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The Priority of Peacemaking

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
May 22, 2024 4:00 am

The Priority of Peacemaking

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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May 22, 2024 4:00 am

In this tumultuous world, peace seems to be a distant and far-fetched idea. Until we are right with God, we will be troublemakers and not peacemakers. In this message, Adrian Rogers reveals the priority of peacemaking and the hope of reconciliation.

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Pastor, teacher, and author Adrian Rogers has introduced people all over the world to the love of Jesus Christ and has impacted untold numbers of lives by presenting profound truth simply stated. Thanks for joining us for this message. Here's Adrian Rogers. Welcome to Truth Network.

I'm Adrian Rogers. Yes, blessed are those who are broken over their sins, who truly repent and turn from their sins. And then, verse 5, blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed, indeed, are those who are yielded to God and ready to accept His will for their lives. Verse 6, blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled, and our righteousness is filled, and our righteousness is filled, and our righteousness is filled. It is Jesus Christ Himself who is God's answer to man's sin. And then, blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Those of us who have been shown mercy show mercy and thank God for the mercy we have received in the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. When we have come this route, then God purifies our heart and gives us a fresh vision of Himself, and God becomes a bright living reality. Here's the beatitude for today. Verse 9, look at it.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. The other day when I was on an airplane, I picked up one of those magazines, and I read about a new mall that is opening in Minneapolis. It's said to be the largest shopping mall in the world. It covers 4.2 million square feet. Now, that's big. It's got stores, restaurants, nightclubs, amusement parks, rides, all of this.

You say, how big is that? Well, you could put 88 football fields inside this mall. And ladies, listen, to visit every store, you'd have to take a three-mile hike just to visit every store in that mall. It hires 10,000 people. They expect to be doing $650 million worth of business a year.

About 40 million visitors a year are going to come to this mall. Now, when I read that article, I thought, you know, that's a big shopping mall, but there's one thing you will not be able to buy there, and that's peace. Nobody can put it in a bottle. Nobody can put it in a jar. There's no way, no matter how big the shopping center is, that you can buy the commodity that I'm talking about today, and that is a commodity that the world needs more than anything else, and that is peace. There's something desperately wrong with our world, and you don't need me to tell you about it.

Just pick up any newspaper, and you can study it. Now, we're very intelligent people. We know a lot. We can build a mall that big. We can build jet airplanes. We can build rockets. We can build all of this.

We have television that can circle the globe. We've made the world a neighborhood, but we haven't made it a brotherhood. There is a desperate cry, a desperate need for peace.

Now, what causes all of this? Well, just turn to the book of James with me. In all of the Bible, as we go on this search for peace, James explains the whole thing. James says in James chapter 4, verse 1, from whence come wars and fightings among you.

Why can't we live together? James says, where does all of this come from? In my reading, I read a very interesting story. There were two men who had been taken captive by the Americans in World War II. They were captured in Germany with other German prisoners.

They were brought back to the United States, and they were put in a prisoner of war camp. But these two young men were different than all of the other German soldiers. They seemed to keep to themselves. They seemed to be frightened. They seemed to be bewildered. Nobody seemed to be able to communicate with them. The other Germans said they really didn't know anything about them. They did shrink further and further back, away from the interrogators. No one knew who they were, couldn't figure them out. They were just different.

They didn't even look like the other Germans. After a while, they brought in an expert, and he began to talk to them. He said, no wonder you couldn't talk with them. They're from Tibet.

You don't even understand their language. This man understood their language, and then he got this story. Let me tell you what happened to these two fellows.

It's really not funny, but it is funny in a way. They lived in Tibet, and they were tired of living their lives. They were there in their little village.

They'd never been anywhere, seen anything, shut off from the outside world. So they decided they would go from Tibet across the northern border. They found themselves in Russia during World War II. Immediately they were picked up by the Russian authorities. They didn't know who these boys were.

Before long, they were on a train headed toward the west. When they got there to outside a big city, they were given an army uniform. They were sent to boot camp. They shoved a rifle in their hand, and they were there on the Russian front fighting the Germans.

They'd never seen anything like that. People in hand-to-hand combat, they were shooting each other with guns. These young men, frightened, they retreated. And when they retreated, they were captured by the Germans. And the Germans now took them, put them on another train. And they're traveling now. They end up in a German prisoner war camp.

