Here’s an Eternal Promise for the approaching Christmas season: “Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward Men” (Luke 2:14). In this Eternal Promises Radio Show broadcast, Jeff Tobler walks us through an in-depth exposition behind this statement, answering the question of whether everyone – even those who reject Christ – receives peace from God, as well as looking into what Jesus meant by saying “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword” found in Matthew 10:34.Listen to ALL broadcasts!
Radio Show Transcript
Thank you, Scott, and a huge thank you to Lincoln Brewster for our intro music, “Love the Lord”.
Welcome to Eternal Promises. I’m your host and founder of Eternal Promises, and I excited about the topic today of PEACE WITH GOD.
It ties in directly with rhe primary focus of Eternal Promises which is our foundational eternal promise is found in 1 John 2:25 which say that
“THIS is the promise God has promised us, even Eternal Life!”
This promise of Eternal Life is for anyone who surrenders their life to God by believing in and obeying the Lord Jesus Christ.
Peace on Earth
Today’s EP is found in Luke 2:14 and it goes like this:
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” NKJV
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”NASB
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” ESV
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased men of goodwill, of His favor” AMP
“At that moment, the first heavenly messenger was joined by thousands of other messengers—a vast heavenly choir. They praised God.” Heavenly Choir: “To the highest heights of the universe, glory to God! And on earth, peace among all people who bring pleasure to God.” (VOICE Luke 2:13-14)
If this sounds hard to hear or is troubling, let’s examine some other scriptures to see if it fits what else we know about the Lord.
Matthew 10:34-39 VOICE
34 Do not imagine that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 I have come to turn men against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, and daughters- in- law against their mothers- in- law. 36 You will find you have enemies even in your own household. 37 If you love your father or mother more than you love Me, then you are not worthy of Me. If you love your son or daughter more than you love Me, then you are not worthy of Me. 38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow Me on the narrow road, then you are not worthy of Me. 39 To find your life, you must lose your life—and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”NASB LUke 2:14
Eph 2:11-22 VOICE
11 So never forget how you used to be. Those of you born as outsiders to Israel were outcasts, branded “the uncircumcised” by those who bore the sign of the covenant in their flesh, a sign made with human hands. 12 You had absolutely no connection to the Anointed; you were strangers, separated from God’s people. You were aliens to the covenant they had with God; you were hopelessly stranded without God in a fractured world. 13 But now, because of Jesus the Anointed and His sacrifice, all of that has changed. God gathered you who were so far away and brought you near to Him by the royal blood of the Anointed, our Liberating King.
14 He is the embodiment of our peace, sent once and for all to take down the great barrier of hatred and hostility that has divided us so that we can be one. 15 He offered His body on the sacrificial altar to bring an end to the law’s ordinances and dictations that separated Jews from the outside nations. His desire was to create in His body one new humanity from the two opposing groups, thus creating peace. 16 Effectively the cross becomes God’s means to kill off the hostility once and for all so that He is able to reconcile them both to God in this one new body.
17 The Great Preacher of peace and love came for you, and His voice found those of you who were near and those who were far away. 18 By Him both have access to the Father in one Spirit. 19 And so you are no longer called outcasts and wanderers but citizens with God’s people, members of God’s holy family, and residents of His household. 20 You are being built on a solid foundation:the message of the prophets and the voices of God’s chosen emissaries with Jesus, the Anointed Himself, the precious cornerstone. 21 The building is joined together stone by stone—all of us chosen and sealed in Him, rising up to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In Him you are being built together, creating a sacred dwelling place among you where God can live in the Spirit
Col 1: 12-23
Thank You, Father, as You have made us eligible to receive our portion of the inheritance given to all those set apart by the light. 13 You have rescued us from dark powers and brought us safely into the kingdom of Your Son, whom You love 14 and in whom we are redeemed and forgiven of our sins [through His blood].
15 He is the exact image of the invisible God, the firstborn of creation, the eternal. 16 It was by Him that everything was created:the heavens, the earth, all things within and upon them, all things seen and unseen, thrones and dominions, spiritual powers and authorities. Every detail was crafted through His design, by His own hands, and for His purposes. 17 He has always been! It is His hand that holds everything together. 18 He is the head of this body, the church. He is the beginning, the first of those to be reborn from the dead, so that in every aspect, at every view, in everything—He is first. 19 God was pleased that all His fullness should forever dwell in the Son 20 who, as predetermined by God, bled peace into the world by His death on the cross as God’s means of reconciling to Himself the whole creation—all things in heaven and all things on earth.
