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Question:
Am I right according to God’s Word there will never be world peace? How does the answer to my question fit with President Bush’s comment during the Inaugural speech that “Freedom Is Necessary for Peace And Everybody Deserves Peace” and “America Declares Peace Throughout All The World”? I’m puzzled by all this, and look forward to your answer.

Answer:

There are differing opinions on the Biblical answer, so let me give you a summary of them, and a little commentary of my own. The Biblical answer depends on your view of eschatology (the study of the “end times”).

If you believe in some form of “millennialism” then it goes with that viewpoint that there will be a false peace leading up to the time of the Great Tribulation when God’s wrath will be poured out on earth.

1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. (NKJV)

Luke 17:26-27 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. (NKJV)

In the “days of Noah” there was a false sense of peace because everyone was doing their own thing, living however they wanted, drinking, marrying and engaging in blatant immorality.

Jesus will return when people are proclaiming “peace and safety”. This verse fits well with the other major eschatological view that is called “amillenialism” or the “preterist” view.

This view basically holds that the prophecy in Scripture has already been fulfilled and that nothing remains except for this world to end, and eternity to begin.

It is NOT in the scope of this answer to even begin to explain those positions in any detail. In light of our answer, the Millenialist would say “no, there will be no true peace, however, there will be a false peace shortly before the world ends.”

An Amillenialist could answer either way. Yes there will be peace because Paul said in Thessalonians people would be proclaiming “peace and safety” near the end of time. This could be a real peace or a false peace given the preterist viewpoint.

Now, would you like my opinion? I thought you’d never ask….

IF I were an Amillenialist, I would say “NO” there will never be true peace until eternity begins after Judgment Day. Man is incapable of true peace on a worldwide scale because of our sin nature. In all of human history, we have hardly been capable of peace in our families, our communities or countries – much less peace in the whole world. It’s a false dream for fallen, sin-cursed humans.

IF I were of the Millennial/Tribulation viewpoint, then I would still say “NO” there will never be true peace. This viewpoint holds from Scripture that a false peace will exist based on a severely deceptive global religion even while the earth is full of wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, etc. Mankind will cry “peace” but it will all be a facade. They will cry “safety” but much like today (?) that cry will be used to strip men of their freedom giving a temporary false sense of “peace and safety”.

Then, according to this view, a demonic world leader will bring about a period of very real, but false, peace followed by a short but terrible time of God’s wrath being poured out on the earth against all mankind – reminiscent of Noah’s flood which brought God’s wrath on the earth at that time.

After those events, a true peace will come as Jesus Christ reigns on earth for 1000 years. At the end of this reign, a very brief time of war will commence in which Satan and all rebellious humankind will be vanquished. After that, the Judgment and Eternity.

No matter which theological position is held, it is clear that man is incapable of TRUE world peace.

As for President Bush, whom I admire and pray for, his statements about world peace are at best sincere personal desires and at worst political wishes based on a lack of knowledge of Scripture, (or a misunderstanding of it). Granted, there is nothing wrong with WISHING for world peace, but to be the most powerful man in the world and actually try to implement it, is futility at best, foolishness at worst.

Finally, as for his statement about how everyone “deserves” peace, it is again a mixture of misunderstanding, and well intentioned personal desire.

It is well intentioned because it is certainly okay to think that we all “deserve freedom” from a sense of simply wishing the best for people, loving your neighbors and your enemies, wanting everyone to be able to worship God and just being a good person. In this sense, there is nothing wrong with saying everyone “deserves” freedom.

In another sense, we don’t “deserve” anything except God’s judgment because of our sin. The word “deserve” is used ad naseum by advertisers and politicians because it appeals to our basic selfishness and narcissism. Only those who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb “deserve” anything good, and that is not any of our doing, but Christ’s alone.

In short, President Bush means well, but is naive in those statements either on purpose, because of politics, or inadvertantly, due to a lack of Bible knowledge.

There will be NO TRUE UNIVERSAL PEACE until the Prince of Peace has judged all, re-created all and reigns over all for all time.

2 Peter 3:10-13 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (NKJV)

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