In preface, I want to take this opportunity to express gratitude to our veterans who willingly sacrificed all that they had so that we may enjoy all that we have…
The phrase “the war to end all wars” was used as a description of WWI between 1918 and 1939 and ended with the arrival of WWII.
The statement was a reaction to the horrors of WWI. Many believed that the terrible cost and repercussions of WWI would never be repeated. Their optimism was commendable, but the testimonial of history is primarily negative.
The Norwegian Academy of Sciences and historians from England, Egypt, Germany, and India conducted an extensive study of war. They reported that since 3600 B.C., the world has known only 292 years of peace! During this period there have been 14,351 wars and 3.64 billion people have been killed.
The value of property destroyed by war could finance a golden belt 97 miles wide and 33 feet thick that could circle the earth.
It has been six decades since the last global upheaval, but our world is not experiencing peace. Several wars are going on at any given time. The number varies and is dependant upon both the source and criteria for defining war.
One claim is that there are currently 134 wars in progress.
The cause of war is explained by the apostle James. He wrote, “Where do wars and fights come from…? Do they not come from your desires… 2 You lust…You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have…” (James 4:1ff).
While James is addressing personal conflict between individuals, there are implications with respect to human nature in general and application as to global covetousness and discontent.
The prospects for peace in the future are not positive. Jesus taught that one of the signs signaling His return will be “…wars and rumors of wars…” (Mathew 24:6).
Incidentally, there will one day be a war to end all wars. You can read about it in the closing chapters of the book of Revelation, but for now I am looking for peace, not in the absence of war, but in the presence of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. He promised, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you…don’t let your heart be troubled…or afraid” (John 14:27).
“Because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand.
And this peace will control the way you think and feel” (Philippians 4:7).
— Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church