The Terms for Peace

The Easter season reminds us that God, in the body of Jesus on the cross at Golgotha, accomplished everything needed for our salvation. But, for it to become our personal experience, we must follow Jesus. How much does it cost to follow Jesus? “’If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.’” Luke 14:26, 27, NIV. The “hate” is the most common translation of the Greek verb “miseo,” whose primary meaning is “hate.” However, this verb also means “to prefer against.” Because Jesus is addressing priorities and not feelings, this verse could be summarized as: ‘If anyone prefers someone or something over or equal to me he cannot be my disciple.’ No relative or a family member, no matter how dear to us; and nothing in this world or the next, no matter how good and useful to us should stand above, or in addition to Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ, and only in Him could we become the children of God with the irrevocable right to inherit the eternity.

Jesus, to illustrate the point He is making, employs the analogy of a king with twenty thousand soldiers coming against a king with ten thousand soldiers. The king with a smaller army, Jesus contends, would first assess whether he could successfully oppose the king with a more massive army. If not, Jesus says, he would send a delegation well before the stronger king arrives and ask him what his terms of peace are? We should notice that the king with a smaller army does not offer the terms of peace. He neither suggests what would be more acceptable to him nor does he offer a compromise; because he has no choice but to accept what the stronger king demands. Luke 14:31, 32.

In like manner, we the sinners are the king with a smaller army, while Jesus is the King with the more massive army. He will soon return to the Earth as the King of kings and Lord of lords, with an innumerable army of angels. Would anyone be able to resist Him? Our sin in the garden of Eden made us utterly helpless. If we want to live forever with God, we have no option but to accept the terms of peace offered by the King of kings. His terms of peace are; ‘You must accept a total and unconditional surrender to Me. Because we have no power on our own, we must willingly become the committed slaves to the righteousness from God given us through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. “‘In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.'” Luke 14:33, NIV.

We must accept the terms of peace and become yielded believers before the King of Kings arrives. When He appears in the clouds of heaven, it will be too late! All decisions, whether for or against Christ will be made before He returns. “‘Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; …let him does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.'” Revelation 22:11, NIV. Why must it be so? Because Jesus declares, “‘Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.'” Revelation 22:12. NIV. His term of peace is: You must carry your cross to the Golgotha and there crucify your very self so that I can live in you. This must be done today! “So, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…’” Hebrews 3:7, NIV.

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Dan Lazich

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