Our world is on fire with the flames of war.
Most notable are the wars between Russia and Ukraine, and more recently in the Middle East between Israel and the Hamas. Passions are enflamed also among those in Syria and Lebanon. And adding to this growing list, the world is also being alerted to the mounting crisis between China and Taiwan.
The senseless evil of war with its ghastly images of brutality and carnage, especially of children and women, make the stomach churn and the face turn. There is mounting pressure from the world for a ceasefire in the Middle East to slow the spread of the inferno of war.
You may be wondering why I am talking about this as a pastor. It’s a political problem, isn’t it?
But, is it merely a political problem? It’s more than that. It’s a religious problem. Where do wars and fights come from? From the depths of the sinful heart. In addressing wars and fights, the Bible says, “Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain.” (James 4:1-2).
Wars and fights begin in the heart. These are ignited in families, scorching relationships. These spread into communities and into the streets. Enflamed passions between nation-states, then, are simply on a wider scale.
The problem, however, is the human heart. It’s an inferno of hatred, jealousy and lust. Why so? It’s the problem of sin. Our sin has separated us from God. Therefore, war, not peace; hatred, not love; death, not life. We are lost in ourselves, without coming back to God.
Unless we are reconciled to God, there is no real solution. All solutions are at best an outward, temporary wet band-aid covering the inferno in the human heart.
The solution is found in Christ. God has come to the world in Christ. Christ, the Son of God, came to fight the war against sin by giving His life as a sacrifice in payment to God for the sin of the world. He gained the victory over sin, death and Satan by rising to life from the dead on the third day.
By trusting in Him, God not only forgives sin, but also gives a new heart, filled with His love and peace. This is the message of hope to a lost world. This is where it begins. Stop the warring!