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God's promise of peace

Those who can wait with hope in God’s promise to dwell in the new heaven and new earth are those who are found in the peace which Christ gives.

By GLADY C. GADDI

LIFE IN THIS WORLD is replete with difficulties, failures, sorrows, and turmoil. Although man does not stop thinking, planning, and doing things that he believes will solve his problems, in the end, he still cannot find real solutions for him to be at peace. Anxiety, confusion, and uncertainty still occupy his mind because of his many problems in his life.

Why is living in this world so difficult? What does the Bible say regarding life in this world?

Will there be peace in this world?
It has long been foretold in the Bible that when man seeks peace in this world, he will not find it:

“Destruction comes; They will seek peace, but there shall be none.” (Ezek. 7:25 New King James Version)

Man cannot expect to find lasting peace in this world. Instead, what is in this world is destruction. And this is inevitable as God Himself was the One who decreed this (Ezek. 7:23–25, 21).

The absence or lack of peace will all the more be manifest now that the end is near, thus:

The word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, this is what the Sovereign Lord says to the land of Israel: The end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land. The end is now upon you and I will unleash my anger against you. I will judge you according to your conduct and repay you for all your detestable practices. … Doom has come upon you—you who dwell in the land. The time has come, the day is near; there is panic, not joy, upon the mountains. … Outside is the sword, inside are plague and famine; those in the country will die by the sword, and those in the city will be devoured by famine and plague.”
(Ezek. 7:1–3, 7, 15 New International Version)

There is no place where one can hide from God’s anger because it has come upon the four corners of the land or on the whole world. Why is God’s anger against people so grave? According to God, “I will unleash My anger against you. I will judge you … for all your detestable practices.” And this is exactly what is seen at present—criminality and lawlessness, immorality, vices, among others.

The place where peace reigns
Although there is no peace in this world, God promises to give peace to a particular group of people:

“The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.” (Ps. 29:11 nkjv)

Thus, if man wants peace, he must seek first and be among God’s people. The peace from God will be enjoyed by His people in the land He promised to them where His righteousness is done or fulfilled:

“Everywhere in the land righteousness and justice will be done. Because everyone will do what is right, there will be peace and security forever.” (Isa. 32:16–17 Good News Bible)

In that land promised by God, there will be peace and security forever. That is the new earth with a new heaven, that is, the Holy City, the home of righteousness:

“But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.”
(II Pet. 3:13 niv)

In the Holy City, God’s people will live with Him forever. There will be no more death and no more grief, for all the things that cause crying or pain will disappear there. People will not experience them anymore for all of them will pass away (Rev. 21:1–­4).

The ones promised with peace
The blessed ones, God’s people, who received the promise to dwell in the land that is the home of righteousness were identified by the Apostle Peter, thus:

“But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.”
(II Pet. 3:13 niv)

“Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.”
(II Pet. 3:14 nkjv)

Those who can wait with hope in God’s promise to dwell in the new heaven and new earth are those who are found in peace. The peace being referred to in the verses is the peace that Christ gives:

“The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body. And be thankful.” (Col. 3:15 gnb)

The “one body” where such peace can only be found is the body of Christ, which is the Church (Col. 1:18). The apostles attest that it is the members of this Church who have peace with God through the blood of Christ:

“and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” (Col. 1:20–22 niv)

Christ reconciled man to God to be at peace with his Creator. Because of the sins he committed, man was alienated or separated from God and became His enemy (Isa. 59:2). That is why it necessary for man to be reconciled with God and have peace with Him. According to Apostle Paul, “He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death … by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.” Therefore, only in the Church that benefited from the shedding of Christ’s blood can man find peace.

The apostles teach us what benefited from the death of Christ because it was purchased with His blood:

“Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.”
(Acts 20:28 Lamsa)

The members of the Church Of Christ are God’s people and they have His stamp of ownership (Eph. 1:13–14 gnb). Hence, the members of the Church Of Christ are the true blessed ones because they are no longer alienated from God and they are not His enemies anymore. Instead, they are at peace with God.

For others, the terrible things that are happening in this world today may be terrifying and troubling; however, those in the Church Of Christ have nothing to fear. They are God’s people and that gives them peace and strong resolve, for while they are still in this world, God will not abandon them. And when the appointed time comes, Christ will bring them to God so they can experience the true peace, which they can never experience in this world.

This article was originally published in the Pasugo: God’s Message magazine.

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The official website of Pasugo: God’s Message magazine of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ), contains religious articles, Church news, and photos

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