Purpose

The purpose and intent of this site is twofold:

1. Share the Word of God as found in the Bible.

2. Comment on current events as they relate to Bible prophecy


Friday, November 13, 2015

The Restoration of All Things



THE RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS

The “restoration of all things” doctrine is centered in Acts 3:21.  There are several translations of the phrase including but not limited to:  all things are restored; and restitution of all things.

Acts 3:20-21 KJV  And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:  (21)  Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

“all things are restored”       NET
“restoration of all things”     Green’s Literal, ASV, CLT, KJ3

There are many ways the Restoration of All Things is taught in the Scriptures.
(1)   There is the law of Jubilee, which cancels all debt (sin) at the end of the time of judgment.
(2)   There is God’s vow in Num. 14: 21 to fill the whole earth with His glory. 
(3)   Jesus says that if He were “lifted up” (crucified), He would draw [literally, “drag”] ALL MEN unto Himself.
(4)   Paul quotes Isaiah in Phil. 2: 10, 11 that “every knee” will bow and “every tongue” will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
(5)   Paul quotes Psalm 8 in many places to show that “the all” will be subjected to Christ in the end. The only reason people find Paul’s teaching offensive is because they really do not want all sinners to be saved.

The deliverance or redemption of the natural creation is connected with that of the children of God. It is when the sons of God are revealed (Romans 8:19) that the creation itself will experience its redemption. The creation is personified as waiting “with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.”

Will All Be Restored?
In my opinion (and several others as well) this restoration will not only include the creation but all individuals ever born, still born, or aborted.  Many do not agree with this principle and the most common argument is “scripture says that people will burn in hell forever”.  These people may give their money and labor to the Church for the purpose of “saving souls” that they have never met, but they do not want certain ones to be saved, because they feel that they “deserve” to be punished forever.

The disagreement or opposition to the principle of “everyone will be ultimately redeemed” comes down to three primary objections.
(1)  The belief that some people are such huge sinners that their debt to the law exceeds the value or worthiness of the blood of Christ. It says that Christ's blood was insufficient or not shed to pay for the sin of the whole world.
(2)  The second objection says that Christ paid for the sin of the whole world, but that most of it was undeliverable, due to the will of man. This was the scenario presented by Moses in Numbers 14. God’s answer was that the whole earth will be filled with His glory, and not just Israel as a nation.
(3)  The third objection says that God does not love the world enough to actually purchase all of creation by His blood. This is the idea of limited atonement. It says that God elected only a few to be saved, and decided by His own sovereign will to cast away all others. But Jesus said in John 3: 16, “For God so loved the world.”

It has been proposed that those who do not want to see all mankind saved are those who do not yet have the mind of Christ. Those who harbor grudges in their hearts against those who have abused them or wronged them in the past are those who do not know the love of Christ. But those who have come to know the God of the Bible and to know the love of Christ which passes all understanding are the ones that God is training to reign with Him both now and in the Age to come.

The sin of Adam was imputed to all, thus the penalty of death was given to all.  Sin came first and then death.  Newborns without recognizable sin have the death penalty.  Death due to the sin of Adam is a sentence of punishment given to the children because of the transgression of the father.  To correct this seemingly unfair penalty the Son of God was made manifest to correct this supposed injustice.  Through the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, the perfect, unblemished, and spotless offering of God, perfect justice was restored for all people of all time regardless of their knowledge or lack of knowledge concerning God the Father and God the Son.

1 Corinthians 15:22-23 KJV  (22)  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.  (23)  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

Each in Their Own Order
Not all will receive immortality at the same time. Jesus established the fact of universal reconciliation, but the timing is determined by our will and actions. The overcomers will receive aionian (an age of time, not eternal or forever) life in the first resurrection (Revelation 20:4-6) and they will reign with Him during the thousand-year Millennium or Tabernacles Age.

