As I was preparing to preach on Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, because they shall be called the sons of God,” I was struck by the fact that Jesus blesses peacemakers, not peacekeepers. Peacemaking is on the offensive, while peacekeeping is on the defensive. I then realized that God is a God who establishes peace by way of war.
“No, no,” you may protest. Didn’t Derek Webb sing something like, “Peace by way of war is like purity by way of fornication”? The problem is that Christians today view “peace” like its some kind of washed up Precious Moments figurine in a pastel colored room with turtledoves painted on the wall. God is not interested in this kind of peace. Listen to the encouragement Paul gives in Romans 16:20–“The God of Peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” You have to love the juxtaposition. The God of Peace will crush Satan.
We have to realize that a Kingdom transfer has occurred. When Jesus came to this world, his entire life was directed toward that final battle on Calvary. He marched like a soldier toward the bloody battlefront in a world at war with each other and at war with God. “The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Ultimately, Jesus is the blessed peacemaker described in Matthew 5:9. He was willing to fight for peace. And he is now leading a triumphant offensive campaign on the Kingdom of Darkness that has this world held in captivity.
Peace always comes at a cost in war. Just ask some of the WWII vets in my church (yes, WWII). As Christians, we have been called to go on the offensive. Are we sons of God? Then we shall act as our Father did–who was willing to sacrifice his only Son in order to make peace with us. None of us in America are in danger of losing our lives for the gospel, but we have to be willing to sacrifice our time, money, and anything else we have for the sake of the Kingdom.
Unfortunately, we are always willing to settle for a truce. Will the Kingdom of Darkness honor a ceasefire? The only way to finally achieve “World Peace” is to defeat the Kingdom of Darkness once and for all with the power of the gospel.
Are you willing to fight for peace in your city?