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The Reconciliation of All Things
"For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell,
and, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to
reconcile all things unto Himself, by Him, I say, whether they be
things in earth or in heaven" (Colossians 1:19-20).
is such hard work to
reconcile the doctrines of men - such as eternal separation, torment,
and annihilation - with the words inspired by the Spirit of God. The
intention of Almighty God, as
revealed in Holy Scripture, has always been to reconcile all things
to Himself. And while intentions of men do not always come to pass,
there is no doubt that not only is God
fully capable of doing as He pleases, there is no greater power than
His will and the power of His resurrection, and no one purer in
heart and motive. To Him, the only wise God and Lord Jesus Christ,
be the glory and praise forever!
This preeminence gives power
to men in the carnal and worldly realm.
Why, oh why, would not men everywhere who profess a belief in Him
and who tout the veracity and sanctity of Scripture not publish
from the rooftops with great rejoicing this wonderful truth of His
plan for the reconciling of all things? One reason is because it
completely denies any worthiness on the part of humankind, which
is all in need of reconciling that comes not by man's efforts but
only as a gift of God. Religious men (and we have all been religious,
one way or another) want to have the preeminence and say that it
is because of what THEY did that they are in favor, though they will
couch their expression in terms that make it appear to give God
the glory. This preeminence gives power to men in the carnal and worldly
realm and does not give God the glory at all, only man.
What the religious person comes along saying, in effect, is: "God
has saved me because He knew there was some good thing in me. As
for you, you rejected Him because He already knew and had decided
that you were not fit for His grace and favor, instead meriting
punishment that has no end (or you will be simply wiped out). Those
few of us who accepted Him will give thanks in heaven that we weren't
so hard and wicked that we could not attain this state which others
such as you were not able to."
Is there any idea that more thoroughly blackens the Name of God and
His character than that which attributes all power and grace to
Him, yet declares He consigns much of His creation to torment without
end? To state that it is purely a gift of grace that brings salvation,
yet believe that God desires to not only withhold that gift from
those to whom He could equally bestow it, but also chooses to torture
them for so long that a million years is only the beginning, is
this not dementedly devilish? To think that an Omnipotent Creator
and Ruler could bring into existence creatures knowing, much less
planning such a fate, is to attribute an insensitivity and cruelty
to Him that is unimaginable. For men it is imaginable because, after
all, they concoct this idea. Therefore it is not only imaginable
way out of this diabolical trap is the Lord
Jesus Christ Himself.
The idea of annihilation is certainly more palatable an end, but
not much better in giving of glory to God. Jesus said that "God
sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the
world through Him might be saved" (John 3:17). As we have all heard,
"For God so loved the world..." How successful a love and salvation
is annihilation (is that what you desire for your loved ones?) from
Him Who is declared the Giver and Sustainer of all things and life
itself? The resurrected Lord declares that He has the keys to hell
and death (Rev. 1:18). How then are they accorded more power than
Getting back to where men separate themselves out and stake a superior
position based on their intrinsic ability to receive God, the reasoning
continues that if they are deserving or capable of being saved and
favored by God, who are you not to acknowledge them? If they represent
or are part of an organization which holds this special position,
you must honor them, otherwise your final non-resting place will
be the burning slag pile. You must validate them if you will possibly
escape the horrors presented or assumed as coming from the all
Now I tell you that all of you are trapped by this diabolical reasoning
whether you are of those who think they worship God or those who
make no claims. It permeates the very air you breathe and your acknowledgment,
whether in the positive or negative, only gives power and honor
to the beast of the religious self-righteousness of man. There is
one and only one way out of this diabolical trap, and that is the
Lord Jesus Christ Himself. If we believe on Him and continue in
His word it will then be as He said: "You shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).
For praise God Almighty, His thoughts and ways are not men's thoughts
and ways. As Isaiah recorded, "For as the heavens are higher than
the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts
than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from
heaven, and returns not thither, but waters the earth, and makes
it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread
to the eater, so shall My Word be that goes forth out of My mouth;
it will not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish that which
I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it"
"We have seen that the Father
sent the Son to be the Savior of the world."
