Peter Tan-Chi - Be a Peacemaker
We are talking about a series about (legit) true happiness. God wants us to be truly happy. It's just that we are looking for happiness in the wrong places. Let me quickly share with you the background of this series that we have been talking about in the past two months. What does the word blessed mean? happiness. To make us truly happy, He gives us principles such as: Blessed are the poor in spirit. What is Jesus saying? He is talking about the blessing of the humble. If you are really broken, you tell God: Lord, I need you! That is the key to true happiness, your dependence on the Lord. Blessed are those who mourn, meaning you are willing to repent of your sins. To mourn means that you realize how serious your sin is, so you repent and mourn for your sin.
Blessed are the meek, who do not make their own decisions. The problem with many of us is that we make our own decisions. We do not surrender our will to the Lord. Then the Bible tells us: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. What does this mean? What that means is that in your own estimation, you're not quite where God wants you to be, and you know that you need to keep seeking God's righteousness, God's kingdom, and putting Him first, and you need to have that hunger. Those who are complacent, self-righteous, do not hunger and thirst for God. These are the characteristics of a true follower of Jesus. Blessed are the merciful, for you have received mercy, so we show mercy to others. Blessed are the pure in heart, that you are so focused, that your heart is consecrated to please God. What are we going to talk about today?
Everyone read: Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. There are eight blessings in total here, and today we talk about the seventh blessing. Ladies and gentlemen, many scholars, many teachers do not teach the Beatitudes properly. They allow you to think that these are optional. They allow God's people to think that this is something to consider when you go to heaven one day... No, Jesus was very emphatic. He was talking about the characteristics of a true follower of Jesus. A true follower of Jesus would display the following characteristics: Humility. Demonstrate the following characteristics: Righteousness. You know what I'm saying? You will become a peacemaker.
Now let us ask you a question. There is a lie today: you can be saved without going through a life change. This is a lie. You can come to Christ without repenting. You can have eternal life without going through a life change. That, my friend, is a lie. Look at Jesus' teachings, which emphasize very much that if your righteousness does not exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. In fact, what are the last few verses in the Beatitudes? Can you tell me? The last few verses talk аbout: Why do you call me: Lord! Oh God! but do not obey my words? You will know them by their fruits. Not everyone says to me: Lord! Oh God! Anyone can enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my heavenly Father can enter. So, salvation is by grace, but that grace brings good works, that grace brings change.
Let me repeat: Salvation is by grace, not works. But once you know Jesus, you better have proof. Without proof, I cannot even guarantee that you are saved. Because you can't find it in the Bible. A follower of Jesus simply means that he follows Jesus. So, let me ask you a question today: When you think of the word peace, what comes to your mind? Today's topic is very simple, everyone, tell me: Be a peacemaker (a peacemaker). Please turn to the person next to you and tell your neighbor: Be a peacemaker, not a troublemaker. Be a peacemaker. There was once a king who decided to ask his entire kingdom how to best describe what peace was, so he held a competition, and he asked all the painters to draw a picture that best represented "peace".
In the end, two paintings were selected, making it difficult for the king to choose. The first painting is of a beautiful lake, quiet, peaceful and beautiful. Another depicts a storm, water pouring down, a waterfall. The king chose the second one; Rain, lightning, thunder... People asked him: Why did you choose this painting? I want you to look at this painting, take a closer look. What do you notice under the waterfall? A bird's nest. There is a mother bird in the nest. The king said that peace is never the absence of external turmoil. Peace begins in your heart, the peace within. This is why the United Nations was originally established for peace, for world peace, but today, they have not been able to achieve this goal. Do you realize that from the day the United Nations was founded until today, there has never been a year without war and peace? Even in the Philippines, we want peace, that's why we have this Moro Republic Act, we want peace in Mindanao.
Now don't look too far, just look at your own family. Many families today are broken. Husbands, wives, marriages, there is no peace. Why? Why is peace so hard to find? Today I am praying that all of us will be part of making peace. Let me tell you why peace is so hard to find. The Bible tells us, in Isaiah 57:20, Hey guys, let's read this verse together: But the wicked are like a troubled sea, which has no rest, but its waters always bring forth filth and mire. This is a picture of a churning sea. There will be no peace for the wicked, says my God. When the Bible uses the word wicked, it doesn't necessarily always mean murderers, rapists, immoral people. The word evil, if you look in the Bible, it talks about people who don't have God (do not believe in God), people who feel like they don't need God, that's evil. You don't need God, the Bible says. The wicked say in their hearts: There is no God. That's an evil person.