21 You were once at odds with God, wicked in your ways and evil in your minds; 22 but now He has reconciled you in His body—in His flesh through His death—so that He can present you to God holy, blameless, and totally free of imperfection 23 as long as you stay planted in the faith. So don’t venture away from what you have heard and taken to heart:the living hope of the good news that has been announced to all creation under heaven and has captured me, Paul, as its servant
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”NASB LUke 2:14
8 But think about this:while we were wasting our lives in sin, God revealed His powerful love to us in a tangible display —the Anointed One died for us. 9 As a result, the blood of Jesus has made us right with God now, and certainly we will be rescued by Him from God’s wrath in the future. 10 If we were in the heat of combat with God when His Son reconciled us by laying down His life, then how much more will we be saved by Jesus’ resurrection life? 11 In fact, we stand now reconciled and at peace with God. That’s why we celebrate in God through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed
1 How should we respond to all of this? Is it good to persist in a life of sin so that grace may multiply even more? 2 Absolutely not! How can we die to a life where sin ruled over us and then invite sin back into our lives? 3 Did someone forget to tell you that when we were initiated into Jesus the Anointed through baptism’s ceremonial washing, we entered into His death? 4 Therefore, we were buried with Him through this baptism into death so that just as God the Father, in all His glory, resurrected the Anointed One, we, too, might walk confidently out of the grave into a new life. 5 To put it another way:if we have been united with Him to share in a death like His, don’t you understand that we will also share in His resurrection? 6 We know this:whatever we used to be with our old sinful ways has been nailed to His cross. So our entire record of sin has been canceled, and we no longer have to bow down to sin’s power. 7 A dead man, you see, cannot be bound by sin. 8 But if we have died with the Anointed One, we believe that we shall also live together with Him. 9 So we stand firm in the conviction that death holds no power over God’s Anointed, because He was resurrected from the dead never to face death again. 10 When He died, He died to whatever power sin had, once and for all, and now He lives completely to God. 11 So here is how to picture yourself now that you have been initiated into Jesus the Anointed:you are dead to sin’s power and influence, but you are alive to God’s rule.
12 Don’t invite that insufferable tyrant of sin back into your mortal body so you won’t become obedient to its destructive desires. 13 Don’t offer your bodily members to sin’s service as tools of wickedness; instead, offer your body to God as those who are alive from the dead, and devote the parts of your body to God as tools for justice and goodness in this world. 14 For sin is no longer a tyrant over you; indeed you are under grace and not the law.
15 So what do we do now? Throw ourselves into lives of sin because we are cloaked in grace and don’t have to answer to the law? Absolutely not! 16 Doesn’t it make sense that if you sign yourself over as a slave, you will have to obey your master? The question before you is, What will be your master? Will it be sin—which will lead to certain death—or obedience—which will lead to a right and reconciled life? 17 Thank God that your slavery to sin has ended and that in your new freedom you pledged your heartfelt obedience to that teaching which was passed on to you. 18 The beauty of your new situation is this:now that you are free from sin, you are free to serve a different master, God’s redeeming justice.
19 Forgive me for using casual language to compensate for your natural weakness of human understanding. I want to be perfectly clear. In the same way you gave your bodily members away as slaves to corrupt and lawless living and found yourselves deeper in your unruly lives, now devote your members as slaves to right and reconciled lives so you will find yourselves deeper in holy living. 20 In the days when you lived as slaves to sin, you had no obligation to do the right thing. In that regard, you were free. 21 But what do you have to show from your former lives besides shame? The outcome of that life is death, guaranteed. 22 But now that you have been emancipated from the death grip of sin and are God’s slave, you have a different sort of life, a growing holiness. The outcome of that life is eternal life.
23 The payoff for a life of sin is death, but God is offering us a free gift—eternal life through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King
2 Cor 5:18-21
18 All of this is a gift from our Creator God, who has pursued us and brought us into a restored and healthy relationship with Him through the Anointed. And He has given us the same mission, the ministry of reconciliation, to bring others back to Him. 19 It is central to our good news that God was in the Anointed making things right between Himself and the world. This means He does not hold their sins against them. But it also means He charges us to proclaim the message that heals and restores our broken relationships with God and each other.