And what does His Word say?
"All nations that You have made shall come and worship before You,
O Lord, and shall glorify your Name" (Psalm 86:9).
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting
life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:16-17).
"And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to
be the Savior of the world" (I John 4:14).
"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness,
but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish
but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9).
"All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord,
and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before You" (Psalm
"...having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to
His good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself, that in the
dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in
one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are
on earth, even in Him" (Ephesians 1:9-10).
"...Who will have all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge
of the truth... Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified
in due time" (I Timothy 2:4,6).
"...that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in
heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that
every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory
of God the Father" (Philippians 2:10-11).
are not only the intentions of God clearly stated, He also
gives them as a matter of fact. Now, do you believe that men who
are weeping and gnashing their teeth will be confessing Jesus Christ
as Lord, to the glory of God? A cosmic arm-twisting to elicit an
"uncle" through clenched teeth? No way. The Scriptures, inspired
by the Spirit of God, say, "Whosoever shall confess
that Jesus is the Son of God (Lord), God dwells in him, and he in God" (I John
4:15). And again, "That if you shall confess with your mouth the
Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised
Him from the dead, you shall be saved" (Romans 10:9).
Of creation it
is said several times that "God saw that it was good."
"No man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Spirit"
(I Corinthians 12:3). We are not talking lip service here, which many
give (Matthew 15:8) but which does not glorify
No, this is real, inspired from a heart knowledge of God. We will all know
is and what He has done. "And they shall teach no more every man
his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,'
for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest
of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity and I will
remember their sin no more" (Jeremiah 31:34). And again, "Behold
He comes with clouds, and every eye shall see Him,
even they who pierced Him. And all kindreds of the earth shall
wail because of
Him. Even so, Amen" (Revelation 1:7).
Yes, there will be sorrowing, but with holy purpose unto repentance,
not pain upon pain upon pain with no recourse. "For the earth shall
be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea"
(Isa. 11:9). And, "All the ends of the world shall remember and
turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship
before You" (Psalm 22:27). Please ask yourself how completely waters
cover the sea, or who is left out when all kindreds of the nations
and ends of the world are turning to and worshiping the Lord of
The Scriptures are full of the record given by God of His will for
creation. His character permeates it all, for it is by knowing His character
that we also know His will. The record is from the beginning, as
Peter said, "...Whom the heaven must receive (the Lord Jesus Christ)
until the times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken
by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began" (Acts
So what has been said, starting in the beginning? Of creation it
is said several times that "God saw that it was good." And when
complete (which concluded with man) it is summed up, "And God saw
everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good" (Genesis
If we had no more testimony than this, doesn't this say it all? How
can creation be termed good if destined in large part to destruction
and torment as its end? Especially when the Creator is so powerful
as to create all these things, knowing all, existing beyond space
and time? And how can this picture of defeat be reconciled with
the record that, "of the increase of His government and peace there
shall be no end..." (Isaiah 9:7)?
first recorded event of man and woman in Scripture is the sin
of Adam wherein he disobeyed the commandment of God. Notice in Genesis
3 that Adam did not repent. He blamed God and his wife ("the woman that
You gave me"). Did God give Adam an eternal hot seat time out
to think about what he did and had unloaded on his progeny and
all of creation? No, He protected him physically (making them coats
of skins) and spiritually (keeping him away from the Tree of Life
in his fallen state).
Of this Adam Paul writes that through his offence death reigned.
He goes on to say that the gift of grace by the second Adam, Jesus
Christ, is greater than the condemnation of the first. "For the
judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many
offences unto justification" (Romans 5:16). Which is greater, one
sin that brings all of mankind under the curse of disobedience and
independence which comes by eating from the tree of knowledge, or
the act of obedience of the laying down of the life that redeems
not only Adam, but all sinners thereafter? The fish that swallows
the fish is the greater one, no? So it is here.
