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TITLE: GOD'S PEACE FOR TROUBLED TIMES
Subtitle: Christians Should Demonstrate "The Peace That Passeth All Understanding" (Phil.4:7) Before A World That Is Rapidly Disintegrating Into Chaos
The kind of peace we are talking about is not a cessation of hostilities or absence of violence, but rather an attitude--a calm demeanor in the midst of the storm that stands out in the minds of others. Some would attribute this to bravery, but it is actually of supernatural origin and flows from the grace of God--not of human will. That is what the Apostle Paul was referring to when he penned the following words:
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (KJV, emphasis mine)
The Amplified Bible gives us additional insight into this verse :
"And God's peace [be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding, shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (emphasis mine).
In reading about Christian martyrs of the past we find that many, if not most, displayed attitudes and actions which totally confounded their tormentors as they were being put to death. Instead of the usual terror and pleading for mercy displayed by condemned criminals, those people prayed for their executioners and met death with dignity--many with praise for God upon their lips! Bravery? Perhaps partially so in some cases, but God's grace proved sufficient for them all.
In the upper room just hours before His crucifixion, the Lord made the following comments to His disciples because He knew what was in store for them later on:
"Let not your heart be troubled: ye
believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions:
if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive
you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  And whither
I go ye know, and the way ye know..... If ye love me, keep my commandments.
 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter,
that he may abide with you for ever;  Even the Spirit of truth;
whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth
him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.  Yet a little
while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye
shall live also.  At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father,
and ye in me, and I in you.  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth
them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of
my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.....
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:1-4; 15-21; 26-27, KJV, emphasis mine).
Fear is a human emotion and the product of a fallen, depraved nature. We say it is "natural" to experience it because it is common to all mankind, but in 2 Tim. 1:7 the Apostle Paul had this to say to Christians:
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (KJV)
If anyone had a human reason to fear, it was Paul! His reputation as a Pharisee who had "deserted" the religion of his forefathers always seemed to precede him wherever he went. Many fanatical Jews plotted to kill him because of that perceived defection, while others continued to be enraged by his doctrine. And as a result of that on-going friction, he suffered many things at their hands (2 Cor.11:24-25). Yet through it all he continued to walk by faith and exhibit a stoic indifference to "what might happen."
We have many reasons to believe the current hostilities in Iraq will escalate into World War III and as a result our nation will probably experience terrorist attacks on a scale at least as bad and possibly much worse than those now taking place in Israel. This is largely due to the long-standing support of the US for that nation as they pursue the Zionist goal of establishing their capital in an undivided Jersualem. Mix this political agenda with thousands of years of hatred for the Jews and the seething cauldron of the entire Moslem world is on the verge of boiling over. The large numbers of civilian casualties bound to occur in the taking of Baghdad and Basra make their threat of jihad, or holy war, almost a certainty. We are convinced all of this has been carefully orchestrated to set up conditions guaranteed to produce a degree of world chaos unattainable by mere chance. The stock markets are obviously poised to fail and consumer confindence is at an all-time low. So it would seem that all of the elements are in place and all that remains is for some contrived catastrophe to serve as a trigger. Could that trigger be a loss of large numbers of American/British troops to weapons of mass destruction unleashed by Sadam Hussein? A people who have no problem with using suicide as a weapon are quite capable of destroying themselves in order to wreak havoc on their enemies. We pray that it will not come to that, but to ignore the possibility is not wise.
Fear? Yes, these are but a few of the many reasons why some might have sleepless nights and wring their hands while walking the floor, but inner peace is the hallmark of a genuine Christian. We know beyond doubt that our God is Sovereign in the affairs of men and nothing escapes His attention. Not even a sparrow dies and falls to the ground without it being His will (Matt.10:29). And because of that wonderful fact, He tells His children:
"Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows" Matthew 10:31 (KJV).
So it all comes down to child-like faith. Remember when you were little and mom and dad took care of you? Each new day was an adventure and fear seldom, if ever, entered your tranquil world because they were in charge. Flocks of sheep--by nature nervous and skittish animals--learn to trust their shepherd and lead contented lives while he watches over them. So it is no accident that the Lord used many illustrations involving sheep as He taught His disciples to walk by faith.
Our God is in total control of the situation and He is watching over us as our heavenly Shepherd. The 23rd Psalm records David's thoughts as he contemplated this eternal truth:
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever" (KJV, emphasis mine)
Note that when we have to walk through the "valley of the shadow of death," fear is not warranted because God is with us every step of the way. Death is but a shadow where believers are concerned and shadows have no power to hurt. When our existence in this world comes to an end, it will occur at precisely the moment God has ordained and we merely move from one sphere of reality to another infinitely better. Bear in mind what the Lord told Martha after the death of her brother Lazarus:
"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" John 11:25-26 (KJV, emphasis mine)
I believe two separate and profound truths are found in these Words of the Lord. First, in verse 25 he is revealing to Martha the doctrine of the resurrection and miraculously demonstrates it later on by raising Lazarus from the dead. But the second truth is that which I have underlined above--His statement that genuine believers will never die! How can this be when believers obviously expire like everyone else and their bodies are placed in the grave to return to the dust from which they came? It all depends upon what we mean by "death." For an unbeliever to die is to continue in eternal death, because they were born spiritually dead and never experienced a spiritual rebirth. When their body ceases to function and falls away, the very essence of their being--their soul--continues on in that uninterrupted state of death to everlasting punishment. But God grants every born-again Christian both spiritual life and eternal life--therefore, "death" for them is actually a mis-applied human term! When the body falls away, their regenerated soul instantaneously enters into the very presence of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor.5:8). So when we consider "death" from this perspective, it is not at all to be feared and the concept gradually grows more comforting as age takes its toll on our bodies.
Will God's people experience persecution, pain, and perhaps "death" in the near future? It is our sad conclusion that the answer must be "Yes" because all indications seem to point to the Church leaving this earth amid "a mirror image" of conditions which existed after its birth at Pentecost. Religion is rampant, but true godliness and a stand for Jesus Christ is rapidly being deemed intolerant by the world around us. The apostate Ecumenical "one size fits all" church of the antichrist is growing by leaps and bounds and Bible doctrine is routinely sacrificed for the sake of unity. Those who dare to buck the system are being marginalized and history shows that when this happens, persecution inevitably follows. However, our message is not "gloom and doom", but rather "lift up your heads for your Redeemer draweth nigh"--our paraphrase of Luke 21:28b.
We leave with you the same exhortation as that given by the Apostle Paul to the believers at Thessalonica (after he had explained the Rapture of the Church in 1 Thess. 4:13-18):
"Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" 1 Thes. 5:16-18 (KJV, emphasis mine).
If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order—Kingdom of Antichrist—in their daily news.
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