I remember my friend once explaining to me the Jewish idea of peace. It’s not something that is caused from lack of strife, it is in fact something to be gained after everything in the way of wholesomeness and well-being (personal and societal) is taken out of the way. Evil must be removed if there is to be true peace, and that is the way Jesus went about it. The one called, ‘Prince of peace’ could also say that he did not come to bring typical human peace, but division. And this was because Jesus did not look for peace by compromise, but by conquering all that was false and wicked. Only He ever conquered in a way that did not use the world’s method of violence (but it was spiritually violent). He spoke the truth unashamedly, and then submitted to the will of the Father, and was crucified by the Romans at the instigation of the Jewish people. He made peace between God and man then and there ‘by the blood of His cross’. Where there is peace with God, there is peace with one another. And all those who are not given to God’s peace, but simply to getting along with our fellow human being, will have neither human or divine peace.
Unity is a dirty word when seen in the light of compromise. To have sought unity in the days of Nazi Germany was a wicked thing, and it was over this very thing that Churchill reprimanded the prime minister at that time, Chamberlain. He had struck a deal with the devil in the name of ‘peace.’ The prophets were no strangers to such false peace, through one the Lord spoke, “the false prophets heal the wound of My people lightly saying ‘Peace, peace’ when there is no peace.”
The only way true peace is gained is through uncompromising opposition to everything that stands in its way. The only way to a just society is by overcoming every injustice through righteousness and truth. The only way to righteousness in any fashion starts with the gospel. Being right with God leads us to being right with each other. And yet so much of our state of being right with God, loving Him and obeying Him, leads to such turmoil and division (even to the point where Jesus warned us that is what He came to do). Why? Because if one person is at peace with God, and another is not, then no amount of kind words or human agreement can settle the matter. One is a friend of God, the other is still His enemy. And as we know if someone is an enemy of your friend, then they are your enemy as well. ‘If they hated me, then they will hate you also’.
Peace among ourselves is only every gained by the gospel of peace, and in no other way do wars cease. This gospel must conquer all other false truth, and expose everything opposed to it, and it will do so through powerful words, the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and a life lived out in love for God first and love for our fellow human beings (yes, even our enemies) second. This is the only way forward, the only way towards God’s will on earth as it is in heaven.