Rest in Peace Pt. 2: Peace

Topic: Death

Peace, it eludes many, but are they truly seeking it or some version that lasts only for a moment? The world boasts of ways to bring peace to your life: doing good things for others, meditation that attempts to center your thoughts only on the good, or, one that has become increasingly popular, cutting “toxic” people out of our life. But, none of these things can, or will, ever bring lasting peace to your life. So, where do you find this lasting peace and how can you obtain it?

We find the answer in the Gospel of John where we see Christ speaking with his disciples. He tells them, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). The Greek word for peace used here is the same Greek word used again in John 16:33 where we again find Christ addressing his disciples, this time about his death and resurrection. He says, “These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” And, again, we find this same Greek word used in the book of Acts in verse 10:36 where it is used by Peter, one of Christ’s disciples. He states, “The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all).” The same Greek word is used in all three instances, eirēnē (i-rah-nay). In these contexts, it means tranquility through the salvation found only in Christ.

Peter preaches peace by Jesus Christ. He is preaching salvation which brings peace, tranquility, and a setting at one again with God. When we place our faith in Christ trusting solely in him for our salvation, we are no longer an enemy of God. We are set at one with him again, being reconciled back to our Creator. This guarantees true peace, the tranquility from assurance that we no longer have anything to fear or be troubled over because God is sovereign over all things. Only Christ can give us this peace, and it is the same peace he spoke about when talking with his disciples. It is a peace that not only brings tranquility but, also, contentment and harmony. It brings contentment that we may be happy no matter what life or the world may throw at us. It brings harmony in now that we are in Christ we now love and have peace with those we had disdain for before salvation.

So, in Christ we have salvation which brings peace which brings tranquility, contentment, harmony, and reconciliation with God. That’s not just while living in this life. It is for eternity as well. In Revelation 21:4 it says, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Everything that results from trials and tribulations in this life will be done away with in eternal life. Those who are in Christ (saved) will have eternal peace, there will no longer be anything to make us worry, cry, angry, hurt, or cause us pain. There will be eternal peace from all these things. But that’s for those who place their trust solely in Christ for their salvation.

What is there for those who look to the world for their salvation and peace? We find the answer in Isaiah 57:20-21, “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” For those who look to the world instead of Christ for their salvation and peace, there will be none found. The word wicked here refers to those who are guilty of sin and hostile to God. The wicked are those who shake their fists at God, purposely committing sin just to spite him. They are those who rely upon their own works for salvation. They are those who affirm sinfulness in others and revel in their kindness for doing so. They are those who reject God’s son and embrace their fleshly desires, pursuing pride. Paul tells us in his epistle to the Romans that all are guilty of sin. Romans 3:19-20 states,

“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

All are guilty of sin. But what sin? It is the sin of looking to the world and self instead of Christ for salvation. It is the rejection of Christ and his loving works that condemn a person. There is no one sin that will condemn a person. Not homosexuality, murder, theft, lying, or a multitude of other sins. Because every time someone sins (whatever that sin may be), they are embracing self and rejecting Christ’s commands. What is the consequence of this?

There will be no peace found or had for the wicked, in this life nor the afterlife. In this life the wicked will only find chaos, to which they are bound, and in eternity they will find weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12). When you reject the one who can give you true peace, you will find no peace.

But there is forgiveness for sin. It is found in the same place peace is found, Jesus Christ. He alone bore our sins on the cross that we may be forgiven and reconciled to God who grants everlasting peace. Only in salvation provided by Jesus Christ can someone find true peace, in this life and in eternity.