Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
As we begin moving into the Advent season this coming Sunday we realize that the time of Christ’s coming is a time of peace. In Isaiah chapter two God’s presence is clearly seen on his mountain. He is the one enthroned there, drawing all nations to himself. The people will come eagerly, seeking to hear God’s ways. They will be moved into a time of peace, changing their weapons of warfare into farm implements, a sign of prosperity.
There should be a difference between Christ’s people and the rest of the world. While we see most of our world trying to live by asserting their dominance and ability to force others to their own priorities, in God’s kingdom the people have no need to force conformity. They look to God’s ways, not their own plans. Conversion, commitment to God’s kingdom, is by volition, not by coercion.
Does this mean anything goes? Not at all. The people are taught in God’s ways. Those are different from the ways we would devise. Yet it means that God’s people will allow dissent and even departure from the faith. This in no way indicates an acceptance of those who do not care for God’s Word. The Christian will confess that Jesus is the only way to eternal peace. All other ideas are destined for God’s judgment. We use every legitimate means to persuade all the nations to come to God in Christ. However, we stop short of violence. We are content to leave final judgment in the hands of God. Rather we call all nations to come, learn of God’s ways, find peace in him.
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