The UK Bible Students Website
All Scriptures referred to are from the King James
Answer: Acts 3: 20, 21reads:
And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 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.
Restitution means a return to an original condition, restoring something that has been lost. The original condition of the human family was human perfection, represented in Adam and Eve before their fall into sin. Adam was created in the image and likeness of God. The image of God implies perfection in the physical, mental, moral, and religious faculties. The likeness of God implies perfect rulership over earth (Gen. 1: 26).
Physical, mental, moral, and religious degradation has damaged the image of God in humankind and has cursed the earth, greatly oppressing the human race.
This sad and degraded condition appealed to the compassion of the Creator and moved Him in His mercy to effect a recovery by sending Jesus into the world to die as the Ransom-price for the entire human family (Rom. 3: 26; Matt. 20: 28).
Just as the main purpose of Christ’s First Advent was the laying down of the Ransom-price, so the main purpose of His Second Advent is to make the Ransom-price available for the recovery of mankind through the process of restitution.
By the time the process is complete at the end of the Millennial Age, all the obedient will have been returned to the original perfection of human nature in the image and likeness of God and will have been reconciled to their Creator. Additionally, the ‘all things’ of Acts 3: 21 refers not only to humanity but also to planet earth, which will be transformed into a new Garden of Eden (Ezek. 36: 33-36).
The Scriptures teach that this opportunity for restitution consists of seven elements:
3. All will be put under conditions conducive to righteousness, in contrast to present conditions which are conducive to evil (Psa. 72: 6-8).
4. All will be favourably influenced toward Christ, in contrast to the relative few who have been so influenced in the present life (John 12: 32).
5. All will submit to Jesus and acknowledge His right to reign over them, something that few have recognised in this life (Phil. 2: 9-11).
6. All will be given the opportunity to consecrate, or dedicate, their lives to God, when it will be an easier ‘highway’, instead of a difficult way (Isa. 35: 8).
7. All will be given an opportunity to receive the holy spirit, something that only the elect have received in the present life (Joel 2: 28, 29).
August 2014. The usual legal and moral rights are asserted, but you are free to reproduce this article without express permission. Please acknowledge the source.