Peace—worldwide permanent peace among all nations and peoples—has been a perpetual hope and dream of mankind. It's the stuff of countless stories, sermons and songs—and wishful thinking.
Endless strategies have been proposed and tried. Think of all the peace demonstrations, peace talks and peace treaties! But leaders are too often people "who speak peace to their neighbors, but evil is in their hearts" (Psalm 28:3). They're deviously manipulating to get a bigger piece of the world. Sadly, even sincere negotiations are often fruitless.
God inspired Jeremiah to write a poignant portrayal of world history: "They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly [margin: superficially], saying ‘Peace, peace!' when there is no peace" (Jeremiah 6:14). The Contemporary English Version paraphrases this as, "All they ever offer to my deeply wounded people are empty hopes for peace."
Man on his own cannot discover lasting solutions. "The way of peace they have not known" (Isaiah 59:8). They are spiritually blind (verse 10).
The conduct of nations reflects the behavior of people. International relations will be peaceable only when all people are peaceable. And Scripture promises that this will eventually come to pass.
World peace will require people to have "a new heart and a new spirit" (Ezekiel 18:31). Only God can give us that new heart and spirit. For the people God is calling now, He is offering that change. When Christ returns, that offer will be extended to all people.
During Christ's first coming, He was not trying to bring about peace on earth (Matthew 10:34). But world peace will begin when the Prince of Peace returns to earth. Then "of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end" (Isaiah 9:7).
Christ's peacemaking will not be by appeasement, which is the granting of concessions to enemies in hopes of buying them off. Rather, He will forcibly put down rebellion and establish His Kingdom on earth. Then He will set about reeducating all mankind and bringing about their spiritual conversion.
At that time, the nations will be led to "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" (Isaiah 2:4).
That is when "everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid" (Micah 4:4).
Someday we will finally see true peace on earth. This is a central aspect of the message Jesus and His apostles preached—the message Paul referred to in Ephesians 6:15 as the "gospel [or good news] of peace."