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I’d like to quote Colossians 1:20-21, “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.”  We see in these blessed verses that one of God’s purposes in the death of His Son was to reconcile both “persons” and “things” to Himself. The reconciliation of persons is happening now; the reconciliation of things is still future.

What does it mean to be “reconciled?” To reconcile means to “restore to a right relationship.” When Adam and Eve sinned their relationship with God changed from one of harmony to one of enmity; they became “enemies” of God.  Their sin affected the whole human race in the same way, for we see in verse 21 that before we are saved we are all “…enemies in your mind by wicked works.”  This sad state is confirmed again in Romans 8:7 where we read that “…the carnal mind is enmity against God.” Because of sin, MAN IS AT WAR WITH GOD!  In order to restore man to a right relationship with God, sin had to removed, and that’s where the cross of Christ comes in.  God, in His marvelous love and grace, sent His Son to Calvary’s cross to settle the sin question.  On the cross the Lord Jesus shed His precious blood to pay for our sins and after He bore the judgment of God that our sins deserved He cried out in victory in John 19:30, “It is finished.”  Praise be unto God.  We learn in Hebrews 9:26 that the Lord Jesus has “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself”!  The repentant sinner who believes this is now reconciled to God; he has “peace with God,” as we learn in Romans 5:1 which says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

If one spurns God’s grace and refuses to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, they will remain in a state of enmity and will be cast into the lake of fire, where there is no reconciliation.  We read of this deplorable condition in Revelation 22:11, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still.”  Yet even in hell and in a state of enmity, they will be made to bow the knee to the One who could have been their Savior.  We see this declared in Philippians 2:10-11, “That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Colossians 1:20 teaches us that it wasn’t only “persons” that need to reconciled, but “all things.”  What does this mean?  We saw that Adam’s sin affected the whole human race but in truth his sin affected the whole creation. You may recall God’s words to Adam after he sinned recorded in Genesis 3:17-18, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake…thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.” How solemn!  Because of Adam’s sin all of creation, over which he was given dominion, has shared in his fall. Paul wrote of creation’s plight in Romans 8:20 and 22, “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hopeFor we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”  Everything has been marred by sin and needs the blood of Christ to restore it back to harmony with God.  Even the heavens have been defiled by sin and need to be purified by the blood of Christ, as we learn in Hebrews 9:22-23, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.”  The reconciliation of all things in earth and heaven awaits the coming of Christ, as seen in Romans 8:19 and 21, “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of GodBecause the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” What a day that will be when all creation shares in the victory that Christ gained when He “made peace through the blood of His cross!”  (129.2)  (DO)