My dad gave me this book the other day: Peace With God, by Billy Graham. It was first published in 1953. Over 60 years ago. And yet, the words found within these aged and worn pages point to a story that God has been writing since the very dawn of Creation. It’s a story of hope and love and redemption and forgiveness…a story of how to have peace with God. And really, that’s the most important kind of peace of all. It’s what all of mankind is seeking…it’s what we all need…whether we realize it or not.
Billy Graham writes, and I agree: “I am convinced that there is a great hunger of mind and thirst of soul on the part of the average man for peace with God….All humanity is seeking the answer to the confusion, the moral sickness, the spiritual emptiness that oppresses the world. All mankind is crying out for guidance, for comfort, for peace.”
The world has grown in power and in knowledge…we’ve crammed our heads full of facts and information…we have access to just about anything we’d ever want to know, right at our fingertips. And yet….our hearts remain empty, our lives are anything but peaceful, and nothing seems to satisfy.
Why are we still empty?
Billy Graham writes, “Because the Creator made us for Himself; and we shall never find completeness and fullness apart from fellowship with Him.”
We were created for fellowship with God.
And we will never find real peace apart from a relationship with Him.
The entire message of the Bible – the whole amazing Story of the ages – the one God is still writing into hearts and lives today – is the message of Christ and His offer of peace with God.
Woven through the fiber of every generation...all throughout all of history...is this incredible amazing story of God's unrelenting love. It's a story of grace and redemption and forgiveness...it's a story that bigger and better and more powerful than any other story...it's the greatest and most important true story of all time.
Here’s that Story, in a very condensed form:
God created the world. God made man in His own image. God and man had perfect fellowship. They walked together and talked together. Man had perfect peace through an unblemished relationship with God. But then man sinned. The penalty was death. Man began to die. Fellowship with God was broken. A great separation was caused between God and man. It was a rift so deep and wide and dark, that nothing man could do could ever cross the divide.
But God still loved. Even from the moment sin entered the world, the plan for redemption was being penned by our loving God. For ages, man struggled to be right with God. Sacrifices were made, blood was shed, to cover sins and restore fellowship. But man still fumbled and stumbled along. Sin stained hearts, destroyed lives, led to death. The world was broken. Humanity was cursed. More sacrifices were made. Man still sinned. God still loved. Man continued to sin. God did not give up.
Then came Jesus.
Jesus was God’s Son. God incarnate. Perfect peace personified. He came to Earth as a man. Lived as a man. But he did not sin. He loved people, and He taught people, and He worked miracles, and He did the impossible. He flipped the whole hopeless story of man on its head. Sin’s cost was death....but Jesus offered life. Man’s situation was hopeless...but Jesus brought hope. A war had been waged since the fall of man...but Jesus offered peace. Peace with God. But peace with God required sacrifice. Jesus sacrificed His life in order to make a way for us to have peace with God. He was crucified on a cross. His innocent blood was shed. He was the final perfect sacrifice. He died. He was buried. Three days later, He ROSE AGAIN!! He did what only God could do. He made a way where there was no way. His resurrection was the final nail in the coffin of the curse of sin and death. Sin was once and for all defeated. A bridge was built across that great rift between God and man.
Jesus made a way. Now He offers salvation and forgiveness to ALL who will believe and trust in Him. By His blood, through His sacrifice, we can be made right with God. Through Jesus, we can have the most important kind of peace there is: Peace with God.
Colossians 1:19-20: [speaking of Jesus] “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”
Billy Graham writes, “The world will never know peace until it finds it in the cross of Jesus Christ. You will never know the peace with God, peace of conscience, peace of mind, and peace of soul until you stand at the foot of the cross and identify yourself with Christ by faith. There is the secret of peace. This is peace with God."
It’s the greatest Story ever told…the hope of all mankind…the door to real and lasting peace: The Cross of Jesus Christ