Friday, December 29, 2006

Not Peace, but a Sword

At this time of the year we are frequently bombarded with notions of peace and joy. We are rightly reminded that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and that when he was born the angels declared "peace on earth." However, we must also be mindful that the peace which Jesus offers is a peace not defined by the world. In fact, Jesus himself reminded us that he did not come to bring peace but a sword. Any message containing the Peace of Jesus that does not also communicate the nature of His peace is at best an incomplete message. Last evening Charles Spurgeon gave us some insight into our Lord's notions of peace and what it will cost us. For Jesus, peace comes along with a sword. Think about it.

“I came not to send peace on earth, but a sword.”
Matthew 10:34

The Christian will be sure to make enemies. It will be one of his objects to make none; but if to do the right, and to believe the true, should cause him to lose every earthly friend, he will count it but a small loss, since his great Friend in heaven will be yet more friendly, and reveal himself to him more graciously than ever. O ye who have taken up his cross, know ye not what your Master said? “I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother; and a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” Christ is the great Peacemaker; but before peace, he brings war. Where the light cometh, the darkness must retire. Where truth is, the lie must flee; or, if it abideth, there must be a stern conflict, for the truth cannot and will not lower its standard, and the lie must be trodden under foot. If you follow Christ, you shall have all the dogs of the world yelping at your heels. If you would live so as to stand the test of the last tribunal, depend upon it the world will not speak well of you. He who has the friendship of the world is an enemy to God; but if you are true and faithful to the Most High, men will resent your unflinching fidelity, since it is a testimony against their iniquities. Fearless of all consequences, you must do the right. You will need the courage of a lion unhesitatingly to pursue a course which shall turn your best friend into your fiercest foe; but for the love of Jesus you must thus be courageous. For the truth’s sake to hazard reputation and affection, is such a deed that to do it constantly you will need a degree of moral principle which only the Spirit of God can work in you; yet turn not your back like a coward, but play the man. Follow right manfully in your Master’s steps, for he has traversed this rough way before you. Better a brief warfare and eternal rest, than false peace and everlasting torment.


Nappily Evah Aftah said...

I've often said that Christians spend a lot of time, trying to make sure the world "likes" us, when Jesus said we would be HATED because of Him.

One of the problems I have with the "emergent" movement is an emphasis on making Christianity more palatable, or "sin-friendly" and less convicting. The message is still, "Repent!".

Yes, there are "hateful" Christians, but there's a hate that darkness has for light. If the world loves me, then I may need to step back and evaluate why I'm found to be so...likeable.

Good word!

ajcarter said...

Good point my sista. Tomorrow I will have the charge of preaching similar words to our congregation. Pray for my courage and wisdom. Thanks.