A Baptist Perspective
His remarks formulated my final question, "How do you see a more peaceful world coming about?"
He frowned. "I have a problem with this question because on the one hand, humanly, my heart says that if people would just determine and make up their minds to get along, they could get along. But, the fact of the matter is, the Bible says the heart of man is desperately wicked.
"And then it says in Matthew 24 and 25, there would be wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, and all the rest. Itís what the Bible says. And I donít think there ever will be, that we will ever achieve, real peace on this earth. Look at Belgium. You have the Walloons and the Flemish people who for a thousand years have been feuding. Theyíre international award winners in science and so forth but they are still feuding. And look at the Africans, they are feuding. Look at Mexico and Central America. Still you have the differences of the various groups. And you have it throughout the entire world. You have the Arabs and you have the Jews. Look at Northern Ireland. I do not look for utopia on this earth. But in the Bible it says Jesus will come and set up his kingdom of a thousand years and that it will continue on through eternity, with Jesus Christ as our ruler. Then I would expect peace."
"Please say more about this," I urged.
"Well, the Bible says for the first thousand years Christ will set up his kingdom on this world. And after that the Bible says, in Revelations, a new heaven and a new earth will be established, whatever that means. I donít like to be totally fatalistic and totally pessimistic. Iím glad for all the coming together ó of our President and the Russians ó and I still live on this earth and I still enjoy it here. I have children and I would covet for them peace on earth, but Iím afraid Armageddon is out there somewhere."
Then, in words that seemed a summation of Reverend Pelletierís whole life, he said, "I prayed that God would make me a blessing to you people, and an inspiration, because thatís the only purpose we have for being here." He stood and we shook hands. I left the Pelletier home feeling grateful to have such a clear, succinct explanation of the Baptist faith.