Skip to content Skip to navigation

War and God

Overview

War is a continuing fact of life. Wars will continue to be fought and rumors of wars will continue to spread throughout the world until Jesus Christ personally rules the earth in the Millennial Kingdom

 

  • Three sources of war:
    • Man has a sinful nature (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 7:20; James 4:1-2)
    • Satan is the temporary ruler of this world (John 14:30; 16:11)
    • Satan has his own world system which he promotes (Ephesians 2:2; 1 John 2:16-17)
  • War is a continuing fact of life. Wars will continue to be fought and rumors of wars will continue to spread throughout the world until Jesus Christ personally rules the earth in the Millennial Kingdom (Matthew 24:4-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:3; Isaiah 2:4).
  • Only spiritual peace is possible now. There will be no world peace before Christ returns, but there can be spiritual peace.
    • Eternal relationship between God and man because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and man’s faith in Him (John 16:33; Ephesians 2:13-18).
    • Temporal fellowship between God and the believer and between believers based on Christ’s death and brought into the daily life through the ministry of the Holy Spirit (John 14:27; Galatians 5:22).
  • Preparation for war reduces warfare. War is an unwanted but real part of human history, and those who recognize this and prepare for war will have more freedom, more prosperity, and more peace than those who do not prepare and try to avoid war at any price (Numbers 10:9; Judges 3:1-2; Ecclesiastes 3:8; Nehemiah 4:7-22; Psalm 144:1; Proverbs 20:18; Proverbs 24:6).
  • To kill in battle is not murder. The killing of the enemy in war is not murder, nor a sin of any kind. Exodus 20:13 refers to murder. The Hebrew word RATSACH (Strong #7523) means murder or manslaughter.
  • Old Testament Biblical words for “Kill.”
    • NAKAH (Strong #5221) legitimate killing in battle, to smite, sometimes with penalty (Genesis 14:5; Joshua 10:10; Exodus 3:20; 1 Samuel 17:9; 18:7; Isaiah 37:36)
    • RATSACH (Strong #7523) command against murder. Also used for non-premeditated killing (Exodus 20:13; Numbers 35:16; Deuteronomy 4:42; 1 Kings 21:19
    • HARAG (Strong #2026) to kill by intention or accident (Exodus 2:14; Exodus 13:15; Judges 8:21; Psalm 135:10)
    • PHONEUO (Strong #5407) murder (Matthew 5:21; 19:18; Romans 13:9; James 4:2)
    • APOKTEINO (Strong #615) to kill, slay, put to death (Matthew 10:28; Luke 12:5)
  • God is not anti-war. God sponsors just wars, and He does so to…
    • Remove degenerate nations (Jericho — Joshua 5:13-Joshua 6; Ai — Joshua 8)
    • Defeat the enemies of Israel (Hagrites — 1 Chronicles 5:18-22)
    • Protect families and nations (Nehemiah 4)
    • Gain peace (Ehud and Moabites — Judges 3:26-30)
  • Military service is necessary. It is necessary to gain national freedom, then to preserve national freedom (Numbers 1:2-3; 31:1-5; Joshua 1:6-11; 11:23; Judges 8:1; 1 Chronicles 5:22; Psalm 18:34; Luke 14:31).
  • Military service is honorable. There is nothing in the New Testament prohibiting military service, training, or war. Christ, Luke, and Paul assume that military service is an honorable profession; they accept the normal function of the military for national readiness, defense, and waging of legitimate war. God even commends those who wage war against aggressors (Hebrews 11:22-34).
  • Christ (Matthew 8:5-10; Luke 14:31)
  • Luke (Acts 10:1-3, 22-25)
  • Paul (Acts 23:11-35; 1 Corinthians 9:7; 2 Timothy 2:3-4)
  • Jesus Christ is a battlefield commander. Jesus Christ has in the past and will in the future serve as a battlefield commander. He is called “LORD of Hosts” or LORD of the Armies” and a Warrior.” He has killed thousands of enemy soldiers and will do so in the future (Exodus 14:13-14, 25; 15:3; Isaiah 37:33-37; Zechariah 14:1-5; Revelation 19:11-15).
  • Bully nations and aggressors use propaganda to persuade other nations not to resist their attacks. The propaganda appeals to the cowards and “peace at any price people” (Isaiah 36-37).
  • Unjust aggression is wrong. The Lord is against unjust aggression (Psalm 68:30; 140:1-2; Jeremiah 50:17-18).
  • Anti-war people misuse scripture. There are certain passages that anti-war people use to try to condemn all warfare. Each passage can be explained. None say that military service, war, or killing the enemy in battle is wrong. Exodus 20:13; Isaiah 2:4 with Joel 3:9-10; Matthew 5:9, 43-44
