In 1971 John Lennon, wishfully invited the world to imagine a utopia where there was no heaven, no hell, no countries, no causes to die for, no religion, where all humanity could share the world in brotherhood and peace. His famous song was an instant hit and became the anthem for the anti-Vietnam hippie generation. The philosophy of one world united in harmony sounds so lofty and appealing, but is unbiblical on its face. The book of Daniel prophesies about the end times when the “great king” or antichrist arises, he will “destroy many in a time of peace,” that he will “destroy wonderfully and will prosper.” International peace will mark his reign on earth, yet under that façade of peace, he will destroy wonderfully.
“…and shall destroy the mighty men and the holy people. By his cunning, he shall cause deceit to succeed under his hand, and he shall magnify himself in his heart.” Daniel 8:24-25 MEV
We have to be careful not to fall into the popular notion that global peace needs to be sought after at all costs. There’s a growing chasm in our culture that is separating those who are born of God from those who agree with the world. There can be no harmony between darkness and light. We are promised wars and a falling away of believers from the word of God. We are promised persecution and sharper divisions between true and false Christians. Weak Christians will be deceived by the attractive offerings of the peaceful and prosperous world of the antichrist, and will even turn against those who are strong in the faith. There will be a time when they will be saying, as 1 Thessalonians 5 puts it, “‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape.”
Jesus is the true Prince of Peace, but to experience that peace, each of us needs to do battle against our flesh, against evil, against the opinions of the world. It means keeping our eyes wide open to detect the lies, to reject them, and to speak out against them. It may look aggressive, but it’s this battle that guarantees our peace. When we have real faith, nothing can cause us to lose our joy – not even the threat of persecution or the loss of approval by our families or friends. Whoever knows us will either be so drawn to our spirit of peace and victory, or be utterly repulsed by it. This distinguishes who a true believer is and who isn’t. Anyone who is comfortable with the world’s philosophies and makes the world feel comfortable with them, is out of step with God and risks being destroyed in the times to come.
In ancient Israel, the conflict of war kept God’s people sharp and alert, in prayer and fasting, in humble obedience to Him. Their victories came through the discipline of living a separate and holy life. The only way for the devil to destroy God’s people, was through a false sense of peace and security. Making pacts with idolaters and tolerating immorality seemed like good tactical choices, until those spirits defiled them and ravaged their land. When spiritual boundaries are torn down, God’s people suffer. Holiness means being set apart, safe within God’s borders.
Don’t fall for popular philosophies of the crooked world we live in. Satan disguises himself as an angel of light through smooth words and lofty sounding ideals. Be innocent as doves, but crafty as serpents. Romans 12 and Hebrews 12 tell us that as far as it’s up to us, be peaceful and loving, but never to the point of compromising our faith or tolerating evil. The days are already here when speaking the truth stirs up hatred and violence. And that is why it’s so crucial now to get rooted in God’s peace that passes understanding, the peace of true faith, of fearless warfare, and of joyful obedience and victory in all things.
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s foes will be those of his own household.’” Matthew 10:34-35 MEV