There are over 2.3 Billion Christians in the world today, according to most polls.
In the USA, approximately 65% of Americans identify as Christians, or approximately 167 Million who claim to follow Jesus.
Christianity is the world’s largest religious group.
So, that means that if every one of those who claim to follow the Prince of Peace would put His words into practice and love their enemies, lay down their weapons, and refuse to fight [as Jesus famously predicted His disciples would, since His Kingdom is not of this World], then there wouldn’t be enough people willing to kill another person in any war.
Christians: We have the power to stop war, today. If we wanted to.
All we have to do is to actually start putting the words of Jesus into practice.
But, most of us, it seems, are either not convinced that Jesus said we should avoid violence, or simply believe that such a notion is too impractical and illogical to be taken seriously.
Either way, the result is that Christians today pledge allegiance to their nation’s flag, obey their leaders who call them to take up arms against other nations [who are often also their own brothers and sisters in Christ], and march off to fight in yet another war.
But, make no mistake, Jesus was the Prince of Peace. He is the Messiah who was prophesied to come and teach us to “study war no more” as we “beat our swords [weapons of warfare] into plowshares.”
This same Jesus whose birth was announced by a legion of angels shouting “Peace on Earth to All Mankind!”; the same Jesus who started off his ministry by saying that we should not practice “an eye for an eye” but that we should love beyond the standard set by unbelievers, going as far as to love our enemies, bless them, pray for them and turn the other cheek when attacked.
Yes, the same Jesus who disarmed Peter, who told James and John that they knew not what Spirit they were of when they sought to call down fire on their enemies; the same Jesus who told Pilate: “My Kingdom is not of this world; if it were my disciples would fight”, and the same Jesus who taught us to overcome evil with good.
However, in spite of all of this, today’s Christians respond by looking for scenarios where they can safely disobey Jesus. They look for passages where Jesus says he came “not to bring peace but a sword“, or point to passages where Jesus told the Disciples to “go and buy a sword“, or to examples where Jesus fashioned a whip to drive the animals out of the Temple….all in hopes of obscuring and negating all of the very plain teachings of Jesus regarding how to treat our enemies. [NOTE: The whip passage specifically says that Jesus used the whip to drive out the animals, not people].
But, if Jesus DID use violence, then he was NOT the Messiah. At least, not according to Isaiah 53:9 which says:
“His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.”
So, perhaps the Jesus that they are following really ISN’T the actual Jesus? Maybe that’s why it doesn’t bother them to call him “Lord, Lord” and ignore the things He says?
Either way, if all those who call themselves “Christians” today would start following Jesus, the result would be this: There wouldn’t be enough people to fight in our wars.
So, if you want Peace on Earth, try following the Prince of Peace. Start putting His words into practice.
Peace is within our grasp. We just have to want it.
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