How can the hatred and disunity between so much of humanity today ever be remedied? The answer is not easy, but it is plainly given in the Bible. Only Jesus Christ can bring about true and lasting peace, but how will He do it, and what is our responsibility as His followers?
In the iconic song "Imagine" by John Lennon, he wrote: “Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for and no religion too. Imagine all the people living in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will be as one.”
Lennon’s message was that harmony among the different races could be achieved, in part, by the end of religion. Another idea out there is the “coexist” movement, which claims that harmony will be achieved not in the ending of religion, but in the blending of religion. Common to both ideologies is a longing for harmony and peace in the world.
The truth is, peace among the races will not be found by eliminating or blending religion. Rather, the solution is found in Jesus Christ and God the Father’s perfect plan for the salvation of humankind and the truth plainly revealed in God's Word.
The Bible says that God created all human beings to one day become His children (Romans 8:16-17). His desire is that all will come to repentance so that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9).
The reason we do not enjoy a peaceful world, including between the races, is because of man’s rebellion against God beginning in the Garden of Eden. That rebellion led to the broken relationship between Adam and Eve’s two sons Cain and Abel. They were different—one was a farmer and the other a herdsman. Eventually Cain became so envious and filled with hate toward Abel that he murdered him and lied to God about it. To this day, brothers (different peoples) of the earth continue to battle over envy, power and hate. “There is no peace, says the LORD, for the wicked” (Isaiah 48:22).
And who are the wicked? All of us who have sinned without repentance are wicked. All of our dreams of peace are futile until we acknowledge the real source of mankind’s trouble: sin and Satan’s influence on the world. We must first look inwardly to see what changes we must make, and ask God for help in overcoming the sin in our lives. Mercifully, God has made provision for us to overcome and for unity among all races through a Savior and His great sacrifice.
God is working towards a reconciled humanity!
God's peace transcends all of the divisive barriers that began with Adam and Eve's rebellion.
We’re told that the angels ushered in the birth of Jesus with the words "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14).
God has planned to create a wholly new, peaceful and beautiful society through Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul wrote down this truth when dealing with conflicts among the Jews and gentiles.
In Ephesians 2:14-17, we read: “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation . . . so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.”
Paul later wrote: “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation” (Romans 5:10-11).
For the Jew and the non-Jew, repentance and receiving God’s Holy Spirit made them as one, no longer divided by race. Today also, there are people of different races and cultures who are walking together as one in the way of their Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ will return to take His rightful place as ruler over all the earth
Under Christ's perfect rule, men and women of all nations, races and cultures will be treated with fairness and taught God’s ways. They will learn to embrace the ultimate culture of obedience to God’s law, which will bring to humanity a deep sense of personal responsibility, community, godly love and service to others.
The apostle John gives us a glimpse of this future: “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.' Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' And He said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful.' And He said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son'" (Revelation 21:3-7).
Let's work to overcome our own sins and pray for that day when the earth will be totally renewed and transformed by God into the beautiful and peaceful home He intended.