Matthew 10; Peace at Any Cost?


 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34.  

 
     The peace that Christ calls His peace, and which He bequeathed to His disciples, is not a peace which prevents all divisions; but it is a peace which is given and enjoyed in the midst of divisions. The peace that the faithful defender of the cause of Christ has is the consciousness that he is doing the will of God and reflecting His glory in good works. It is an internal rather than an external peace. Without are wars and fightings through the opposition of avowed enemies, and the coldness and suspicion of those even who claim to be friends.  {UL 220.2} 
     Christ enjoins upon His followers to “love your enemies, . . . do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). He would have us love those who oppress us and do us harm. We must not express in words and acts the spirit they manifest, but improve every opportunity to do them good.  {UL 220.3} 
     But while we are required to be Christlike toward those who are our enemies, we must not, in order to have peace, cover up the faults of those we see in error. Jesus, the world’s Redeemer, never purchased peace by covering iniquity, or by anything like compromise. Though His heart was constantly overflowing with love for the whole human race, He was never indulgent to their sins. He was too much their friend to remain silent while they were pursuing a course which would ruin their souls–the souls He had purchased with His own blood. He was a stern reprover of all vice, and His peace was the consciousness of having done the will of His Father, rather than a condition of things that existed as the result of having done His duty.  {UL 220.4} 
     He labored that man should be true to himself in being all that God would have him, and true to his higher and eternal interest. Living in a world marred and seared with the curse brought upon it by disobedience, he [man] could not be at peace with it unless he left it unwarned, uninstructed, and unrebuked. This would be to purchase peace at the neglect of duty.  {UL 220.5} 
     Everyone who loves Jesus and the souls for whom He died will follow after the things that make for peace. But His followers are to take special care lest in their efforts to prevent discord, the truth is surrendered, lest in warding off divisions, they make a sacrifice of its principles. True brotherhood can never be maintained by compromising principle. As surely as Christians approach the Christlike model, . . . so surely will they experience the strength and venom of that old serpent the devil.– Manuscript 23b, July 25, 1896, “How to Secure Peace.”  {UL 220.6} 

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