Peace on Earth

SERMON

MARCH 13, 2022

PEACE ON EARTH

Pastor Jean Owens jowens11@aol.com 607-273-5682

The first Christmas greetings from the angels that first Christmas morning was “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”
Now 2,000 years later, there is anything but peace. War in Ukraine, horrific acts of murderous aggression against innocent people, terrorist attacks, nations rising up against nations. Even in our own country, we are divided.
There is a lot working against peace in our world today. We know that we are living in troubling times. COVID with waves of variants, corruption and crime is all around us, our future is most uncertain. The world is not a safe place with wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and hunger. Drugs and alcohol destroy families and lives. Hatred towards others is rampant.
Where is the peace?
These things are nothing new. 2,000 years ago, the nation of Israel was an occupied land. The Romans ruled that world with an iron fist. There was no security, nothing was certain. There was no peace in the land.
Then Jesus came.
What did the Angels say?
Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
This is the announcement that Peace Himself had come. Peace arrived and is now lying in a manger in Bethlehem.
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Jesus is the ruler over peace.
Ephesians 2:14a For He Himself is our peace …
Jesus is peace.
God did not wish or bestow peace on the earth to everyone, God sent Jesus, who is God Himself, and who is Peace, to those people who have accepted Him, and those who believe in Him, God has placed His favor.
Why is there no peace on earth?
Isaiah 48:18 If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.
Isaiah 48:22 “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.”
God does not desire for anyone to be without His peace. When Jesus had his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, five days before they crucified Him, Jesus wept over the city.
Luke 19:41–42 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
They put to death the Prince of Peace. The only one who could really bring peace.
Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Philippians 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
We are called to let the peace of God rule in our hearts. Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
God sent our peace to earth in Jesus. Jesus is that peace. Jesus said: John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
The world may be at war, but we can have peace, His peace, which is the only true peace. The world will experience peace when Jesus comes again to rule.
The city of Jerusalem’s name means “City of Peace,” and tourists can find the famous inscription “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6) in several places around the city. Yet neither Jerusalem nor the world has ever experienced real, lasting peace. The city remains uneasy. Its holy places including the Dome of the Rock and the Wailing Wall are among the tensest places anywhere on earth.
According to the Bible, this city and the entire world, are unable to find true peace in this time of human rule prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Why no peace? People talk about peace as the goal, but don’t know the way to get there.
The statue “swords-into-plowshares” sits in front of the United Nations building in New York. Will it become a reality as a result of peace talks? Many world leaders and diplomats have worked to try to bring cease fires and peace treaties. But throughout history those efforts have eventually failed. Humans have proven powerless to bring real, lasting peace.
How much war has there been in recent decades? The carnage is horrifying. Estimates of deaths due to war in the 20th century vary, but one source suggests 35 million human beings died in war during the 20th century while others suggest a much higher figure of 160 million.
Whatever the exact figure, the 20th century proved to be the bloodiest in history, in spite of the efforts of the League of Nations and of the United Nations. The 21st century isn’t looking good either.
Jeremiah summed it up “Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14; Jeremiah 8:11).
If it depends on us, world peace is impossible.
World peace will come only through the Prince of Peace. Humanity lacks the divinely revealed knowledge of how to bring peace. It is ultimately going to require the return to earth of Jesus Christ, and the setting up of the Kingdom of God, to bring true, just, lasting peace.
Isaiah 2:4 He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.
That time is coming.
Instead of convening a peace conference, once Jesus Christ has returned to earth, He actually first will have to act swiftly and decisively to put down rebellion against His rule.
Christ’s government, and the way of peace that it brings, will expand outward from Jerusalem and encompass the whole earth and its inhabitants. Both the aged and the young will then be free to enjoy the beauty and security of this, God’s capital city, with no fear of bombs or violence.
“Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” Isaiah 9:7.
No one will learn war, but everyone will have the chance to learn the way of peace. Christ’s government will expand outward from Jerusalem and encompass the whole earth and its inhabitants. World peace will finally come.
Peace on Earth.
‘Come Quickly, Lord Jesus’ After His death and resurrection, Jesus ascended into the heavens, while disciples stood awestruck and attending angels made this promise: “This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven” Acts 1:11

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