Something New Under the Sun: Ancient Wisdom for Contemporary Living - 26. A TIME FOR WAR

26. A Time for War

 

A time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:6-8

 

For generations Christians have struggled to reconcile their faith with the terrible demands of war. The bib­lical perspective seems to be that war is sometimes in the will of God.

I realize that to say that war may sometimes be in the will of God is to jump into a firestorm of controversy. Such a view is not popular today. I ate lunch with several fellow pastors and heard one of them say emphatically that war is always a sin.

Let me say that I think my pastoral friend is partly right and partly wrong. War is terrible in all its aspects, and I would never want to be known as someone who is “for” war. I’m not even sure what a statement like that would mean. I don’t know any sane person who is for war.

I think my friend is right to this degree: Wars come about because of the sinfulness of the human race. War­fare comes from the fallen nature of man. Whenever two nations go to war, sin is never absent. There may be sins of pride and oppression, or there may be sins of brutality and naked aggression, but sin is always part of the equa­tion.

I would go a step further and say that there is rarely a war so “pure” or “clean” that one side is totally right and the other side is totally wrong. Even where such a case ex­ists, there will almost always be some wrong motives on both sides.

But is going to war always and in every case sinful? I think not. Just before the Persian Gulf conflict started, Billy Graham said, “There come times when we have to fight for peace. Unfortunately, that’s been true of the whole history of the human race.” That doesn’t make every war right, but it does mean that some wars are in­deed justified in the eyes of God.

Better days are coming. In the last days God’s king­dom will finally be established on the earth and all the nations will be at peace. The law of the Lord will go forth from Jerusalem and the Lord Jesus Himself will settle the disputes that today end in war. So wise will be His rule that weapons of war will become obsolete. People will take their tanks and turn them into combines; their cruise missiles will become tractors; B-52 bombers will be melted down and transformed into solar-powered water purifiers. Bullets will become obsolete. All the gas masks will be thrown away. They won’t be needed in the king­dom Jesus will establish.

Best of all, the nations will not take up swords against one another. The old spiritual says it very well: “Gonna lay down my sword and shield, down by the riverside. Ain’t gonna study war no more.”

That’s how God intended it to be. Between now and then, nations will still go to war, but let us keep our eyes on the goal and let us work and pray for that day of last­ing peace to come.

 

Prince of Peace, show me what it means to be a peace­maker in a world filled with war. Amen.

 

SHINING THE LIGHT

* Do you agree that God has a place in His plan for everything-even war, sorrow, hatred, and death?

 

* Do you believe that war may sometimes be justified in the will of God? Under what circumstances would you as a Christian refuse to go to war?

 

MORE LIGHT FROM GOD’S WORD

Read Joshua 23:9-10; Isaiah 2:2-4; and Romans 13:3-4.
 
 

Latest blog posts

Good Words for Today: September 14
Saturday, September 14

Continue

Anchor
The Anchor Project
Explaining the Gospel in “Walmart English”

Anchor is a “gospel book” that explains the Good News in a simple and persuasive manner. Read the latest on “The Anchor Project” and how you can be support our work.

Read More
China
Keep Believing China
Partnering with Chinese pastors and churches

We want to join together with pastors and Christian workers to equip the church in China, broadcasting translated sermons, providing ministry resources for Christians and pastors in China.

Read More

Email
Weekly sermon email
Subscribe for free

Subscribe to the weekly sermon from Keep Believing Ministries. Sign up for our emails and use it to grow in your faith as well as to encourage others.

Continue

audio
KBM Podcasts
Weekly audio sermons

Welcome to Keep Believing Ministries’ audio/podcast library. Listen to or download a digital audio version of one of these messages or receive them via our podcast and feed.

Read More

Ebook: Lord of Glory

The Bible contains many names of Christ. His names tell us who he is. His names tell us why he came. His names tell us how he can help us. His names tell us why we worship him. In this devotional series you'll learn of these varied and meaning behind the names, titles and descriptions of Christ.

“Equipping and encouraging people to keep believing in Jesus”

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”