“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34).
Luke 2:14, is referring to the peace that came upon Earth as the result of Christ’s first advent. And today it is our privilege to “have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1) because “He is our peace” (Eph. 2:14). Christ is the “good will” of God incarnate. He is the “Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6) and the One who proclaimed, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you … Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). And God offers us the “peace of God,” which keeps our “hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).
In Matthew 10:34, Jesus was addressing the crowd who expected and anticipated the establishment of the final Kingdom of God. And Christ wanted them to understand that it was not yet time for Him to establish that peaceful Kingdom.
Instead, Christ warned that Christians would face hostility for following his principles in an evil world. And this is inevitable because “the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). The lusts of the flesh leads to self-indulgence and a life that is hostile to God and out of harmony with His will (James 4:4). Such a course causes separation from the source of life—a separation that means death. This hostility against God is the opposite of the peace that comes to those who live in the Spirit (Rom. 8:6).
But when the Lord gathers the redeemed at the second coming, then, the earth will once again experience the peace of God (Isaiah 2:2-4; 9:7). But, until that time, Christians will face persecution, rejection and suffering.
In His service,
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