Gary: You are listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. Still to come, Dave and Tom continue their weekly in-depth examination of the doctrine of salvation. Please stay with us.
Now, Contending for the Faith. In this regular feature of our program, Dave and Tom respond to questions from listeners and readers of The Berean Call. Here is this week’s question: “In Isaiah:9:6, Jesus is called the ‘Prince of Peace.’ Yet in the Book of Matthew, Jesus says, ‘Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword, for I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ Isn’t that a contradiction?”
Dave: Well, I guess you could say in one sense, it is a contradiction. Peace, and yet not peace. You go back to Ezekiel and the prophets – God (speaking through the prophet) says of these false prophets, “They say, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.” So you can talk about peace, and it isn’t real peace. Now I think this is what the Word of God is telling us. “Yes, I came to bring peace, but I didn’t come to bring peace, not the kind of peace you think of. I came to bring a sword, because…”
Tom: Well, back up to the peace: the peace that Jesus came to bring was reconciliation…
Dave: With God.
Tom: …between – right, God and man.
Dave: With God. And there’s no peace between men, not even peace in our own hearts, until there’s peace with God, and this is the peace that He came to bring. And it comes on the basis of truth, Tom. It doesn’t come just because we sit down at a peace table and negotiate. It doesn’t come through negotiation, it doesn’t come through arrangements that men make…
Tom: Or it’s not consensus: “Let’s just come to a consensus.”
Dave: “Well, we have to compromise a bit. You give up a little bit, we’ll meet halfway, and we’ll decide…”
Tom: Yeah, “Let’s shave the truth.”
Dave: That’s not peace. So peace comes on the basis of reconciliation to God, and that is on His terms, not our terms. And it isn’t really going to ever happen until Christ reigns supreme.
First of all, the hearts of men, even when He reigns supreme in the Millennial reign….I believe in the Millennium. It says – in fact, Christ told His disciples they would sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel, which tells me the 10 tribes weren’t lost, right? But that’s another topic. Even when Christ locks Satan up for a thousand years, He rules this earth in perfect peace – it’s like the Garden of Eden again – at the end of the time when Satan is released, he deceives the nations it says, and they come against Christ like the sand of the seashore (such a multitude!) to destroy Him in Jerusalem. So we haven’t even achieved peace by Christ ruling on this earth and making everybody behave. Peace only comes when man is in a right relationship with God personally, individually.
So Jesus says when that comes about....And, Tom, you know this, and I’ve seen it in many families…thankfully, I never saw it in my own family, because my parents were Christians and my brother and my sister were and so forth. But many families, when the husband becomes a Christian, it brings a sword between him and his wife – or a wife becomes a Christian, or children. You know that. Even when a Roman Catholic child becomes a believer, or a Jewish child becomes a believer in Jesus and truly know Him, many of them are thrown out of their homes. So it does bring a sword. It’s not that Jesus wants there to be a sword, but what He’s saying, I believe – and again, we just urge people to check the Scriptures – is if you really stand for truth, there’s no compromise, because this is God’s Word, these are God’s standards, and these are His terms for being reconciled to Him and being chosen of God, and being in heaven. When that becomes very definite and there is no compromise, because God doesn’t compromise, that creates some real problems. It brings a real sword, and I believe this is what Jesus is saying. He doesn’t want it, and I don’t want it. On the other hand, I can’t, just in order to keep the peace, in order to get along with everybody and be agreeable with everyone, then I’m going to be in disagreement with God if I compromise. I can’t do that, and this is why there have been martyrs, Tom, down through the centuries.
Tom: You know, Dave, I appreciate this question, because it really forces us – not just us, but hopefully our listeners out there – to search the Scriptures, to find out, to get to know Jesus better, to understand His character, things that look like they conflict or contradict one another. Really we’re getting to know what the heart of what Jesus was about, what He said, what He wants for us. And in this day of so many other Jesuses, so many ideas about Jesus that are being promoted as biblical or Christian, you’ve got to look – [unintelligible] through those and ask, “What does the Scripture say? What does Jesus want? What’s His heart in this?”