Every man that they can get. So they take these two boys, shove a gun in their hand, and tell them to go fight the Americans. And so they're out there now, again scared to death. They begin to retreat, and the Americans capture them. And this time, they're put in an American prisoner war camp, and they end up in the United States. And finally, the whole secret is unlocked. These boys from Tibet, they didn't know anything. Finally, after they talked to them for a while, they said, do you have any questions?

They said, yes. And we have a question. Why are all these people trying to kill each other?

They couldn't figure it out. What on earth is happening? And that's the question that James is asking right here. Where do these wars come from? From whence come wars and fightings among you? Now, what James does, he mentions three wars that are going on.

Listen to them. From whence come wars and fightings among you? Ye ask and contain. Ye fight and war, yet ye have not because ye ask not.

Ye ask and receive not because you ask amiss that you might consume it upon your lust. You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is in immity with God. Whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. And here, James mentions three wars. The very first war, men who fought against the terrible plague of communism. are at war with one another. Verse 1, from where come wars and fightings among you?

We're at war one with another. Oh, every now and then we'll have a truce. But a truce is that period of time when you stop to reload. That's all a truce is. Every now and then we'll have a truce.

But there is no peace, religious, economic, racial, social, political, family, or personal peace. We are a people at war on the face of this globe. Well, why are men at war with one another?

Well, continue to read. Come they not hence even of the lust that war in your members. That's the second war. The first war is we war among ourselves. Why do we war among ourselves? Because we're at war within ourselves.

That's what James says. There is a war on the inside that wars in our members. People are not at peace. And that's the reason they can't be at peace with anyone else. Most of the folks are a fight going somewhere to happen. They're just an argument going somewhere to happen.

Why? Because they're in turmoil themselves. We live in a world that is uptight and full of turmoil.

Folks, we're just full of turmoil. And James says the war on the outside is because of the war on the inside. Well, why the war on the outside and why the war on the inside?

Because of the third war. And that is we are at war with God. Look in verse 4 where he says, friendship with the world is enmity and that word means warfare with God. See, we're at war with one another.

Why? Because we are at war with God and there is no peace, saith my God to the wicked. Now my dear friend, until you're right with God in this world, you're going to be a troublemaker and not a peacemaker.

Just put it down big and plain and straight. Until you're right with God in this world, you're going to be a troublemaker and not a peacemaker. Now, the Bible says, blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. First thing I want you to see today, the attributes of peace. The attributes of peace. What do we mean by peace? Peace, my friend, is not appeasement. Don't get the idea if you're a peacemaker that you are an appeaser. Appeasement never brings peace. But don't think that you're honor-bound to get along with everybody. There is something wrong, something desperately wrong with the person who can get along with everybody. You just can't do it.

Now, you can try. The Bible says if it be possible, as much as lie within you, live peaceably with all men, which means that it's not always possible. As a matter of fact, sometimes you're going to be known by the enemies you make. Dr. Robert G. Lee, the former pastor of this church, was a great man, but he had his enemies. And he had people who didn't love him.

Every man of God has those who don't love him. I've heard Dr. Lee say on more than one occasion, he said, one of these days somebody's going to preach my funeral. Well, literally, I preached his funeral, but I didn't know that I would when I heard him say that years ago. But he said, one of these days somebody's going to preach my funeral. And he said, when I'm in that coffin, when I'm in that casket, if that preacher has the nerve, the audacity to say, here lies dear old Dr. Lee, he didn't have an enemy.

He said, I pray God, he'll give me the courage to kick the lid off that coffin, rise up, and say that's a lie. He didn't want to be known as a man who did not have an enemy. All of us who stand for God will have enemies.

I remember reading about some preacher boy who was in a class in a liberal college and the professor was telling us, oh, we ought never to have any enemies, we ought never to be controversial, there ought never to be any problems, and so forth. And what he was giving was the gospel of appeasement. And then he said, what we need to do is to follow the example of Jesus.

And that young preacher boy lifted his hand and he said, professor, if Jesus Christ were so beautifully tactful and diplomatic, how did he manage to get himself crucified? Friend, listen, Jesus Christ did not get along with everybody and everybody did not get along with Jesus Christ. And peace is not appeasement. And peace is not truce making. Now you can have a truce, and a truce is better than hot war perhaps. But that only means that is the secession of hostilities. And there can still be a cold war.

