(Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program)


     It is good to be together again as we look into the Word of God.  The title for the lesson is “Train for War.”  And our primary text is taken from Micah, the Old Testament minor prophet Micah chapter 4 verses 1 through 3.  Please listen to the Word of God:  “In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills,  and the peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,  to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.
They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” 
Glorious words from the Word of God.

     According to military historians in the last 6,000 or so years there have only been about 268 years of sustained peace on earth.  In addition, in the last century more have been killed in warfare than in all the other centuries combined!  Speaking primarily of the twentieth century.  Mankind has developed a terrible killing technology.  Yet, someone has stated that ‘it is politicians that create wars, but soldiers and sailors and airmen are the ones that must make the peace.’

     Many across our planet claim that mankind can achieve a world of sustained ‘peace and safety.’  So far, the history of mankind makes this unrealistic.  Many also believe that significant cutbacks in military personnel, weaponry and bases will cripple warfare.  This also has history against it, cheating and breaking treaties abound.

     Many Christians believe that fervent prayer can significantly limit, even abolish war in this age.  This sentiment is understandable but is it scriptural?  Meaning: is praying for the abolition of war in this present age something that God will or could bring to pass?  Or is it a fruitless prayer petition in the times in which we are living?  Let’s consider what God has already revealed in scripture, in his word which cannot be broken, regarding war in our time and going forward in this age.

     The book of Daniel chapter 9 verse 26 says in part “The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.”  In the context of this passage, suffice to understand for our purposes regarding war, that God’s prophet Daniel declares ‘war will continue until the end.’  End of what?

     Jesus Christ himself sheds more light on this as found in the New Testament.  Matthew chapter 24 verses 3 and following says in part “His disciples asked what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?  Jesus answered in verse 6 “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars but see to it that you are not alarmed.  Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.”  Verse 7 Matthew chapter 24 “Nations will rise against nations, and kingdom against kingdom.” 

     Notice the reality of ongoing wars are revealed by the Son of God in the context of the second coming of Christ at the end of the age.  Especially note that in spite of ongoing wars Jesus states ‘see to it that you are not alarmed.’  But wars are alarming.  But in this context Jesus is affirming especially to Israel’s future righteous remnant not to be alarmed by these wars because such things must happen, they are already decreed by God; they are written, they have been prophesied, that is expect war to the very end.  Yet God is in full control and his people will be vindicated and rewarded ultimately.

      In the gospel of Luke, we have similar revelation from Christ himself.  Luke chapter 21 verses 9 and 10 “When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened.  These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.’ Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”

     So again, Jesus Christ affirms and confirms that wars will characterize the whole of this present age.  Wars must happen – it is written, and God’s word cannot be broken!  John chapter 10 verse 35.

     Note in Luke chapter 21 verse 9 which says, “but the end will not come right away.”  Possibly this is a veiled reference to the 70th set of seven years.  The seven years of the Tribulation, the Great Tribulation which will be the last 3 ½ years war, revolution, and ‘desolations have been decreed.’  Daniel chapter 9 verse 26 and will be at its awful worst.  Or perhaps it refers also to the worsening of conditions regarding warfare.

     John MacArthur, a fine Bible scholar writes: “The alarming and dangerous conditions in the present world will continue unabated for the rest of human history.  They do not signal that the end will follow immediately; however, disasters will increase and worsen as the end approaches.

     Human history is largely the history of wars, which have increased in number and intensity over the centuries.  By some estimates there were seventy significant wars before the time of Christ, fifty in the first one thousand years after him, one hundred between AD 1000 and AD 1500, two hundred fifty wars between 1500 and 1800, and five hundred wars since 1800.  Those numbers do not include the numerous lesser conflicts that took place during those time periods.  The wars mankind has engaged in have resulted in the deaths of millions upon millions of people (approximately seventy-five million in World Wars one and two alone).

     But all the wars of human history are insignificant in comparison to the devastating conflicts that will take place during the tribulation (yet future) when on a scale never before seen in history: ‘nation’ will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.’

     In Revelation chapter 6 verses 3 and 4 from the New American Standard Bible the apostle John wrote ‘When Christ broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, ‘come.’  And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.’  This world-wide conflict, and the famine and disease that will accompany it will kill one fourth (25%) of the earth’s population at that time according to Revelation chapter 6 verse 8.  By way of comparison, less that 3% of the world’s population perished in World War II.”

     Therefore, we should understand that:

  1. America, not only America but all nations, need their military to remain strong and prepared. All students of human history know that military weakness invites attack, defeat and disaster upon a nation.
  2. Therefore, we should be immensely thankful for our veterans: soldiers, sailors and airmen who have helped to maintain our land as the home of the free.
  3. To also be supportive of our active men and women who serve in all of our military services, including our National Guard and reserve units.
  4. Whereas praying for peace ‘for a season’ and for our own loved ones serving in the military is proper. It is simply not possible to pray away war nor even to lessen wars and revolutions.  God will not change his written word that has already been revealed about our current and future woes in this fallen world, about warfare.  Wars and conflicts will continue: ‘hot’ wars of physical combat, and ‘cold’ wars of limited and covert action plus political and economic conflict across the globe.

     As believers we should not be alarmed in the sense that wars and rumors of wars are certain tangible evidence that God’s word is accurate, and that God’s plans and purposes continue to unfold in this age until he comes.  Truces, treaties, nor human good will, not even the prayers of God’s people can cause warfare to cease, to end, in this age.

     But then will warfare ever end?  Yes, it will!  There is good news even about warfare in scripture revealed by God in advance, prophesied, predicted.

     After the second coming of Christ to this earth he will set up his Messianic millennial Kingdom that will last on this earth for a thousand years and will accomplish that which mankind has never been able to achieve.  That the United Nations, that the League of Nations were not able to achieve.  This in spite of many today touting a coming “New world order” that will usher in world-wide, sustained “peace and prosperity by the goodwill of humanity.”

     Instead of mankind, only Messiah reigning as King of kings and Lord of Lords will bring about world-wide, sustained ‘peace and prosperity by the goodness and power of the Son of God.’

     However, this is written, Micah chapter 4 verse 3 which says, “He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.  They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.  Nation will not take-up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”  This will take place in the Messianic, millennial kingdom of the Lord Jesus when he sits on David’s throne and reigns with his saints for a thousand years.  According to Revelation chapter 20 verses 4 through 6.

     So, for example, will they even train for war anymore in America.  West Point and Annapolis military academies will become museums not training centers for warriors.  The FFA in America, the Future Farmers of America will outlast the VFW, the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Because swords will be beat into plowshares, and spears into pruning hooks.  So, in the end all God’s people will live eternally with God where peace will eventually never end!

     But you dear listener must first understand, if you haven’t already, that you first must make peace with God in your heart thru Jesus Christ.  That then you can enjoy peace with God into eternity.   Have You made peace with God?  Repenting of your sins, believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.  Confessing him before men.  Being immersed, baptized into Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins and persevering, being overcomers in Christ Jesus regardless of what comes on this old earth in this present age that we must remain in Christ Jesus.  Have you made peace with God?   


                         David Johnson is minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ, Sellersburg, IN.