Blessed Are the Peacemakers
Standard;Mt 5:9 – Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God”
Neville Chamberlain was the Prime Minister of Great Britain just before WWII. He sought to be a peacemaker. It was Chamberlain who met with Adolph Hitler and signed a treaty that supposedly would keep the two countries from war with each other forever.
Upon returning to Great Britain, Chamberlain waived the treaty for the cameras and said, "My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time...
Go home and get a nice quiet sleep."
Well as the Brits soon found out, it's hard to sleep with buzz bombs hitting your city in the middle of the night. Chamberlain has forever become the poster child for the dangers of substituting appeasement for true peace.
Peace and appeasement are not synonymous. And the number one thing a biblical peacemaker must understand is peace is never to be won at the sacrifice of essential biblical truth.
“Speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace.” ( Zech 8:16)
Truth makes for lasting peace. Lenski says, “Truth of God comes first, peace with men second”
Some have said that the definition of peace is the absence of strife. The reality is biblical peacemakers are ever near strife. After all, there is no need for peace if there is no strife. Peacemakers did not exist in the Garden of Eden. There was an absence of strife between God and man, but then sin entered the world, and the lack of peace began. The war was on.
Ge 3:15 And there will be war between you (the devil) and the woman and between your seed and her seed: by him will your head be crushed and by you his foot will be wounded.
The peacemaker then is the one who seeks to restore peace between God and man. This is what the most blessed Peacemaker, the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ did on the cross, and God the Father, who knew His Son's peacemaking mission said, “This is My Son in whom I am well pleased.”
This Son dove into the task of reconciling God and man, confronting sin when He saw it and forgiving sin whenever forgiveness was humbly asked for and those who engage in biblical peacemaking, do the same today, and shall likewise be called pleasing sons of God.
Peacemakers are ever interested in the reconciliation between God and man. They put on the shoes of the Gospel of peace and walk right into the war, wherever it may be.
Ro 10:15 As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!"
And the striking thing about the peacemakers is when they succeed in bringing a soul to peace or restoring a soul to peace, they stir up an angry enemy who wishes they would just shut up. Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Mt 10:34). And the psalmist said: Ps 120:7 I am for peace; But when I speak, they are for war.
We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against an evil spiritual enemy who is furious whenever another sinner comes to repentance.
Has there ever been such anger aroused as the anger aroused against those who seek to make peace without forfeiting biblical truth? Look at Jesus! Look at the Apostles. Angry mobs, crucifixon, persecution, martyrdom, all followed the tracks of the peacemakers, and if we follow the train of thought laid down in these beatitudes, we see that the next one involves persecution. Peacemakers will inevitably experience persecution.
This persecution comes from the evil one who cannot stand to see another person restored to wholeness with God.
I'm sure you've heard the word “Shalom” before. It's the Old Testament word for peace. It means “wholeness.” This has always been God's desire. A restoration of wholeness of soul to perfect harmony with Him. And because He is holy, this can only be accomplished when sins are remitted.
But Shalom is not just an Old Testament concept. Virtually every epistle in the New Testament starts out with a prayer for the wholeness of those who read the letter: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father.” This is the mantra of the New Testament! Is it any wonder that many churches to this day, end their worship services with the same prayer?
Now may the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you, may the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you His peace. His wholeness.
Shalom! Peace! Wholeness with God. The devil hates it, and when you seriously engage in pursuing it for yourself and others, persection will come.
My generation grew up in the era of “peaceniks.” We had the peace sign symbol, the love beads. John and Yoko pleading over and over, “All we are saying is give peace a chance.” And that great Christian campfire song, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” Nice thought but is it peace by appeasement, or true biblical peace....the removal of sin?
Would've the people sang it with the same warm fuzziness if the lyrics would've been, “Let there be removal of sin and let it begin with me?
Our generation today is faced with still another cry for peace. “Can't we all just get along? All roads lead to God.” and more and more people are falling for it. Because it's easier than confronting people with the truth. It's more comfortable than introducing the sword of Jesus. - Which is His truth.
This is a very real challenge, and the peacemaker of today must hold onto Jn 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
It's interesting to note that those peacemakers who hold to that truth are the ones who better brace themselves for the persecution that is due all who are intolerant by the worlds standards. Peacemakers of the many roaded ilk are usually highly regarded by the world.
The peacemaker is also passionate about James 5:20 - “let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” And when the peacemaker sees a brother or sister separating themselves from the wholeness with God because of willful sin, they put on the shoes of the gospel of peace and walk right into the situation seeking restoration and reconciliation.
A word of warning, before wading in, be sure to huymbly remove the log from your own eye through personal examination and confession. This will give you the right spirit as you then go after the speck in your brother's eye.
We really need to know what the Bible is saying here about “peacemakers,” because if we aren't careful, we can be swept up in this easy believism. We can become complacent and adopt a “live and let live outlook, which results in millions of souls never receiving the true peace with God.
