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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Restoration

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RESTORATION . In a variety of phrases ‘regeneration’ ( palingenesia , Matthew 19:28 ), ‘restitution of all things’ ( Acts 3:21 ), ‘summing up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth’ ( Ephesians 1:10 ), ‘new heavens and a new earth’ ( 2 Peter 3:13 , Revelation 21:1 ), ‘make all things new’ ( Revelation 21:6 ) the NT points forward to a perfected condition which shall supervene upon the present imperfect condition of mingled good and evil (cf. Matthew 13:39-40; Matthew 13:49-50 ), including a renewal of nature, the quelling of all evil ( Philippians 2:10-11 ), and restoration of order and harmony in the universe, with Christ as Head. The hope is connected with OT prophecy ( Acts 3:21 , 2 Peter 3:13 ), and the transformation itself is invariably associated with the Parousia (cf. Matthew 19:28 etc.). The question of chief interest is, how far these predictions of a coming ‘ restitution ( apokatastasis ) of all things’ point forward to a future universal salvation. Gladly as one would read this meaning into them, sober exegesis shows that they will not bear so large an interpretation. The passage which speaks of ‘restitution’ tells also of those who will not hearken, and shall be destroyed ( Acts 3:23 ). The Parousia, when the new state of things is represented as introduced, is always connected in the NT with an awful judgment. St. Paul speaks of all things being summed up in Christ, of Christ subduing all things to Himself, etc. ( Eph 1:10 , 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 , Philippians 2:10-11 ); but unbiassed study of the passages and their context shows that it is far from the Apostle’s view to teach an ultimate conversion or annihilation of the kingdom of evil. It must be owned, however, that the strain of these last passages does seem to point in the direction of some ultimate unity, be it through forcible subjugation or in some other way, in which active opposition to God’s Kingdom is no longer to be reckoned with.

James Orr.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Restoration'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/r/restoration.html. 1909.

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