In 1969 John Lennon released his first solo single that captured the antiwar thought of the day. It quickly became a hit and became the unofficial anthem of those who protested the war in Vietnam. The essence of Give Peace A Chance was that there too many voices telling the world what to do and rather than insisting on one’s way, just give peace a chance. Almost 50 years later the song is still being played on the radio but peace has never come about. Why?
Certainly there can be no problem with the desire of the song. Who doesn’t wish that the world would experience genuine peace? But Lennon’s solution has a significant philosophical problem. The gist of what he sings is, “I’m telling you what you need to do, don’t tell people what they need to do” and then we will have peace. Lennon would have been within his rights to make this demand if he possessed absolute sovereign authority over all the people of the world, but he didn’t and consequently he was guilty of the very thing he preached against.
This THOUGHT is based on an incident recorded in Acts 21:31-40. There was a riot within the Temple in Jerusalem and the Apostle Paul was innocently in the center of it. There were a couple of voices that tried to bring peace, but all without success. The first was the voice of the Jews. They were the keepers of the Temple and therefore they believed they possessed absolute sovereignty over it. In reality, they were only administrators of the absolute sovereignty of God over the Temple. Nonetheless, the Jews would not tolerate anyone who disagreed with their religion and consequently they went about to kill the apostle. If you eliminate the opposition, peace will ensue. Won’t it? But the problem is sooner or later you will be the only one living.
The second voice was that of the civil authorities. When they heard of the riot, immediately they dispatched soldiers to bring peace. After all, they were the ones with sovereignty over all the land by right of the Roman conquest of the world. In reality, they were only administrators of the absolute sovereignty of God over the world (Romans 13:1-7). When they arrived at the scene they immediately, without investigation, arrested Paul. It was a first-century shoot first, ask questions later mentality. Certainly Paul had to be the cause of the problem. The majority could not have been mistaken. Could it?
The third voice was the voice of reason from the apostle. Paul wanted to address the mob believing that if he could declare the truth to them, they would understand what was happening, and being reasonable people, they would allow him his freedom. The Romans allowed him the opportunity and what he said is recorded in Acts 22, but his attempt to reason with them was in vain. People are supremely interested in truth and justice. People are reasonable, aren’t they?
All these voices and yet there was and is no peace. Does peace stand a chance? Yes and no. Yes, in that one day the Prince of Peace who alone possesses absolute sovereignty over the world that belongs to Him (Psalm 24:1) will exercise that authority being immediately present on the earth. And yes, individually man can now experience a limited peace on earth if he possesses peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). But no, that will not be the condition of this present world universally until the 2nd advent of Jesus Christ. But if you know Jesus Christ as Savior, you are an administrator of the Gospel of Peace (Romans 10:15). I pray your voice may be heard.