The conciliation is made known in the pre-prison
writings of Paul. In Second Corinthians 5:18-20 we find: "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 conciliation. For Christ, then we
are ambassadors, as if God entreating through us. We are
beseeching, 'For Christ's sake be conciliated to God.'"
This teaching was lost many centuries ago.
Today it is a strange doctrine. The average saint has no idea what
it is. The average preacher brings messages that are directly the
The use of the word, "ambassador," should
cause us to have a suspicion that God is at peace with the world, since
no government keeps an ambassador at the capital of a government with
which it is at war. The average sermon we hear today not only says
that God is angry, but also indicates that He is at war with
humanity. The constant call to sinners to "surrender" to
God, presupposes that He is fighting them. Set over against such
doctrine, is the declaration in our text, that God is not reckoning the
offenses of the world to them. The truth is He insists on being at
peace with them, in spite of their offenses. This is the
Paul's language in our text is peculiar. It
requires explaining. He gives the explanation. When we read
that God was conciliating the world to Himself, we imagine He means that
the world has become friendly to God. But as we read further, Paul
says God is the friendly OneHe is not reckoning the offenses of the
world to them. The amiable attitude is on His part.
Conciliation, rather than reconciliation, is the
correct word. It denotes a one-sided amity. God is at
peace with mankind, and, through us, is beseeching them to be at peace
with Him. The King James rendering, "We pray you in Christ's
stead, be reconciled to God," implies that Paul was beseeching the
saints, only. "You" is not in the Greek. "We
are beseeching, 'For Christ's sake be conciliated to God.'"
We are to beseech all to be conciliated.
Our message, then, is, "God is at peace
with the world. Mankind, for Christ's sake, be at peace with
God." There is every reason why the world should be friendly
to God. No one has any right to hold anything against
Our text tells us the conciliation is in Christ,
verse 19. In Romans 5:10 the apostle tells us the conciliation is
through the death of God's Son. For three days He was dead.
I think the hardest thing any parent ever did was to look on the face of
his or her dead child. It was just as hard for God, beyond
doubt. For three days He looked upon that pale countenance, while
it was hidden from the eyes of others. Humanly speaking, God
resolved that the death of His Son should not be in vain. And it
is just like Him to resolve to be at peace with the very world for whose
sins He died. The word, "world," is used in a figurative
sense, for the human family on earth.
But the conciliation could not immediately become a
fact. It had to await the casting away of Israel. While they
were closer to God than the rest of mankind, He could not be conciliated
to the world. So long as Israel was in His reckoning as a nation,
any mistreatment of them by others brought down God's indignation.
Paul says, in Romans 11:15, that their casting away in the conciliation
of the world. They have been cast away, and now God is not
reckoning the offenses of either the people of Israel or those of the
nations, to them. Notice, the word says "their
offenses." Acts which would otherwise wound God's feelings
are passed over without notice, at present.
While we beseech the world to reciprocate this peace,
no one does, except as he obtains the conciliation. This is a gift
of God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:11. When we obtain
the conciliation, we become conciliated in our feelings.
Conciliation on both sides means reconciliation, Colossians 1:21,
"Being, then, justified by faith, we may be
having peace toward God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we
have the access also, by faith, into this grace in which we stand, and
we may be glorying in expectation of the glory of God. Yet not
only so, but we may be glorying also in afflictions, having perceived
that affliction is producing endurance, yet endurance testedness, yet
testedness expectation. Now expectation. is not mortifying, seeing
the love of God had been poured out in our hearts through the holy
spirit which is being given us," Romans 5:1-4. Many saints
who are justified by faith do not have this peace, because they have not
been appraised of the conciliation. It is the forgotten doctrine. As a
result, many who have justification by faith are under the impression
that God may easily become angry at them. Not so, those who have
obtained the conciliationhave become aware that God is at peace
with them under all circumstances.
Being aware of the conciliation, we do not see our
afflictions as evidence of God's displeasure toward us. If not,
then why are we afflicted? We may not know, but we are sure that
God intends it for our good. Thus we glory in afflictions.
We feel it produces good.
The conciliation dos not mean that we won't have to
suffer when we do that which is wrong. Being aware of the goodness
of God, we suffer in our thoughts and minds. But it is for our
benefit. It is not a sign that He is angry. Even if our
misdeeds bring other forms of suffering, we still are sure that He is
not indignant at us. He is just looking after our
Neither should we conclude that, because the
conciliation is a fact, unbelievers will not be judged at the great
white throne. His program calls for judging, and this, too, will
result in good. The condemnation that many will receive will bring
suffering. But it is only a means, and not an end in
Let us also remember that the period of conciliation
will come to an end at the termination of the Pauline Interval.
The next administration will be one of indignation. God will again
have Israel in His reckoning, and His indignation will be poured out on
those who mistreat them.. This, too, is temporary, and will not prevent
the carrying out of His plan to ultimately save all mankind.
The reconciliation of all in the heavens and on earth
will take place at the consummation of his purpose of the eons,
Colossians 1:20. It will be the logical outcome of the present
period of conciliation.
He who preaches that God is angry today, does not
know what he is talking about. God is in an amiable mood toward
all mankind. And it is during this period that He is calling His
chosen ones into touch with Himself, and baptizing them into the body of
Christ. He is doing this in grace. Curing the period of
conciliation He is acting in the sphere of grace.
The world was never more offensive to God than it is
today. He is well-nigh forgotten. Men are making every plan
possible to get along without Him. Independence is the slogan of
the world. But the conciliation shines brighter because of this
offensive attitude of the world. He absolutely refuses to become ruffled
about it. He is at peace with all mankind.
And this is our message. Let us delight in
telling the world, "God is at peace with you." And let
us never tire of beseeching mankind, "For Christ's sake be
conciliated to God."
To us is given the dispensation of the
conciliation. We should not only proclaim it to the world, but we
should find special delight in telling it to the saints. When they
become aware of it, it brings happiness that cannot be described.
(To Be Continued)