Question: Pastor Younce, I was listening to a preacher on the radio being interviewed about his new book about the Grace of God. To put it briefly and to the point, he stated that everyone is going to be saved and end up in Heaven. He stated, for example, that Hitler is in Heaven, as well as all atheists and unbelievers. Therefore, Hitler has now apologized to all those 6 million and some Jewish people he had exterminated, asking their forgiveness; and God, in His grace, has forgiven Hitler, also. The atheists, now in God’s presence, have also asked God’s forgiveness for being so stupid as to deny there ever was a God!
Therefore, God’s grace has granted Hitler, the atheists and unbelievers forgiveness, as they have confessed the error of their way and can now, by God’s grace, live on in eternity in perfect peace. He stated this grace of God applies to all humanity from Adam to the last person on Earth at the end of time. The verse he based this on was Acts 3:21, which he quoted. “Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution...” (Acts 3:21). What do you think about this?
Answer: This is nothing new, as once again Satan raises his ugly head to insert his fangs of false doctrine into God’s creation to poison their minds. Satan uses ungodly men, such as this preacher, to perpetrate his lies, just as God uses Christians to spread the truth of God’s Word.
You will note that he quoted only part of the verse. One cannot isolate part of a verse and take it out of context without arriving at a false doctrine. Therefore we will quote Verses 19,20, and 21, which will illuminate the meaning of this passage and refute this man’s false and Satanic teaching of Universalism.
“Repent (Greek, “change your mind”) ye therefore, and be converted (Greek epistrepho, i.e.,), that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” (V.19).
“And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:” (V.20).
“Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution (Greek means “restoration”) of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:19-21).
- Verse 19.
- “Repent.” The Greek means to “change your mind.”
- “Converted.” The Greek is epistrepho and means “to turn.” In other words, “Change your mind and turn towards Christ.” Conversion is a voluntary act in response to the presentation of truth.
- “From the presence of the Lord.” This is not the Rapture; but, the Revelation when Christ comes back to the Earth to judge the nations (Matthew 25:31-41) and establish his Kingdom reign for 1,000 years. Acts 1:11 states He left the Earth and ascended to Heaven AND “...shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” He left the Earth and went to Heaven, and will leave Heaven and come back to the Earth. At the Rapture, He does not come to the Earth. (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
- Verse 20.
- "And he shall send Jesus Christ..." All the Old Testament prophets, along with all references in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, concerning Christ’s coming are speaking of His return to set up His Kingdom reign on Earth. None of the above knew anything about the Rapture, as this was a Mystery revealed by the Apostle Paul. You will not find the Rapture in the Old Testament, nor the Gospels.
III. “Restitution of all things.” (Verse 21).
The Greek for “restitution” is apokathistemi. Apo (meaning, ‘back again,” and kathistemi meaning ‘to set in order.’ In other words, Christ will “set things in order,” as He will rule this Earth for a 1,000 years in peace. Israel will be restored all the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Christ will deliver the world from the power and deception of Satan, as he will be chained during Christ’s reign (Revelation 20:1-3). The wil-derness and desert will blossom as a rose (Isaiah 35:1,2,6,7). There will be no more war (Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3). Peace will prevail in the animal kingdom (Isaiah 11:6-8), and on and on. #I has nothing to do with the lost who die in unbelief.
This projects that all humanity will be saved and end up in Heaven, including Satan and his fallen angels (demons). This perversion is based upon Acts 3:21 and projected by Satan and his ministers. Notice 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. (V.13).
“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (V.14).
“Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”- 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
- No Second Chances After Death!
“...restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets...
- No prophet has ever spoken of Satan or his demons being regenerated. Christ makes this clear in Matthew 25:41.
“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”
Notice in Revelation 20:10.
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
God makes it perfectly clear that Satan and his demons will be tormented “for ever and ever” in the “everlasting fire.” Why would God create an “everlasting fire, if sometime in the future Satan and all the unsaved were going to get out. “Everlasting” means the fires of Hell will never go out, because Satan and the lost will never get out!
- A false philosophy. This asserts that when Satan’s angels BELIEVE in the one and only true God of creation, they will be forgiven and live in Heaven with Christ.
- Refutation. God Himself refutes this philosophy in His Word, the Bible, in James 2:19.
“Thou (i.e., Christians) believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils (demons) also believe, and tremble.”
The Book of James was penned about 45 A.D. That is over 1965 years ago. The angels were created prior to the creation of mankind and mankind’s being put on Earth. So, if they believe now; then, why do they tremble? The reason is that they have believed too late!
When Satan wanted to take over God’s position and authority...
“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: (V.13). I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” - Isaiah 14:13-14
“Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” - Ezekiel 28:15
...One-third of all the angels followed Satan.
“And his (Satan’s) tail drew the third part of the stars (demonic angels) of heaven; and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” - Revelation 12:4
Their destiny was then sealed in Hell forever! They have believed too late. If they had received “restitution,” they would now have the peace of a Christian instead of trembling with fear.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” - Romans 5:1
- All who die in unbelief will be believers in Hell; BUT, with no escape or second chance. They must trust Christ as their Savior before they die, believing He paid for their sins on the Cross and was resurrected, to inherit eternal life with Christ in Heaven.
One illustration is found in Luke, Chapter 16, Verses 19-31. Here a rich man died in unbelief,
“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments...,” (23) and said, “...send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” (24)
Now the rich man is a believer! Notice what he says in Verse 28.
“For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.”
Here this man was in Hell; but, was now a believer, as he wanted someone to go back and warn his five brothers before they joined him in Hell. Now a believer but still in Hell refutes the lie of Satan’s ministers that, if you believe after going to Hell, you will receive “restitution.” This is enough to prove this false teacher a liar and the Word of God to be true.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (not a second chance!). (Hebrews 9:27