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A Call for Peace This Memorial Day

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The next challenge would be - but what about all of the wars Israel fought? Yes, it is true that God did send Israel off to fight against other nations. Of course this was Israel, the chosen people of God and it was before Jesus came to earth to extend salvation to all. Realize of course that whenever Israel fought without explicit instructions from God, they lost. Further realize that whenever they fought, God got the glory, not man. Whether it be trimming an army of 30,000 down to 300 or marching around the walls of Jericho seven times and then shouting; it was always obvious to whom the credit belonged. But the overall point is that using these Old Testament examples to excuse modern war is simply not Scriptural. How can we be sure? Just look at King David.

David was a man after the very heart of God. He wrote the majority of the Psalms and through his lineage, Christ would come. Toward the end of his reign, David wanted to build a temple for God. A spectacular temple worthy of the majesty of the Lord. Here is what the Bible tells us:

 

Then he called for his son Solomon and charged him to build a house for the LORD, the God of Israel. David said to Solomon: "My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the LORD my God. But this word of the LORD came to me: 'You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.' 1Chronicles 22: 6-10 (NIV)

 

Realize that there is not one pro-war verse in the entire New Testament, with the exception of Revelation, which is a prophetic book of things yet to come to pass. In fact, here are the teachings of Jesus:

 

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5: 9 (NIV)

 

"You have heard the law that says, 'Love your neighbor' and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5: 43-48 (NLT)

 

"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Matthew 26:52 (NIV)

 

There are many who like to portray Christ as a war loving God but the Scripture simply does not support that. He went to the cross without objection. He was the true sacrificial lamb. When He returns it will be as the lion but that does not excuse the wars of man between now and then. Blessed are the peacemakers. Love your neighbor. He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword.

 

Then what is the New Testament way of looking at warfare? Paul teaches us in his second letter to the Church at Corinth:

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
 
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