CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

There Can Be No Peace

Jun 29, 2019

Many people today are proclaiming “peace, peace” when there is no peace. They seem to think that everything is just rosy, and they treat those of us who seek to warn of real dangers and real threats as if we were simply fear-mongers, and just being far too negative.

That of course was a major problem found in the Old Testament. It was one of the big deceptions plaguing ancient Israel. Many of God’s prophets had to deal with this. For example, Jeremiah had to constantly warn against this. Here are just a few of his strong words on this matter:

Jeremiah 5:12-13 They have lied about the LORD; they said, “He will do nothing! No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine. The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them; so let what they say be done to them.”

Jeremiah 6:13-14 From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.

Jeremiah 7:4 Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!”

Jeremiah 8:10-11 From the least to the greatest,
all are greedy for gain;
prophets and priests alike,
all practice deceit.
They dress the wound of my people
as though it were not serious.
“Peace, peace,” they say,
when there is no peace.

And many other prophets said the same thing. For example:

Ezekiel 13:10-12 “‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the whitewash you covered it with?”

Amos 9:10 All the sinners among my people will die by the sword, all those who say, ‘Disaster will not overtake or meet us.’

Micah 2:6-7 “Do not prophesy,” their prophets say.
“Do not prophesy about these things;
disgrace will not overtake us.”
You descendants of Jacob, should it be said,
“Does the Lord become impatient?
Does he do such things?”
“Do not my words do good
to the one whose ways are upright?

Micah 3:11 Her leaders judge for a bribe,
her priests teach for a price,
and her prophets tell fortunes for money.
Yet they look for the Lord’s support and say,
“Is not the Lord among us?
No disaster will come upon us.”

And things are just the same today. Most folks in the church are blissfully going on with their lives, totally oblivious to what is happening all around them. They have no time for culture wars and they have no time for those who are involved in them.

They just want to think happy, positive and uplifting thoughts, and they do not even want to think about anything “negative”. They don’t even consider the slaughter of the unborn, the war on marriage and family, and the assault on religious freedom. And if they do, these things seem to mean nothing to them.

They are too busy trying to have their best life now. They are too interested in making it in the world, earning a lot of money, and getting all the goodies they can. In other words, they are living lives that are indistinguishable from pagans.

As long as they are happy, that is all that matters. Or as Francis Schaeffer put it decades ago, they are simply into “personal peace and affluence”. Their way of thinking is this: ‘Just leave me alone: I am too busy trying to make more money so I can live the good life.’

So they certainly do not want to hear about things like the culture wars, the sad state of the church, apostasy and heresy all around them, and so on. All that means nothing to them. They hope that peace will prevail so that they can go on living their selfish little lives.

But there is no peace – there can be no peace – as long as God and Satan are battling it out over the souls of men. This manifests itself everywhere. There are political wars, ideological wars, culture wars and ultimately spiritual wars. As such, the Christian life is a life of warfare.

Sure, we can have inner peace because of what Christ has done for us at Calvary. But in the world we will not have peace. How can we? The world is opposed to everything we stand for and believe in. The enemies of God will not rest as long as Christians exist who act as a thorn in their flesh.

Sinners want to keep on sinning, and they don’t want those pesky Christians around reminding them of their sin, their lost condition, and their eternal fate, if they do not repent. All this perfectly explains the almost universal hatred and outrage with Israel Folau.

He simply quotes the Word of God, and everyone goes berserk. “Away with the man. Crucify him!” The world cannot stand it when Christians share biblical truth. It convicts them and enrages them. If they respond properly to this conviction, they will turn from their sin, repent and find new life in Christ.

But many will just lash out at the source of their angst. They will hate on those who shine a light into their very dark lives. Thus the true Christian who lets his light shine will always find opposition, resistance and persecution. It happened to Jesus and it happens to his followers. There is no getting away from this.

So the fake Christians who just want to hear “peace, peace” when there is no peace are deceiving themselves. There can be no peace on a world in which biblical Christianity is despised and rejected. Just ask Izzy. All this should be crystal clear simply from what we find in Scripture.

But since many believers spend more time with secular entertainment than in serious Bible reading and study, let me appeal to one film that most folks would have seen. I refer to the 1996 sci-fi blockbuster, Independence Day. It has to do with an all-out alien invasion of planet earth, and the fightback that ensues.

Early on in the film massive alien space ships are found hovering over major cities. The military is wondering if they come in peace, or are a threat, and ordinary folks have mixed reactions. In Los Angeles some peaceniks, UFO fanatics and idealists head to the top of skyscrapers, seeking to welcome the aliens.

Police warn them to evacuate the city, but to no avail. They have signs saying they are so happy to see these new arrivals. As something opens underneath the ship, the people get even more excited, yelling out, “Take me!”. But it turns out this has simply allowed their major weapon to obliterate all of Los Angeles.

“Peace, peace, when there is no peace.”

