The term “hot pursuit” is often used in law enforcement to describe the the chasing of a person of interest. Wether on foot on in a car, they are moving quickly and staying with them in order to overtake and stop them. And they won’t give up until they have got their guy.
In Hebrews 12:14 we read this; Pursue peace with all people, and holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
The word translated “pursue” means “to put in rapid motion”, and “to follow eagerly” and the idea is to “be in hot pursuit of” just like the police will do when chasing the bad guy.
So, We are told here to chase hard after and be in hot pursuit of Peace with ALL people.
This is the call of every Christian. To pursue peace with all people. But it is important to recognize it says Peace AND Holiness because the one must not be compromised for the other, but both should be pursued equally.
The push for what is usually labeled as “tolerance” in the church today is probably most often a sincere call for the pursuit of peace. And I am sure many if not most of those who would promote this more liberal approach of “tolerance” in the church are sincere in their pursuit of peace.
As Christians we should be peaceful and respectful people. We should be loving and gentle with others. We should pursue peace with all people.
But to abandon holiness as defined by God and His Word for the sake of peace is not what this or any other passage would command us to do.
That kind of compromise will not bring real peace. It may avoid a momentary conflict with the culture of the day, but it could never produce real lasting peace in anyones life or Christ’s Church.
So often, however; it feels like we simply can not have them both. Therefore, It seems as though the only way to pursue peace is to abandon the clear biblical teachings on sin for the cultures ideas and movements in order to have peace.
But this is exactly why we have to be in HOT PURSUIT of both. It is not going to come easily. We have to follow hard after both together. And ultimately we will find it in the finished work of Jesus on the Cross. We find it balanced in His Grace. We find it when we obey His word and walk int he spirit. His Church must pursue peace AND Holiness - Not compromise:
As we each consider how to accomplish this balance in our own lives and churches, I will leave you with these helpful words on the same topic from The Apostle Paul.
Romans 12:17-21 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good