The war to end all wars: Thoughts on War and Peace
WWI represented a sea change. The technology available by the time that war in Europe broke out was like none ever seen in any previous war. The new technology could kill millions at a time. And it did.
Planes, flame throwers, tanks, poison gas...all created by man for the express purpose of killing in war and used in WWI.
WWI was also known for a stirring slogan, or motto. "It is the war to end all war!"
The is thanks to HG Wells, as this article from Vision describes:
This year marks the centennial of the outbreak of World War I. [1914-1918]. While the so-called Great War quickly proved to be anything but the war that would prevent all future conflicts, the concept is still intriguing: Can a war put an end to war?
HG Wells wrote: "This is now a war for peace. It aims straight at disarmament. It aims at a settlement that shall stop this sort of thing for ever. Every soldier who fights against Germany now is a crusader against war. This, the greatest of all wars, is not just another war—it is the last war!"
We're all disheartened by war. As a child of the 1960s (born in 1960) the Viet Nam war raged as the bloody backdrop to my entire childhood. Scenes and clips of army men manhandled on stretchers through the jungle, bloody bandages, helicopters hovering over wildly waving tree top greenery, Walter Cronkite intoning the numbers of dead and wounded...all provided a confusing view of the world.
Into my adulthood, the dominating Soviet Bloc was bearishly stomping all over the world, the Berlin Wall went up, President Reagan and the real possibility of nuclear holocaust informed my adulthood as much as it perplexed it. We all felt that the world could end at any moment.
And now today, the North Korean President has intimated he could and will perform an attack on the US in the form of an electro-magnetic pulse. Such an attack, where a nuclear bomb explodes in the atmosphere above any land area emits a pulse that wipes out the electrical infrastructure. An EMP bomb exploded over the central US would impact all 48 of the lower US states by immediately turning off all electronics, including landlines, cell phones, wi-fi, internet, cars with chips int hem, etc. Mass starvation, disease, and violence from societal collapse would do the rest and 90% of the population would die withing the first couple of years.
Wars and rumors of wars have always been with us. It's rough out there and it has been since almost the beginning. Look at Genesis 4:13-14. Cain had killed Abel. God spoke to Cain and told him his punishment will be that Cain will be a wanderer over all the earth for the rest of his days. Cain immediately worried that he would be killed by anyone who found him.
Cain said to the Lord, "My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me."
Only one chapter after the Fall we not only have murder by Cain against Abel but Cain knows that people everywhere are violent and likely as not would just kill him as to invite him in for a cup of tea.
As a child and teen and young adult I used to wonder quite often why the world was like this. Why were there wars after wars? Why was there always war? If we could just get the right ingredients to mix smoothly, we could solve this war problem. Is it that there are too may dictators? Unjust land grabs? Economic disparity? Unequal power? What was the magic balance so that we would never have war again?
Here is the answer as to why there are wars.
We are all, individually at war with Jesus. Inside us, we are born for war, each and every one of us. Our depraved nature demands it. We war against the King, the Supreme Power, the Creator who made us. We love sin and hate holiness and battle against holiness daily, hourly, every moment.
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4).
because the mind of the flesh is hostile to God: It does not submit to God's Law, nor can it do so.
Our hostility is the basis for all our actions. The enmity, or hostility, we feel against Jesus causes a battle within ourselves, battle against our neighbors, battle against Jesus, battle against nations. The rage we feel against the knowledge we all possess against a Holy God to whom we are accountable expresses itself in personal violence and national violence. (Romans 1:18-20).
"The War that Will End All Wars" will be Armageddon. All wars are leading up to that Big One. The entire world as represented by the global armies assembled at Har Megiddo will come together to fight Jesus. (Revelation 19:19). They will lose. (Revelation 19:21).
The only peace we can ever have is the peace that Jesus gives us. Redemption and His salvation settles the battle we wage in our hearts against Him and His holy standard.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27).
Once we are reconciled with Him,we are no longer at war with our own selves (except our sin-nature, but the Spirit helps us quell it). We love our neighbors, we love the King, we love His holy abode and release attachment to this earth.We are simply aliens in it.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7).
We were not only called to salvation, to holiness, to the Kingdom of Light, we were called to peace. Before salvation, there is no peace. Only war. After salvation, we are called to His peace
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called. (Colossians 3:15).