And then there is a scene in which an attempt is made to communicate with one of the captured aliens. The US President seeks to learn what they want, and is hoping that somehow a peaceful resolution can be found. Communication is established, but he does not hear what he was hoping for. The dialogue at this point goes as follows:

President: I know there is much to learn from each other if we can make a truce. We can find a way to co-exist. Can there be a peace between us?
Alien: Peace? NO PEACE!
President Whitmore: What is it you want us to do?
Captured Alien: Die…die…

You can watch this part of the film here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZc1V67XzNw

“Peace, peace, when there is no peace.”

The aliens have absolutely no intention of a negotiated settlement or détente. They want to annihilate those on planet earth. And only a major fight back from the earthlings can turn things around. We need to learn some lessons here from Hollywood.

Satan has absolutely no intention of calling off his war against God and against the saints of God. He will fight to the death. There can be no peace as long as Satan and his minions are working overtime to eradicate us and obliterate us, much like the aliens.

And we have plenty of people committed to evil ideologies which are completely opposed to Christianity and Christians. They do not want peace, they want our complete submission. They want our total surrender. There can be no peace under such circumstances. Once again, simply ask Izzy about this.

So Christians had better wake up, and wake up soon. We ARE in a war. This is the normal default setting for all believers. There can be no peace when we are in a state of war. And all God’s great saints have always known this. Let me finish with the words of a few of them:

“The saddest symptom about many so-called Christians is the utter absence of anything like conflict and fight in their Christianity. They eat, they drink, they dress, they work, they amuse themselves, they get money, they spend money, they go through a scanty round of formal religious services once every week. But of the great spiritual warfare—its watchings and strugglings, its agonies and anxieties, its battles and contests—of all this they appear to know nothing at all.” J. C. Ryle

“Where are you? You are in enemy country, a stranger and an alien. The world is not your friend. If it is, then you are not God’s friend, for whoever is the friend of the world is the enemy of God. Be certain that you will find enemies everywhere. When you sleep, remember that you are resting on the battlefield; when you travel, suspect an ambush in every hedge.” Charles Spurgeon

“People who have no sense of conflict at all in their lives are patently just not Christians; they are in the sleep of death spiritually.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“Many believers live as if this world were a playground instead of a battleground.” Leonard Ravenhill

“There is a war going on. All talk of a Christian’s right to live luxuriously ‘as a child of the King’ in this atmosphere sounds hollow – especially since the King himself is stripped for battle.” John Piper

“We are spiritual pacifists, non-militants, conscientious objectors in this battle-to-the-death with principalities and powers in high places. Meekness must be had for contact with men, but brass, outspoken boldness is required to take part in the comradeship of the Cross. We are ‘sideliners’ – coaching and criticizing the real wrestlers while content to sit by and leave the enemies of God unchallenged. The world cannot hate us, we are too much like its own. Oh that God would make us dangerous!” Jim Elliot

[1842 words]

11 Responses to There Can Be No Peace

  • The church today is reminiscent of a White Star Line Titanic leaving Southampton Docks, 10 April 1912
    https://marinamaral.com/2017/10/2017-10-31-titanic-prepares-to-leave-port-1912/
    https://youtu.be/v1mQT1u_45I

  • The Church, people of God need to hear this urgent, powerful message! The Church and so-called Christians who have no spiritual conviction, who love this world so much, more than loving their Creator, their God need to ponder this revival message and allow the Holy Spirit to convict us, and take action and stand up for the truth and justice for the glory of God. Don’t seat there as armchair philosophers or critics but spiritual revolutionaries in the army of the Living God. Many lukewarm Christians are spiritually deaf and dumb ‘I see nothing, I hear nothing, I say nothing, I do nothing so I am silent.’ Sleeping church, wake up, wake up wake up! Listen to this powerful message. For again, the Scriptures say, ‘If only today you would listen to His voice, The Holy Spirit’s voice. Don’t make him angry by hardening your hearts, as you did in the wilderness rebellion’ (Heb 3:15). Let Christ and the light of His truth shine upon you! It is so true where we are living now whether in Australia, Canada, England, NZ or America are not a playground but a battleground! Political, ideological, culture, and spiritual battlegrounds! Oh soldiers of Christ! By the sustaining grace of Christ we are overcome every form of evil as a victorious soldier of Jesus the Anointed One. We are called to active duty in the task of the kingdom to satisfy and please Christ Lord who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life until He returns in triumph with greater power and glory to judge the living and the dead with his righteousness and justice.

    THANK YOU BILL FOR THIS URGENT AND REVIVAL MESSAGE FOR THE CHURCH WORLDWIDE AS A WHOLE!

  • Thanks Bill, really good stuff.

    I was at a meeting recently and someone spoke nice stuff from one of the Psalms. Everyone liked it. It was sorta about being nice to everyone (sorry can’t remember exact reference).
    At the end of my speaking time I attempted to balance that with 2Chr 19:2b which I’d read that morning and which says: “the seer … said to King Jehoshaphat “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and so bring wrath on yourself from the Lord?”.”
    I got told that that was Old Testament.
    I thought Psalms was too, (but I only just thought of that unfortunately).

