By – Stuart H. Pouliot
Reconciliation of All Things
April 2019
A friend of mine recently attended a Bible study in which a question was raised as to what word
most defines the gospel. The first answer was redemption . However, my friend told the group
that this is part of it, but redemption by itself falls short of the glory of the gospel. In his view,
reconciliation is just as great if not more so than redemption. For one of the brothers in the group,
this was an eye-opener; he told my friend, in a positive tone, that he had never considered that.
I told my friend that I would add one more item to reconciliation and this is new creation . He
agreed and thought that he might have added that as well to the group discussion. Whether one
agrees with this assessment or not is not the issue I want to address, but it does make my point
that reconciliation is not in the forefront of Christian emphasis.
Given the nature of this particular denomination represented at this Bible study, placing
redemption at the top of the list is no surprise. However, what is a surprise is that reconciliation,
as well as new creation, are not more readily recognized and taught. If they are taught
reconciliation, it is restricted to only those who "apply their free will to get saved, so they can go
to heaven when they die, and thus avoid hell." For those of you who have read much of my
material, you know why I state it this way. A clue: this is not the good news, nor is it the heart of
The challenge I see in our day is that much of Christian teaching focuses on us as the individual
and less on the greater and grander view of God's ultimate purpose that encompasses all
humanity and all creation. This doesn't mean it is never taught, just that it seems to take a back
seat to individual salvation. Thus, redemption, especially among certain denominations, routinely
gets top billing week after week. However, I also see the potential danger that even reconciliation
becomes an individual salvific word. Surely, it does relate to the individual on one level, but it
really is a word that, as we will see, encompasses all things in heaven and on earth.
Now, before jumping into reconciliation from God's perspective, let us consider reconciliation on
the natural level—that is, between people and defined groups. In today's world, it is not an
obscure word. Over the years, there have been movements that strived to reconcile certain
groups to one another. Unfortunately, given the current destructive climate, especially in
America—where victimhood, social justice, identity politics, gender identity, and all sorts of
"phobes" and "ists" are being created out of thin air and then attached, in a very harmful and
hateful way, to people who have a different view—the word reconciliation seems to have been
shoved into the murky shadows, along with all other forms of civility and morality.
In our current environment of character assassination, reconciliation on the natural level is a
near-impossibility as self-proclaimed, offended parties call for peace but refuse to conciliate with
the other party—that is, they remain at war while demanding conciliation from their supposed
enemy. It is actually a form of surrender that they demand—"surrender to my view or else." This
Reconciliation of All Things
April 2019
is not how one comes into reconciliation. In fact, it is how one keeps the war going. It is as if the
supposed wounded party does not want to be healed but would rather keep the wound festering
and raw. Of course, this assumes the party is still wounded and not seeking some agenda. Sad to
say, much of the divide today seems to be over agenda and less and less about healing. Agendas
require the wound to remain open, even as it turns to gangrene, so to speak.
Something is greatly amiss in our day, as a whole generation seems lost in a fantasy that says
reality is anything and everything they make it to be. Much could be said along this line, but this
is not the subject of this article. I will say; however, it is time for the Lord's people to wake up
and be strong and courageous in presenting the truth to the world. We are ambassadors of the
King of kings; as such, we are to be peacemakers and heralders of God's reconciliation of the
world. A whole generation may be lost, but even this is temporary, even if such ones must
eventually face God's lake of fire in order to burn up their false reality and identity. God's love
knows how to bring them into the reality of the Son of God's love. Enough said!
With this intro, let us consider the word reconciliation .
Reconciliation means "to make friendly again or win over to a friendly attitude; to bring two
parties into harmony or peace with each other."
By definition, reconciliation means that a peace deal has been struck on the part of all that were
once at odds or at war with each other. However, reconciliation requires a process by which all
parties come to terms of peace, and generally, this process must start with one of the parties
making the first move. In other words, one party must be willing to raise the white flag of peace
in order for the other party to respond, whether favorably or unfavorably. Obviously, if one
rejects the deal and keeps shooting, so to speak, there is no peace.
However, this peace deal does not start with reconciliation per se, but with a less known word
that is seldom heard in modern-day conversation. The first step of reconciliation is called
conciliation , which is exactly what Paul explains in relation to God, the world, and His
So that we, from now on, are acquainted with no one according to flesh. Yet even if we
have known Christ according to flesh, nevertheless now we know Him so no longer." So
that, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: the primitive passed by. Lo! there has
come new!" Yet all is of God, Who conciliates us to Himself through Christ, and is giving us
the dispensation of the conciliation , how that God was in Christ, conciliating the world to
Himself, not reckoning their offenses to them, and placing in us the word of the
conciliation ." For Christ, then, are we ambassadors, as of God entreating through us. We
are beseeching for Christ's sake, "Be conciliated to God!" For the One not knowing sin, He
makes to be a sin offering for our sakes that we may be becoming God's righteousness in
Him." (2 Corinthians 5:16-21 CLV)
As an aside, take note that Paul is not talking directly about individuals or select people groups.