What happened to everything being good?
"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection
of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be
made alive. But every
man in his own order...And when all things shall be subdued unto Him...God
in all" (I
Corinthians 15:21,22, 23, 28). If this is not comprehensive, what is? "Every" and "all"
does not cover who or what? And notice that all is subdued to
Him. All have been in rebellion and have feasted on being independent
of God. All will be subdued. Not by men's scare tactics but by experience
of evil and revelation of the righteous God Who came as a man and
gave Himself for us that we might have Life. We then no longer
eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which brings death,
but live in and by the Tree of Life, the Lord Jesus Christ Who
said, "Truly, truly I say to you, Except you eat the flesh of the
Son of Man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you" (John
Furthermore, the sin and fall of Adam were not a cosmic oversight,
this new creature made in the image of God throwing a monkey wrench into
God's work. Not at all. Of Him it is said: "In Whom also we have
obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him
Who works all things after the counsel of His Own will..." (Ephesians
1:11). He is in full control. Men have it backwards. It
is not we, but He, Who is fully in charge. And men also have it backwards
about creation being brought down. "For the creature was made subject
to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him Who has subjected the same
in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage
of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Romans 8:20-21).
Moving on from Adam we next have Cain, who murders his brother because
his brother's sacrifice was accepted of God and his wasn't. Cain
was religious and presaged the religious who would stone the prophets
and crucify the Christ. And what did God do with Cain, skin him
alive? No, He put a mark on him so that he could live. Some might
think that was only for punishment, but Cain also founded a city
and had progeny. Why tolerate the evildoer for another moment, if
you are all powerful? No, friends, there was purpose in the keeping
of Cain and it wasn't to put off future torture. God's ways are much
From that point on corruption overspreads the earth and it is filled
with violence (from a Hebrew word meaning "unjust gain"). Sound
familiar? And the Lord said, "I will destroy man whom I have created
from the face of the earth...for it repents Me that I have made
them" (Genesis 6:7). What happened to everything being good? If everything
stopped there that would be a legitimate objection to what has already
been stated here. However, the very next line answers all: "But
Noah found grace in the eyes of God."
He chooses the weak and foolish
so that it is known that it is His power.
Grace is what? Earned, sweated out, figured out, achieved? No, it
is a gift of God. It was not Noah but God that determined to save
man. Yes, He was angry and still is with the evil thoughts and imaginations
of men's hearts. He is so great that He is willing to suffer such
for the glory of that which He has created and redeems. He gave
grace and made a man that would fulfill His will. That is the pattern
throughout His story.
So Noah and his family are saved and all else are destroyed in the
flood, everyone consigned to hell forever, right? But what is this
that Peter tells us, throwing all certainty of such a notion into
"For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for
the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in
the flesh but quickened by the Spirit, by which also he went and
preached to the spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient,
when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while
the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were
saved by water" (I Peter 3:18-20).
They were not at all finished
as men teach.
"For it pleased the Father that in Him should all
fullness dwell, and, having made peace through the blood of His cross,
by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself, by Him, I say, whether
they be things in earth or in heaven" (Colossians 1:19-20).
He preached to the spirits in prison.
I am convinced that we could spend the rest of our lives looking
at every verse in the Bible, reflecting on the will of God and His
graciousness. That is how wonderfully full this subject is. Of
necessity I will move on and give one more example.
Abraham was called out alone. He was the one man chosen of God in
whom all nations would be blessed. Men love numbers and are impressed
by them; God does things that appear foolish and weak. So it is
to this day. It is His work and glory, not man's. He chooses the
small, the weak and foolish so that it will be known that it is His
power and not man's.
God, seeing how Abraham was blessed of Him, decided to tell Abraham
that He was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham, concerned
for his nephew, Lot, asked, "Will You also destroy the righteous
with the wicked?" (Genesis 18:23) The question was a rhetorical
one. Lot, as Noah, found grace in His sight (it is God's doing) and
was spared, while the cities were destroyed by fire from heaven.