You think you can live life without God, and that's why there is no peace. Did you know that young people today are seeking peace? There is no peace, so there will be depression and suicide. This is one of the main problems today. The suicide rate is not declining, but rising. Depression is not declining, but rising. Family breakdown is not declining, it is rising. Divorce is not declining, it is rising. The only problem is, statistically, people don't want to get married anymore. They're looking for peace, the peace that Jesus spoke of: Let's read this together, ladies and gentlemen, John 14:27 I Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Let not your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid.
You see, God is saying, I will give you my peace. Let me ask you a sincere question, do you have peace? No, I am asking you very seriously, are you at peace? Can you ask your neighbor? Neighbor, answer them directly. If you don't have peace, just say: You know what? I looked peaceful on the outside, but inside I was troubled. We are here to help you. Do you have peace? How can you have peace in your home—when you have no peace yourself? Do you have peace? Do you want to have peace? How can you have peace? The Bible is very clear, Romans 5:1: Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Please note, you cannot have peace until you are reconciled to God. I'm not talking about the peace of God. I'm talking first about getting right with God. Because the Bible says that all of us have sinned. We have done something that sins against God.
The Bible talks about a barrier between man and God, and that's why we don't have peace. But you need to make peace with God first. That means there was a time when we were separated, and there was hostility between my life and God. One day I surrendered my life to God. Until you surrender, there can be no peace. Once I surrendered my life to the Lord, I said: Lord! I surrender! I've been fighting you, I've been in charge of my own life, I've been seeking myself, That's why the beatitudes start with "Blessed are they who are poor in spirit," broken; blessed are they who mourn for their sins, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. Once you surrender, the Bible says, you are justified. The word justification means that you are declared no longer guilty.
You see, a lot of people don't have peace. Psychologists have noticed that in the United States, they teach people to throw away God, because God makes you feel guilty, throw away the Bible, because the Bible restricts us from free sex, and the Bible is so narrow that it makes you feel guilty, throw it away. By throwing it away, they feel we can now live a guilt-free life. But the thing is, God made us, we are made in the image of God, and until we surrender our lives to Him, no matter what you do, you will not have peace. You can try, you may have a short period of peace, but it is not real peace. Therefore, in order to be a peacemaker, you'd better first experience reconciliation with God. How do you reconcile with God? How? Look here: How about we have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord, through Jesus? By faith, if you are justified by faith, what does that mean? That means you stop trusting yourself.
You say: Lord, no matter how hard I try, I will never be good enough, I will never satisfy You, I am unjust, and I need You. Remember last Sunday, my son showed you a point. Do you remember? That looks like white compared to the background. When the background becomes white, what happens to that dot? It's gray, you know why? Only through Jesus can you be given a new heart and forgiveness of sins so that you can have peace. You will never have peace until you give your life to Jesus by faith and trust Him. My wife gave me permission to share her life story. You see, when my wife was about 12 or 13 years old, she started to realize that she didn't have peace, and she never had peace throughout her teenage years. She is a good girl, you won't believe it, she was the choir leader of their church. She led mission teams, but she never had true peace.
You can ask me, how could this happen? Just ask my wife. She would go to church, a wonderful girl, but empty, no peace, depressed. You guys who are depressed, one of the best depression counselors out there, ask my wife, but God helped her. At the age of 22, she encountered true meaning by faith, the foundation of our faith in Jesus. There is more evidence about the identity and life of Jesus than the atheists who claim there is no Jesus, no God, and the Bible is not true, she studied the evidence, and she realized which one was more reasonable and evidence-based, and her faith grew into a true faith. Some of you are struggling because your faith is not truly anchored in Jesus, and you need to learn to build the foundation of your faith in Jesus, not just in your head, but in your heart. That's why I believe in apologetics, I believe in teaching people why we believe what we believe.
Now I'm going to give you this word: peace. What does the Bible say about peace? The Bible uses two words to refer to peace. The first is the Hebrew word Shalom. Say it to me: Shalom. You know, today they say hello with the word Shalom: Shalom. Shalom is not just about the absence of problems in your life. Shalom means that I wish you the best of God. My best wish for you is peace and peace with God. The peace of God is to experience the best of God. The Greek word for peace is Irene. How many of you are named Irene? Please raise your hand. Irene. Lift it higher! ~ Do you know why? This word has a beautiful meaning. What does the word Irene mean? Peace, that's what it means, Irene, peace. This is from God. It is freedom, not just freedom from war. It's a state of rest and rest that comes from God. That's peace. Freedom from worry, freedom from anxiety. True peace comes from God. What's today's topic? Blessed are the peacemakers (peacemakers), mind you, not peace talkers, not peace lovers, not peace wizards, but peacemakers.