We can become a “live and let die culture,” which seems to be the case for the church today..
The pure in heart, hoping and believing the best about God and His Word, are quick to put on their shoes and walk into the fray with the gospel of peace. The pure in heart really believe the words of the Apostle Paul, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. (Rom 1:16) The pure in heart don't just talk about peace, they seek to bring people to the peace talks table.
All right. Let's give you a paraphrase of this beatitude that seeks to capture the essence of the original language. “How fortunate are those who seek to bring about oneness with God, for God will call them His honorable sons.”
Is peacemaking an option for the Christian? The devil would like to make us think so. He'd be very pleased....... why he likely will even give us a little peace like Hitler gave to Chamberlain if we just minded our own business, content to stay behind our walls with our own peace with God intact through faith in Christ.
This week, I was reading the account of the parable of the talents in Mt 25. I was struck by the very first verse, “”For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants (believers) and entrusted to them His property. To one He gave five talents, to another two, etc.
With the investor banker mentality of our culture I missed something in all the times I've read this parable. These servants weren't just given money, they were also entrusted with property. The return of their masters investment came not from savvy e-trades, but by investing in the Masters property.
This property of the master's was very expensive. It was purchased with the blood of His own Son, and it is called the church. And we have been gifted in various ways for the sole purpose of increasing the Master's bottom line. We are to invest our lives in the church's mission of reconciling souls to God.
Notice what the wicked servant did? He buried his talent on the property. He was still there, occupying a pew, but he was not interested in the work of peacemaking.........bringing wholeness of soul to those who are lacking it, and thereby making for a healthier bottom line for the Lord'.
Winning souls and seeking to restore fellowship with God is not an option for the believer. What part of “Go” don't we understand? 2 cor 5:18-20 says, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. (Peacemaking) that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
Now, another mistake we seem to be making is thinking that the Gospel of peace is all about love. Don't talk about sin, just tell people that God loves them. Friends, that's appeasement. That's false peace. The full Gospel includes everything the apostles taught, they didn't sugar coat sin and neither should we.
Peace without repentance is the cry of the false prophet.
Jer 8:4-11, You shall say to them, thus says the Lord: When men fall, do they not rise again? If one turns away, does he not return? Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return. I have paid attention and listened, but they have not spoken rightly; no man relents of his evil, saying, “What have I done?” Everyone turns to his own course, like a horse plunging headlong into battle. Even the stork in the heavens knows her times, and the turtledove, swallow, and crane keep the time of their coming, but my people know not the rules of the Lord. How can you say we are wise and the Law of the Lord is with us? But behold the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie. The wise men shall be put to shame; they shall be dismayed and taken; behold they have rejected the Word of the Lord, so what wisdom is in them?
Therefore I will give their wives to others and their fields to conquerors because from the least to the greatest everyone is greedy for unjust gain; from people to priest everyone deals falsely. They have healed the wound of my people lightly saying “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace.”
And there is no peace because man's sin separates him from God. And if man stubbornly hangs onto sin, refusing to confess it and repent of it......there is no peace! There is peace as the world gives, but not peace as God gives!
Is 48:18 - “Oh that you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river.” What's a river if not everflowing, ever teeming with life!
You cannot separate peace from righteousness. Ps 85:10, “righteousness and peace kiss each other!”
In Dt 29:18 and 19 we read, “Beware lest there be a root bearing poisonous and bitter fruit, one who when he hears the words of this sworn covenant, blesses himself in the heart, saying, “I shall be safe ( have peace) though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart.”
“Great peace have those who love Your Law. (Ps 119:165)
All this talk about Law pastor, how can we possibly have peace for we are lawbreakers? Well, Col 3:2 tells us to set our mind on things above, and Is 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You.” Focus first on the Prince of Peace and He will keep you whole. He will give you the love of the law instead of the fear of the Law.
Keep your eyes on Jesus for He is our wholeness. He is our peace. (Eph 2:14)
Personally as a pastor I must always be on guard about selling out to false peace. Micah 3:5, “ Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead My people astray, who cry, “Peace” when they have something to eat, but declare war against him who puts nothing into their mouths.
In closing, I want you all to consider the blessing of being a peacemaker. “You shall be called sons of God. God Himself, the ruler of the universe will be proud to call you His son! The world may hate you, but you will receive honor from God.
The honor of the peacemaker was foreshadowed by Mordecai in the book of Esther. Few people note how this book of the Bible ends, but Mordecai, the one who took a stand for righteousness, prompted Esther to act to save the Jews. was honored by being advanced to second in command of Persia.
“For Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Ahasuerus (A hass' you russ), and was great among the Jews and popular with the multitude of his brothers, for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people.
Honor comes to the peacemakers.....not from men, but from God. And Mordecai served as a picture of such honor for you and for me.
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.