We have spent most of the year talking about love, love and action, and now love and peace. I think that we understand that peace is an incredible gift from God, who is in his very essence Love.
God is love. God loves us. God has given us this fantastic gift of peace.
Jesus said that he gave us his peace. It’s not the same peace that the world promises. It is a gift from God that does not depend upon our circumstances.
Jesus promised us that the world is full of trouble and that won’t change for the better until he comes again. In fact, we should expect the ways of the world to get worse. But we are to receive the peace that Jesus offers and live by courage. By his stripes we are healed. He has overcome the world. Sin and death are defeated.
We are counseled by the apostle Paul to be anxious for nothing. Do not be anxious—worrisome—about anything. Instead we go God with everything, coming to him first with thanksgiving, but turning everything over to him; and we are told that the peace of God that goes beyond anything we can actually understand will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
The peace of God that transcends our human understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Amen. Hallelujah! We should just march right into the fellowship meal right now in a victory march, singing Victory in Jesus.
If somebody asked you if Tom ever challenges you with his messages, I think most would say, “When doesn’t he?”
I have challenged you to connect the disconnected, reach out to the lost, love one another, love your neighbor, love the alien in the land, love your enemy, do the work of an evangelist, press on towards the goal, confess and get back in your race, aim and flush, and you could probably add to that list.
But in recent weeks, I have challenged you in a different way. I have challenged you to receive the Lord’s peace. I have challenged you to kick fear to the curb and receive the Lord’s peace. It is his gift to us and it comes without strings attached to our circumstances.
I have also challenged you to disturb the peace people have made with the world. I have suggested to you that if you have truly professed Jesus as Lord and Savior and are really working to be his disciple and you do not have peace, to look in the mirror and see if fear has crept into your life.
God told us that there are two models here. Fear the Lord or fear the world. Fear the Lord is the correct choice. So, while you are looking in the mirror, if you see fear creeping into your life, kick it to the curb. It is not a gift of God. It is a tool of the enemy. The only fear that you should have is the fear of the Lord and know that this fear is the starting point for doing things God’s way.
Your destination is perfect loves which casts out fear!
We have two modes to live by: Courage or fear. The correct mode—the mode being that which occurs most often in our life—is courage. Yes, fear may sneak in every once in a while, but when we realize it’s there, it’s got to go. Courage is how we are to live.
All the men need to go home and watch the movie Courageous again to get pumped up about this courage thing.
My messages have consistently reminded us that if we are doing what God has called us to do, and pouring ourselves into that purpose, we will have peace.
My challenge to you is to receive the Lord’s peace. It is a really great gift!
But this morning I want you to understand that God’s peace is not for everybody. We are blessed that God grants us his peace so readily.
But there is no peace for the wicked! Those who continue to reject God will have no peace. Let’s add what the Bible calls fools to that group.
The wicked are consigned to their circumstances. The only peace that they will know is what they wrestle from their circumstances in this life. They will not know God’s peace, but we do, now and forever.
The wicked do not wish you well, especially if you have come to disrupt their peace with the world. They have contempt for what you have. They do not hunger for God’s peace, but they are not happy that you have something that they don’t. it’s quite a conundrum.
They want their efforts at worshiping the idols of this world, seeking the things of this world first, and singing in their best Frank Sinatra voice, I did it my way to get them rewards. They ignore the word of God. For century after century, they have ignored God’s prophets.
Today, in the western world, almost anything that stands out against God and goodness and faithfulness is . And God’s word says THAT DOG DON’T HUNT!
There is no peace for the wicked!
Now, for the faithful, we sometimes think it’s the other way around. We see people getting away ungodliness time and time again. Actually, we see a glimpse of a time when they get away with things. .
. . For the wicked, this will not be a good day. .
Our human hearts want to say, “Good! They will get what they deserve!” And as much as God desires none to perish, it seems that somehow, someway, people set their hearts and minds against God.
We must not set our hearts and minds against those who are against God. Understand that we don’t hang out with them as friends. . When we deal with the wicked and foolish, our hearts and minds are 100% in mission mode.
is the better word. Jesus dined with sinners, but he did not adopt their ways. We don’t walk on the other side of the road, but we don’t join the party either.
