It was over at last! The Japanese surrendered on August 15, 1945, and the world was at peace for the first time since Adolf Hitler launched his invasion of Poland nearly six years earlier. Not every nation entered the war at the same time, and the European and Pacific theaters of military action ended some months apart, but in August 1945 the “world” war was over. Since that day, 75 years have passed.
But the peace was short-lived. Less than five years later, North Korea invaded South Korea, and another significant conflict ensued. Then, in May 1954, the French lost control of Vietnam. That marked the beginning of more direct involvement by the United States and others, eventually culminating in what became known as the Vietnam War, a time of embarrassing loss and internal division in U.S. history. Other struggles took place in Asia and Africa to throw off colonial rule. Since then, many more conflicts have occurred.
Mankind may collectively yearn for peace, but war is clearly the favorite game of far too many. Nevertheless, the message of Tomorrow’s World is that peace will come to this troubled world. Humanly speaking, that is impossible, as evidenced by history. Yet, every generation thinks it can find the way to bring peace at last. In my telecast “The End of War,” which will air in October of this year, I quote from Robert Kagan’s 2018 book The Jungle Grows Back. Kagan writes of those who, like British author and politician Norman Angell in 1909, believed that the world’s great powers had “passed out of that stage of development” in which military conquests would prove of significant benefit to any nation:
[Those of this opinion] could not imagine that the world’s leading commercial powers, so interdependent in the modern global economy, would wage a war for such primitive goals as territory and military domination, that they would be inspired not by rational calculations of interest but by fear, pride, and ambition, and that war would enjoy the enthusiastic backing of their people fueled by nationalism and tribalism (pp. 16–17).
Angell made his assessment a mere five years before World War I—a conflict that U.S. President Woodrow Wilson called the “war to end all wars.” Wilson’s expectation of peace was just as delusional, and little more than two decades after that, the world was plunged into a far greater conflict.
So why is the message of Tomorrow’s World a message about peace? Are we delusional? Are we living a “pipe dream”? On what basis can we make the bold prediction that peace is coming?
Many believe that the purpose of Jesus’ first coming was to spread peace throughout the world, but they would be shocked to read what Jesus Himself actually said: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword’” (Matthew 10:34).
How does this square with the well-known prophecy that the Messiah would be the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6)? The answer is found in the timing and focus of these two passages.
Jesus Himself realized that His true message to mankind would not be popular. He warned that to follow Him often meant a rough journey with few friends.
After explaining that “a man’s enemies will be those of his own household” (Matthew 10:36), He gave a challenge that few are willing to take up: to put Him first above all else. That may sound easy enough, but is it? Notice this passage: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me…. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10:37, 39). No wonder He counseled that the way to life is through the narrow gate and difficult way (Matthew 7:13–14).
Satan the Devil is very real, and he has deceived mankind into accepting a false gospel, a false Jesus, and a false manner or spirit of worshiping Him (2 Corinthians 11:4). In addition to having his own ministers that masquerade as ministers of righteousness (vv. 13–15), Satan is called “the prince of the power of the air” who directs “the course of this world” (Ephesians 2:2) and successfully “deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9).
Families experience conflict when one member decides to depart from pagan family traditions that are man-made rather than God-made. This was true in Jesus’ day and it is still true in ours. True Christianity does not follow the traditions of the world, many of which come straight out of paganism. It is a different way of life, based on the commands of God. And there is great reward for those who embrace it, though it is not the easy way.
A young man once came to Jesus asking what he must do to attain eternal life. He apparently found Jesus’ answer too challenging and went away sorrowful. This prompted His disciples to ask, essentially, What’s in it for us? Jesus explained, “When the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life” (see Matthew 19:16–29).
It is difficult for us to fully grasp what is at stake. We can “live for today” for 70 or 80 years, and that will be it, or we can live for tomorrow and have eternal life. Death or life—it is really that simple, even though the ramifications of that choice may not be simple. It becomes complicated because we are physical, temporary beings who experience happiness and pain, joy and sorrow, in the here and now. It is natural to take the easy road. Yet, if we choose the narrow path, it will bring vastly greater rewards, and this brings us back to the subject of my message to you: Peace.
The Bible teaches us that those who are Christ’s at His coming will live and reign with Him on this earth for a thousand years. That is merely the beginning—but what a beginning it will be, because that is when peace will finally come to this troubled planet!
Satan and the fallen angels who followed him in rebellion are, right now, ruling on earth. Numerous scriptures prove this (e.g., John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:3–4; Luke 4:5–7) and we see the results all around us. This will change when Christ returns and removes this evil being and his minions. Then this “prince of the power of the air” will no longer direct the course of this world.
Even now, Christ is preparing new rulers to take the place of Satan and his subordinates. This profound truth—that God will reward His servants with positions of rulership—is found in both Testaments (Daniel 7:27; Luke 19:16–19; Revelation 20:4). Human efforts to achieve peace will fail, but a change is coming that few understand or expect—and it does not depend on our understanding or acceptance. It is going to happen! Jesus truly is the Prince of Peace, and He is offering you the privilege of helping to bring His peace to the world. But first He must know that you, now, will be supremely loyal to Him and choose His way of life first above all else. Anything less will not do.
As Jesus said, “many are called but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). In other words, the offer will go out, but few will take it. The question right now is, Will you?