On the night when Jesus Christ was born, a choir of angels appeared to shepherds who were taking care of their sheep outside of Bethlehem. The Bible tells us in Luke 2:14 that they sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” We view these words today as a universal message of hope for mankind. However, as we draw to the close of another year, some may wonder, what happened to peace on earth?
2013 has been full of unpeaceful events. The civil war in Syria rages on. After years and years of trying, Israel and Palestine are no closer to a peace deal . Tensions in the Pacific region — between China, Japan, S. Korea, N. Korea, and the United States — have increased. Several European nations have expressed alarm over aggressive military posturing by Russia.
In 2013, there were 22 school shootings. Gun violence in Chicago and other big cities continued. Nearly every week, our nation was jolted by the news of some horrendous crime. And we are left to wonder about the angels’ song. What happened to peace on earth?
Since the beginning of history, man has been in a constant state of war and strife. Men have formed alliances and signed peace treaties in an effort to bring about peace on earth. But, as one conflict is resolved, several more are raging in different places around the world. The history of mankind has been one of continuous enmity, suffering, pain, and death.
What did the angels mean when they said that peace had come to earth? Well, the peace they were talking about was not political peace. They did not mean that all wars and crimes would cease in a moment of time. Nor did they mean that humans would suddenly be at peace with each other.
What the angels meant was that with Jesus Christ coming to earth to die on the cross for our sins, peace between man and God could be made. Billy Graham said, “The greatest need in the world is the transformation of human nature. We need a new heart that will not have lust and greed and hate in it. We need a heart filled with love and peace and joy, and that is why Jesus came into the world.”
Mitsuo Fuchida, a captain in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II said, “I know the brutality and the cruelties of war better than many people. Now I want to work for peace. But how can mankind achieve a lasting peace? True peace of heart, mind, and soul can only come through Jesus Christ.”
You see, after Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, man and God were not on good terms with each other. The descendants of Adam and Eve (which includes you and me) also sinned against God. In fact, the Bible says in Romans 5:10 that we were “enemies of God.” We were separated from Him because of our sin. When Jesus Christ came, He provided the way by which we could make peace with God in our hearts, minds, souls, and spirits. We can have peace with God and peace in our lives because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross.
Jesus Christ is called the “prince of peace.” He told his disciples in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Would you like to make peace with God today? Would you like to have peace in your heart this Christmas season?
If so, the first thing you must do is realize that you are a sinner, just as I am and recognize that your sins have separated you from God. Even though Adam and Eve were the first to sin, we must each take responsibility for our own actions. In honest repentance agree with God about your sinfulness and admit your need for forgiveness. First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Second, realize that God loves you, and believe that Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God, died for your sins — taking the punishment you deserve. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus’ coming to Earth was God’s gift to sinful humanity. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the only thing that makes it possible for God to forgive us of our sins and do the life-changing, peace-bringing work that we desperately need done.
Third, accept Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin and sin’s consequences by believing that He died, was buried, and rose again, and receiving Him into your life by faith. You must do your part by receiving the Gift that God has given. Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you want to open your heart and life to Jesus Christ and allow Him to bring peace between you and God, you can pray a short prayer to let God know about your decision. Repeat after me and mean it from your heart:
Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God Bless You!