This column is called "Restoration." As you can see from the title, it is taken from the book of Acts, where Peter spoke of Jesus, saying, ". . . whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:21).
I once had a Bible instructor who referred to this verse as the benchmark verse of the entire Bible. That is quite a weight to lay on one lone verse. What, you might wonder, will be restored to the earth?
How about peace, even if only among men of good will? Peace would be a good thing to see break out among the nations of the earth. The current Arab Spring of uprisings across the Middle East illustrates how turbulent and unrelenting age-old problems can be. Despotism within these countries has not created fertile conditions for peace. Youth take to the streets seeking a better life. Other forces always seem to be at work to prevent the noble aspirations of many for equity and justice from taking root.
The hopes of democracy or better government in the Middle East are always dashed when religious or ethnic traditions come to the fore. One thing that's certain about the latest crisis is that the age of the present tyrants is passing. Sadly, others will take their place. History in this part of the world is hard to escape.
How about restoring justice to the earth? We are considering a Beyond Today program on the increasing crisis in government. While discussing the idea with one of our writers, the unique position of the United States Constitution came up. This semi-miraculous document has stood the test of modern times and is a little-understood engine of America's success in the world. While not perfect, it's still a beacon of temporal hope for people who live under inferior forms of government.
Yet America's wondrous constitution has not produced a perfectly just nation at peace with itself or the world. Winston Churchill's wry comment about democracy being the worst form of government except for all the others offers some keen insight. The simple plain truth is that no form of government without Christ as its head will truly succeed among the human race.
Which brings us back to the point of this regular column and the verse that is its inspiration. Since starting it, I have worked each time to write a few words here to point us to the amazing prophetic hope of restoration. It's time to evaluate the mission and ensure compliance.
God's work of restoration begins with the individual. Before restoring "all things" to this earth, He has purposed to begin in the smallest of ways with the human mind. He begins to work with a flawed human mind and convert it to a spirit-led mind continually renewed by the same power that was at work when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:20). This mighty power can work in you if you believe.
I will continue to illustrate this verse and its relevance in future issues. It is a benchmark scripture—perhaps as much to measure our own progress toward the Kingdom of God as any we can use in this way. And in the voice of the prophets, we will find the key to progress and ultimate restoration.