GATHERING ALL THINGS IN CHRIST (Ephesians 1:9-10)
UNIVERSAL RECONCILIATION BY THE NUMBERS
There is an event, beyond which we know nothing. It seems to exist in the farthest reaches of the future, it is a wonderful event and it seems to be the culmination of everything God has planned since before time began. But, we know very little about it and, again, we don’t know anything about what comes after it. I am talking about the point in the history of all creation when Christ submits Himself to the Father and God is all-in-all (1 Corinthians 15:28).
There are few scriptures which deal with the event and so little is said in each. There are four New Testament passages that come to mind: 1 Corinthians 15:24-28, Colossians 1:15-20, Acts 3:21 and the passage we’re treating here. Keep in mind, the scope of this short review is only in the context of addressing passages of scripture that seem to point to the Universal Reconciliation of all things, not exploring how it is accomplished or what comes next.
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: (Ephesians 1:9-10 KJV)
- God has a purpose in creating everything
- That purpose has been shrouded in mystery
- He has finally made His will known to His church
- It pleased Him to reveal this purpose and plan to us
- His purpose will be fully accomplished in a future age
- God refers to that future age as being the culmination of all time
- His purpose is that all things would be gathered together in one
- This gathering of all things will be done in Christ
- This gathering includes everything in heaven
- This gathering includes everything on earth
What might a gathering of all things be? Well, we can cross off eternal punishment or everlasting flames immediately. The gathering together in one includes ALL things in heaven and ALL things on the earth. That would include everything that we would consider good or bad. Everything is being gathered together in one in Christ Jesus.
We don’t know everything that is going to happen between now and the culmination of all time. We don’t know where everything and everyone fits, exactly, into God’s plan. We don’t know how, exactly, God will reconcile all things.
I do know this of a surety: this passage says that, when the time comes, God will gather ALL THINGS together in Christ Jesus. This includes EVERYTHING on earth and EVERYTHING in heaven in a wonderful event that is the crown of His glory. This is unequivocal and unmistakable.