"From whence came wars and fighting among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?" (James 4:1)
One of the perennial questions raised by skeptics is: "Why does God allow war in His world, if He is really a God of love and power?" Most of our personal lives have been profoundly affected by war, directly or indirectly. Those in the older generation all remember keenly, for example, just where they were on December 7, 1941 (Pearl Harbor Day), and how it changed their lives. Even now, over 60 years later, the events of September 11, 2001, are repeatedly being compared to that date, as another "day of infamy," as President Roosevelt called it.
But God gives a deeper insight on the cause of wars than just blaming Hitler or Osama or some other powerful human leader. He says we are all to blame. The "lusts that war" in our own minds and bodies lead to personal conflicts, and these to group conflicts, and ultimately to deadly combat between nations. Thus wars are going to continue in the world as long as there is sin in the world.
Every person, therefore, whether American or Russian, Jew or Arab, is by nature a warmonger, not a peacemaker. Yet Jesus "made peace through the blood of his cross . . . to reconcile all things unto himself" (Colossians 1:20). Before there can be true peace between man and man, there must be real peace between man and God.
Thus the only real way we can be peacemakers individually is to do what we can to bring men to Christ. He has given us "the ministry of reconciliation" as "ambassadors for Christ," and we must beseech all men "in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:18, 20). Until Christ Himself returns as Prince of Peace, there is no other effective way. HMM