It goes underground to fester and to grow and then perhaps to break out again. Peace is not even the absence of war of any kind, hot or cold. There's no strife in the cemetery. But incidentally, that's not peace. Every now and then you go in a cemetery and you see where it says on the headstone, rest in peace.

Well, friend, I want to tell you it takes more than a grave marker to bring peace to a troubled soul. Peace is not just simply the absence of war. When the Bible uses the word peace, the word peace is not a negative word, the absence of war. It is a positive word. In the Old Testament, and today modern Jews greet one another the same way with the word shalom, shalom. And that word means peace, not when you meet somebody and you say to them shalom.

That doesn't mean may you get out of war. It infers there's something good, something wonderful, something positive that is happening. The Greek word for peace is the word irene. We get our beautiful name irene from that. If your name is irene, your name means peace, peace.

Irene, that's the word that he's using here. It is a positive word. Now my dear friend, let me tell you what peace is. Peace is not appeasement. Peace is not truce making. Peace is not even merely the absence of war. What is peace? Peace is a right relationship, listen carefully because this is a technical point but a very important point. Peace is a right relationship with God that leads to a right relationship with self and guides us in a right relationship with other people. That's what peace is. It is a sense of well-being and literally, literally, peace is the result and the fruit of righteousness. Now if you don't see anything else, I want you to get this now. I want you to see how righteousness and peace are linked.

This is not an artificial link. If you're an unrighteous person, you can never have peace. There is no peace, saith my God to the wicked. The only way that you can have peace is to have righteousness. Notice the Beatitudes, blessed are the pure in heart and then blessed are the peacemakers. There is no peace without purity. Put these verses down in your margin. First of all, James 3 verse 17, the wisdom that is from above is first pure and then peaceable.

Did you get it? First purity, then peace. Blessed are the pure in heart, blessed are the peacemakers. The wisdom that is from above is first pure and then peaceable. Put this one down, Psalm 85 and verse 10, mercy and truth are met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed one another.

Isn't that a great verse? Righteousness and peace have kissed one another. There's a love affair between righteousness and peace. There's a marriage between righteousness and peace and what God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. In Hebrews chapter 7 and verse 2, the Bible shows Melchizedek as a picture, a type of the Lord Jesus Christ.

And Melchizedek is called two things. First of all, king of righteousness and secondly, king of peace. First, he must be king of righteousness. After he is king of righteousness, then he becomes king of peace. You see, righteousness and peace have kissed one another. My dear friend, you cannot have peace without righteousness. What is peace? Peace is a right relationship with God, a right relationship therefore in your heart and a right relationship with one another.

It is a positive thing, it is the righteousness of God ruling and reigning in your heart. Now that is the attribute of peace, secondly. Not only do I want you to see the attribute of peace, but I want you to see the adversary of peace. It follows as night follows day, if peace is linked with righteousness, then war, lack of peace is always rooted in sin.

It always is. Let me give you these verses. Isaiah chapter 48 and verse 22, there is no peace, saith the Lord unto the wicked.

That's it. You want peace? This world wants peace? Sin is the problem. Can you imagine standing up in the Pentagon and saying, gentlemen, the problem is sin? Can you imagine standing up in one of the great universities and saying, gentlemen, the problem is sin? People are saying, what are we going to do about war?

What are we going to do about all these problems? Ladies and gentlemen, there is no peace, saith my God to the wicked. Righteousness and peace are linked together. Sin separates men from God. Sin brings inner turmoil and it separates men from men. Here's another verse.

Put it down. Jeremiah 8, 11 and 12, key verse, for they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my peace, slightly saying, peace, peace, when there is no peace. You remember back in the 60s when the hippies were going around saying, peace, brother, peace, brother.

But my dear friend, they were living ungodly immoral lives. There can be no peace without the prince of peace. There can be no peace without purity.

And so the Bible says in Jeremiah that people give a false peace saying, peace, peace, when there is no peace. And then he says in Jeremiah 8, verse 12, were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed. Neither could they blush. We have a group of people today yelling, peace, and they can't even blush over their sins. Did you know that a human being is the only animal they can blush? And friend, he's the only one that needs to.