John 5:24 LITV-TSP  Truly, truly, I say to you, the one who hears My word, and believes the One who has sent Me, has everlasting life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

The rest of the believers will be given life (immortality) at the general resurrection which occurs at the end of the thousand years. At this time ALL who yet remain in the tombs “shall hear His voice and shall come forth” (John 5: 28-29). This will include both unbelievers and the rest of the believers who missed the first resurrection. Those who refused Christ during their life time on earth, along with the great majority of mankind who never had opportunity to hear of Him in their life time, will confess Jesus as Lord at the Great White Throne judgment.

Acts 24:15 LITV-TSP  having hope toward God, which these themselves also admit, of a resurrection being about to be of the dead, both of just and unjust ones.

All at the White Throne will be judged according to their works (Revelation 20: 13). Because all sin is reckoned as a debt, the great Judge will reckon each man’s “debt” according to his sin and according to his level of knowledge (Luke 12: 48) and then sentence him to be “sold” according to the law in Exodus 22: 3. The purchaser will be an overcomer, one with the character of Jesus Christ, who will be given authority and responsibility to teach them righteousness by personal example. This judgment could endure until the Creation Jubilee.

The certainty of final judgment is also affirmed by the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:10, where he states that “all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ”.

2 Corinthians 5:9-10 KJV  (9)  Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.  (10)  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Murray Harris has pointed out that wherever Paul speaks of the recompense, according to works, of all mankind (such as in Romans 2:6), “there is found a description of two
mutually exclusive categories of people (Romans 2:7–10), not a depiction of two types of action i.e. good or evil, which may be declared for all people.”

Romans 2:6-9 LITV-TSP  He "will give to each according to his works:"  (7)  everlasting life truly to those who with patience in good work are seeking glory and honor and incorruptibility;  (8)  but to those even disobeying the truth, out of self interest, and obeying unrighteousness, will be anger and wrath, (i.e. judgment)  (9)  trouble and pain on every soul of man that works out evil…..

Eternal life is not an issue in this judgment (White Throne); eternal reward is . This judgment is not designed to determine entrance into the Kingdom of God but blessing, status, and authority within the Kingdom. The evidence suggests that it happens in two instances:  (1) at the second coming of Christ (2) at the close of the Millennial Age and will include all unrighteous believers and all unbelievers known as the great White Throne Judgment.

Paul clearly emphasizes the individuality (each one) of the final judgment. As important as it is to stress the corporate and communal nature of our life as the body of Christ, each person will be judged individually and no doubt partly concerning how faithful each person was to their unified responsibilities in the body of the Church.

Romans 14:12 LITV-TSP  So then each one of us will give account concerning himself to God.

As for the manner of this judgment, we do not merely “show up” but are laid bare before him. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4:5, the Lord “will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart.”  Murray Harris stated that “not merely an appearance or self-revelation, but, more significantly, a divine scrutiny and disclosure, is the necessary prelude to the receiving of appropriate recompense.”

John 5:28-29 LITV-TSP  Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming in which all those in the tombs will hear His voice.  (29)  And they will come out, the ones having done good into a resurrection of life; and the ones having practiced evil into a resurrection of judgment.

Paul is slightly more specific in 1 Corinthians 3:14–15. There he writes, “If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”

The fire is the Word of God, including the “fiery law” (Deuteronomy 33: 2). It is the manifestation of the righteous character of God Himself, for He manifested Himself to Israel only as fire. He is a “consuming fire” (Deuteronomy 4: 24).  When He comes in a baptism of fire, its purpose is to destroy “the flesh” and quicken our mortal bodies (Romans 8:11). The fire is the glory of God as well, which will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.

Deuteronomy 33:2 NET  He said: The LORD came from Sinai and revealed himself to Israel from Seir. He appeared in splendor from Mount Paran, and came forth with ten thousand holy ones. With his right hand he gave a fiery law to them.

Deuteronomy 4:24 KJV  For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

We must not fear that regret and remorse will spoil the bliss of heaven, considering the exposure and evaluation of our life and actions.  If there be tears of grief for opportunities squandered, or tears of shame for sins committed, the Lord will wipe them away.

Revelation 21:4 KJV  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Some ideas and concepts were borrowed from The Restoration of All Things by Sam Storms (available as a PDF from Amazon) and Christ the Mediator by Stephen Jones (available as a Kindle book from Amazon).

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