When the angels announced the birth of our Lord Jesus to the shepherds, they said: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14) Today, with all of the conflict and trouble that mankind faces, this promise seems unattainable. Recently, 129 civilians were killed by terrorists in Paris. The civil war in Syria has created millions of refugees, many of whom have fled to Europe for peace and safety. In the US, mass shooting incidents continue with depressing regularity. It seems no one and no where is safe. Where is the peace and good will the angels promised?
The angels spoke of a future day when God would take direct control of man’s affairs and then bring peace to mankind. David writes about this in Psa. 46:6,8-10 (NASB): “The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered; He [God] raised His voice, the earth melted. … Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has wrought desolations in the earth. He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire. ‘Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’”
God, through the glorified Christ and his faithful followers [church], will utter His voice and the nations will melt. He will make wars to cease, stop the striving among nations, races and ethnic groups and God will be exalted in the earth.
Joel chapter 2 describes the Lord’s great army, the collection of movements that help melt the nations. (vss. 1-11) Before them “the earth quakes, the heavens tremble.” (Joel 2:10 NASB) Joel chapter 3 tells us the trouble revolves around Israel. “I [God] will gather all the nations And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations.” (Joel 3:2 NASB) Then, “the LORD roars from Zion [Christ and the church] And utters His voice from Jerusalem, And the heavens and the earth tremble. But the LORD is a refuge for His people And a stronghold to the sons of Israel.”—Joel 3:16 NASB
God shakes not only the earth but also the heavens so Christ’s earthly kingdom can be established. (Heb. 12:26-29 NASB) Then, “He [Christ] will speak peace to the nations; And His dominion will be from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.” (Zech 9:10 NASB) Through the blood of his cross and his earthly kingdom, Christ will give all the opportunity to come back into harmony and peace with God.
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