Pristine Grace

The War to End All Wars
by Winston Pannell
The War to End All Wars

    In 1944, 20 year old Lieutenant Hiro Onoda and his company were sent to remote Lubang Island, the Philippines to conduct guerilla warfare against the Allied Forces. 29 years later he emerged from the jungle with news that the war had ended in 1945.

    What a costly experience borne of ignorance Lieutenant Hiro had to bear. For 29 years he readied and engaged himself with orders to hold his position until personally relieved of that duty by his commanding officer. Of his company, all but he died in the jungle, engaged in a warfare towhich Emperor Hirohito had already surrendered.

    There are untold millions like Lieutenant Onoda living today and millions more who have already died in the jungles of idolatry, ignorant of a spiritual warfare accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ. In ignorance, rebellion and self-righteous religious pride they fight on. I know for I was one of them. I fought Satan for fifty years before I knew he had been defeated. God describes such as “those who run as uncertainly, who beat the air.” (1 Corinthians 9:26) I ran uncertainly, ignorant of the enemy who was much too cunning for one who always had a shadow of doubt as to my standing with God. I engaged in shadowboxing with a skillful adversary who kept me fighting “straw men” in the war for my soul.

    Then the news came: “Tell Jerusalem her warfare is ended.” Christ has confronted the enemy. The ministry of Christ included a wilderness when Satan tempted him to dishonor the Father. His response: “Get thee behind me Satan, for it is written.” Christ was not shadow boxing. Christ has conquered the enemy. The ministry of Christ included a cross where he satisfied law and justice for “those who were all their lifetimes subject to bondage.” Now, “who can lay anything to the charge of God’s Elect, It is Christ who has died.” He did not run as uncertainly.

    Christ has conformed the enemy. The ministry of Christ includes a church that was by nature the enemy of God. Being transformed by the renewing of our minds we “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ.” The Bride of Christ does not run as uncertainly; neither do we beat the air. We run in celebration of his victory. The war is over.