Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. – Matthew 5:9
The gospel of peace—which we are to walk in as according to Ephesians 6—is an instrument of our armor and warfare as Christians on this earth.
What is the gospel of peace? How does walking in the gospel of peace equip us to be peacemakers, and therefore children of God?
Is the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven the same as the Gospel of Peace?
The Kingdom of Heaven is a kingdom of peace. However, the Kingdom of Heaven seems to come in multiple forms.
There is an earthly kingdom of heaven that is corrupted, but that is for another time and we will discuss this, Lord willing, as we work through the parables of the Kingdom. For now, I want to focus on the kingdom that will overcome these corruptions—corruptions that take us off the path of peace.
There is the kingdom that comes when Jesus returns bodily to overthrow the false prophet and establish His rule on this earth. There is also the kingdom that comes “not with observation” and is “within you.”
Jesus died to forgive us of our sins so that we can approach God through Him. In knowing Jesus, we know God. As we get to know God, our sins are revealed to us, we repent, and as we continue to seek the favor of God to overcome by His Holy Spirit, He writes the knowledge of the Lord, Jesus on our hearts, changing our natures from corruption to incorruption.
We strive in this throughout our lives, knowing that the more we live like Jesus, the more this world might hate us and kill us. Yet, we know that there is another kingdom. Jesus will return. He will raise the dead who trust in Him, and He will return with His saints to avenge, overthrow the false prophet, and establish His rule of justice, judgment, and mercy. We will serve Him in this kingdom as faithful servants, joint heirs, and sons of God.
This is the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven.
We should preach the gospel of the kingdom of heaven: a kingdom of righteousness, a place that is full of the knowledge of the Lord, a place of healing and a place of peace. This Kingdom comes in Spirit and this Kingdom will come to the earth—and these promises should guide our steps in this world.
In the earth presently, though we serve a kingdom of peace, we might not be at peace with all. Jesus taught that many would hate those who follow Him. Jesus also said, “you suppose that I come to bring peace, but no. I come to bring a sword and division.”
I wonder if Jesus said this with a bit of relenting. Maybe it was His desire to bring peace, as He said when He approached Jerusalem, “Oh Jerusalem that stones the prophets. How I would have gathered you under my wings but you would not.” I think His desire is for peace, but He knew that mankind would not have it. He knew that He would be rejected, mocked, and killed. He also knew this was the Father’s will.
This same Jesus gives us peace despite being rejected by this world.
We should strive to “be at peace as much as is possible with every man.” We should strive to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Though many in the world hate us because they are rebellions against God and against Christians, Jesus gives us peace.
“My peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Jesus spoke of this when talking to His disciples about how He must leave this world, but He would return. He would return and make His abode with us by His Spirit first. And by His Spirit we have peace and strength. He will also return to establish His Kingdom. He is preparing this future promise for us also.
Whatever we endure as Christians, we will overcome because Jesus overcame first. Even death has no power over us. Those who do not know Jesus are dead and they will face the second death. Having received the grace of God that gives us soul-saving faith, we can learn to lay aside our self-preserving nature in favor of those who do not know Jesus, so that perhaps, they can come to know Him too.
This is what Jesus did, and I don’t think He expects anything less of us.
As Christians, we are joint heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven with Christ as adopted sons of God. So, we too should be peacemakers as Jesus is, even though we know that to live and proclaim the kingdom of heaven will mean rejection by this world.
It can be easy to let fear overcome us. It can be easy to let resentment and malice corrupt our hearts. It can be easy to forget the patience of God that leads us to repentance. It can be easy to take vengeance into our own hands. In small ways and in large ways, our day to day lives present us with challenges that tempt us to go astray from the path of peace that Jesus set before us.
He walked that path perfectly. He shows us how to do the same and by His Spirit—which is the beginning of our inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven—His word in our heart comes to life and we find the strength to walk even as He walked. When we go astray, He will come for us. He will set us right and we will prevail for His Name’s sake.
If we seek Jesus with all that we have and continue to do so, we will find the “peace that surpasses all understanding.” We cannot let the Adversary and the Accuser overtake us and use us as instruments of his kingdom of death.
We need to know “what spirit we are of.” We are not among those who are “drunken” with the blood of our opponents. We are not among those who will be found “smiting their fellow servants.” We will not stain our garments that were washed in the blood of the Lamb of God by forgetting to walk in the gospel of peace.
However, we might for a time. I did. Even this is for our good. It is good to experience the failings of mankind, both outside of the Christian faith and within the Christian faith.
Having done so to a degree myself and having received much mercy and grace from God to overcome—and I will daily work to overcome by His blood and teachings because so long as we live, we must live in a state of overcoming—I know He is exceedingly patient and merciful. I know that He is in control of all things and His timing is perfect. I know that He will not lose a single soul that belongs to Him so we can trust in Jesus.
He will prepare our feet to walk in the gospel of peace, even the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven now and to come. This world loves violence. This world loves to destroy all who stand in the way of their “towers of babel.” We are not of this world, even as Jesus is not of this world. We cannot forget this.
This article is part of a series that considers the Parables of Jesus. Right now, we are looking at the statements Jesus made during His Sermon on the Mount, to which He referenced in His Parable of the Building on Rock and Sand. Visit the link for quick access to all articles written within this series. Subscribe for notifications of future posts.