When driving by this sign I momentarily got a sense of comfort, kind of like snuggling up to a nice fuzzy blanket. But does peace really start with a smile? In the book of John chapter 14 verse 27 Jesus says these words to his disciples,“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Genuine and true peace is given only in the assurance of salvation which is given only by faith through Grace. Where there is repentance there is peace. (Rom 4:16)
Universalism is very prevalent in today’s American society and it is very easy for this un-truth to sneak its way into our evangelistic efforts. After all everybody smiles, Muslims smile, Mormons smile, Jehovah witnesses smile, Buddhist smile and atheist smile. However, are any of these the path to peace?
When a person covets an item does he not smile after receiving this item? When a liar obtains items of value brought about by lying does he not smile? When a thief is successful and gets away without being caught, does not he too smile? Are any of these the path to peace? It is not safe to assume that peace and happiness are the same thing.
“A fool lifteth up his voice with laughter; but a wise man doth scarce smile a little.”Eccl. 21:20
Neither is it safe to assume that we can somehow, on our own efforts, or in our own merits, bring about peace or happiness for this is a work of God.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”Gal. 5:22
Perhaps prudence is necessary when considering our evangelism, our preaching, and our teaching to ensure that we are not promoting the concept of ‘life enhancement’ as opposed to presenting the Gospel. God has assured us that if we are faithful to lawfully using the law (1 Tim 1:8), to bring about a knowledge of sin (Rom 7:9), and an understanding of justice (Gal 3:24), we will not error in our message of Grace which brings peace.