What does peacemaker mean? I will give you today four characteristics of a peacemaker. Ask yourself, do I often do the following things? Do you agree? Be a peacemaker. There are two kinds of people here today, the peacemakers, and the troublemakers. Characteristics of a Peacemaker: First: Peacemakers take initiative. He took God's commandments seriously. Second, peacemakers speak the truth in love. Peacemaking is hard and troublesome, and sometimes we would rather stay out of it and not participate. Third, peacemakers ask for forgiveness and forgive others. Finally, the peacemaker reconciles people to God and to each other. So, let's discuss it point by point. Characteristics of a Peacemaker, first, everyone reads: Peacemakers take the initiative. What's today's topic? Be a peacemaker. Say it with me: Be a peacemaker. What does it mean to be a peacemaker? You have to take the initiative! Because peacemaking does not happen by chance.
Now the truth is, we have problems getting along with people, don't we? In every discipleship group, in every family, not all, but in most families, in most churches, there is at least one person called a KSP. What is a KSP person? It's a little harder to love them, as Rick Warren said: Loving some people requires more grace, right? Are you sitting next to such a person right now? Well, tell the person next to you: Make peace! Hey, love, peace, peace, while I'm preaching, peace, OK? You must take the initiative. The Bible is very clear. OK, let's read it together: What does it mean to take the initiative? Matthew 5:23 So when you are offering gifts on the altar and you come to CCF to worship God, if you remember that your brother has a grudge against you, what must you do? The Bible says, leave your gift before the altar, go first (take the initiative) to be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
This is one of the most overlooked verses in the entire Bible. You won't believe it, but I know some churches where people come to worship and they make sure not to see each other during worship. They go to the same church and one person makes sure to sit on the right and the other person makes sure to sit on the left. When they left, they promised not to meet. I don't understand, how can you worship God and compete with others at the same time? Because we don't teach, we don't disciple, false teachers, my friend, I want you to understand, this is not optional. The Bible says, when you go to worship... Do you understand the context of this verse? This is very counter-cultural, because in Jesus' day, people worshiped a God of vengeance, a God of vengeance, and talked about peace, peace, peace, and that was weakness! If someone does something to offend you, treat it an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. What do you mean by peace?! Jesus told us, if you want to worship God, imagine there is only one place to worship. Do you understand? Where was that place in Jesus' day? Jerusalem, temple.
Now imagine that you live in Galilee and you want to go to Jerusalem to worship. You need to walk for several days, which is not easy. When you get there, you are very tired and the weather is very hot. You have walked all the way for three or four days. Now you Entering the temple, boom! The Holy Spirit reminds you: Your wife is angry with you, go back! God is saying: Worship is important, but if you really love me, if you want to worship me, then repair your relationships. Let me ask you a question, do you have any broken relationships that have not been repaired? ah! I want to show you Bible verses, you have to do your part, you have to take the initiative. This is very important. What's today's topic? Be a peacemaker.
Look how strongly the Bible says, if you are hurt, Matthew 18:15 If your brother sins against you (literally), that's why I like the NASB version, it has the footnote, If your brother sins against you, in other words, your brother betrayed you, your sister betrayed you, your good friend betrayed you, you were hurt, what must you do? Just go (take the initiative) and point out his fault while he's alone with you. Respect privacy and don't announce it to the world. You know what we do? We tell others that we are hurt. The Bible says, No! Do not tell others how you were hurt by another brother. What must you do? Go find that person privately. Everyone, please turn to the person next to you and tell your neighbor that you want to talk to him privately. Be careful and say it privately. First of all, don't go on Facebook, don't tell your friends, communicate privately, and then the Bible says, if he hears you, praise God! Be a peacemaker.
