“And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:20-21)
I would like to relate a short story. In a remote rural community, that we shall call East-Arden for now, there lived an old gentleman whose name was Richard. He was loved and respected by most everyone that knew him. For years he had been an outstanding figure in the community, always ready to help anyone and everyone in any way that he was able and thus was known to all as “good old Dick”.
Well, as the story goes, good old Dick was often heard to reminisce about a car that he used to own years back and how he wished that he still had that car, but alas it was not possible. Now, one day old Dick’s son, Jesse, was driving through the country and lo and behold, there in a farmer’s field, amongst the grass and the weeds, Jesse found an old rusted and dented car. It was just like the one old Dick, his father, was always talking about. So, Jesse looked up the farmer that owned the field and he bought that old wreck of a car. He hauled it home to his place with the intent to rebuild it. Well, that was easier said than done. Most of the parts were no longer available and new ones had to be made. Other parts were a long time in locating and acquiring. But with the help of friends and neighbours, and with a lot of sweat and elbow grease, they rebuilt the engine, they hammered, and they scraped, they sanded and they welded! All the scrap and junk and unusable parts and pieces they took to the dump and finally they painted the restored car with a beautiful shiny new paint. It was really a work of art and love.
So, now that the car was restored, the whole community got together and with great fanfare, right in front of the East-Arden rural town hall, they presented good old Dick with the keys to his newly restored car, with which he was truly happy, of course. But it did not take long for someone, for some unknown reason, to slash the tires of old Dick’s newly restored prize and to key the new paint. Well the whole community was up in arms and they soon apprehended the vandals, which, of course, were thrown in jail for their cowardly deed.
So, now that I’ve told this little story let us look at a Biblical parallel. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and all that is therein. “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” (Gen. 1:31). Now, over the ages, up to the very present, man on the whole has corrupted this wonderful creation one way or another. Mankind on the whole has become sinful and corrupt. (Rom. 3:12, Ps. 14:1, Ps. 53:1).
In the preceding story we can liken old Dick, in a small way, to God the Father, for His kind, loving and benevolent way of life. We can compare his car to God’s good earth, once very good, but later corrupt and destroyed, just waiting to be restored. Then enter the old man’s son, Jesse. God the Father gave His son, Jesus, to bring good tidings and Salvation to mankind (lost Israel). Just like Jesse finding the old car in a field. Jesus gives us a parable in Matt. 13:44 about a treasure in a field which a man hideth and then buys the field. Now we all know that that man is Jesus and the field is the world and the treasure is lost Israel. When Jesse and his friends restore the old car, we can liken that to Jesus’ ministry here on earth; together with the preaching of the Kingdom by the Apostles and Disciples, which carries on unto Christ’s return and His thousand year reign. (Rev. 20).
Now when Christ returns to claim His Throne and His Kingdom, all those that have died as a witness for Him, and all those yet alive that have not the Mark of the Beast, will reign with Christ in establishing this Kingdom (Rev. 20: 4, 6). This thousand-year reign will be a cleansing and a restoration period in which the good will be saved and the bad or evil will be purged. Just as in the story of the car’s restoration, that which was repairable and usable was restored and saved, but that which was beyond repair was dumped.
According to Rev. 20:2, at the beginning of Christ’s earthly reign, Satan and his henchmen, will be locked up, so to speak, so that Christ and His saints will be able to restore most, if not all, of God’s creation, without any evil intervention. But, at the end of the thousand years Satan will again be let loose and again, just as at the beginning, he will rebel against all that God has created and Christ has restored. (Rev. 20:7-8). At that time God will say, enough is enough: and He, the Father, will step in and once and for all exterminate all that is evil. (Rev. 20:9). In verse 10 (Rev. 20) it states that Satan, at that time, shall be cast into the Lake of Fire where the Beast and the False Prophets are. In verses 14-15 we also read that Death and Hell (grave) are cast into the Lake of Fire and also, all of them that are not found in The Book of Life. Only at that time will “the restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21) be complete. All things will then be in perfect harmony with God. At that time will Christ return all of Creation back to God the Father and Christ will have completed His mission of salvation and restitution. Whether the term “Lake of Fire” means an actual lake or whether it is a metaphor really is not important here, what is important is the fact that it means total separation from God.
So, dear friends, you can see that the “restitution of all things” is a Biblical concept (Acts 3:21) Now, over the ages, up to the very present, man on the whole has corrupted this wonderful creation one way or another. Mankind on the whole has become sinful and corrupt, but universal reconciliation cannot be substantiated. People have always tried to improve on God’s ways. Most of our nations did away with capital punishment, which was God’s way of dealing with and preventing murder, rape and other serious crimes. The people felt that it was cruel and unusual punishment and that we (people) could be more humane. Now, some also feel that eternal banishment is cruel, but our God is not a cruel God. Our God is a just God! 2Tim. 4:8 states, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
So, you can see by the last part of this verse that there are certain conditions for Salvation and there are many other verses throughout Scripture bearing out the same fact. Now those who teach universal reconciliation should read and study Jer. 14:14, Jer. 23:1, 2 and Jer. 50:6, to name but a few and then really consider what they are doing.
As for you and me we should really take the Lord’s advice when He tells us in Matt. 24:4 “TAKE HEED THAT NO MAN DECEIVE YOU”.