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Q. Taking the view your group does on dispensationalism, premillennialism, and the pretribulational Rapture, I sense that you don’t believe in peacemaking in the world today. This is unfortunate. Don’t you see the need we all have for doing all we can to bring about peace? Blessed are the peacemakers.

A. Many people want peace in our world, but the reality is that we will never truly have it until the Prince of Peace comes to rule and reign on earth following the Tribulation (Matthew 24:6-8). The Scriptures give us prophetic descriptions of what the world will be like in the latter days. While we want to strive for peace in our individual lives and in the lives of people in our circles, these dire prophecies of the inerrant Scriptures concerning the world are going to come true. Events we hear and see in the media today are a prelude to the horrendous events that will happen during the tribulation period, as recorded in Revelation.

We must believe that one of the reasons Jesus is coming to rule and to reign on earth following the Tribulation is to abolish war (Psalm 46:8-10). As long as Satan is loose and as long as evil men live on earth apart from Christ’s rule with a rod of iron (Psalm 2:8, 9), there will be wars. To believe that Christ is coming to a peaceful world is not only to deny Scripture references that tell us the opposite, but also to deny the opportunity for Christ to do what only He can do.

You quote Matthew 5:9, part of the Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount. People often misunderstand these words of Jesus because they fail to see that the Sermon deals with the gospel of the Kingdom. This Kingdom was rejected by God’s Chosen People the first time Jesus came to earth, and therefore postponed. The ideal principles of the Kingdom will be a reality when Jesus comes back to earth the second time and sets up His millennial reign. (That is not to say that the Sermon on the Mount has no value today. As individuals we certainly ought to be a peaceful people, and to observe other applicable principles as well.)

Our mission as believers is not to clean up the earth, “save the planet,” bring about world peace, or attempt other things that only God can do. Our mission is to give out the gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20), to obey and love Him (Philippians 2:12-16; Jude 21), and to keep occupying, watching, and waiting for His catching us away to be with Him (2 Timothy 4:5; 1 Peter 4:7).

This article appeared in the “Q & A” column of the Baptist Bulletin by Norman A. Olson. 

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