He is presenting conciliation as a world event, something that encompasses all things. The word
Reconciliation of All Things
April 2019
world in the Greek is kosmos , which refers to an "orderly arrangement, by implication the world
and its inhabitants."
In the above verses, most translations use the word reconciliation , but the editor of the
Concordant Literal New Testament (CLV) points out that it is important to make a distinction
between conciliate (or, conciliation ) and reconcile (or, reconciliation ).
The Greek word allassō means "to make different, to change." From this root word are derived
two other words: katallassō , which is translated into the verb conciliate [noun form katallagê ,
translated as conciliation ]; and apokatallassō , which is translated into the verb reconcile .
Given this, conciliate means "to win over; soothe the anger of; make friendly; placate" and "to
gain by friendly acts."
This is the first part of a peace agreement. When two parties are at war with each other, they are
enemies. If one party makes peace with the other, then that party conciliates with the other, and
there is conciliation . Thus, conciliation refers to one side of a peace deal; that is, one party is at
peace with another, but it does not follow that the other party has made peace with the one that
has made peace.
For a peace deal to be valid, both parties must be at peace with each other. When both parties
have entered into peace with each other, it is called reconciliation . Thus, the word reconciliation
means that both parties are in harmony and at peace with one another. It is a mutual peace
agreement. Each party has to make peace ( to be conciliated ) with the other in order to come into
a mutual peace ( to be reconciled ). In the case of the world that has been at war with God, God
was the first to call for peace. In other words, conciliation starts with God alone. Paul explains.
For if, being enemies, we were conciliated to God through the death of His Son, much
rather, being conciliated, we shall be saved in His life. (Romans 5:10 CLV)
When all humanity was dead in their trespasses and sin, Christ died! This is where conciliation
starts. The peace treaty starts at the cross. After the fall, Adam's race was incapable of entering
into a peace treaty with God. Can you imagine what it would be like if humanity wanted to be at
peace with God, but He did not want to be at peace with us? It is a sad commentary on our day
that many seem to project our heavenly Father as one who refuses to be at peace with most of
humanity, as if He were an angry, vengeful god in the image of carnal man. God is love , and He
demonstrates His love, for He first loved us !
It starts with God who in Jesus the Messiah is not reckoning our offenses to us, for God's Son died
for our sins. In other words, God is not keeping a ledger of our transgressions committed against
Him because His Son took on all our sin on our behalf.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the
righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB)
Reconciliation of All Things
April 2019
This is exactly why Paul could declare: God was in Christ, conciliating the world to Himself, not
reckoning their offenses to them .
God has waved the white flag of peace. Through Jesus, the entire world, which means all us born
of the first Adam's race, have been conciliated to God, and God is not counting our offenses
against us. Do you grasp the greatness of these words? He is not counting your offenses against
you !
Consider how a paraphrased version reads: That is, that God was in Christ making peace between
the world and himself, not putting their sins to their account, and having given to us the preaching
of this news of peace (2 Corinthians 5:19 BBE).
Here is the very heart of conciliation, making peace, and this is the message that we, as believers,
are to be proclaiming to the world that remains an enemy of the cross. God has made peace with
the world because of His Son, because of the LORD JESUS!
After all, as our Lord Jesus reminds us: God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son
(John 3:16). The CLV reads: For thus God loves the world so that He gives His only-begotten Son .
Do we think that God's love somehow dried up 2,000 years ago? Never! God loved the world
then, and He loves the world today. Again, God is love . How can He stop loving and still be God?
He must love for that is His very character; it is who He is.
This means that God's peace treaty is still in force for the whole world, none excluded.
Therefore, let us not think that God has given up or that conciliation is a thing of the past, for it
is an ever-present peace agreement that will continue until the consummation of the eons. In
fact, it is God's plan not only to conciliate the world to Himself but to be reconciled with all in the
heavens and on the earth. Ultimately, there will be a mutual peace with all in heaven and on
earth. God fully intends to have reconciliation with ALL. How do we know? Paul tells us so.