20 So we are now representatives of the Anointed One, the Liberating King; God has given us a charge to carry through our lives—urging all people on behalf of the Anointed to become reconciled to the Creator God. 21 He orchestrated this:the Anointed One, who had never experienced sin, became sin for us so that in Him we might embody the very righteousness of God
You see, if God is at peace with ALL people, regardless of whether they are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, or not, the Apostle Paul wouldn’t be urging people to be reconciled with God. He would be saying, you already ARE. No, the reconciliation that happened on the Cross that day is freely available to people, but only obtained by those who believe that Jesus died for their sins, and count Him as Lord over their lives.
The whole focus of Luke 2:14 is not us and our peace, but Jesus and the Peace that He has come to purchase for us by His death and resurrection because of our sin.
Matthew 21:31-44 (also in Luke 20)
Jesus:I tell you this:the tax collectors and prostitutes will enter the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 John came to show you the straight path, the path to righteousness. You did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. Even as you saw the prostitutes and the tax collectors forgiven and washed clean, finding their footing on the straight path to righteousness, still you did not change your ways and believe.
33 Here is another story:A landowner planted a vineyard, put a wall around it, fitted it with a winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard and left town. 34 When harvesttime came, the landowner sent his servants to collect rent—in the form of grapes— from his tenants. 35 The tenants attacked these rent- collecting servants. They killed one, stoned another, and beat a third. 36 The dismayed landowner sent another band of servants to try to collect his due, a larger group of servants this time, but the tenants did the same thing— capturing, beating, killing. 37 Finally the landowner sent his son to the tenants, thinking, “They will at least respect my son.” 38 But the tenants knew the son was the best way to get to the landowner, so when they saw the son approaching they said,
Tenants:This is the landowner’s heir apparent! Let’s kill him and take his inheritance.
39 And so they did; they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
40 What do you think the landowner will do when he comes and sees those tenants?
Chief Priests and Elders:41 He will eviscerate them, to be sure! Then he will rent the vineyard to other tenants who will pay him at harvesttime.
Jesus:42 I wonder if any of you has ever opened your own psalter:
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the very stone that holds together the entire foundation.
This is the work of the Eternal One,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
43 Therefore, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to people who will tend its sweet fruit and who will give the Creator His due. [44 He who falls on the stone will be broken to pieces, and he on whom the stone falls will be crushed.]
2 Pet 3:9Now the Lord is not slow about enacting His promise—slow is how some people want to characterize it— no, He is not slow but patient and merciful to you, not wanting anyone to be destroyed, but wanting everyone to turn away from following his own path and to turn toward God’s
20 The person who sins will die. The child will not be punished for the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent be punished for the guilt of the child. The righteous will be credited with righteousness. The wicked will be charged with wickedness.
21 But there is good news even for the wicked. If the wicked turn away from their sins, choose to uphold My laws, be honest, and live a righteous life, then they will surely live. They won’t die. 22 I won’t remember any of their previous wrongs against them because of the right things they have done. They will surely live. 23 Do I enjoy watching the wicked die? No. I, the Eternal One, would prefer for the wicked to stop doing the wrong things they do and live. 24 If the righteous stop doing what is right, choose the sinful path, and commit the shocking things the wicked do, do you think they will live? Certainly not! I won’t remember any of their righteous deeds because of all the unfaithful and wicked things they do. They will surely die.
25 You say, “The Lord’s way is not fair at all!” Hear Me, people of Israel:You think My way is unfair? You are the ones with unjust ways! 26 If a righteous person turns away from the right path and chooses to act wickedly, he will die for it. He will die because of the sin he committed. 27 But if a wicked person turns from the wicked path and chooses to be honest and live a righteous life, he will end up saving his life! 28 Because he thought about his wrongs and turned away from the wicked things he’d done, putting them behind him, then he will surely live. He will not die.
In Christ, we not only have the promise of having our sins forgiven, and cleansed from us, we have the promise of receiving a NEW HEART and NEW NATURE (bent on living for God, serving Him in righteousness and holiness). And because of Jesus, we are at peace with God!
So you see, the angels were correct in singing “Peace”
And that’s a Word of Promise today from Eternal Promises. I’m Jeff Tobler, and I want to encourage you to seek the Lord while He may be found, because if you seek Him with all of your heart, the promise of God is that you will find Him.
This is Jeff Tobler, and the Lord bless you richly!