    Later we were talking about Israel Folau, and on what he said, and someone said “that’s old fashioned”. Telling people they’re sinners before telling them there’s salvation in the blood of Christ is “old fashioned”????

    But that Ecc 3 says “There is an appointed time for everything … A time to be silent and a time to speak” I would have screamed.

    Keep up the good work.

    Adrian

  • Excellent article Bill.

    Just reading Amos: KJV. BEHOLD THE DAYS COME, SAYS THE LORD GOD, THAT I WILL SEND A FAMINE IN THE LAND — NOT A FAMINE OF BREAD NOR A THIRST FOR WATER, BUT OF HEARING THE WORDS OF THE LORD.

    We must get back to the word of God. We read in 2 Timothy 4.2 (to preach the word in season and out of season reproving rebuking exhorting with patience and doctrine/instruction. paraphrased).

  • How many times though have we seen a similar but different dialog with satan’s people as the president and the church as the aliens??? his people ask to have peace with us and co exist BUT instead of saying NO PEACE we say ‘sure’. satan knows most christian don’t have the stomach for spiritual warfare and are all to willing to make “peace” with him rather than fight him. (having a good sob story helps too as emotions always trump logic). satan is eager to coexist when he is not in power because if we coexist with him we won’t be fighting him thus giving him the opportunity to grow his power. BUT as soon as he has power coexistence is off the table he no longer needs it as he is firmly in control. what is always surprising is how many people, especially christians, make deals with the devil and then are SHOCKED that he did keep up his part of the bargain.

    Too many deals we make are with people whose intentions are known but give such emotional stories we feel sorry for them and want to help to make ourselves feel better. Emotional stories work because emotions, beside trumping logic, short circuit logic so we don’t see how illogical what they want us to do it are how things will logical progress. for instance normally we would have seen this trans movement being pushed on children would lead to their being sexualized yet because of the emotional pleas no-one foresaw Desmond is confused dancing in a gay bar for dollar bills coming. yet they should have seen that would be a logical outcome of this whole mess.

    the LGBT lobby has for decades lied to us to advance it’s agenda (it started as being just about them having sex in their bedrooms and being left alone to do so nothing more) and we let them because we think since we wouldn’t lie to get something we wanted they won’t. but that is like saying since God won’t lie to get his agenda done satan won’t either. WE have been so taught to always see the good in people that any warning signs that we see are dismissed because we must see people as naturally good. Far too often as well we want the easy path to life as little work and as much reward as we can get. We let the world define words for us then try to work using their definitions ( like the worlds definition of love) or we let the world interpret a verse of scripture for us and then use that interpretation only (God is LOVE [period, paragraph, end of discussion], Judge Not, Whoever is without sin cast the first stone, etc.) then we wonder why the world is going to hell in a hand basket and we are unable to get people to see their sin.

    On top of that we act like the world to try and draw them to church and wonder why despite the offering plates overflowing society keeps going down and why the young are leaving church. well if we say to them “we are just like the world only we add christ to our lives” what incentive is there to leave they get to keep everything and just add christ OR keep everything and NOT add christ. the simpler thing to them is NOT add christ. ‘you can stay just as you are just wear this cross pin say amen, hallelujah, and praise the lord when you talk and you’ll be a christian.’ as far as heaven it seem more like one of those Oprah giveaways “and you’re going to heaven, and you’re going to heaven, and you’re going to heaven.” no one Jesus asked “when the son of man returns will he find faith?” A lot of pastors have more in common with used car salesman than with the mighty men of God. I can’t imagine one of todays slick sales pitches coming out of the apostles lips. or one of todays fluffy feel good syrupy sermons. I wonder how many sermons could give people diabetes???

  • Bill this is all sadly true of what is happening to the church and progressively becoming much worse than most of us would have imagined happening so quickly.

  • Bill, thanks for another soul-reviving article, I find it very enjoyable as well as edifying. As always, your writings carry the power of rousing the deaf and awakening the unhearing. I pray that your pen will continue to be greatly used by the Lord to goad those slumbering Christians out of their pits of comfort, that we may see in our times more allegiant, courageous warriors for Christ.

    At this moment in time, the HongKongers have set a very good example to us of fighting against evil with fortitude. perseverance, and resoluteness. Many Christians over there are on the forefront standing with the protestors, their intrepidity have put so many cowardly, spineless Western Christians (if they could be called) in shame.

    The point that I have always stressed is, keeping good health is a prerequisite to serving our Lord effectively (especially in confronting the militant sex revolutionaries) as His soldiers, after all, we are not to demean the body. It was said an army marches on its stomach, I’ll share with you some health information in a private and separate email.

    Well, today is the 22nd anniversary of HongKong’s handover, I have to go back onto the internet to watch the situation of the city of my origin.

    Let’s sing the good old hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers” once more. Keep up the good work.

    Paul from across the ditch

  • “Many they be that seek the way, but few they be that find it”
    “Try to enter through the narrow door”

    -Luke 13:24

    Thank you Bill, for publishing this.

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