We have now enjoyed 78.5 years of peace in Western Europe and the USA since the end of World War 2.
Five generations in the once-Christian West have grown up not knowing war at their door. For them, peace is the opportunity for self-identity and self-expression, without understanding how that affects their relationship with God and society. The age of duty and discipline has been replaced by the right to redefine everything and rebel. The assumption is that all the protective structures of society will stay in place while the new-enlightenment sweeps away everything we do not like so that we can enjoy ourselves in the way we choose. The essential gospel truths which provided the Christian moral compass, even to unbelievers, are now cancelled by society.
That is a dangerous unreality. The wars of the past were won at great cost, but the 'price of peace is eternal vigilance'. That was said by the British politician Leonard Courtney but ignored by most of his contemporaries, even as World War 1 loomed.
As international violent posturing increases to an unprecedented level in almost 80 years, the principles also apply to the spiritual battles around and within us all.
Squandering peace on self instead of spending it on service was Israel's mistake in the time of the Judges. It is also Paul's spiritual warning note to Timothy, "For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather round them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry." 2 Timothy 4:3-5 (NIVUK)
The church's call to fight against the world, the flesh and the devil has become much less strident, as self-indulgence trumps holiness in the ecclesiastical agenda. Hell is a rare sermon topic, repentance is a rare pulpit call and spiritual disciplines are reduced to a chocolate-free Lent. Valuable as they may be, human rights and the ecochallenge are easy substitutes for saying " ... 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age while we wait for ... the glorious appearing of ... Jesus Christ ..." (Titus 2:12-15).
The five generations, Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z and the new Alphas, who are unprepared to recognise and fight the inner spiritual battles, will not be able to believe the external, international physical threat until it arrives at their door.
However, in these darkening days, there is still a gospel of eternal hope. And it is still being courageously carried into the darkness by people who refuse to put their light under a bushel. It is a privilege for BeaconLight to help these gospel-motivated Christians to speak the truth and shine with the light of Christ ... urging believers to stay close to Jesus, live holy lives and share the truth, so that the blind may see and repent.
That is the gospel of peace - won at great cost to Jesus and joyfully proclaimed by Biblically vigilant believers. Thank you for standing with us in the light and supporting many BeaconLighters all over the world.