That word "restitution" is the Greek word apokatastasis which only occurs once (which in itself is signifigant) and means: Restoration of a true theocracy of the perfect state before the fall! How can you get so much meaning into one little word?! I'm not saying that some people will not burn in hell. They will. I'm not saying that there won't be weeping and gnashing of teeth, oh there will. But ultimately after every sin has been paid for and when Death has been done away with and Jesus has put everything under his feet and He has won every last person - because that is who He came to save. Every one. Oh I know this is what is hard to swallow. Because the WHOLE WORLD through Him will be saved - not in this age - because it's just too big a job for just one age. Maybe it will take 70? You know, an age a week? Because didn't God tell Daniel there would be 70 weeks? But that is just a kernal of an idea that the Lord has put on my heart - Just speculation for chewing purpuses - I don't know if the idea is true or not yet, I just started considering it, but the Holy Spirit woke me up to write this whole post tonight.
Anyway, back to our hypothetical situation. If Jesus saves everyone in the end - what is the point of "our" cross? Why strive to go on the narrow way? Why fast? Why pray? Why the whole wilderness experience?
Jesus told a parable about just that exact situation.
For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.This parable is for us - those that want to BE chosen - who strive to obey and pick up our cross and deny ourselves. The penny symbolizes a day's wage - and it is not insignifigant that in Revelation - it is a day's wages that will buy a loaf of Bread. I think there is more here about that, but it has not yet been revealed to me.
And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. Matt 20:1-16
So the question that has assaulted me the last couple days has been, why be good? But see, that IS the test! It is the same test in the same wilderness that the Isrealites had to go through!
And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?First, us little kids are afraid of our Father - very concerned about getting a big scary spanking in the form of hell. We look around at the "other" kids and say "nyah nyah, you are getting a spanking and we are not!" Then we get a little more mature and find out that the spanking will not be what we first thought it was. So we love our Father for His extreme mercy and realize that we have to love the "others" as ourselves because the Father will save them too. Then maybe the thought occurs that we should just go out and party like the others are doing? I mean, isn't that what teenagers do?
We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:
But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes. Numbers 11:4-6
That is the test because - the Lord is testing us to see if we REALLY DO love HIM with our WHOLE HEART, SOUL, MIND and STRENGTH. And of course, our neighbor as ourselves, but it is really about God. God wants to have a loving and sweet relationship with us. We have to want God because of Who he IS not because we want to avoid hell, or because we believe we have somehow hit pay dirt because we are saved and the others are not. It's not about hell and it's not about our "rewards". Those in Revelation cast their crowns at the feet of Jesus. Because all honor and glory does belong to Him. He saves the whole world and everyone in it.
It's not about us anymore. I guess, it never has been. That is the plan that the Lord has, that a little glimpse has been given. A plan for the ages. That is why it is so important to love our neighbor, like Christ loved us and DIED for us. Because it is still better to be saved in this life. Part of the test is whether or not we will love our neighbor. Love them enough to let them know that Jesus died for them too. We have to grow up, we have to be mature sons and daughters of the King, and bring the gospel of salvation to those who are lost.
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.I know, that last verse appears to contradict what I have been saying. But it doesn't. Someone has to be the bad guy. We can't crucify ourselves, just as Christ couldn't crucify himself. But woe to that man right? The lake of fire will still suck, for any length of time. Better to be saved in this life and even better to be good, obedient children. Love God and love your neighbor.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
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.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. REV 21:1-8
Blessings in Christ,