To cheering crowds the British Prime Minister announced after a visit with Hitler, “We have peace in our time!” It was September 1938. On September 1 of 1939 Germany invaded Poland and WWII began.
This was not the first or last time that empty hopes for peace were raised and praised . Sometimes the proclamations were pure deception. At other times, they were only wishful thinking. At all times the false hope added to the misery of those who accepted the words .It took courage to announce to the people of England that their hope for peace with Germany in 1938 was groundless . But not to do so would have been shameful. The British need ed to prepare for war. If they did not, they would face death and destruction. The Lord had provided a similar message for his people, Israel. He warned of coming attacks by Assyria, and then Babylon. It was not a welcome message. H is faithful prophet, Jeremiah , was rejected and arrested for relaying his words . The false prophets, who assured the people of peace, were warmly welcomed.
So it goes today. Who wants to hear about a God angry over sin? Who wants to believe that God will p unish sin? Who wants to listen to warnings about hell and damnation? Not many.
Instead, picture the Almighty as a half – senile grandfather who pats us on the head and tells us to, “Just try to do better.” Do that, and you will be welcomed and rewarded.
But the statement of Scripture still stands: “ It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God ” (Hebrews 10:31). The announcement of Jesus yet rings out: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace , but a sword” (Matthew 10:34).
How dare we then announce to the world: “Peace, peace” when we know there is no peace between the holy God and those who reject his rule?
If the lie does not become obvious during one’s lifetime, it surely will when the dead eyes open before the face of the Judge.
Peace only can come when the enemy is defeated. Satan, with his raised and clenched fist of defiance , wi ll never know that peace . It is too late for him . Angels who have followed him and humans , who have died in his service , have also forfeited peace with God.
But those who recognize Jesus as the promised the Prince of Peace, they know that because of him, their war against God is over.
Before he returned to heaven, Jesus told his disciples : “ Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
We are no longer troubled. We will not be afraid. We have heard the announcement from on high. Our Savior God has told us t hat we have peace in our time — for all time and eternity.
We pray : Lord of the nations and the only Hope for mankind, we do not want to be at war with you. We pray that you will overlook our foolish words and shameful actions for the sake of your Son who covers our guilt with his holy blood. Keep us from believing the lies of your enemies. Remind us that peace can only be found in you. And with you our peace is perfect. Amen .
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida-Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military