When There Is No Peace

“Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” —Jeremiah 6:14

AS THE YEAR 1997 was coming to a close, the Christian world again observed the birth of Jesus, it being nearly the two thousandth anniversary of his birth. We had been reminded again of the message brought by the angel to the Judean shepherds watching their flocks by night, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” (Luke 2:10) After the angel completed his message, “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.” (vss. 13,14) This may well have been the inspiration for the cover story that appeared on the last day of 1997 in “USA Today,” a nationwide newspaper.


The title of the article was, “Global Peace Unlikely Prospect in 1998.” We quote in part from the article:

“Peace on earth. Not really. There is a cautious truce in Bosnia and a shaky cease-fire in Northern Ireland. There are no full-scale wars across borders. But this season of ‘peace on earth’ nears its end with two dozen conflicts around the world. Experts expect that number to increase, maybe double, in 1998.”

It has been said, “There are 30 to 35 areas where there could be major conflicts (in 1998). Most are internal battles. Afghanistan. Algeria. Bangladesh. Burundi. Cambodia. Colombia. East Timor. Kashmir. Kurdistan. Myrama (Burma). Northern Ireland. Rwanda. Sierra Leone. Somalia. Sri Lanka. Sudan. Turkmenistan. And the Palestinian conflict with Israel continues.

“Few of the wars involve the United States or other industrialized nations directly, leaving today’s fighting to smaller nations or newly emerging regional powers.

“But regional wars can become global, as they have often during a bloody 20th century. World War I began when the archduke of Austria was assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914. By the time the war ended in 1918, 13 million had died. World War II saw 14.9 million casualties in battle as well as the Nazi massacre of 12 million civilians. Another 20 million were killed in wars fought after World War II. Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and Cambodia’s Pol Pot slaughtered millions.” This century was characterized as “the most killing century in history.”

“Analysts in the Pentagon are trying to determine just where and why the battles of 1998 will be fought. Unlike past conflicts fought over geography and ideology, analysts say likely triggers for the coming conflicts are disputes over clean air, water, oil, diamonds, gold, minerals, hardwoods, pollution, electricity and, as always, power. And those kind of issues can easily embroil the United States in what would otherwise be a regional fray.”

Wars have long plagued the human race. The history of the world has been written in human blood. Wars increase, both in the number of people involved, and in their power to destroy. In this space age there is real cause to fear the destruction through another World War. Will there ever be peace?


Universal and lasting peace ultimately will be established in the earth, but it will not come by human efforts, nor will it be induced by mutual fear of destruction, nor by armament races. It will be established by the kingdom of Christ, and the kingdom of Christ will be a worldwide government which will exercise actual control in the affairs of men. Those who believe the promises of the Bible pertaining to the coming of Christ’s kingdom can look into the future with a great deal of optimism.

The Bible says that “the desire of all nations shall come,” and we know that fundamentally all nations of the earth desire peace. (Hag. 2:7) However, even in connection with the prophecies of the Bible there is a difference of opinion. Some quote Jesus’ statement that there shall be “wars and rumors of wars,” and add to it his words, “then shall the end come,” as proof that wars will continue on this earth until the world comes to an end, which to these students means the destruction of the earth and the end of all human experience.—Matt. 24:6,14


When Jesus spoke of ‘wars and rumors of wars’, it was in answer to questions asked him by his disciples pertaining to the time of his return and the end of the age. “What shall be the sign of thy coming,” they asked, “and of the end of the world?” (Matt. 24:3) The Common Version translation of the disciples’ questions is misleading, for it mistranslated the Greek words parousia and aion used in the text. With these words properly translated the questions are, “What shall be the sign of thy presence, and of the end of the age?”

When Jesus said that there would be wars and rumors of wars, after which the end would come, he simply meant that the interim between his first and second advents would be characterized by intermittent wars, and that this would continue right down to the end of the age. But he did not mean that the end of the age would mean the destruction of the earth, nor the end of all human experience on the earth; for, as the prophecies of the Bible point out, the end of the age of wars and rumors of wars marks the beginning of a new age, the age during which Christ’s kingdom will be the controlling factor in the affairs of men. And, as Isaiah 9:7 declares, “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.”


While the whole world longs for peace, most people, even Christians, think that the only peace which will ever be realized will come as the result of human efforts. And, many efforts are being made to bring peace to the world. There are various peace ‘fronts’, we might call them, and the hope of those promoting each of these is that the ‘uneasy peace’ of today will tomorrow be transformed into a permanent peace.

Sir Winston Churchill once used the expression, ‘peace by mutual fear’. His idea was that we should build up a great stockpile of munitions, and that the other great nations should do the same. Thus with all the nations realizing the terrible destruction that would be wrought by war, there would be a stalemate of fear resulting in peace. This was Churchill’s theory of ‘peace by mutual fear’.

Actually, of course, ‘peace by mutual fear’ is not a new idea. This idea is a ‘front’ that has been utilized throughout the centuries. It is merely that Churchill dressed it in different phraseology. Peace through mutual fear is merely another way of saying peace through a ‘balance of power’. Many will remember the Munich Crisis of 1938, when the Four Power Pact was formed, and Neville Chamberlain, then Prime Minister of Great Britain, flew back to England from Munich and, waving a peace document in the air as he alighted from his plane, announced that ‘peace had been saved for our time’. This new pact was but a new balancing of power with the age-old belief that one would be afraid to attack the other.

But this ‘fear pact’ did not save the peace for our time, as Chamberlain so enthusiastically announced. Within a year the much feared Second World War broke out in all its fury, which led to the destruction of cities and a terrible bloodletting throughout Europe and much of Asia and the Orient. The fear of war did not prevent the outbreak of war. It never has and it never will!


At best, the world can only hope that the promise made by God of permanent peace will be fulfilled. It will be brought into being in his own due time. Meanwhile, the world, its leaders and people, have to endure war because many are hard of heart, selfish, and prone to sin. This sinful nature of man must be converted to one of righteousness, tenderness of heart, and generosity. (Jer. 31:33) This is only one step in the direction of assuring peace.

Another need is the establishment of a strong government of great power and might, not affected or swayed by sin. (Micah 4:1,2) Such a government is the kingdom of God that Christians pray for when offering up the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”—Matt. 6:10

If you desire to read more about this kingdom, send for a free copy of the booklet, “Armageddon then World Peace.”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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