Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Purpose of Peace

China's constant acts of bullying within our seas energized intercessions for peace. That is of course the right thing to do; we should ask for God's intervention. No one wants war; no one wants bloodshed especially if your nation's armed forces are weaker compared to the bully nation. But perhaps we should go deeper than just praying for peace. We should ask ourselves "What is the purpose of peace?" Without a proper answer to this question, we may be praying for purely selfish reasons.

Living in London at the onset of the Second World War, Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a witness of how men and women crowded places of worship to pray for peace during those troubled times. Here's an excerpt from one of his sermons. The principles were drawn from Acts 9:31 and 1 Timothy 2:1-2.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
It is not enough that we should desire peace merely that we avoid the horror and suffering of war, and all the dislocations and hardships and interference with ordinary life that are consequent upon it. Our real desire for peace should be based upon the further desire to have the fullest opportunity to live the godly and the holy life, and to have the maximum amount of time in which to build ourselves up in the faith. Man's chief business in life is to serve and to glorify God. That is why we are here on earth; all other things are subservient to this-- all the gifts and the pleasures which God gives us so freely. That is the chief end and object of man's life; and consequently he should desire peace because it enables him to do that more freely and fully than he can during a state of war.

But is that our reason for desiring peace? Is that the real motive in our prayers for peace? It is not for me to judge, but one cannot be blind to facts. Far too often, I fear, the motive has been purely selfish-- merely the avoidance of the consequences of war. Indeed, it has frequently failed to rise even to that level, and one has felt that many have desired peace merely in order to avoid a disturbance of the kind of life which they were living and enjoying so heartily.

What kind of life was that? In a word, it was almost the exact opposite of that described in our two passages of Scripture (Acts 9:31; 1 Timothy 2:1-2). Under the blessing of peace, men and women, in constantly increasing numbers, have forsaken God and religion and have settled down to a life which is essentially materialistic and sinful.

Why Does God Allow War?
p.91-92; Crossway Books

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