There has seldom in our world been as much concern for peace as there is today. Most of this concern may be traced to wars and rumors of war, racism and rioting, which are increasing daily. Many people have taken it upon themselves to find an answer to their problem of hostility between nations and peoples. Their goal is to establish peace between the citizens of this entire planet and teach a love for others to all in this world.
Many thousands of people have been engulfed by this huge wave of peace seekers. And as more and more people join the peace movement, more and more of those from the Church are being swept along in subtle current. Various arguments and excuses are formulated by them to explain the position which they have taken upon themselves along with many of those known as anti-religious peacemakers.
One of the arguments these Christians use is a supposed proof from Scripture that Christ encouraged and advocated the efforts of peacemakers. They quote as this “proof” Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the Children of God.” Thus, they compare themselves to the peacemakers whom Christ has called blessed.
But they are sadly mistaken in using this text to prove that their job as peacemakers is in the right. Why would the same God who determines the wars and rumors of war that come into being, encourage His people to rebel against His Will?
God does not ever contradict Himself, nor does He need the advice of men to help Him see the effect war has on the world. He has in His Eternal Will determined all that must happen before His kingdom can come. All the efforts of peacemakers, then, have no effect upon God’s unchangeable counsel, for as He has revealed in Isaiah 45:7, “I make peace and create evil.”
Who then, are those peacemakers called blessed by Christ? The answer is not found in those who are trying to make peace in the world, but in those who are directing their thoughts from the turmoil of the world to the gathering of the Church from out of their turmoil.
Blessed peacemakers are those who are contributing to the peace of God’s people. They are those who are found teaching the peace of God, and that peace is “the peace that passeth all understanding” (Phil. 4:7). They are those who live peaceably among their brothers and sisters in Christ, following Christ’s command. They are the ones who teach the same love they show to others.
Blessed peacemakers are seldom given the praise and recognition that the peacemakers of the world are given. But they do not seek world recognition either. Their reward is far greater than a Nobel Peace Prize or other awards of an earthly origin. Their reward is seeing that by the grace of God, in their work, they have sown seed for fruits of righteousness. “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (James 3:18).
And herein also is the Father glorified, when our work as blessed peacemakers is accomplished (John 15:8).
Originally Published in:
Vol. 31 No. 3 May 1971