Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. Matthew 10:34.
The question has been asked, How can there be agreement between the statement, “I came not to send peace, but a sword,” and the song sung by the angels when Christ was born in the manger at Bethlehem, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men”? The song of the angels is in harmony with the words of the prophet Isaiah, who, when he predicted the birth of Christ, declared Him to be the Prince of peace. The gospel is a glorious message of peace and goodwill to men; the blessing that Christ came to bring was that of harmony and peace. He left His throne of glory, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might bring back from apostasy to loyalty to God the children of men, and bind their hearts together and to the heart of Infinite Love. He came to present to a fallen world the remedy for sin, so that whosoever should believe on Him should not perish, but by becoming one with Him and the Father should have everlasting life….
The condition of the world at the time when Christ came into the walks of humanity was no exceptional condition. At that time the Scriptures had been buried beneath human traditions, and Christ declared that those who professed to interpret the Word of God were ignorant both of the Scriptures and of the power of God….
Christ presented to His countrymen and to the world brightness, beauty, and holiness, the divine nature, by which they might be bound close to the heart of Infinite Love. He brought light into the world to dispel spiritual darkness and to reveal truth…. The truth, which was to restore and renew, is a destroyer of evil; and when evil is persistently cherished, it becomes a destroyer of the sinner also….
Sinners’ perversity, their resistance of the truth, makes the mission of Christ appear to be what He announced to His disciples—the sending of a sword upon the earth; but the strife is not the effect of Christianity, but the result of opposition in the hearts of those who will not receive its blessings.
From the first presentation of Christianity to the world, there has been a deadly warfare instituted against it…. Those who suffer for the truth know the value of a pure gospel, a free Bible, and liberty of conscience.—Bible Echo (Australia), March 12, 1894.