A Question I Was Asked:

What Does "the Restoration of All things" Mean in Acts 3:21 ?

What does "the restoration of all things" mean in Acts 3:21 ? Can you assist?

UK Apologetics Reply:

Okay, let us look at this:

Acts 3:21-23 says, Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. For Moses said, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.'

Obviously this speaks of Jesus. He is our only entrance into salvation, therefore, "...anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people."

Without question, then, 'the restoration of all things' is a reference to that future period when God will restore this earth to its original - or better - condition which existed before the fall of Adam and Eve. This speaks of the time of the 'New Heavens and New Earth.' Not only will the earth be restored (in a sense, that is), but it will actually be vastly improved, becoming a new spiritualized creation (rather than a purely physical, even though perfect one, as it originally was).

Jesus spoke of this future time in the Lord's Prayer:

your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10).

As did Paul:

For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:20-21).

Also, we might look at 1 Corinthians 15:

25. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (1 Corinthians 15:25-26).

As pointed out in several recent articles and answers to questions, Jesus the King is already reigning and His reign now continues forever. However, the time has not yet quite come for the entire restoration of all things. This commences from our Lord's Second Coming in glory and power.

At present, many of the nearby planets, including the moon, show the unmistakeable scars and craters of former cosmic battles, undoubtedly caused by demonic activities and forces. Following the Second Coming, these too will very likely be beautifully refashioned and restored at the same time as this earth will be restored and refashioned, after being purified by fire:

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. (2 Peter 3:10).

This then is the time of the upheaval and restoration of all things, including the Great Judgement, occurring when our Lord returns. Eventually, only reborn and resurrected spirit beings, that is, the saints of God - hopefully including all of us reading these words - will then be alive. Maybe we will even be allowed to fly to the now beautifully restored and refashioned planets! Who knows what joys will then lie ahead?

37. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39. neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39).

As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." Therefore, "Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." And, "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:16b-18, NIV throughout).

1. Then I saw "a new heaven and a new earth," for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4. 'He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." 5. He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." 6. He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. (Revelation 21:1-7).

This then is the future time of 'the restoration of all things.'

Robin A. Brace. June 21st, 2016.