Perhaps you have heard the description, “Jesus meek and mild”. Oftentimes, “peace and love” are trotted out as isolated concepts with no grounding and touted as Jesus’ main message. “Jesus taught to ‘love everybody’” is sometimes often an opinion voiced. While many of these things are true, taken out of context they present a very false view of what and who Jesus was.
Yet, Jesus also created a whip and drove merchants out of the Temple. Jesus often criticized the Pharisees to their face, calling them “hypocrites” and even children of the Devil. People often overlook that the reason Peter had a sword with him the night Jesus was arrested was because Jesus Himself told His disciples to sell their clothing and buy swords (Lk 22:36). This represented a change from before (cf v 35).
People also overlook the fact that Jesus was and still is God. He was the representative of God that has interfaced with human beings all along. In a very real sense, He is the God of the Old Testament. There isn’t sufficient space to go into all the details, but when Jesus said, “I am,” He literally meant He was God who appeared to Moses.
Yet another important point is that Jesus said His servants would fight. Not then, but later.
36Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. (John 18:36, King James Version)
So, how to reconcile these items?
Over and over again, the wrath of God is described in the Book of Revelation. There also is described an army that will follow Jesus Christ when He returns.
These armies will engage (v 19). This is the scene that Jesus referred to when He said “my servants would fight”. This is the establishing of His Kingdom upon the earth.
As we seen in previous sections, when is it permissible to go to war? When God says so! We will see the saints being raised up incorruptible, as spirit beings. At that time, they will have been purified and ready to rule in God’s Kingdom. They will be able to make righteous choices because they will have overcome the evil and sin in their own lives.
They will finally have the character needed to be able to fight a just war. That would include the right motive, which is to save the earth from destruction.