We are . We venture into foreign territory, but we don’t go native.
We bring a message: Repent and believe the good news! There is salvation, hope, and peace for those who will turn away from the world and seek God first. We know God through his divine Message that we call Jesus, Yeshua, or the Christ.
And the fact that the wicked will not know peace is our best tool. The wicked, the foolish, and all those set against the one true God will not know peace, but we do.
Those living in rebellion against God will never know peace. They will try everything the world throws at them to get what we have but what we have is a gift from God to his children.
The wicked can’t get here from there. They can’t have the peace that we know so long as they rebel against God. We could leave that as the end of the story, but we know all too well that it is not. God not only wants them to turn away from the wickedness that they seek, but he is also working on us as well.
God is shaping our human heart to be just like his divine heart, and that heart desires that none perish. That divine heart desires that all come to repent and know salvation in God and he made a way through Christ Jesus for that to take place. God made a way! God did not make any eternal reprobates. He didn’t make any shills. He didn’t make anyone to be thrown away. Their predestination is to be with him.
Some have chosen wickedness. They want to take God’s love story and turn it into a personal tragedy.
They continue to deny the gift of love and life and peace offered to all humankind. And our heart which is being shaped into one just like God’s tells us, let me talk with them one more time. Let me do one more act of kindness. Let me be God’s light one more time.
Lord, that even the wicked will taste your goodness and turn away from evil.
But understand that when we venture into these mission areas, we must be in mission mode.
Understand that we are sent not invited into the world that does not know God.
In a very short time, we will sit down and enjoy a meal, and fellowship, and peace as only believers can enjoy. Enjoy this time. Enjoy each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. Just know God’s peace because you are his children.
But sometime in the next few days, you will encounter someone who has rejected God and worships so many things of this world. They will not have peace and they will not like the fact that you do.
We could just walk on by. We could say, “Tough luck, buddy.” We could think, “Dude, you are going to get exactly what you deserve.”
Or we could remember that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. That verse so messes up the walk on by thing.
Here’s the thing. . We . It is . That doesn’t mean that we are walking the primrose path. It means that
When I am doing exactly what I know God has designed me to do, it’s never that difficult. There’s stuff that you have to deal with, but it just not that hard when you think about it.
But you have to be in mission mode. In fact, I suggest that before you venture into ministering to the ungodly, you say these words to yourself: I’M ON A MISSION FROM GOD!
Here’s the thing. You might be a little nervous the first time or two that you do this, but God’s peace will not abandon you.
You might be . You might be called names. In this country, your life is normally not at risk. People might say mean things about you on Facebook, but God’s peace will be with you.
The wicked cannot know his peace, but we do.
One day, , not to account for our sins. He has taken care of every one of them. God tells us that . To me that’s cool beans.
It’s great to be forgiven, but even a forgiven soul doesn’t need to be reminded every 10,000 years or so about the time he spit in the grits back in 1972. God forgives and forgets. It is as if we were given an entirely new history.
But we will all stand before God and be judged for what we have done after he took our sins away. These are things I don’t want to hear:
Didn’t love your enemies, huh?
Didn’t want to share salvation and my peace with those folks, hmmm?
Didn’t think they were worthy of salvation?
What do I want to hear? Let’s go with, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
Understand that living in God’s peace—knowing this wonderful gift daily—does not make us content with the so many who continue to reject God.
We are at peace in the middle of a world of trouble but we are not content that so many continue to reject God. We are not at the point where we can examine our commission and say: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
The wicked will not know peace. God said, there is no peace for the wicked. Will we take that as their just reward or is it a mission statement for us, perhaps just one more time, to speak words of salvation and hope and peace.
Be his light and love, be the salt of the earth, and speak his words of life, hope, and peace once more. Just one more time to those who do not know God’s peace.
We know God’s peace. Are we ready to leave this place and seek the same for others? Are you ready to say, I’M ON A MISSION FROM GOD!