Recently, as part of a course I'm doing with Herbert W. Armstrong College, I have been exploring the 'end times' - a fascinating, mind-blowing, enigmatic topic which leaves one obsessively pondering over the 'signs' and their 'interpretations'.
During the 'end times', we see that world leaders or authorities will promise 'global peace'. Sadly, we read on in prophesies that this is a 'superficial peace'.
'World Peace' is a concept that humanity has yearned for, for decades and centuries; unfortunately it is a dream that some have given up on. Nonetheless, leaders a many, past and present, have sought it, following what they've thought to be right.
However, has anyone successfully achieved it? No! Will they ever successfully achieve it? Sadly, No! ...but Why Not?...
War and war related turmoil, is what cuts short the path to attaining 'World Peace' - history has taught us well that those who have actively sought 'World Peace' have only found themselves creating wars.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.
The root of war, is 'human nature' - the various fleeting desires contrary to God's will and commands, battling within us, conceiving corruption that in turn gives birth to war. We, as humans, are 'stiff-necked' - refusing to submit to authority, God's authority - instead we let our pride, vanity, jealousy, lust and selfishness rule over us.
An increase in knowledge, as the Bible says, directly increases pride if it isn't built on the love of and for God. As those who possess knowledge or authority count themselves 'great' in some form or another, they trust their own judgement and become 'self-reliant'. This is true for those who turn against God and place their love for pleasure (of any kind) before Him.
There is a way that appears right, but in the end it leads to death.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
What we perceive as 'right' surely leads to death if we aren't rooted in the Lord and His word. The heart - 'the center of human thoughts and emotions' - is highly deceitful as it is swayed effortlessly by our flesh's fleeting desires. We also read that it is complicated, hence, incomprehensible. It is probable that one, especially a leader or ruler, is swayed by it, blinded by the thirst for power, popularity and recognition. Thus, their deeds and intentions, are bound to be tainted by their own flawed nature (One of they key reasons, why I strongly believe in good, fervent, praying Christians ruling and leading the country (point will be made clearer)).
Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.
They way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks in them will know peace.
Look, their brave men cry aloud in the streets; the envoys of peace weep bitterly. The highways are deserted, no travelers are on the roads. The treaty is broken, its witnesses are despised, no one is respected.
In an attempt to bring about such 'peace' the UN was formed, and world leaders constantly intervene in the affairs of other countries; they've achieved a lot but haven't resulted in much with regards to 'World Peace' - corrupt leaders have always arisen and never cease to arise! It is elucidated that the carnal mind does not know what peace or justice truly means, it just 'thinks' it does. All their ways are tainted by the desires of the flesh - primarily, because it lacks the 'fear of God'.
Human plans for 'peace' always end abruptly causing a lot of pain - they do not provide a lasting solution. However, during the worst point of this pain God promises to intervene, commencing the 'end of the age'. War is always the result of lust and covetousness - a part of our human nature - man cannot 'change' this nature, he cannot transform every heart, let alone his own. World authorities and leaders propose negotiations of various sorts, but they cannot address the problem, thus can NEVER bring about lasting peace.
The land dries up and wastes away, Lebanon is ashamed and withers; Sharon is like Arabah, and Bashan and Carmel drop their leaves. "Now will I arise," says the LORD. "Now will I be exalted; now will I be lifted up."
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you...
Only God can change the human heart and nature, he can renew us and give us a 'new' one when we become 'born again'. A ruler or government that focuses on truly fearing, trusting and obeying God will be able to possess a clear, deception free heart led by God, however in our secular society this seems highly improbable; in fact, such a government has never been established and will not be able to thrive, in our present world. Do not be heavy-laden, God certainly promises to intervene. He is the only remedy for wars and turmoil, He is the only solution, the only one who can bring about 'World Peace'. Until He sees it the right time to bring about His kingdom where this phenomenon is possible and can prevail, our efforts are in vain.
Therefore, let us not be fooled by the worthless, empty promises made or assurances given with regards to 'peace'; it is a heavenly nature which we know NOTHING of! Instead, let us continue to evangelize and stand up for the sake of the Gospel in all aspects of life and law, and importantly, let us lift our leaders, authorities, governments and countries in prayer - seeking God's kingdom, His will and for lives to be transformed continually by the Gospel, until He returns. He has promised, He has the power, thus He will fulfill - Fear, Trust and Obey!