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What were the angels proclaiming? They were announcing, “Peace. Good will toward men from God!” Why? Jesus ended the war between God and man.
There were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
(Luke 2:8–14)
This is a familiar passage of scripture. All too often we use it to create a certain mood and get ourselves into the “Christmas spirit.” The problem is we don’t really think about what this is saying.

Instead of “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men,” many translations actually render Luke 2:14 to say, “peace among men,” or “peace toward men of goodwill,” or something similar. Since this tends to be the dominant interpretation, most people think that the angels were proclaiming that Jesus’ arrival would stop division, end strife, and usher in a new era of peace on earth. They believe that this announcement means that the Lord was coming to bring peace among men. Yet, that’s not what this verse is saying.

A Sword
Jesus himself declared:
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
(Matt. 10:34–36)
The Lord also prophesied that one of the signs of the end times would be increased war, division, and strife.
Ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
(Matt.24:6–8)
You simply cannot defend the position that Jesus came to bring peace among people. Now it’s true that there are benefits available for those who will receive the Prince of Peace into their heart (see Isa. 9:6). By God’s grace, you can turn the other cheek, love your enemies, and operate in a different degree of love (see Luke 6:27–29; 1 Cor. 13). I don’t doubt that there has been a tremendous amount of peace among men as a by-product of people receiving salvation—but that’s not the message the angels were singing. That’s not what Jesus himself said He came here to do.

Jesus Ended the War
What were these angels proclaiming?
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
(Luke 2:14)
They were announcing, “Peace. Good will toward men from God!”

Prior to the advent of the Lord Jesus Christ, God was at war against man’s sins. His wrath came upon people because of the sin in their lives. Many Christians haven’t mentally separated this out and really looked at it. They just run everything in the Bible together. Yet a closer examination of God’s Word reveals that there was a wrath and a judgment from God against people in the Old Testament that is totally unjustified and wrong in the New Testament. Why? Jesus ended the war between God and man. He made all the difference!

Despite that, most people run all of this together. They still think of God as being angry at our sins. They mistakenly believe that there is still a war going on between God and man, and that every time they sin, somehow or another it’s a new affront against Him. You’ve probably heard people say, “God is ticked off!” and quote Old Testament scriptures about the wrath of God falling on people. “God is angry today,” they insist. “He’s dangling our country over hell by a thin thread that’s on fire, and He’s just about ready to turn us over to the devil.”

Some Christians are proclaiming that God is the One who sent the hurricanes and tsunamis that have struck in recent years, and that He’s going to cause other disasters too. Several well-known religious leaders stood up and declared that God was the One who sent the terrorist attacks that happened in 2001 and that this was the beginning of His judgment on our nation. They’re still proclaiming that there is wrath from God towards men.

Good News
Yet, this isn’t the message of the New Testament. These angels who announced the birth of Jesus understood the Gospel. They understood that He came to pay the price, to redeem us, and to stop God’s wrath upon sin. The New Testament church should be proclaiming to people that their sins have been paid for. We ought to be telling people the Gospel.

The Gospel is good news. In fact, this Greek word translated gospel actually means nearly-too-good-to-be-true news. The Gospel is the nearly-too-good-to-be-true news that God isn’t angry with you, that He loves you, and that He wants to extend all of His blessings toward you.

As a whole, the church isn’t preaching this. We’re still telling people that God is angry with them, and then we wonder why they aren’t beating down the doors to get into the church. It’s the goodness of God that leads people to repentance (see Rom. 2:4).

God is just, but Jesus paid the price. (See 1 Cor. 6:20.) He totally changed the way God deals with mankind. That’s what these angels were singing about.

Source: The War is Over by Andrew Wommack
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Andrew Wommack
Web site: Andrew Wommack Ministries
 
For more than four-and-a-half decades, Andrew has taught God’s Word with clarity and simplicity, emphasizing the unconditional love and grace of God. His vision is to spread the Gospel as far and deep as possible through his daily Gospel Truth television and radio programs, broadcast nationally and internationally. Andrew founded Charis Bible College in 1994 and has established more than seventy Charis locations in major American cities and around the world. Much of his extensive library of materials is available, free of charge, at www.awmi.net.
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