[a] Today, there has been an explosion of mental problems in oursociety - even amongst children!
[b] The prescribing of tranquillizers is at an all time high - drugcompanies are making a fortune.
[c] The thing that comes out again and again, is that for a variety ofreasons, the individuals concerned are suffering a LACK OF PEACE!
[d] This evening, I want us to think for a little while about "PEACEWITH GOD".
[e] For a description of what I mean, I can do no better than quote J.R. Millar in his little daily reading book, 'Come Ye Apart' (June 5th) where he speaks of a man, who although convicted of a capital crime, and sentenced to death, was completely peaceful.
When he was asked about the reason, he produced a document from his pocket, which was found to be a King's Pardon! HE WAS PROVED GUILTY -
BUT IT DIDN'T MATTER - BECAUSE HE HAD BEEN PARDONED!
[f] My dear friend, the Christian has peace with God, not because of his good works, or righteous living, or sanctimonious life - but
because of his KING'S PARDON THROUGH THE PRECIOUS SHED BLOOD OF JESUS!
WE HAVE PEACE THROUGH PARDON!
[a] One night in a pub, a man asked one of our Salvationists if he had any word to help him, as he was feeling depressed and in inward turmoil.
Malcolm, said what the Lord brought to his mind, which was, "Casting all your care upon Him, for he careth for you." (1 Peter 5:7)
[b] It would be very difficult to see how a group of people playing Russian Roulette with a loaded gun, could have peace of mind!
[c] Many people are playing the same game with their souls - and then wondering why peace of mind is sadly lacking! The more a person becomes
aware of their sin and lack of forgiveness the more inward turmoil they will experience.
[d] The more we as Christians pray for someone - the more restless they will become within or as we who know better would say - the more they are convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit.
[e] In fact this phenomenon is recognised in psychiatry, although often in ignorance, they tie it down to a 'guilt complex' induced by those too deeply involved in religion.
Unfortunately their eyes are blinded to the fact that it is actually God endeavouring to draw lost souls to Himself - and to try and deal with it through psychiatric means can just make matters worse!!
[f] If people's lives are to be changed at this or any other Mercy Seat or Church Alter, it is only as God's people are faithful in prayer!
[g] We can gather here week by week, and have all the singing, playing, testifying and preaching that we like, but IF WE ARE NOT PRAYING AS WE SHOULD, THEN WE MIGHT AS WELL GO HOME, FOR WE'RE JUST PLAYING AT 'TOY SOLDIERS'
[h] You want to see someone saved? Then focus your thoughts on them and PRAY! PRAY! PRAY!
THE MORE WE PRAY, THE MORE UNCOMFORTABLE THE UNSAVED WILL BECOME AS CONVICTION WEIGHS HEAVILY UPON THEM!
[i] Many try different things to escape that feeling of conviction – of guilt!
Some try drink and drugs. Some try wild living. Some try violent actions! Yet others try and become very religious and sanctimonious - as if somehow they could impress God!!
THERE IS NO PEACE WITH GOD WITHOUT HIS PARDON!!
[a] In Bosnia, we heard on the news every day of those on opposing sides, and how those who were once neighbours have become bitter enemies!
[b] James 4:4 in the Living Bible says, "The evil pleasures of this world make you an enemy of God."
[c] If by your actions, you have set yourself up as God's enemy, how can you be AT PEACE WITH HIM?
[d] By NATURE we are His enemies - and without a complete transformation of what we are inside, there cannot be peace!
[e] But here is the wonderful thing - found in Colossians 1:20, "For Christ's death on the cross has made peace with God for all by His Blood".
[f] As we have seen often in recent days, where there are warring factions, and even in industrial disputes, someone has got to take the initiative, and become a mediator between the two enemies.
[g] The Bible speaks of the Lord Jesus in 1 Timothy 2:5 as the "One Mediator between God and men."
[h] Jesus brings us together with God the Father, and MAKES PEACE BETWEEN US THROUGH HIS BLOOD!
[i] As it says in Romans 5:1, "We have PEACE WITH GOD, through our Lord Jesus Christ".
[j] It is little wonder that Isaiah in his 9th chapter and verse 6, calls Him "THE PRINCE OF PEACE."
[a] In Isaiah 48:18, this PEACE is LIKENED TO A RIVER! - none it cannot reach - nothing that can exhaust it's supply!
[b] To you and to me, it is offered so freely - BUT IT COST JESUS SO VERY MUCH!
[c] Isaiah in his 53rd chapter, when prophesying about Calvary, says, "THE CHASTISEMENT OF OUR PEACE WAS UPON HIM".
JESUS PAID THE COST OF OUR PEACE!!
[d] To receive it we simply invite the PRINCE OF PEACE HIMSELF INTO OUR LIVES - ONLY THEN WILL WE FIND THAT WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD.
SALVATION ARMY SONG BOOK
413 (Tune 267)
PRAYER CHORUS 142
549 (Tune 391)
246 (Tune 605)