But we've forgotten how to blush. Here are these people going around saying, peace, peace, peace. The Bible says they've committed abominations. This generation of unblushables wondering why we don't have peace is very obvious. The adversary of peace is sin. That's the reason the Bible does not teach peace at any price. One of the strangest verses that ever fell from the lips of the prince of peace, Jesus, is this. He said, think not that I've come to send peace on the earth. I came not to send peace, but a sword. That's incredible because the Bible calls him the prince of peace. I mean, he's known as the prince of peace.

When he was born, the angel said, peace on earth, good will to men. The Bible says, blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. And yet in this passage, Jesus Christ said, don't think I came to send peace. I didn't come to send peace. I came to send a sword.

What's he talking about? He is saying, I did not come to bring some sort of a false peace and amalgamation of good and evil. I came with a sword to put a line of demarcation between truth and error, between light and dark, between sin and righteousness. And what Jesus is saying is this, that when God's standard of righteousness is set, there will always be a division. Without righteousness, there can be no godly peace. And the sword that Jesus has is like a scalpel. It must first hurt before it heals. Peace can never come.

Are you listening? Peace can never come where sin remains. God will never make a peace treaty with sin.

Never. I remember reading years ago in history about Admiral Nelson, Lord Nelson. He'd won a sea battle. And there was a French admiral who was surrendering to Lord Nelson. And that French admiral came and he was dressed up in all of his regalia with his special hat.

He had all those scrambled eggs on his shoulders. He came with spit and polish to approach Lord Nelson on the deck of a ship. He had his sword down by his side in the scabbard. And Lord Nelson saw him coming. Remember now, he was coming to surrender.

And that admiral with a, almost a smile on his face as an equal, put out his hand to Lord Nelson. Lord Nelson just stepped back and said, your sword first. Lay down your sword.

My dear friend, there are a lot of people who just think they can walk up and glad hand the Lord Jesus Christ. He says, your sword first. Surrender first. Jesus, my dear friend, is not an appeaser and he will never make a truce with sin.

Never. To that degree, Jesus said, don't think that I came to send peace, I came to send a sword. What he meant by that is this, there will be no peace, there can never be peace without, first of all, a surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ.

Now here's the third thing I want you to see. I've talked to you about the attribute of peace, which is righteousness. I've talked to you about the adversary of peace, which is sin. There is no peace, saith my Lord to the wicked. Now I want to talk to you about the attainment of peace. The attainment of peace. I said you can't buy it in that supermarket.

You can't buy it in that mall. How can you attain peace? Let me give you some wonderful news. First of all, this peace has been planned by the Father.

Planned by the Father. Jeremiah 29 and verse 11. If you don't know this verse, you need to learn it. Jeremiah 29 verse 11, for I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, not of evil, to give you an expected end. You know when God thinks of you, you know what God wants for you?

Peace. This is what God desires for you. God's thoughts to you are not thoughts of malevolency. God is not some vengeful deity sitting up there on a throne making a lot of rules and laws to make you squirm like a worm in hot ashes trying to keep them, throwing down thunderbolts of wrath. That's not the idea of God. God says the thoughts I have toward you, the things that I think to you, the plans that I have for you there, plans of peace, six times in the New Testament He is called the God of peace.

The book of Judges, Judges chapter 6 and verse 24, He is called Jehovah-shalom, Jehovah-shalom, the Lord our peace, peace. Peace has been planned by the Father, secondly. Peace has been purchased by the Son, planned by the Father, purchased by the Son. Put these verses down, Ephesians 2 verses 13 and 14, but now in Christ Jesus ye who are sometimes far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ for he is our peace. You who are far off, you who are enemies, you are made near nigh by the blood of Christ for he is our peace. Then put this one down, Colossians 1 verses 19 and 20, for it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell, that is in the Lord Jesus Christ and having made peace through the blood of his cross by him to reconcile all things unto himself. Jesus Christ on the cross provided this peace. How does the cross bring peace? At the cross wickedness was not appeased.

Wickedness was confronted. At the cross sin was not overlooked. At the cross sin was atoned and paid for.

And God's greatest righteousness confronted man's greatest wickedness and righteousness won and peace was attained through the blood of the cross. Thank God for that. Thank God for that.

I say thank God for that. What a lady who lay dying. Some people did not know her very well.

She was a stranger in those parts. They thought they ought to witness to her. One came and stood by her bedside and said, Madam, do you know how ill you are? She said, yes, I believe I'm dying. They said, well, we don't want to alarm you, but have you made peace with God? She said, no. They said, may we help you to make peace with God? She said, no. Don't you realize you're dying?

