THE MINISTRY OF THE CONCILIATION

BY:  ALAN McSAVAGE

There is no place in Scripture where we are called to enter a ministry where we preach eternal torment to the people It is directly opposed to the Ministry of the Conciliation, which Paul speaks of in.

2 Cor. 5:18-21

18] Now all {these} things are from God, who conciliated (Gr. katallaso reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of conciliation reconciliation,

19] namely, that God was in Christ conciling – reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of conciliation – reconciliation. 20] Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be conciliated – reconciled to God.

You will notice that I have changed the translation from Reconciliation to Conciliation. This needs some explanation. There are two Greek words, both of which the KJV has translated Reconciliation: katallaso and Apokatallaso. They are related but slightly different.

If two people are enemies and are separated by some dispute, they need to be reconciled one to another. But if just one of those people takes it upon himself to drop the case and forgive the other, raising the white flag of truce, a conciliation has just occurred. A conciliation is a one-sided peace, done outside the will or knowledge of the second party. It is done by the council of his own will in the secret chambers of his governmental palace. He who has conciliated his brother then sends his ambassador with the white flag of truce to beg for peace, to beg the other to conciliate in return. If he does so, then it is two-sided; it is a reconciliation.

In 2 Corinthians 5 (above) we find that God has conciliated the world to Himself. He laid aside his righteous and lawful case which he had against the world and conciliated the world. Then He sent us Christians into the world as His ambassadors to them to beg them to be conciliated to God. All who take heed and make peace with God are reconciled to Him.

This is confirmed by Romans 5:10, in which the context is that while we were still sinners and fighting against God, Christ died for us. In other words, this conciliation took place BEFORE the reconciliation, because God took it upon Himself to act first.

Rom 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were conciliated reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been conciliated reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Paul uses these terms carefully. This can easily be seen in the three passages where he uses the term apokatallaso, or reconciliation. The first is in

Eph 2:16 and might reconcile them BOTH in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.

Paul was speaking of the “wall of partition” that had separated Israel from the “Gentiles”. Since he speaks of BOTH parties being reconciled, he uses the proper word, apokatallaso. The other two examples are in

Col 1:20-22 20] 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 heaven. 21] And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, {engaged} in evil deeds, 22] yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach–

Paul simply says that God’s purpose is to reconcile all things to Himself. That means BOTH parties are to make peace. Not only has God raised the white flag and stopped fighting against us, but in addition, “the all” (ta panta) both in heaven and in earth are now reconciled to Him in the great eternal NOW.

In verse 22 above, Paul speaks to the Christians in Colosse who had in turn conciliated God; and thus there was a mutual reconciliation between them and God.

The reconciliation of the world was planned and fore-ordained by God, Paul says, by means of the casting away of Israel.

Romans 11:15 For if their rejection is the conciliation of the world, what will {their} acceptance be but life from the dead?

In this chapter Paul lays out that the universal restoration of all things is accomplished. We may disagree with God’s methods, but such disagreement comes only in our ignorance and pride when we say we would have done it differently. Paul calls this a mystery and would not have us ignorant of it:

Rom 11:25-26 25] For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery – so that you will not be wise in your own estimation – that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles (The Nations) has come in; 26] and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.” 32] For God has shut up locked all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

Paul refers here to the principle of election and predestination which he had already explained two chapters earlier in Romans 9. Those who believe in eternal torment for the lost are understandably uncomfortable with the doctrine of God’s predestination. To them it is plainly unjust. And so, many reject the plain words of Scripture, disagreeing with God, instead of realizing that the “injustice” is only temporary. The “injustice” would only remain so if God locked up Israel (and all others) in unbelief FOREVER. But as we have already seen, God has no such plan. It is His plan to reconcile “the all” unto Himself, thereby justifying Himself, proving His Love, and giving Himself opportunity to show Mercy and Grace.

 

MINISTRY of the CONCILIATION, THE [Alan McSavage]           1

 

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