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. He is before all things , and in Him all things hold together. He is
also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so
that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father's good
pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile [ apokatallassō ]
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. (Colossians 1:16-20 NASB [bold italic added])
Don't lose sight of the fact that Paul uses the Greek reconciliation word here. He does not state
that there is an ongoing one-sided peace treaty. No! He is making the point that all things will be
truly and fully reconciled. Paul presents it as a present reality—it is not unusual for Paul to present
truth in this fashion. It is a now reality with a not yet , meaning you can count on it manifesting
because a consummational day is coming when it will be so.
Reconciliation of All Things
April 2019
Stated another way: the word reconciliation is used by Paul to stress that, ultimately, all humanity
and all creation will be reconciled to God—that is, all will be at peace with God and God will be
at peace with all. This is the purpose of the ages, so that God may be all in all new . Why? Because
all of God's enemies, all mankind, have been conciliated to God, and one day, all will be made
alive in Christ, having come into full reconciliation!
How else will God's Son have preeminence in all things if all things are not reconciled to God?
This peace deal has been sealed with the blood of the lamb of God that was shed on the cross of
Calvary! This blood is a guarantee. This blood will never, ever be washed off (i.e., made
ineffective) the compact God has made with His creation that are to be image-bearers of His Son.
It was signed and sealed in God's own blood!
To grasp the greatness of this truth, take special note of the word all in the above verses.
All things is the Greek ta panta or the all . But how inclusive is the all in Paul's teaching? Are there
things excluded from the all ? How can there be? According to Paul, the all was created by God's
beloved Son, and then he defines the all for us. It includes all things in the heavens and on the
earth, both visible and invisible, including thrones or dominions. Five times Paul uses the phrase
all things , as if to make sure that we get the point.
For more on all things , check out the following link.
Ta Panta—The All http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art56.pdf
Simply, Paul brings everything created, whether visible or invisible, into the creative love and
genius of the Son of God, the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
Is all mankind included in the all, the all things ? Is Adam's race part of creation? Of course, the
answer is affirmative on both counts. Then, how can anyone be excluded from God's plan to
reconcile all things, the all , to Himself? How can anyone be left out of God's peace? Are we to say
that only believers from our present age are included and the rest of humanity that do not believe
are excluded? Do we believe that God's love doesn't know how to reach or is incapable of
reaching the heart of all things? Does He not know how to make all things right?
Paul makes no differentiation between the believer and the unbeliever of our age. The all
includes all humanity regardless of their condition. Why? Because the cross is an absolute, 100%
success in the salvation of all mankind, not all at the same time or in the same manner, but all
eventually, and all through God's Son. For some, the lake of fire is their way back to God.
All of God's enemies are destined to be subjected under the feet of King Jesus. Simply, these
enemies of God, which are the rebellious nations [ ethnos ] of our present age, must be conciliated
to God. How is God going to do this? He will do it through His Son who will subject all things under
His feet. He, along with His victorious body of saints, will bring the nations to the point of
conciliation with God so that all things will be reconciled to Himself. This is the glory of the blood
of His cross. Peace with all!
Reconciliation of All Things
April 2019
If, through Paul, God declares that He not only has conciliated the world to Himself but also plans
to reconcile all things to Himself because He has made peace through the blood of His cross, do
we somehow think He is not going to accomplish this to His glory? Do we have any right or any
basis of fact to state it is not going to happen? One would have to be blind to God's scripture to
believe otherwise, or one would have to redefine all as something less than the whole or to reject
that all is a comprehensive word.
Let us not waver in the truth; God fully intends to bring about the reconciliation of all things.
Some physicists describe the universe as if it were a stringed instrument. Today, there is discord
in this great stringed instrument, but one day God will bring it fully back into tune.
A day is coming when all creation will be in harmony with God; all creation of which humanity is
a part will be at peace, barring none. God knows how to bring true justice and peace to His
creation. He will not fail to do so, for His Son did not and will not fail in His mission that was sealed
in His very own blood. After all: God was also pleased to bring everything on earth and in heaven
back to himself through Christ. He did this by making peace through Christ's blood sacrificed on
the cross . Everything encompasses all things in heaven and on earth!
As Jesus promises: " My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you ." This is the
peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension. This very peace is destined to fill all things!
Let us not fear the loud voices of our day, but in love, stand for the truth that is fully discovered
in our Lord Jesus, the ruler of the kings of the earth who is standing at the door between God's
realm and man's realm, ready to appear once again to this earth. It only requires one step of His
feet shod with the good news of peace, and He is here! The Prince of Peace is coming!
Until then, let us be ambassadors of this glorious message.