War to End All Wars

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War to End All Wars

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It was a beautiful, clear sunny day as we stood on a hill looking out over a small green valley in southeastern Ohio. The flag-draped casket silently spoke of the patriotism of the man inside, and the 21-gun salute, followed by the bugle sounding “Taps,” echoed the farewell of his comrades in arms to the gallant one now gone. The color guard then folded the flag into a tight triangle and presented it to the next of kin.

This veteran had volunteered in his late teens to fight in the great dream of the “war to end all wars,” World War I, some 57 years before. The enemy was defeated and an armistice was signed on Nov. 11, 1918.

As we laid my father to rest there in 1975, I couldn’t help thinking how disappointed he must have felt deep down throughout his life that the war they fought and won didn’t end all wars. Some 20 years later, war was again raging in Europe in the very area in which he had fought. He came close to having to go and do it all over again in 1941.

Since Armistice Day in 1918 every generation of Americans has had its war to live through. World War II was far worse than World War I. Then came the Korean War in the early 1950s, then the Vietnam War throughout the ’60s and lasting until 1975. Next came the Gulf War in 1990-91 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that continue today.

In all but the last three, American young men were drafted to risk, and many times lose, their lives in places that they had never heard of before—like Pork Chop Hill in Korea or the jungles of Vietnam.

The name of the day has now been changed from Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day to include and honor all those who fought in all the wars since the “war to end all wars.” Their patriotism and sacrifice are admirable.

The source of war

The great lesson for us and for the entire world to learn is that as long as mankind is influenced by Satan, there will always be wars. The prophet Isaiah was inspired to write: “The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever takes that way shall not know peace” (Isaiah 59:8).

Jeremiah later recorded God’s words: “For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 8:11).

In the New Testament, the apostle James explained where wars come from: “Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?” (James 4:1-4).

One would think that mankind would just learn from these principles and seek peace through repentance. But apart from God’s Spirit, mankind cannot resist these temptations of Satan. On the world scene we see petty dictators lusting for nuclear weapons and the U.S. Congress beset with scandals of lusts of all kinds.

Satan is the perpetrator of these sins through his temptations and the vulnerability of human nature. Until he is removed from the scene, individual, local and world conflicts will grow to a crescendo until all flesh would be destroyed if Christ didn’t intervene (Matthew 24:22). When Satan is removed, the wars will cease.

A wonderful world without war

The apostle John was inspired to write about this future event: “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20:1-3).

At that time there will be peace for 1,000 years. But as soon as Satan is loosed, war will resume again for a short time.

“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:7-10; for further explanation of this prophecy, see “Beyond the Millennium” from our Bible study aid You Can Understand Bible Prophecy).

At this time the world will experience the real “war to end all wars” because Satan will be removed forever.

I know my father and mother, like all the rest of mankind unaware of God’s truth, never understood why people could not live together in peace in a world where genocide, torture, murder, suffering, starvation and disease are no more. Man first has to realize that he cannot rule correctly apart from God. Then God will show the way to peace.

Micah envisioned that wonderful time ahead: “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

“He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Micah 4:1-3).

What a glorious time that will be, when we all can be there, along with all those who fought and those who gave their lives in war, to see the cause of wars removed forever! It will be a world where no one will learn the science of war anymore, and where there’ll be no more 21-gun salutes to memorialize our war dead. The mournful sound of “Taps” at military funerals will be relegated to history in a world where peace and love will be the supreme way of life forever.

You Can Understand Bible ProphecyRecommended reading

To learn more about this wonderful world tomorrow when war will be a distant memory, read the Bible study aid booklet You Can Understand Bible Prophecy.