The Bible goes on to say that if he doesn't listen, well, next step. You should take one or two others with you, and you must testify with the mouths of two or three others, and everything will be confirmed. So I'm telling you, from now on, you have no excuses. What must you do when you are hurt by someone? Go find that person, talk to him privately, and if he doesn't agree with you, take one or two people with you, and all the pastors will be willing, and all the cell leaders, we will all be happy to go with you and work out the relationships. question. If he doesn't listen, what are you going to do? This is when you can tell the church. If he does not even listen to the church, let him be treated as a Gentile and a tax collector. In other words, my friends, the Bible says, read this: Romans 12:18-19 If it is possible, if it depends on you, do your best to live at peace with everyone. If it works, because sometimes it doesn't, but look at this syntax, if it works, if it's up to you, okay? You have to do your best.
I have this experience, I tried my best and I am still trying my best. There is only one person on the planet Earth who still doesn't want to talk to me, or two, at least, not too many, and I try my best, Christmas, birthday, message: Let's have lunch together, let's have a Food? But do you know? My heart feels sad but I love them. Don't you want to talk to me? I have already done my best. That's why I tell my wife, you can ask my wife, by the grace of God, I can sleep soundly at night. You know why? If you don't like me, you're in trouble, because I like you. Do not you love me? You are in trouble! I love you! real! remember? It takes two to tango. Now how can you fight if there is only one person? No matter how you fight, if you try to fight alone, it will be difficult. So be a peacemaker. The Bible says, Romans 12:18-19 Do not avenge yourselves, this is what we forget. You think it's unfair and I have to do something about it.
My friend, relax, rather give in and let the wrath of the Lord; for it is written: "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, and I will repay". So, my friend, never take revenge. You know, a lot of people get angry, and I ask people: Why are you doing this? Because I'm angry! I tell pastors, never use your pulpit to curse, and I tell writers, never use your writing skills to bash people. My friend, the Bible is very clear, be a peacemaker! Turn to your neighbor: be a peacemaker. So today's question is, are you a peacemaker or a troublemaker? Please ask the person next to you: Are you a peacemaker or a troublemaker? I'm going to tell you the characteristics of a troublemaker, are you ready? Characteristics of a troublemaker, well, we're good at causing trouble.
First, troublemakers love to gossip. Gossip, actually they don't even understand the word gossip, my wife was helping someone and the person said: Is this gossip? I was not the one who started it. Someone told me. I told that person what I was told. My friend, gossiping is a sin. You are telling others about a problem. They are not involved and have nothing to do with the solution. Relationship, you just want to have fun. Traits of a troublemaker, causing division. Troublemakers add fuel to the fire and, as we say in Filipino, add fuel to the fire. When you're in a meeting, in a group meeting, and someone says, you know what? This guy did that to me. I know! Yes, I feel the same way, and he treats me the same way! And then very quickly you have divisions, troublemakers, adding fuel to the fire, troublemakers will stir up divisions.
Troublemakers want to take sides. My friends, let me use the Bible to share with you and see what the Bible says. For example, the Bible says: A fire will be extinguished if it lacks wood, and strife will cease if there is no one to spread the word. A quarrelsome person stirs up strife, just like adding charcoal to a smoldering fire or adding fuel to a fire. You know, they'll complain, whisper, you know what? Oh, he is really like this; yes, this happened to me too. You know, he did this to me 20 years ago. 20 years ago ? ? It's been so long! People will change. Why is this serious? Let me tell you why this is serious, OK? The Bible says, Do not associate with a gossip who tells secrets and who opens his mouth widely. What is the difference between a gossip and a slanderer? A slanderer may say something true, but it is none of their business. Saying bad things about someone is none of your business. Gossip is usually untrue, but you hear it and you pass it on. Which is more serious? Gossip or slander? Which one is more serious?
Let me share with you, why is this bad? You know why this is bad? Are you ready? This is sinful, and the Bible says: The works of the flesh are evident: fornication, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, dissensions, dissensions, and heresies, as you know, look at these sins: strife, jealousy, anger, factions, and dissensions. These are in the same category as immorality, in the same category as witchcraft, and in the same category as idolatry. Those who cause quarrels, dissensions, dissensions, and the like: I told you before and I tell you now: Those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. What I want to tell you now is this: You cannot afford to gossip and you need to repent. A true Christian will not continue to gossip. You will repent. Most of us have not repented of this extenuating sin. This is called extenuating circumstances. Do you know why? It's not adultery, it's not immorality, it's just verbal... or, you know... I'm telling you something that you need to practice.
