[* The following edited writing can be found in ‘themessenger’ July - August 2012 issue, P3.  Sub title from John 16: 33 is from the NIV translation. – Ed.]



[Today] the eyes of the world are on London for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.  All over the world, people will be watching.  One thing that will be virtually impossible not to notice will be the official logo of the Olympics – the Olympic Rings.



The iconic symbol of the five Olympic Rings is recognised throughout the world.  In fact, it is one of the world’s most recognisable symbols, up there with Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Nike.



The colours of the five interlocking rings (blue, black, red, yellow and green) were chosen in 1913 by the logo’s original designer, Pierre de Coubertin.  The colours are significant because each of the countries forming the Olympic Family has one of these colours as part of their national flag, including the white background.  The rings are interlocked to denote friendship among all peoples of the earth regardless of creed or colour.  And the white background is to symbolise peace among all nations for the duration of the Games as all warring states are to lay down their arms so that the athletes can compete in peace.  In fact, in the Olympic charter it is stated that The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to a peaceful and better world.”  Even the Ancient Olympics stated the following as their hope: May the world be delivered from crime and killing, and freed from the clash of arms.”  Isn’t that amazing?



But think about that - is that dream, written thousands of years ago, anywhere closer to being fulfilled today than it was then?*


[* The Scriptural answer to the above question is ‘Yes’; but with multitudes of Anti-millennial Christians, they would probably answer, ‘NO! never upon this cursed earth!’: but throughout the Holy Scriptures, we read of One whose name is “Prince of Peace” and “of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end”, (Isa. 9: 7): and the Scriptures distinguish His Millennial Kingdom from His Eternal Kingdom for it is written:- “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.” (11:6) He will reign on David’s throne [in Jerusalem presumably] and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness.” (Isa. 9: 7). “For the earth WILL BE FULL of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.  In that DAY the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for all peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.  In THAT DAY the Lord will reach out his hand A SECOND TIME to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people.” (11: 9, 10).  And again: “The creation itself waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Rom. 8: 20, 21). Cf. Gen. 3: 17, 18; 2 Pet. 3: 8; Rev. 20: 4.  The redemption of the animal world will come as a result of the reinstatement of man.  The animal creation was subjected to the fall unwillingly and will receive a regeneration in the coming glorious new age.” (WM. F. BEIRNES.]



Is this even a goal we see being striven for in our modern 21st Century world – a peaceful world free from killing and war?  Surely if we look at our television screens for even 10 minutes, we can only see the exact opposite.  Fighting in Afghanistan, war in Syria, the terrible suffering in Yemen, the shootings in our streets – is seems like our world has gone crazy with violence.  What are we supposed to do with all that; what should our response be?



Firstly, we are not to be surprised; Jesus told us in the last days, violence and wars would increase.*


[* Matt. 24: 6.]



Secoundly, we are not to despair.  God is a righteous Judge and, though in this earth, the wicked may seem to prosper, eventually their evil will catch up with them; the trouble they have caused will recoil on themselves, and their violence will come down on their own heads as God judges them for what they have done.*


[* Psalm 7.]



And thirdly, we are to pray - [for our Lord’s return, (Acts 1: 11. cf. Rev. 2: 25) and] - for troubled situations and areas around the world.



[In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world:”

(John 16: 33).]



History shows us that killing and wars have always taken place ever since the Fall - they have come and they have gone.  In the past, sometimes arms have been put down or wars put on hold for something like the Olympic Games, but, ultimately, we know that the only way the Olympic goal of a peaceful world delivered from crime and killing can ever be fulfilled is not through sport, but through Christ’s coming to dwell in men’s hearts;* only then will there ever be true peace.


[* NOTE.  While this it true up to a point, it is only partially true because world-peace could only then be established if all living upon earth were regenerated!: and this is something which we know will never happen, for evil amongst the unregenerate will increase as the time for the Antichrist to be revealed draws closer! 


There first needs to be a separation of the ‘sheep’ from the ‘goats’: and this will be done by our Lord Jesus, when He returns to establish His Millennial Kingdom of righteousness and peace.  The “Olympic Dream” will then become a reality, but not before then!  Rev. 11: 15, 18.]



What about your heart?  Do you know this true inner peace?  The Bible tells us in Philippians 4: 7 that God can give us a peace that surpasses all understanding.  That peace is only available in and through [faith in our Lord] Jesus Christ.  He came that we might be at peace with God, and at peace with ourselves.



(Concept taken from Karen Turner’s 2004 Messenger article)


Robert McCollum, Newtownards RPC