War & Peace
‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions.’ I think I may have added at least three flagstones to that road. It has been my good intention to read Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Homer’s Illiad, and Plato’s Republic. Someday! But if war is hell, is peace heaven? Well, there’s a verse of Scripture that says, ‘War broke out in heaven’ Revelation 12:7. But have no fear, for Michael and His angels prevail against Satan and his demons. ‘So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him’ Revelation 12:9. Satan and his demons were cast out of heaven to earth. When? The immediate context of this verse is sometime in human history. However, the remote connection is before the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Thus, the war in heaven began pre-Fall and the wars continue on earth until the resurrected Jesus through His Spirit overcomes His enemies. ‘But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool’ Hebrews 10:12-13. Would it surprise you to hear that God considers all non-Christians His enemies? Which is to say that only those who have the Jesus of the Bible as their Saviour have been reconciled to God. There is no Switzerland in this war. If you don’t belong to Jesus, then you belong to Satan’s army and therefore are an enemy of God. To enlist in Jesus’ army, you must do as He says, ‘Repent, and believe in the gospel’ Mark 1:15. Therefore, turn your back on self, sin and Satan and follow Jesus.
‘For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil’ 1 John 3:8b. And Jesus, the Son of God, said, ‘I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’ Matthew 16:18b. This doesn’t mean that the gates of Christ’s church will hold against the attacks of Satan and his demons, but rather that the church, i.e., Christians will storm the gates of the non-Christians. Thus, the war that began in heaven pre-Fall will end with the nations transforming their weapons of war into agricultural implements. For who or what can hold back Michael our Prince with His angels and church? For ‘Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore’ Isaiah 2:4b. ‘Of the increase of His [i.e., our Prince, the Prince of Peace’s] government there will be no end’ Isaiah 9:7a.
Peace increases as war ceases. The Gospel is designed to bring peace, peace between humans and God and peace with each other, and peace among the nations. Yes, the Gospel can bring peace between the Campbells and the McDonalds, the Hatfields and the McCoys, and between North and South Korea. Who or what can stop this? Satan and his demons? The Gates of Hell? ‘For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God’ 1 Corinthians 10:4-5b.
‘He makes wars cease to the end of the earth’ Psalm 46:9a. ‘This shows the perfect security of the church, and is an assurance of lasting peace. Let us pray for the speedy approach of these glorious days, and in silent submission let us worship and trust in our almighty Sovereign.’ Matthew Henry. Exit the road to hell by turning to Jesus. Do it now!