Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 2 Study # 7
March 20, 2005
Lincolnton, N.C.

<141> Thesis: The "clash" of images presented by "warriors" talking about "peace" signals a concept of "peace" that requires a clear-eyed understanding. Introduction: In our study last week I made the claim that the angel-warriors' statement was a highly condensed theological statement. It's more of a "seed" than the enormous "tree" that will grow out of it. Also last week I spent more of my "preaching time" on the first half of this "seed" -- the issues involved in God getting the glory. That pretty much forced me to "condense" the "condensed version" of the last half of the "seed". So, this morning I want to go back to the issue of "peace on earth" and unpack an issue or two that resides in that part of the seed. Does it cause anyone here this morning besides me to have a mild case of confusion to read that a vast army of unnumbered warriors are laying claim to the issues of "peace"? If a very large army, bristling with all kinds of weapons and armament, suddenly arrives on the border of a country, what do the inhabitants of that country immediately begin to think? Then, if the leaders of that army say, "We have come in peace", isn't the first question that any thoughtful person is going to ask is "OK, peace, why are you here with all those weapons and armament?" Then, if the leaders of that army say, "Well, we are here because we are going to invade your country and put to the sword everyone who doesn't want to be at peace with us", what do the inhabitants think? Doesn't it smack of a kind of "Oh, sure, peace by means of the edge of the sword" -- in other words, "I'll have peace as long as I do things your way and if I don't I'll get my head cut off???" How does God ever intend to get men to understand the "peace" issues as long as the sword is hanging over their heads? Let's look into this for a bit.