God?
It is really quite simple.
We believe Him.
We have faith in Him and His Word and we believe HIM.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Peace cannot be achieved by any dreamt up method of man. It is a work of God and it must come from God, through God, to God, for God. Peace is a choice based on the conviction that God was, that God is, and that God is to come.
Why are the nations in an uproar
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”
He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
“But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”
“I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”
Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
Worship the Lord with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!
The way of peace has been given (Luke 1:79).
All we have to do is come…