“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men,’” (Luke 2:13-14, KJV). This awesome event happened right after the angel of the Lord announced to the shepherds near Bethlehem that Jesus the Christ had been born. The angelic choir that burst forth in song focused on one of the most important aspects of Jesus’ ministry: peace.
Isaiah had prophesied that Jesus would be the Prince of Peace and that His peace would be never-ending. Yet, although Christ has taken on flesh, lived, died, and rose again, that peace still seems elusive. Where is this promised never-ending peace?
Even more perplexing is the fact that Jesus himself later testified, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household,” (Matthew 10:34-36). So, what about the promise of peace?
Let me point you to three ways that God is keeping His promise to bring about world peace through Jesus.
First, you personally can have peace with God through Jesus Christ. For every person who repents of sin and believes on Jesus, their enmity with God is erased, and God’s righteous wrath toward them is extinguished. What’s more, God the Father adopts us into His family and makes us joint-heirs with Jesus. You and I have peace with God through Jesus, and it is an everlasting peace.
Second, you personally can have peace with your brothers and sisters in Christ. When God saves us, He brings us into the family of God and equips us to live in peace and unity within our church. Even if there is no peace to be found in the street, there is should be overwhelming peace in the household of God.
Third, there is coming an eschatological peace at the end of the age. Peace all around us will continue to be broken worldwide, and things will actually worsen as the return of Jesus draws nearer. The sword will be put to those who claim the name of Christ. However, when Jesus does come again, sin and the enemies of God will be eradicated from the world. Not only will Heaven be at joined to Earth, but all of the saints of God will be glorified, enjoying moral and physical perfection. Then and only then will the fullness of the promise of everlasting peace be realized.
Are you praying for peace? Then pray for Jesus to come again quickly. This Christmas as you celebrate the first coming of Jesus, may your heart also long for Jesus’ second coming so that peace will fully be peace on Earth!