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The Need For a Perfect King-Pastor Mark Doane

On Thursday, February 24, the world watched in horror as Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. Since then, horrible pictures and videos of the violence have flooded our news sources, shocking most of us. Of course, there have been dozens of wars (and other violent political events) over the past 50 years, but this one, in the heart of Europe, seems to have piqued our interest in a way many others have not. War existed during Biblical times, so the Bible is not silent on the topic. From its pages, we can observe several important emphases that it makes when it comes to war. War is part of life living under the curse. God created a perfect world (Gen 1:31). There was no death, no disease, no natural disaster. Most importantly, there was no sin (Rom. 5:12). Despite John Lennon’s famous song Imagine? it is difficult to truly imagine the world as we know it is without war. In a sinless world, where people (including leaders) are angry, proud, hateful, deceitful, idolatrous, and covetous, the concept of a world without war is simply unfathomable. The Bible is clear that up until the Day of the Lord, wars will continue as normal (Matt. 24:6). Believers may desire peace and should even pray for peace; however, believers should not expect peace, at least for any significant period.
Some groups of Christians believe that they should not engage in warfare. However, the Bible is clear that war is sometimes justified because of the curse. Israel fought numerous wars without any condemnation from God? Many times because God commanded it! In the New Testament, John the Baptist was asked by soldiers what they could do to demonstrate their repentance, that is, todemonstrate they had turned from sin their sin (Luke 3:14). John didn’t condemnnthem for being soldiers or engaging in warfare, but rather addressed the (apparently) common sin of extortion among the soldiers. Moreover, God allows people the right to self-defense (Ex. 22:2). Warfare is often the self-defense of a nation or an ally. As such, it is the duty of a government to go to war on behalf of its people for their peace and security, if need be (Rom. 13:4).
Finally, warfare is a reminder that we need a perfect King. Most people don’t want war or at least the destruction that war brings. Yet peace seems to always elude us. World War I was the war to end all wars, but just led to a larger, more horrific war 20 years later. Nuclear weapons are supposed to be a deterrent against war, and while the nuclear powers have avoided fighting one another, there still have been many bloody wars over the last 75 years. This reality should drive us to desire a perfect king, one who will rule justly with lasting peace. The Bible presents Jesus not just as the savior, but as the One who brings peace to the world (Isa. 9:6). As believers, we must not only fix our hope on the One whowill bring peace worldwide but tell others about the One who will bring that

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