Q: I've always felt that if people from different nations could just get to know each other, we could bring an end to wars and conflicts. But I'm beginning to have my doubts. Will wars ever cease, according to the Bible? — Mrs. F.M.
A: We should encourage every effort to bring peace to our world, and the Bible certainly urges us to pray for peace and support those who work for peace. One reason the Bible commands us to pray for our leaders is so "we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" (1 Timothy 2:2).
But the Bible also warns us that we will never bring about a complete end to wars and conflicts — not until Jesus Christ returns to establish his kingdom of perfect justice and righteousness. Why is this? The reason is because wars don't come about just because we don't understand each other, or because some people have less than others. These may contribute to conflicts, but they aren't the basic cause.
Instead, wars ultimately come from within ourselves — from within our own hearts and minds. Pride, greed, envy, jealousy, lust for power — all these can lead to wars and conflicts, and they all come from within the human heart. The Bible says, "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?" (James 4:1).
This is why we need Christ, and why the greatest contribution we can make to peace is to give our lives to him and urge others to turn to him also. He can change our hearts, putting love in place of hate, and joy and contentment in place of envy and greed. Have you put your life into his hands?