“What is the real reason
we have embraced the Ultimate Restoration of all things?”
In the debate following Love Wins I often
hear the accusation that we just want a more
comfortable and palatable theology, one that lets us off the
hook to do whatever we want with no consequences. Nothing
could be further from the truth.
First, this truth has only magnified the reality
of the importance of how we live right now,
in this life, on this earth. God is breaking into our world
with His justice, now. Not just in the future or somewhere
else but He is dragging the future kingdom, the "shalom"
into the present. This leaves one with the sharp sense that
to really follow Jesus means to care about what He cares about,
right now. And to be out of alignment with what He cares about
means we will collide with Jesus Himself. Not a safe or pleasant
thing. However good in the end, it will be a regrettable experience.
Just because we believe in hope for all doesn't mean we believe
in the absence of pain, regret, shame or loss. There is a
deadline. There are consequences. We live only one life in
this world and then the "judgment." But we believe
this judgment to be meted out through a just and loving God
who will do what is right for everyone. It will be a justice
that restores. The question is, “Do you want to be a
Restorer or a Restoree”? (Isaiah 61) Do you want to
be the person who created the “devastations” that
will need rebuilding or the one who participates in the astounding
work of redemption Jesus began at the cross?
It has been amazing to see more clearly that God
has a plan for this world where His will is
to be done "on earth as it is in heaven". It has
given us the desire to participate fully in what He is doing
now; a holistic restoration that includes everything from
our bodies, minds and souls to the social and environmental
evils we find ourselves living among.
The second reason this is not simply the adopting
of a more comfortable theology is because it
goes far beyond just us. It's about the One we love. If you
are in love with someone you want everyone else to love them
as well, this is only natural. Or if you see something breath-taking,
you are compelled to pull others into your joy. It is as if
it is not complete until you do. It is the nature of beauty
and glory; it must be shared.
We do not want nor can we conceive of billions
of our fellow humans somewhere in a corner of the universe
rebelling and hating God, forever. Not just
because we would mourn their pain and loss but because we
can't imagine a universe without all eventually coming to
love and worship God. It would be most painful for us to see
our perfect Father scorned by anyone ever, just as we would
feel about our earthly father being rejected if he was indeed
a man worthy of honor.
We have an unquenchable desire for all to see
God for who He truly is because we want them to enjoy Him
forever. Piper says God is most glorified when
we are most delighted in Him. WE WANT GOD TO BE GLORIFIED
BY THE WHOLE EARTH AND ALL OF CREATION! We want God to be
loved and worshipped because we have found Him to be the Source
of all that makes life beautiful and worth living ...love,
beauty, glory, creativity, adventure, truth, comfort, and
peace. It is the natural God-given response to want others
to love someone you love or something that simply captures
So why do we believe the restoration of all things
is true? Because we desire "everything
that has breath to praise the Lord"... we want everyone
to see how glorious and beautiful He is... we want everyone
to experience the unspeakable joy of worshipping Him! We believe
God has woven this into our hearts and desires. Llisten to
just one of many songs being written today that share this
powerful and insatiable desire to have everyone worship this
of all Glory"...
"God of the heavens
King of matchless worth
Lord of all nations
Judge of the earth
by mercy we come
and out of love we cry...
God of all glory...
Savior of the world.
Holy One Eternal...
Let your praise fill the earth, O fill the EARTH,
O let it fill the earth...fill the earth...
We raise holy hands...
We extol the Kings of kings.
We rend our whole hearts...
as a fragrant offering.
And lifting up one voice...
resounding out one cry,
O let it ring, let it rise...
O GOD OF ALL GLORY
SAVIOR OF THE WORLD
AND HOLY ONE ETERNAL LET YOUR PRAISE FILL THIS EARTH!
OH, FILL THE EARTH!!...OOOOH, FILL THE EARTH!!!!
OH let it fill the earth!
...fill the earth. Song by Jeremy Riddle
When we encounter true beauty and real joy it must
be shared with others. The reason we want all to
be restored is the very same reason you grab your spouse or
friend (or even a stranger) to come and share in a glorious
sunset or a stunning piece of art. The thought of billions
of people, and more real, those whom we know and love, going
without ever seeing or experiencing the amazing beauty of
God is altogether painful and unthinkable.
Beauty by nature must be shared, and joy in order to
be fulfilled or "complete" must bring others into
it to experience it. Beauty, and the joy of it, begs to
have others join in our experience.
And with God, because He is the very Source of all that is
loving, lovely, holy, and just we cannot imagine a universe
where all will not eventually and willingly love, worship,
serve and glorify Him forever.
"For from Him and through Him and to Him are ALL
things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen." (Rom. 11:36)
God Exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name
that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every
knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the
glory of God the Father." (Phil 2:9-11)