  • Warfare and the New Testament. Why does the New Testament not emphasize physical warfare?
    • The New Testament is addressed primarily to believers, residents of God’s spiritual kingdom, who engage in spiritual warfare.
    • The spiritual battle is still set within the context of nations in conflict, nations who continually replay the story, begun by Satan, of pride and rebellion (2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 610-12; Acts 12 [Herod], Acts 16 [Paul], 2 Thessalonians 2:1-13; 1 Peter 2:11-17).
  • Just war doctrine. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) gave three requirements for a war to be a just war.
    • The leader of a nation has the authority and responsibility to wage war to protect the citizens from external enemies.
    • A nation wages war to avenge an attack or a wrong inflicted.
    • A nation must wage war to advance good or to avoid evil.
  • Protection of America. The leader or leadership of a nation must protect that nation. The king, president, premier, constitution, or other authority has the God-ordained responsibility to protect the people under his authority. If an aggressor makes plans or does attack, the leadership must take military action to protect his nation. Failure to do so is failure to fulfill his biblical mandate (Romans 13:1-6).
  • Protection of America — United States Constitution. The United States Constitution gives the President the responsibility and the authority, as commander in chief of the military, to wage war for the protection of the nation and its citizens.
    • U. S. Constitution, Article II, Section 2, “The president shall be commander in chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States.” Compare with Article I, Section 8, “The Congress shall have power… to declare war.”
  • So, what does this mean to me?
    • Military service is honorable.
    • It is not sin or wrong to kill the enemy in war; it is right and it is my duty.
    • Just wars must be fought to protect and preserve life and freedom.
    • Aggressors who threaten our life and freedom must be removed — most often by death in war.
    • Those who refuse to fight or support our military in just wars are either cowards or confused.
    • The President of the United States has a responsibility to seek out and kill those who attack us.
    • I am responsible to pray for my President and leaders.
  • Just War Quotes
    • Aquinas, “It is their [civil government] business to have recourse to the sword of war in defending the common [welfare] against external enemies.”
    • Augustine, “The natural order conducive to peace among mortals demands that the power to declare and counsel war should be in the hands of those who hold the supreme authority.”
    • Aquinas, “A just cause is required.”
    • Augustine, “A just war is apt to be described as one that avenges wrongs, when a nation or state has to be punished, for refusing to make amends for the wrongs inflicted by its subjects, or to restore what has been seized unjustly.”
    • Aquinas, “[To be a just war it is] necessary that belligerents should have a rightful intention, so that they intend the advancement of good, or the avoidance of evil.”
    • Augustine, “True religion looks upon as peaceful those wars that are waged not for motives of aggrandizement, or cruelty, but with the object of securing peace, of punishing evil-doers, and of uplifting the good.”
    • Martin Luther, “Without armaments peace cannot be kept; wars are waged not only to repel injustice but also to establish a firm peace.”
  • Protection of America and Just War Quotes, President George W. Bush, 
    • March 6, 2003
    • “We don’t need anybody’s permission [to defend our country]… I will not leave the American people at the mercy of the Iraqi dictator and his weapons.”
    • “But [Saddam should disarm] in the name of peace and the security of the world. If he won’t do so voluntarily, we will disarm him.”
    • “I’m convinced that a liberated Iraq will be important for that part of the world.”
    • “My faith sustains me because I pray daily, I pray for guidance and wisdom and strength… If we were to commit our troops — if we were to commit our troops — I would pray for their safety, and I would pray for innocent Iraqi lives as well.”
    • March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry addressed the Virginia legislature meeting at St John’s Church in Richmond.
      • “It is vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace! — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me: Give me liberty, or give me death!

Last Update

Saturday, March 1, 2003