If God Existed, Prayer Would Have Brought World Peace?
by Rich Deem

Introduction

Atheists claim that the absence of world peace indicates that God does not exist, since it would be obvious that He would grant world peace in request to sincere prayers in this regard.1 Superficially, it would seem that world peace would be a good thing - something that one would expect to fall within the will of a good God.

God doesn't want world peace!

However, surprising as it may seem, world peace is not part of the will of God. In fact, Jesus said that His coming would cause division instead of peace:

"Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two, and two against three. They will be divided, father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against daughter- in-law, and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." (Luke 12:51-53)

God wants you to make spiritual choices

God's main goal in creating the universe in which we live was not to make a perfect place for people to live in. God's objective was to create a temporary universe in which free will spiritual beings could make spiritual choices. God's plan for the universe is to allow a large number2 of these spiritual beings (both angels and humans) to choose to spend eternity with Him.3 At the appointed time, God will call an end to the present universe4 and judge those who reject His invitation.5 That is the reason that we are here. We are to choose to love or oppose God. As Jesus said above, at least half of the people will choose to oppose God and to oppose the people who follow Him.

Spiritual choices cause world division

Jesus said that the division between His followers and those who oppose Him will widen as time goes on:

"Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name." (Matthew 24:9)

So, the reason why there is no world peace is because most people have chosen to oppose God and do their own thing. Jesus said that God will allow this unrighteousness to continue for quite a while, then bring a quick end to the persecution of the righteous:

"For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall. And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short." (Matthew 24:21-22)

It is at this time that God will judge the world and the unrighteous. Following this, God will destroy the universe and create a brand new one.

God's concept of peace

Jesus, the Prince of Peace, did not come to give peace to the world, but to give peace with God to the individual:

Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)

This peace comes through repentance. Unfortunately, many people do not know what true repentance means. Here is Thayer's Greek definition of the word translated "repent":

Thayer Definition:

metanoeo metanoew (Strong's G3340)

  1. to change one’s mind, i.e. to repent
  2. to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins

Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G3326 and G3539

So, repentance is not simply saying a prayer and going along with one's own idea of what is right. It is believing God and responding in that belief.6 The Bible states quite emphatically that individuals come to repentance, which leads to salvation.7 Of the many verses in the Bible that refer to the will of God, they all refer to the will of God in the life of the individual, not in regard to any kind of global effort.8 The Bible makes it clear that the goal of God is peace with individuals, and the He desires that all people come to this peace:

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (1 Timothy 2:3-5)

Choose God - don't go along with the crowd

If you live to see the time of the end, remember what Jesus said. It will seem that things are going quite well for unbelievers as the people of God are silenced by those who hate Him. When this occurs, there will be little time to choose to follow God and the choice will be difficult. However, it will be the only choice that will prevent you from being eternally separated from God and His home - heaven. Life is all about choices. God wants you to follow Jesus. I am not talking about becoming some right wing freak, just about following Jesus. Do the right thing!


References Top of page

  1. God grants prayers done in the "name of Jesus." "And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." (John 14:13) This does not mean that all prayers ending in the words "in Jesus name" will be granted - but only those that glorify the Father.
  2. After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God. (Revelation 7:9-11)
  3. In Jesus' parable of the banquet, the master of the house (representing God) invited a large number of guests. Most of the invited guests made excuses and did not want to go to the banquet (representing heaven). Jesus said, "Then the master [God] told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.'" (Luke 14:23)
  4. But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. (2 Peter 3:7)
  5. And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds... And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)
  6. And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household." (Acts 16:31)
    that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; (Romans 10:9)
    For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. (1 Corinthians 1:21)
  7. I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:9-10)
  8. "For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother." (Mark 3:35)
    always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. (Romans 1:10)
    and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:27)
    And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
    so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and find refreshing rest in your company. (Romans 15:32)
    Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, (1 Corinthians 1:1)
    Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth with all the saints who are throughout Achaia: (2 Corinthians 1:1)
    I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. (2 Corinthians 7:9)
    For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)
    and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. (2 Corinthians 8:5)
    Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: (Ephesians 1:1)
    not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. (Ephesians 6:6)
    Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, (Colossians 1:1)
    Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. (Colossians 4:12)
    For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; (1 Thessalonians 4:3)
    Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus, (2 Timothy 1:1)
    For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. (Hebrews 10:36)
    For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. (1 Peter 2:15)
    so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. (1 Peter 4:2)
    For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God. (1 Peter 4:6)
    Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. (1 Peter 4:19)
    shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; (1 Peter 5:2)
    And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:17)

http://godandscience.org/apologetics/worldpeace.html
Last updated April 28, 2006

 

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