The Bible tells us, Romans 16:17 Brothers, I urge you to take heed to avoid those who create divisions between you... Ha, if someone comes up to me and gossips, I'll tell you what to do. You say: Excuse me... If you had a problem, let's say... you had a problem with Pastor Glenn, you know what I would do? Don't tell me, I'll figure it out for you. Why don't we meet with Glenn? do you understand? Now as a senior pastor, when you come to me with a problem, that's OK. You know why? Because I can do something about it. But go to a friend... Someone told me, let's say, someone told you, what do you have to do now about the other person's problem? Say, sorry, don't tell me, I'm going to do this: I'm going to arrange for you to meet this person, and you just talk to that person.
Remember Sam Chand's sermon? What should we say? We don't do that here. From now on, if someone wants to gossip, what are you going to say? We don't do that here. This is a family, my friends, we are a family, right? Now if you have a family problem, listen to me. If you have a family problem, what are you going to do? Will you broadcast it to the world? Duties to bear, family, My questions, Duties to sir and ma'am, Doctor! It's your duty as a lady, will you post it on Facebook and let the world know? Would you do that? No, what would you do? Why don't you meet and talk directly? We are a family, right? louder please! So, from now on, the Bible says: Be careful! Watch out for those who cause strife. Do you know why? They cause others to stumble, cause others to stumble, and create hindrances.
In fact, the Bible is very emphatic, as Paul said, Titus 3:10-11 A divisive person will reject him after being warned once or twice. The Bible emphasizes, let me tell you why this is important. Because Jesus said, our unity, our love for each other, is the best witness. This is the best way to tell people to believe in Jesus. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. So I always ask people, are you doing this out of love or are you doing it out of anger? My friend, if I love you, I will not slander you. If I love someone, I will not gossip. That is why the greatest commandment is to love one another. Can you turn to your neighbor and tell your neighbor: Be a peacemaker, not a troublemaker. Everything you do must be done out of love because God loves us.
Look what Jesus said: John 17:23 I in them and you in me (the importance of unity) that they may be completely one, so that the world may know that you sent me, and you Love them as much as you love me. This is the prayer of Jesus, before he went to heaven, he prayed to God the Father, I in them and you in me, Father, that they may be completely one, CCF, the Christian community, I feel today It's sad because I see a lot of Christians fighting with each other, the largest denomination in the Philippines, the evangelicals, they're suing each other. One of the second largest Christian groups is also suing each other, why? Because Satan, his tactic is to cause factions and divisions. The word Devil comes from the Greek word Diabolus. Dia means to cut off, bolus means to throw away. Diabolus, you cause divisions.
Do you know why families are falling apart? That is the work of the devil. Our enemy is not man, but the devil. He wants us to be bad examples so that the world will say: Are they Christians? They kept arguing. People don't realize, and it breaks God's heart, I'm a father, and if my kids are fighting with each other, you know how I feel? I feel bad. It would make me really uncomfortable if my own children told others about the things we did wrong. Friends, do you think God gets upset when we are troublemakers? Does God get pleased when we gossip? My friend, what is the commandment of the Bible today? To be a... Could you turn to your neighbor, look them in the eye, and tell your neighbor: Be a peacemaker, not a troublemaker. Peacemakers speak the truth in love.
Now, this is hard, the truth is: Making peace is hard, making peace is hard, how do you speak the words of peace in love? Let's search the Bible. Let's look at the Bible together: Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, you will grow up in all things into Him who is the Head, Christ. Now speaking the truth is one thing, but you also have to speak the truth in love. Do you understand what I'm saying? Some people are very loving and talk, but they don't have the truth. Is that okay? Speak the truth in love. What do I mean? You know, I praise God for our D12 discipleship group. We had a group of pastors that met together, and I remember one day, we had a pastor, we actually named him, Dr. Glenn Freeman, and when he was talking to me privately, in his thoughts, some of the things I said When I hurt someone, sometimes we don't see that, I could have defended myself, I could have made excuses. But I learned to listen, Dr. Glenn, what was that about? I can't even think of it.
But you know, at the next meeting, I publicly apologized. I said: I'm sorry. My friend, if we have this kind of group, we are not perfect people, we are all imperfect people, and as imperfect people, we will definitely hurt each other, and you will definitely make mistakes. But I praise God if we learn to follow the biblical principles of love. If I do something wrong, please tell me. Now if I don't want to change, then you bring others with you, and then if I still don't want to change, you announce it in CCF, or you can announce it on Facebook, but at the same time, you must speak the truth with love. Speaking the truth in love is not easy. The Bible says, Proverbs 27:5-6 A rebuke in the face is better than love in secret. The scars given by friends are out of loyalty, but the kisses given by enemies are unnecessary. Some people surround themselves with cheer boys.