Of this event Jude writes, "...even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the
cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication
and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering
the vengeance of eternal fire" (Jude 7). Which means they were destroyed
by fire and are now burning in hell, forever, right?
God delights in judgment, why?
So He can see people squirm in torment?
Wrong. When fire consumes all that can be consumed, it has burned
eternally, or forever. If I burn a piece of paper forever the time
involved is short. The qualifiers of eternal and forever address
the thoroughness of the work, not the time duration. This is proved
by the words of the Lord Jesus Himself.
"And you, Capernaum, which are exalted unto heaven, shall be brought
down to hell: for if the mighty works, which had been done in you,
had been done in Sodom, it
would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, that
it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than
for you" (Matt.
If the Lord had done in Sodom as He had in Capernaum they
repented. How could anyone say that if repentance is possible for
someone (and the Lord is willing that none should perish but that
all should come to repentance (as per 2 Peter 3:9), He would then
consign the sinner that could be saved to a condition of torment
without end? It is simple: one cannot.
This is confirmed in the second part of the quotation that is bolded,
that it will be more tolerable in the day of judgment for Sodom
than for those who rejected the Lord after seeing His great works,
still not believing. The reason judgment can be more tolerable for
some is that judgment is for correction, and therefore
is meted out in varying degrees as necessary. You who have children and
them do not do so with a one-size-fits-all approach, but try to
tailor the punishment to the need of the child so that they may learn.
You, who are sinners though made in the image of God, do you think
He does differently?
me ask you somevery simple questions: If you could plan to
have 20 children, loving them all, knowing that while only one would
to have peace and prosperity, while the other 19 would burn forever
in horrible torment, crying, screaming, writhing, without an end,
would you have those children? And could you be at peace with that
one, knowing the other 19 are suffering horribly when you could
have made the decision to not have them in the first place? Would that one be able
to bask in total fulfilment and pleasure with you? Would
it please you if that one could completely forget about
those who continue to exist in torment? I most certainly
know what my answer would be. Now you may say, "Well, this is logic.
Logic is not the way by which we judge these things." I disagree.
God has given us our minds and has given us reasoning power, which
can be pure and effective only when cleansed and taught by Him.
However, we give you not only reason, but the Scriptural Testimony.
Jesus Christ died for us while we were yet His
God delights in judgment why? So He can see people roast and squirm
in torment? God forbid anyone should think so. He says to us, "Depart
from evil, and do good: and dwell forevermore, for the Lord loves judgment..." (Psalm
37:27-28). He loves judgment because the end of it is righteousness,
peace, joy, life forevermore. That is the entire testimony
of the Scriptures.
"Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His
wonderful works to the children of men!" (Psalm 107:8,15,31)
It is only men who hold such a grudge against their fellow man for
the evils done them (whether in fact, or even simply perceived)
that they think in terms of torment and punishment without end. It
is not God; not ever did it enter His mind. It is totally against
His nature. The Lord Jesus Christ died for us while we were yet His
enemies. That is His nature. A man might give his life for a beloved
friend or relative, "but God commends His love toward us, in that
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). He
did not die for the righteous.
The religious self-righteous hate to hear of God's restitution of
all. It offends them. It takes away their sense of importance, reward,
sacrifice and vengeance on those who opposed them. It denies their works (remember Cain). They exclaim, "Then it doesn't matter what
you do, if everyone is going to be saved." They expose themselves
right then and there as having no heart for what is right, no appreciation
that what is right has its own reward, which God wishes us to know
and thereby live. And conversely they do not acknowledge that evil
too has its rewards, as sure as the sun sets in the west. "Be not
deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man sows, that shall
he also reap" (Galatians 6:7).
In the end we will all know God. We will know He rules over all things,
at all times, in complete sovereignty. It is all His doing. If we
complain about our lives it is against Him that we complain. When
taken to a higher level, we will and do see that it has all been
for good, that He meant it for good and not evil, and we will all
lift up our voices to praise Him.