Yes. Don't you want to make peace with God? She said, no. She said, I have no need to make peace with God. I am resting in the peace that Jesus made at Calvary.

She was way ahead of them. I am resting in the peace that Jesus made. We don't make peace. Jesus made peace, the blood of his cross.

Now, listen. It was planned by the Father. God says, I know the plans I have for you, the plans of peace, purchased by the Son. And my dear friend, I want to tell you it is provided by the Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God. You see, the Bible says in Galatians chapter 5 and verse 22, the fruit of the Spirit is peace.

It's provided by the Spirit. Remember Jesus in John chapter 14? Jesus said, I'm going to pray the Father and He'll send you another comforter that He may abide with you.

And He's going to teach you all things, bring them into your remembrance. And then He says in verse 27, peace I leave with you. Peace I leave with you. My peace give I unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you.

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. That's the Holy Spirit that brings us to our hearts and minds. He's the one who gives us this peace in our hearts and tells us that we're at peace with God. Planned by the Father, purchased by the Son, provided by the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the executor of the will of Jesus Christ. Jesus' last will and testament before He died, He said to you, peace I give unto you. That's what He left you.

That's His legacy, my dear friend. His peace. Then He said, not as the world gives, give I unto you. It's peace as the old song says, the world didn't give and the world can't take away.

The world didn't give it to me and the world can't take it from me. It is the peace that passes understanding. No psychologist, no psychiatrist without Jesus Christ could have any understanding of this, my dear friend. Now, last of all, look at our text and it says very wonderfully, blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God. Let me talk to you last of all about the agents of peace, the agents of peace. We've talked to you about the attribute of peace, the adversary of peace, the attainment of peace.

Now here's the agent of peace and that's me, that's you. We are God's agents. I saw a cartoon in a magazine one time that in a preacher's study there was his file, you know this four-drawer file? And in the one next to the top it said sacred.

And in the one right at the very top it said top sacred. Well dear friend, this is, you are a sacred agent. You're sacred agent 777. You are God's agent of peace.

Now that is so true. You are an ambassador. Do you know what we said that peace is? It is reconciliation.

And the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5 verse 18, all things are of God who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ. We've been saved, we've been given peace and then he says, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. That's our ministry. Oh my dear friend, what is the ministry of reconciliation? It's just simply soul winning.

It's just simply telling people about Jesus. He's given to us the ministry of reconciliation. I was invited to Washington for the inauguration and after the inauguration I got in a cab and I came out the door, you know where I'd been a guest there at a particular building and the cab driver thought I was important because of the door I came out and he said, what do you do? I told him an ambassador, boy he looked up, he was impressed, you know. And so he said, after a while he said, who do you represent? I said, a king. Boy he was really impressed, you know, and we went on a while back and he said, well who is he?

I said, he's the greatest. Well on and on and I just toyed with him for a while and then I told him I'm a son of God, an ambassador of Jesus Christ and an emissary of peace and I preached Christ to that young man. Now my dear friend, I want to tell you, I had rather be an ambassador for Jesus than to be a prince or king here on this earth. We are ambassadors for Christ. He has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation, the grandest thing, the greatest thing you can ever do is to receive the peace that Jesus Christ made on the cross and let the peace of God rule and reign in your heart and then be not just simply a peace lover.

My dear friend, a peacemaker, not an appeaser, not making peace with sin and unrighteousness, but lifting up the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you have peace? Old Corrie ten Boom said, you look around, you'll be distressed.

She said, if you look within you'll be depressed. But she said, if you look to Jesus, you'll be at rest. That's where the peace comes. Do you have peace with God?

Do you? Remember you'll never have peace until something's done about this problem of sin. Father God, I pray today that you'd help us to understand how to be peacemakers. And Lord, we know that we cannot make peace until first of all we've received peace. And rest in the finished peace of Calvary. Lord, I pray today for many who need you. Now if you don't have peace with God, the Bible says, therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. You're not justified any other way but by trusting Christ, justified by faith. Today if you're trusting, then you can have peace with God and then peace with yourself and peace with others. If you would like to learn more about how you can know Jesus or deepen your relationship with Him, simply click the Discover Jesus link on our website, lwf.org. For a copy of this message or additional resources, visit our online store at lwf.org or call 1-800-274-5683. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-22 07:46:51 / 2024-05-22 08:00:22 / 14

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