You know what a cheer boy is? How do you say it in Filipino? How do you say SipSip (pleasant) in English? Sheep sheep, lovable. You want people around you to always agree with you, yes, that's right! Yes! Let's add fuel to the fire. My friends, I would rather have critics who are willing to hurt me to make me a better person. I'm giving you permission now, all of you, come and tell me if there's anything wrong with my life or the life of my wife or my family, I'm giving you permission now publicly, but please don't post first... Could you please chat with me privately first? louder please! OK, please make a promise: I won't gossip, and I won't tell others before I talk to the person. Amen? From now on, if you see someone gossiping, please listen to me. By listening to them, you become a participant in the gossip. So you can't afford to listen to gossip or stay silent. Uh-huh, uh-huh, no, no, no, no, sorry, we don't do that here. This is not right, not right! Gossip will cease. If there were no messengers, strife would cease.
Imagine if all Christian churches, if all Christian families became peacemakers, what impact would we have on the world? But speak the truth with love and gentleness. Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. So, boss, if you're going to correct someone, do it gently, okay? OK? The Bible says, don't shout the truth in love, but speak softly, okay? Do you agree? Tell me, watch your tone. Pay attention to your tone. Tone is very important. As you know, there was a girl named Jamie who had a conflict with her husband. She was kicked out of the house. After leaving the house, she called her father, Dad, I am on a plane and I want to fly home. The father said, my child, do not come home. The girl was surprised, I am your daughter, why can't I go home? The father said: You have this default mode, you have this habit.
Every time you have a problem with your husband, you want to run away. Every time you have a problem, you retreat. My child, use love. Tell the truth, my child, when you get married, remember you made a promise: No matter what happens, I will never leave you. You never realize the worst has happened in a short time, but I can't welcome you home. You need to resolve the issue, in this case, the issue you have with your husband, Mike. You know, this girl wrote a book titled: Why Can't I Go Home? The Lord spoke to her, and when she put the phone down, she started crying, and she said, Lord, thank you for giving me a father who loves me, a father who is willing to tell the truth. She began to read the Bible, which said in the Book of Genesis that the husband shall leave his father and his mother, and the two shall become one flesh. She read the Bible, What God has joined together, let no man put asunder. So she decided to go back to her home because her father said: In this case, you cannot go back to your home.
When she came home, she was going to go around her husband, who was sitting on the couch, but the Lord said, no, no, no, so she sat down next to her husband and said, honey, I'm sorry, I was going to Leave you, but my father said: No. I'm sorry, every time we have a problem, I want to run back to my parents' house, I'm sorry. Let's solve our problems. Did you see it? Making peace is difficult and not easy. But you have to speak the truth in love. Tell me, speak the truth in love. My friend, a peacemaker asks for forgiveness and forgives others. Without forgiveness, it is difficult to be a peacemaker. The Bible is very clear about forgiveness. Let's read together, Colossians 3:13 Bear with one another and forgive one another; if one has a quarrel against another, even as the Lord has forgiven you, you also must forgive.
Please note that you cannot forgive in your heart until you experience forgiveness. Forgiveness is vital in making peace. Have you ever been betrayed? Do you know that forgiveness is not easy? Forgiveness can be painful. Because you have been wronged. The concept of forgiveness is that someone wronged you, and they were really wrong, but the Bible says that God in Christ has forgiven you, and you must forgive too. Today I am excited to share with you a couple who will share their testimony with us. Bong and Shirley, they're coming up, please welcome them. Now notice, they're coming up. When will you forgive?
Let's read this together: Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you remember that anyone has sinned against you, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. The Bible tells us, listen to me again, every time you stand up to pray, what must you do? Please note that this is one-sided, to forgive, you do not wait for the other party to come to you, you do not wait until the other party truly understands and repent, I forgive you, you must forgive. There is a difference between forgiveness and trust. Earning trust takes time. But I am commanded to forgive.
