On the third weekend of August each year in Libby, the local Igniter’s Car Club hosts a big car show–“Ignite the Nights.” On Saturday all the cars are parked in town for folks to walk by and view and talk to the owners if they wish. They also have judges who evaluate each vehicle in the various categories of entries: antique cars, classic cars, muscle cars, novelty cars, etc. Most of the “vintage” cars have been restored to beautiful “mint condition” as though they just came out of the showroom. There are always a few that have yet to be restored or are still in the process of being restored. Many of the vehicles displayed had a writeup of the history of the “restoration process.” Some had quite the transformation from a rusty old “carcass” to a showroom model. The restoration, of course, was costly and often took some time to complete.
The crowd of people parading up and down looking at the vehicles may have been just as interesting as the cars–folks from a number of “vintages.” Some have been “restored,” but most are showing the wear and tear of the years.
Restoration has become a lost art in our current age of easily disposable items. Mass production of goods has prompted mass reduction of intrinsic value; things are cheap. It’s easier–and often cheaper–to replace something than to fix it. Sadly, this throw-away mentality has even infiltrated our relationships. Rather than working to restore a troubled marriage or broken relationship, people tend to just move on to new ones–it’s easier than the work and cost of restoration.
In a world where people seem eager to end things, Jesus seeks to mend things. Christ’s supreme sacrifice at Calvary gives an important clue to the Father’s estimation of the value of one soul. Jesus counted the cost and paid the price in full with His own lifeblood to make restoration possible. “He (Godthe Father) made Him who knew no sin (God the Son) to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21). “And He (Jesus Christ) Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by He wounds you were healed” (I Pet. 2:24).
A person may be broken and battered from years of use and abuse, or maybe, set aside to sit and “rust,” but God sees a soul of great value, worth dying for. He sees what that soul can become if they come to Him for “restoration.” Each of us is born a sinner and separated from fellowship with God. We receive the old Adamic sinful nature by birth. Paul wrote to the believers at Ephesus: “You were dead in trespasses and sins…But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:1,4-6). Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are restored to a right relationship with God. Positionally, we are restored to “mint condition.” Paul uses the word “justified” which means “Just as if I’d never sinned.”
God, however, has yet to remove our old sinful nature and our body has yet to be restored. We still suffer from the curse that took place when Adam sinned. All of creation suffers under that curse. Ro. 8:22,23 says: “For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” But, Praise the Lord, though our bodies will be sown in their natural, corruptible state, they will be “raised an imperishable, (and spiritual) body” (I Cor. 15:42,44). “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself” (Phil. 3:20,21). We will be fully restored in all aspects. God’s purpose for creating mankind will be fulfilled as we worship God in our new, glorified bodies without any interference from the world, the flesh or the devil. “What a day of rejoicing that will be!”
To complete His plans and purposes, God will also restore the nation of Israel, His chosen people. Rom. 11:26,27 tells us that “a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in; and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, ‘The deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins'” (cf Isa. 59:20,21).
And, our “God of Restoration,” will also carry out His purpose for this earth, renovating it by fire and removing all marks of sin and death. II Pet. 3:10 describes that “Global Warming” event which results in “new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” Rev. 21 describes this new earth, on which the New Jerusalem will descend, which will be the dwelling place of believers for eternity–everything having been fully restored.
And, from all indications today, all this may be happening very soon. Are your ready? Have you been “restored by the blood of the Lamb?”