Universal Reconciliation

Sir Robert Anderson wrote, "It is impossible that God can be indifferent to His creature; He must be either for him or against him; He must regard him either with a smile or with a frown; and sin draws down a frown, and not a smile. Apart from the work of Christ, He cannot but be against the sinner; He reckons him an enemy. But 'when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son.' 'God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ.' It is not a present work, but a work past and finished. By that death we who were enemies were reconciled. The appeal of the gospel is now that men would receive the reconciliation. 'Be reconciled to God,' is not an entreaty to the sinner to forgive his God, but an appeal to him to come within the reconciliation God has wrought" (Anderson, The Gospel and Its Ministry [Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1996], p.141).

Indeed, the reconciliation that God has wrought is spoken of in universal terms:

"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 things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight" (Col.1:20-22).

Even though this reconciliation is of a universal scope the benefits of the Cross comes only to those who come within the reconciliation:

"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God" (2 Cor.5:20; NASB).

The following verse is speaking of this "Universal Reconciliation:

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;Who gave himself a ransom for (hyper) all, to be testified in due time" (1 Tim.2:6).

The Greek word "hyper" means "on behalf of," so we can understand that the Lord Jesus gave Himself a ransom on behalf of all men.

In His grace,

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BobL's picture

It sounds to me like you are speaking of reconcilliation as to our standing, and that is a precious thing accomplished by the gospel message, repentance, real faith in Christ, and the "new birth". Thank God true believers in Christ are reconcilled and sealed by the Holy Spirit. That is eternal security.

Like holiness, which Scripture tells us, is that we are made holy by the grace of God, but we are then urged to walk and live in holiness. Is that a contradiction? Certainly not. It speaks of our standing and our state. The same is true in reconcilliation, I believe. My standing in Christ is sure and a surety, but by allowing the flesh to act, and following after carnal ways, I can get estranged from Him. God says He chastens them He loves (not the whole world). The world and lost sinners are loved (John 3:16), but nevertheless under condemnation.

Let us (true saints of God) be reconciled to God in faith and devotion, else we wil forfeit much and "suffer loss" at the "judgment seat of Christ" in heaven. What few rewards I might have by laying up "treasures in heaven", may leave me in forfeiture of greater things I might have had.

- BobL