Let me repeat, it takes time to trust each other. But forgiveness can happen instantly. I was commanded to forgive, and now, before they come up, I want you to know ahead of time what they did. Do you know what they did? Let's read this together: Let's read this together, okay? Nothing removes friction from life more quickly than prayer. If you find yourself getting increasingly angry with someone, pray for them: anger cannot survive in an atmosphere of prayer. Did you know that I pray every day for those who don't like me? Now I gotta be honest, maybe twice a week, and let me tell you why. When I pray for people, my anger goes away. Are you ready to hear Bong and Shirley's testimony? What did God do to reconcile them? Well, let's welcome them!
My friends, please note that forgiveness is crucial. Can I tell you, if you want to reconcile, if you want to be a peacemaker, I call it the 95,5 percent rule. When you have a problem with someone, don't look at the other person's mistakes. 95 5 means, In every dispute, maybe you are only 5% wrong, but the other party is 95% wrong. Is that possible? You take care of the 5%, ask for forgiveness for the 5%, and let God handle the 95%. This is the concept. Peacemakers ask for forgiveness, and they forgive. You know, forgiveness is so important.
Nelson Mandela, have you ever heard of Mandela? This man was the first president before they changed the laws in Africa, and you know what he said? He spent 27 years in prison. Imagine being in prison for 27 years. Imagine yourself in prison for 27 years, because of the color of your skin, because of what you want to do, as a black man in South Africa. You know, when he came out of prison, this is what he said: When I walked out of that door that set me free, I knew that if I didn't leave the bitterness and hatred behind, I would still be in prison... You know, many of you are holding on to bitterness, you need to forgive, and finally, may I suggest, peacemakers make peace with God and with one another. Peacemakers understand that the most important reconciliation is between man and God, without which how can you reconcile one another?
Look at what the Bible tells us, 2 Corinthians 5, please read: All things come from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation us. God reconciles us to Himself through Christ and gives us... What ministry do we have today? The ministry of peacemaking. What does it mean to persuade people to reconcile? Commit people to God to reconcile them and help reconcile one another. Look at the next verse. Guys, if you don't mind, read this verse: 2 Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, just as God is urging you through us, and we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. The Bible says we are to be peacemakers because we are ambassadors. We have a good friend who has become an ambassador. He invited us to dinner, I think last month, before he went to take office. He is very close to us. He is a member of CCF. He taught us certain things. Not knowing, he said, Peter, do you believe it? "We were trained to be ambassadors, we were taught how to dress appropriately, how to behave in public," he said. "Most importantly, I was told, when it comes to matters of state, not to give my own opinion, I can only give The Philippines' position, the president's position, because I represent the president", wow!
I said, you mean you participate in all this training? This man was famous for being good at bargaining, and he liked to go to the Divisoria market to bargain, and he said, Peter, I can't bargain now because I'm an ambassador. But when I speak, I have to be careful because I have to speak only from the president's side. You know, I wonder, if we are ambassadors for Jesus, are we representing Jesus? We better be able to. But more than just an ambassador, the Bible tells us, if you don't mind, let's read it together, Blessed are the peacemakers! for they shall be called sons of God. What does it mean to be the Son of God? NASB I like that translation, NASB, it's translated as Son of God. In some of your translations, it's translated as Child of God. That's a big difference.
In Greek, τέκνο is child, and it's talking about being in the family. Status, you are part of God's family, you are a child, but γιός, the Son of God, is something else. It's a descriptive word that means, say, γιός, and Barnabas, in Acts, is described as the Son of Encourage, meaning that he was a man of encouragement, because when the Hebrew and Greek When the text uses adjectives, they describe people in different ways. So Barnabas was very good at encouraging people, and he was called the Son of Comfort. John and James had bad tempers, so Jesus called them sons of thunder, meaning they had temper problems. Now if you are called a son of God, what does that mean? You are like God, you properly represent the family of God, so when people look at us, the highest title, is, wow, he represents Christ, his attitude represents that family, the Son of God is the highest award you can receive, Son of God.
Let me ask you a question, when people look at us, can they see God? Because Son of God can be translated as: someone like God, doing God's work, which is making peace. God has called us today to be peacemakers. Will you accept the challenge to be an ambassador and be called a son of God by doing God's peacemaking work? Are you willing? Are you willing to stop being troublemakers? Let's bow our heads, and when we bow our heads, I want you to ask yourselves, do you have peace with God? If you don't have peace with God, maybe, I can almost guarantee you, it will be difficult to be a peacemaker. Because there is no peace between you and God. Why don't you surrender your life to the Lord? If you want peace with God, I want to pray for you. You don't have peace. To be honest, to this day, you don't have peace. You want to establish peace with God and you want to experience true forgiveness.
