The theme of restoration is exciting. The thought of restoring something is appealing to us. Who isn’t thrilled by the prospect of taking something that is old and broken down, and restoring it to an improved condition? We work to restore cars to their original condition. We take on home restoration projects. These projects typically have a beginning point and an ending point. Each restoration project at some point reaches its conclusion. We restore and then we stand back and admire our work.
What do you think of when you hear the phrase “Restoration Movement”? You might automatically think of a time period that has already past. Perhaps your thoughts immediately go to the 1800s. In reality, the Restoration Movement is ongoing. At least it should be. The goal of the Restoration Movement was and is to restore New Testament Christianity. The Restoration Movement continues today.
The theme of restoration flows throughout the Bible. It is a Biblical theme. The OT is filled with restoration efforts. Since the fall of humanity in the garden, God has worked to restore sinners back to a right relationship with Him. The flood is an example of God’s restorative work. When God gazed upon His creation in Genesis 6, He was grieved in His heart that He had created humanity. The flood was God’s work to restore righteousness back to His created earth. The ark, and Noah and his family were God’s vehicles of restoration. The period of the Judges is another example of God’s restorative work. During this time period, leaders sounded the call for Israel to come back to the Lord. Kings such as Hezekiah and Josiah led movements to call the Lord’s people back to faithfulness. God’s prophets also joined in the restoration effort. Isaiah and Jeremiah stand out as messengers of restoration.
The NT also sounds forth the plea for restoration. John the Baptizer prepared the way for the restorative work of the Christ. John described himself “as a voice of one crying in the wilderness.” The cry coming from the lips of John was one of restoration. Jesus was also involved in the work of restoration. Jesus’s ministry could be summed up with many words. One word adequately describing His work is restoration. Jesus taught about restoration. The Sermon on the Mount is a plea for restoration. Jesus’s death on the cross makes restoration possible for humanity.
Why is the Bible filled with all of these examples of restoration? Humanity continually rebels against God. It happened in the garden. It happened while Jesus was on earth. It happens today. Because humanity rebels…restoration is necessary. The NT warns of apostasy. The Bible predicts the apostasy of preachers in 2 Timothy 4. The Bible predicts the apostasy of leaders in the church in Acts 20:28-32. The Bible predicts the apostasy of individual Christians in Hebrews 10. We even see the apostasy of churches in Revelation 2 and 3. Any time there is apostasy, restoration is necessary.
Spiritual restoration is different from our efforts to restore physical things. Physical restoration projects typically have a beginning point and an ending point. Spiritual restoration is ongoing. Humans are sinful. Our need for restoration is ongoing. Churches of Christ are known for their plea for restoration. This plea is sent to individuals and to churches. Our goal is to simply be Christians. Our goal is to be the church found in the NT. We are continually striving to reach these goals.