QUESTION: If Jesus was the Messiah, why isn’t there peace on earth? Besides, look at all the persecutions in the name of Jesus.

ANSWER: If every missile in the world were suddenly disarmed, if every knife and gun were destroyed and if every batch of materials for chemical warfare were neutralized, people would soon devise new ways of propagating evil and doing violence to one another. True peace must involve more than just the cessation of war. It’s not enough just to change the externals. Real peace is a matter of what is in the human heart, and that change cannot be implemented by external force. Real peace must start from within. That is a condition that only comes from repentance before God and allegiance to Jesus as the Messiah and Prince of Peace. If everyone on earth were to make that commitment, then there would be universal peace. That will happen when Jesus returns in fulfillment of the prophecies of Scripture.

The question of persecutions in the name of Jesus is really another issue, although it is related to the first issue. The fact that some have persecuted Jews under the pretext of following Jesus only shows that those persecutors who said they were Christians did not possess the peace of God and that they were not followers of Jesus’ teachings. In fact, Jesus himself warned that there would be those who would call him Lord” but would act directly against the will of God.

Fortunately, those who have truly followed Jesus’ teachings have extended friendship, help and support to Jewish people. An example that comes to mind is the circle of Dutch Christians who, at great risk to themselves and their families, hid Jewish people during the Holocaust.

Yet it is understandable that Jews continue to be suspicious of Christians, and why at times the most noble acts and Christian attitudes raise the suspicion that anti-Semitic motives are the cause. The reality of anti-Semitism should not be discounted, but neither should the reality of true Christian love be written off.

To summarize, those who have God’s peace in their hearts will follow the example of Jesus and show love, not hate, for all people.