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The world rages with conflict. Wars, rumors of wars, economic recessions, social unrest, and global political controversy abound, just as they have throughout history. Although I am never surprised by conflict, I am often surprised at how surprising conflict is to so many people in the world. As Christians, we know that conflict will always exist in this fallen world because this world is filled with fallen, sinful people—and sinful people have a tendency to sin and create conflict. Many in the world are surprised by conflict because they expect that the world in its present state should be at peace, that everyone should just get along, and that everyone and every nation should coexist in perfect harmony at all times and in all circumstances no matter the differences in religious, sociocultural, ethical, or political views. The world is amusingly naive.

The world wants peace even though it has rejected the Prince of Peace, and the world cries for peace even though it has dogmatically declared truth to be relative. The world loves to talk about peace, but in truth, the world has no idea what real peace is or how it is achieved. The world thinks that peace is based on compromise, but Christians know that authentic peace is based on truth—truth that is relentlessly stubborn, dogmatic, and unwavering. During the time of the Reformation, Martin Luther rightly declared: “Peace if possible. Truth at all costs.” As Christians, we know that we cannot have peace in spite of the truth and that true peace comes only because of the truth. Negotiated peace founded on compromised truth will only delay conflict, not eliminate it.

The world’s only hope for true, lasting peace is to be reconciled to the God of peace who gives peace to all who have been born from above by the Spirit of peace. For it is only when God has conquered our rebellious hearts—hearts that rage with conflict, anxiety, and despair—that we will be at peace and be able to maintain the spirit of unity in the bond of peace in our hearts, homes, and churches as we eagerly await the return of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.

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