When Wars and Atom Bombs Will Be No More
by Pastor Lee Roberson, D.D. (1909-2007)
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." — REVELATION 20:6
"And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." — ISAIAH 2:4
Through the centuries men have been questioning, "Will this world ever have world-wide peace?" Some have said, "Yes," and devoted much time and money to bring about peace on earth. They vainly imagined that they could reform human nature and stop war.
Others have said, "There will always be war. There will never be any change in this world." Still others have searched the Scriptures and found two things: First, the impossibility of a warless world by the efforts of man, and second, the certainty of a warless world by the coming of Christ.
Yes, it is clearly reveals in the Bible that a day of peace and prosperity is coming. This period will practically equal the beauty of the Garden of Eden before sin entered in.
We are talking in this message of the coming of Christ and His personal reign upon the earth. I call your attention to seven characteristics of the Golden Age which is to come.
I. Satan Will Be Chained
"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season." -- REVELATION 20:1-3
In the last message I dealt with the matter of the chaining of Satan. I called attention to the character, the career, and the chains of the Devil. You will remember that we emphasized the Devil is not bound now, but one day he shall be. He is going to be bound like a common criminal and cast into the bottomless pit.
Before world conditions can improve, the influence of Satan must be stopped. As long as he is the prince of the power of the air and the god of this world, there will be sin and darkness.
For hundreds of years Bibles have been distributed. Missionaries have gone to all portions of the earth. Millions have accepted Christ, but still sin is rampant upon the earth. We know that Satan is back of this.
Thank God, Satan is going to be bound. In Revelation 19 we see the Lord coming in power and great glory. He came to the awful battle of Armageddon and laid hold upon the beast and the false prophet. They were cast into the lake of fire. The armies of the world dictator were slain, and now in Revelation 20 we see that Christ begins His kingdom upon the earth, Satan will be chained and his power broken.
II. The Nature of Wild Beasts Will Be Changed
The Bible does not contain many more interesting promises than this one about the changing of the instincts of wild beasts.
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious." -- Isaiah 11:6-10
In this Scripture the Holy Spirit selects three wild and ferocious beasts and declares that the day shall come when they will be led about by a small child. Not only so, but the wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard with the kid, the lion and the fatling together. The cow and the bear will feed together, and their young ones shall sleep together. The nature of a lion will be changed so that he shall eat straw like the ox. And then, think of it, even a baby will be able to play with poisonous serpents, and there will be no danger of harm. Isaiah 65:25 repeats this promise, "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD."
When the nature of wild beasts is changed, it will certainly be as it was in the Garden of Eden. You will remember that everything was brought before Adam to see what he would call them. There is no indication that any animals were enemies of man. There is an indication that their natures were changed when the curse was put upon the earth because of sin. "And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life" (Genesis 3:14). The Scriptures say that the serpent was cursed above all cattle. We can only interpret this to mean that all cattle and beasts were cursed because of man's sin, but the serpent was cursed more.
When the Lord Jesus comes, animal nature will be changed to a peaceful state. What a glorious day that will be!
III. War Will Be at an End
One of the chief characteristics of this present age is war, and along with war, famines, pestilences, and earth quakes.
"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows." -MATTHEW 24:6-8
Peace conferences may be held. Many good-sounding resolutions may be passed, but war will never cease until the Prince of Peace shall come. The United Nations, the alliances of nations, can never stop war. Jesus said that war is a characteristic of the age, and so it will remain until He comes again.
In Micah 4:3, 4 we have a prophecy of that day to come when wars and atom bombs will be no more:
"And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it."
IV. The Knowledge of the Lord Will Cover the Earth.
"They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." -- Isaiah 11:9
In Habakkuk 2:14 we find this promise repeated:
"For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea."
When Christ comes and takes up His reign, all forms of false worship will cease. Mohammedism with its cruel trail of lust and blood; Romanism with its idolatries and superstitious practices; Buddhism and Confucianism will be at an end. The knowledge of the Lord will completely cover the earth. With the knowledge of the Lord covering the earth there will be righteousness. There can be no righteousness until people know the Lord. In the kingdom age we are assured there will be a world-wide righteousness.
V. The Curse on the Earth Will Be Removed
When Adam and Eve sinned, they brought not only a curse upon the cattle and the beasts of the field, but also upon the ground itself.
God said unto Adam:
"And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." -- GENESIS 3:17-19
The entire earth is under a curse. Man is able to gain for himself bread only by the sweat of his brow.
The extent of this curse upon the earth is illustrated by the land of Palestine. In the book of Numbers we are told that it was once a land flowing with milk and honey. When the spies were sent out to view the land, they came back carrying a bunch of grapes so large that it took two men to carry it between them. Palestine was once a rich and happy place, but sin brought a curse upon it. The trees disappeared. The soil washed away, and the land became as a desert.
The curse will be removed from Palestine, and we believe from much of the earth.
"The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." -- ISAIAH 35:1-10
The earth will blossom like a rose when Jesus establishes His kingdom upon the earth.
VI. The Saints Will Rule and Reign With Christ
Paul said, "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?" (1st Corinthians 6:2). And again he said, "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us" (2nd Timothy 2:12).
The promise oft repeated in Revelation 20 is that "they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."
Jesus gave a parable of the talents. To the men of five talents and two talents, who were faithful in service, He said, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord." I believe that we will know the fulness of this in the reign of Christ. Those saints who are qualified by their faithfulness will have a special place in the rulership of the earth.
VII. The Golden Age Will Be the Personal Reign of Jesus on the Earth
"His dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from river even to the ends of the earth." -- ZECHARIAH 9:10
"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:" -- MATTHEW 25:31
During the earthly ministry of the Lord, again and again His disciples questioned Him about the set-up of the kingdom. They knew that Christ was going to reign upon a throne, but they did not know the time. James and John said to Him, "Grant unto us that the one shall sit on they right hand and the other on thy left in thy kingdom." The disciples were looking for the kingdom when they said, "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?"
Christ is coming again in a literal body, with the nail-prints in His hands and feet; He shall stand upon the Mount of Olives, and shall sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem, and rule the earth.
There is a song that the postmillennialists sing without an understanding of its truth:
Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
Does his successive journeys run;
His kingdom spread from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
He is coming to reign, and we who are His followers will reign with Him. We face a wonderful, glorious prospect. If we love the Lord, we will be looking for His coming. Until He comes, we will let Him reign and have full right of way in our hearts.
SOURCE: Chapter 11 from the excellent book, Some Golden Daybreak, by Dr. Lee Roberson, D.D. (copyright 1957)
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