Imagine there’s no heaven, It’s easy if you try, No hell below us, Above us, only sky, Imagine all the people living for today, Imagine there’s no countries, It isn’t hard to do, Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion, too, Imagine all the people living life in peace. John Lennon
What was John Lennon really trying to imagine? He was giving a roadmap, in his mind, to true peace. John, however, was stuck in just imagining; this is not the reality of life. With this article, we are going to take a cursory look at three ways the world is seeking to bring humanity artificial peace, and then we will look at what the God who created all things says about how to receive true peace.
Peace the world seeks is comfort, selfish service, and power.
First, people need to be either affirmed or accepted in order to have artificial peace. We see this with the LGBTQ agenda. Not only do they celebrate sin and immorality, but they also want to normalize their lifestyle to the point where all people accept it. This brings them temporal peace. This brings them temporal comfort. Nevertheless, it is temporal at best because all people will never accept this view because it harms people and society, and dishonors God.
You can insert this type of thinking with people who are hooked on painkillers and who use painkillers as an excuse to escape reality. It is the same pattern as the drunkard who thinks they need a few drinks to relax. The drinking is not just a few drinks, but it is an outlet of drunkenness that thrusts this one into this artificial peace.
It can be the same thing with fornication. It is ok to sleep around and have one night stands if it satisfies the persons involved. It has to be ok! Right?!? Accept it you stick in the mud Christian! It is the 21st century. A person’s sexual orientation, excessive drinking of alcohol, popping painkillers, one night stands, and playing house are perpetual cycles of artificial peace. Christian, the most unloving stance to take is to affirm them and support them in this. What you are really doing is supporting their artificial peace. I am not saying be mean, condescending, and hateful, but I am saying love them enough to expose their artificial peace by speaking truth to them.
This may give them temporal comfort that brings artificial peace, but they will always be left with a longing for something more. How do you go about doing that especially with us being in the holiday season? Look for December’s article. Right now, I just want to lay the groundwork to show the need.
Second, people find artificial peace by serving others with selfish motives in order to have a good feeling about what they have done. How does this bring artificial peace? This person is doing good to others in order to be seen as loving and caring. They want others to tell them how great it is that they are doing x,y, or z. They, as a result, feel this artificial peace inside because of what others think about them. This is a perpetual cycle of artificial peace because as soon as they lose the praise of man they have to do more and more. They continually need someone to affirm what they are doing; this is a vicious cycle that will never bring lasting peace.
Caring what others think about them and what they are doing proves that they are seeking the approval of man, not God. Other humans make lousy gods, and will never give a person the praise that their sinful heart desires. Why? It is because they are not made to be praised, but God alone deserves what they have been robbing from Him for years.
Third, gaining more control and power is a way people derive artificial peace. Anyone who is a student of history, either recent or ancient, will see this is true. You see the power of the German Nazi’s invading Europe. You see Stalin’s controlling communist Russia. You see mass shootings in recent years. In all of these cases, the leader or person has felt totally in control, and this control has brought about this artificial peace. They may think they are right in what they are doing; however, time has an uncanny way of exposing this false peace.
Hitler’s Germany finally fell. Stalin’s Russia finally gave way to new powers. The mass shooters eventually take their life or are brought to face the reality of justice against their actions. All of their power and control ends up crumbling around them. Nevertheless, there is this one towering Figure that stands at the corridor of human history and beckons all who want true peace to come to Him.
I write this article a few weeks before Christmas, and I cannot help but think of the words some poor humble shepherds heard on a cold night outside the city of Nazareth. Luke 2:14 reads, “Glory to God in the highest And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
Friend, if you want true peace this season, become pleasing to God!
Friend, if you want true peace this season, become pleasing to God! You may ask, “How can this happen in my life?” I am glad you asked. Seeking God brings a peace that is neither temporal nor gained by the latest sin fad. It is something that is given by God himself. Notice what Jesus says in John 14:27:
“Peace I leave you; My peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give to you.”
Notice the Savior is leaving an example of how peaceful He was when He was with His disciples, and He is now giving them something they can’t earn, peace. See all the three types of artificial peace I spoke of in this article are what the world gives on the basis of power and pleasure. That is like keeping a bucket full with a gaping hole in it. You are always going to be working to refill it!
However, when you come to Jesus in repentance of your sins and by placing your faith in Him and what He did on Calvary’s cross, you now receive forgiveness for your sins and are given a peace from God himself.
Then you learn what it means to rest in Him and to receive something that you have been chasing after. That something is peace. You learn, like a nursing infant on his mother’s breast, to rest in the will of God.
He gives you peace, not like the world, but from Himself, the creator of the world.
My friend this is not artificial peace. It is just the opposite- an eternal peace. Peace with God. You will not imagine peace like John Lennon, but you will experience peace as it is given to you by the triune God. I pray this Christmas season that you seek the one true living God, Jesus Christ, and find eternal peace for your souls.
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