Years ago while in the Philippines I visited the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. It is a huge sprawl of 17,206 military grave markers including fallen from the Philippines and from other Allied nations. Of those 17,206, there are over 3700 that are unknown. The marble crosses and Stars of David, neatly arranged in huge circular patterns around the central memorial, silently witness to the unfathomable cost of war. It’s hard to imagine the personal loss that the thousands of individuals and families represented here experienced.
When will wars stop? Will wars ever stop? Sadly, if we look for Biblical answers to those questions, the answer is disappointing. No, wars will never stop. At least not voluntarily. And the pain and grief that wars bring will continue until there is active intervention.
That intervention that will terminate wars will have to be from strong leadership, with immense power, that can impose worldwide peace by force. Enter the One who will rule with a “rod of iron” (Revelation 19:15) – the Prince of Peace Himself, Jesus Christ. Finally there will be peace. When the “Lamb of God” returns it will be as the “Lion of Judah”.
But will that peace be enduring? Not totally, because at the end of a thousand years, there will be a resurgence of sinful rebellion on the part of large portions of mankind. There will be an uprising, and the last battle, if it can be called a battle at all, will be fought. It won’t last long. It will be a slaughter. There will be great loss of life on the side opposing God. There will be no Memorial Day services for those fallen at the Battle of Armageddon (Ezekiel 39, and Revelation 19 and 20). The final war will have been fought.
Soon after will come the New Heaven and the New Earth. War will finally be done.