There has been many a Christmas song written over the years reciting the angelic message to the shepherds on the first Christmas of God offering of peace on earth and good will towards men. (Luke 2:14). The Christmas carols often recite them with a focus on world peace. One even requests, “Pray for peace people everywhere.” However, these writers of the beloved Christmas carols have a great misunderstanding of what God’s peace offering truly is. Though His second coming will bring world peace, Jesus first coming wasn’t to bring peace among the nations, rather, it’s purpose was to bring peace between God and individuals who accept His peace offering.
Jesus said in Matthew 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Jesus didn’t come to establish a kingdom of this world but rather a spiritual kingdom that is in the heart of man rather than this physical realm. Jesus also said in Matthew 10:34, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Since Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” Jesus clearly wasn’t stating that Christians are to be at war against the world, rather, the world is at war against Christians.
Clearly the peace that God offers through His Son Jesus, which was announced by the angelic host, was a personal offering to each individual. Truly, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son”, but only “as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” The offering of peace with God is available to the whole world, but only received by the whosoever that will call upon the name of the Lord. The offering of peace with God is available to all but only received by the individual who accepts it by receiving His Son.
Why then do we need to be at peace with God? Because our sin has declared war against God. On December 7th, 1942 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor as a declaration of war against the United States. In the same way, each time we sin we attack God declaring war against His sovereignty and holiness. James 4:4 states, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” The Japanese may have awakened a sleeping giant but the sinner’s fate in the hands of a righteous and just God is far more dreadful. Hebrews 10:31 tells us, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
But the good news is, God has offered to all who will receive an offering of peace. God’s peace offering that is His very own Son. His Son who was born in the flesh that first Christmas morn, His Son who laid down that same flesh that first Good Friday, His Son who was resurrected defeating sin, death, hell, and the grave forevermore, His Son who is available today to whoever will accept His offering of peace. Colossians 1:19-20 says, “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”
Our sins declared war against God yet it was God who offered us an offering of peace, not through the birth of His Son, but through the blood of His Son. God would have been just to destroy us for our sins and will be just in punishing those who reject His offer of peace. But praise be to God that He has offered us mercy and grace through His Son where we not only find peace in God, we are at peace with God. Truly, His grace is amazing!