‘What does the Reconciliation of all things mean?’
As we see from the Bible verses presented below, the picture of His Inevitable Will becomes clearer:
The verse in concern:
“and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in the heavens.” (Colossians 1:20)
Who are reconciled?
‘All created things’ as four verses prior we find this ‘definition’ (context) first:
“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16)
We (believers), the initial (and “not” the only) recipients of His Reconciliation are the example (pattern) described in Verses below explain the ‘meaning of reconciliation’ subsequently.
The next verse immediate puts forth the fact as to why we need reconciliation as does the rest of the sinners in the world (anything evil & separated from Him) likewise too:
“And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,” (Colossians 1:21)
Two verses down from the infamous “Reconciliation of all things” (Colossians 1:20) verse above we find some facts regarding this:
“Reconciliation” means the same as it is for us believers first namely that we are made “free from any accusation” or ‘sin’ being made ‘holy’:
“But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation–” (Colossians 1:22)
Thus the “Reconciliation of all things” must mean the ‘same effect’ for ‘all things too’ eventually making it ‘free’ from ‘all sin, accusation or corruption (decay) due to sin’ as the verses below agree as well:
“namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses* against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)
*their trespasses = their sins = the world’s sins because ‘world’ is the object spoken of in discussion here
To such a message we are “ambassadors” (our role):
“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 Corinthians 5:20)
Yes ‘(all) creation set free’ eventually:
“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope
that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:19 – 21)
Making sense that the Gospel (Good News) is to be preached to ‘all creation’ and into all the ‘world’:
“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)
This fact is attested even just 3 verses down after the Colossians 1:20 verse affirming all these in any context when properly understood ‘as it is written’ (for example, please notice the phrase ‘hope of the Gospel’ and ‘proclaimed (preached) to “all” (not some) creation’ although it’s not fulfilled yet at time of writing or even now, but it is attested to as the ‘hope’ which will ‘surely come to pass’):
“if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.” (Colossians 1:23)
That’s why the Gospel is Preached to ‘the dead’ even to ensure His Command above is fulfilled (please note that ‘the dead’ in verse 5 and 6 below refer to ‘the dead’):
“but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to the dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.” (1 Peter 4:5 – 6)
If verse 5 refers to ‘the dead’, in any context, verse 6 also refers to ‘the dead’, it’s so clear.
After hearing the ‘Gospel’ (step 1), these dead may be judged in an afterlife chastisement (step 2) leading to the ‘inevitable purpose’ —> where ‘these judged ones’ too finally,
“live in the spirit” (step 3, according to His Will) implies (being ‘reconciled’) with Him as other verses reveal.
The full details of this process may be ‘hidden’ but the ‘big picture’ & the ‘conclusion’ of them being “reconciled & live to Him in the spirit” is the ‘final’ destiny.
An interesting note:
The Greek word “kai” (translated as “even” or “also” or “and”) which exists in 1 Peter 4:6 itself indicates that ‘this preaching of the Gospel to the dead’ is different from the ‘usual preaching of the Gospel to the living’ and it’s purpose & steps of ‘what follows it’ is explained in that verse as discussed above.
The Beautiful Conclusion:
“We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:14)
A Pastor’s valid question
‘Jonathan, (in the verse above in Colossians 1:20) If ‘all things’ meant ‘all creation or world’ as you say, are you telling me that God reconciles all irrational living things such as trees & all non-living things as well, such as a wall or even stones? How is that?’
Dear pastor, some Universal Reconciliation believers & leading theologians believe that the ‘all things’ reconciled back to Him are ‘anything which has sinned & need reconciliation’ (‘rational creation as it is commonly called’) hence settling the meaning using the ‘context approach’.
However, personally this is ‘how I am led to believe’ based on the ‘understanding of His Scripture & Power’ (Blessed be His Name):
(a) He reconciles all irrational living things such as trees as well, how?
Trees die though they never sinned. Similarly for animals. Thus, the curse of sin due to man’s fall applies to all irrational living things as well (hence they die too).
By reconciling these things, our Blessed Saviour ensures that ‘all irrational non living thing’ to ‘remain alive’ without ever growing old or dying again! Hence, in the New Heavens & New Earth, it remains ‘in life’ with ‘no corruption of any sort ever again’ by ‘His Work on His Cross’.
(b) He reconciles all non living things as well, how?
A wall, rock, stones or other non living objects on the earth are subjected to ‘spiritual decay’. It has been defiled by man’s fall and thus cannot remain eternally. It has to be renewed, thus He creates a New Earth too.
Some of these objects have been used by man in direct sin against God such as an object to help them murder. Other non living objects (though not used directly in sin), are separated from God after the Fall of Man (as God cursed the ground during this incident, for example) & thus need Reconciliation too.
Think of it like this: Compare the gold found on earth to the one in heaven or a wall on earth (objects used in construction) against a wall in heaven. What’s the difference?
The gold on earth or the wall made by earthly materials do “not” remain in its ‘full perfection in all aspects forever’ (E.g. Durability or glitter) as the gold & walls in heaven. Also, we are able to destroy the non living objects of the earth in some way or use it to serve the corruption & decay of sin but it is ‘not’ so with objects which are reconciled back to Him which remain ‘pristine, pure & perfect always’ as ‘He Wills’. Every vision of heaven testifies to ‘this beauty of perfection’ found in non living objects as well.