Often times when a discussion is had between individuals who are on “opposite sides of the fence” about topics pertaining to salvation, key doctrinal differences and even Jesus himself, one side of the dialogue can be quick to defend his or her belief on the basis of the “peace” that is felt within one’s heart.
- when discussing the merits, or rather the lack-thereof, of the sinner’s prayer one may defend their affirmative belief because of the peace that they felt after saying such
- when discussing the merits, or rather the lack-thereof, of the book of Mormon one may defend their affirmative belief because of the peace that they felt after reading such
- when discussing the merits, or rather the lack-thereof, of the confession booth one may defend their affirmative belief because of the peace that they felt after admitting such
While peace is an important, dare I say even vital, aspect of Christianity, if the truth were told, as it is now, one’s feeling of peace does not always equate to one’s possession of said peace.
Examples of this are abundant within the pages of God’s word. From the cultural mindset of the antediluvian time period (Matthew 24:37-39), to the prophets and people of Jeremiah’s day (Jeremiah 14:10-15), to the willfully ignorant religious individuals that Peter warned about (2 Peter 3:1-12) there has always been and there will always be people who promote the importance and supposed validity of personal peaceful feelings above the true importance and true validity of knowing the peace that comes from possessing a right relationship with the God of the Bible.
Peace, imperfect peace originates from ignorance, self-fulfilled desires and seared consciences; all of which derive from one’s personal feelings (Proverbs 14:12). Peace, perfect peace originates from knowledge, the fulfillment of godly expectations and the directions of a properly trained conscience; none of which derive from one’s personal feelings (Philippians 4:6-7).
The point is that the human heart can be confused and contorted to the point of severe and deadly deception resulting in a feeling of justification regardless of the heart’s error (Jeremiah 17; 2 Thessalonians 2; 1 Timothy 4). This is why true peace is found in knowing, regardless of the ebb and flow of human emotions, that all things are as they should be because all things have been made as they will be by the revealed grace of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Peace, perfect peace is quite different from peace, imperfect peace! So may it be the goal of every God-seeking individual to know the Prince of Peace in a way that the peace of God is not something we feel, but rather something that we have received through the gift of God.
“As he approached the road leading down from the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” But some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if they keep silent, the very stones will cry out!” Now when Jesus approached and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “If you had only known on this day, even you, the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and surround you and close in on you from every side. They will demolish you – you and your children within your walls – and they will not leave within you one stone on top of another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.”” (Luke 19:37-44 – NET)