Can you please raise your hand? Wherever you are, lift high! Praise God! You have never experienced this kind of peace. If you want to experience peace with God, please lift up! I want to pray for you. Put your hands up, lift them high! My second question, OK, you can put your hands down now. My second question is, for those of you who have been challenged by God and encouraged by God, you have been a troublemaker, now you can be a peacemaker. Or you want to be a peacemaker, but you remain passive and inactive. God is saying, be proactive, be proactive, be a peacemaker. If you want to accept the Lord's call, could you please raise your hands and raise them higher! Praise God! I pray that all of us will be peacemakers, so I ask those of you who are raising your hands for the first time who want to experience making peace with God, could you please raise your hands? Could you please stand up now?
Wherever you are, I want to pray for you, stand up, yes, you said you wanted to experience making peace with God, wherever you are, you stand up, today is going to be a day like no other. You've never had this kind of true peace, you've always felt guilty, you've always had doubts, but today you want to make peace with God, please stand up and I'm asking you to surrender your life to the Lord, there can be no peace until you surrender. Between countries, peace can be restored with the world only after the Japanese surrender. Germany must surrender. Maybe you need to surrender. Is there anyone else? Praise God! Please continue to stand. "Father God in heaven, I pray for these people who are standing right now, who want to experience peace with you", and may this be their prayer, please join me in praying this prayer, wherever you are:
Lord Jesus, I need peace, I have no peace before God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank you for making peace because you paid the ultimate penalty, death on the cross, and gave us new life by rising from the dead. Lord Jesus, please come into my life. I accept You now by faith. I accept this new life. Please come into my heart.
Please continue to stand, for those of you who would like to be peacemakers, You have learned to take the initiative, You have learned to speak the truth in love, You are learning to ask for forgiveness and forgive others, You want to make the Others are reconciled to the Lord and to one another, stand up, yes, and praise God! God has said to you that He wants you to be a peacemaker, and I'm asking all of you to accept this challenge and become a peacemaker. You have no reason not to be a peacemaker. If you have been a troublemaker or you have been indifferent, I want you to repent today of your sin of indifference and be a peacemaker.
Please stand up for the Lord, there is no reason why you don't want to be a peacemaker, unless you want to be bitter, you want to be angry, my friend, a Christian cannot afford not to be a peacemaker. In fact, it's not even an option. But, I can't force you to be a peacemaker, it's just that God has to speak to you, so wherever you are, could you please ask Jesus to speak to you right now, if God tells you that today you are to be a peacemaker? You may have to call someone, you may have to apologize, that's OK, stand up and say, "Lord, I'm going to apologize, I'm going to find that person", and then just do it! I will pray for you, anyone else?
God wants to be a peacemaker, maybe it's your own family, you're full of anger, you're full of bitterness, you're not experiencing the peace of God, that's why you don't want to be a peacemaker. The Bible commands us. Do you realize this? Seek peace with all men, and pursue holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews tells us to seek peace. Ephesians tells us to strive to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Is there anyone else? The reason I'm asking you to accept this challenge is because I'm worried that on the Day of Judgment you'll have to give an account to the Lord. When you stand up, you're not doing me a favor. You're not doing the church a favor. You're doing you a favor. Show favor to yourself, so why be stubborn? Why not surrender? Praise God, anyone else?
Please stand up. Why do you continue to sit? God knows, if it's because you want to resist God in your heart, is there anyone else? God sees you where you are. The Bible says that a stiff-necked person, a stubborn person, will one day be broken beyond redemption. I'm afraid of stubborn people. This is why the Bible says: Blessed are the poor in spirit. Don't look left or right, don't look at other people. This is between you and God. No one will embarrass you. You don't want to be a peacemaker, then forget it, that's okay, but I'm asking you, biblically, I'm asking you, God has given you the ministry of reconciliation, make it a habit to help others reconcile.
Father God in heaven, I thank you. For this group of men and women who are willing to accept this challenge and become peacemakers, I pray for myself, I pray for all the pastors, I pray for all the leaders of CCF, for all the members of CCF, no matter what Where we are, all over the world, those who are watching us, right now, in this very moment, we are willing to be peacemakers, Lord, help us to be active participants in making peace, first with you, with others, let them come Knowing you, may you bless our efforts, bless us as people, and give us strength, because I can't do this on my own, we pray in the name of Jesus! Amen! Amen!