Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.—Acts 3:20-21 (New American Standard Bible, NASB)
When the Apostle Peter spoke of “the period of restoration of all things,” he was referring to a real, literal, physical period of time that had not yet come but will take place in the future. We can believe this for three reasons:
First, the Greek word for “period” in Acts 3:21 (NASB) is transliterated “chronos” (xrónos) and literally means, “time in duration or sequence”; “a particular time”; or, “season” (Strong’s Concordance, as cited in Bible Hub URL). There’s no reason not to believe the apostle has an actual time period of restoration in mind.
Second, Peter was talking to his own people, the Jews, about “the times of refreshing” that would come if the nation would come together, repent of their sin, and accept Jesus as Messiah, the One about whom the prophets spoke (Isaiah 2:2-4; Jeremiah 31:25, 31-37; Amos 9:14). If only they would accept Christ, then God would send Jesus to them and exalt them in his kingdom: “that he might send Jesus, the Christ appointed to you,” (v. 20). But, as history shows, Israel has not yet accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Three, “the period of restoration” is yet future for God has not sent Jesus back to earth. Heaven received Jesus when he was taken up in a cloud to sit at the right hand of God on his throne (Acts 1:11; Luke 22:69; Hebrews 8:1; Revelation 3:21). The restoration period (“times of refreshing”) will not convene until Christ literally comes and Israel is converted to him (Zechariah 12:10; Matt. 23:39; Revelation 1:7). We’re still expectantly waiting and preparing for that “Day of the Lord” to come even while others are not (Matthew 24:42-44; 2 Peter 3:10-18).
We look forward to a literal, physical time period which, according to Revelation 20:1-6, will last for a span of 1,000 years. As we’ve stated before, this period is also called the “Millennium,” composed of the Latin mille, meaning, “one thousand” and annus, meaning “year.”
We take the Millennium or 1,000-year period literally in Revelation. It’s marked by the same descriptions we’ve been discussing over the last several weeks relating to the end of this age of which Jesus also spoke (Matthew 24:3; Revelation 1:1-3) : A period when evil forces (i.e., “the dragon,” Revelation 12:3-4; 17:3, 9-18) are “bound” (prohibited; forbidden) at which time there will be peace and prosperity like never before. This will pave the way for many other renovations including the environment, education, government, around the entire world.
This renovation period will begin at the first resurrection when Jesus comes down from heaven. Jesus will come to raise the dead who were faithful in him and give them immortality. And he will also instantly change all believers, still living at that time, from mortal to immortal, (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 1 Corinthians 15:50-58;).
Revelation 5:9 says,
“And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation,’” (NASB).
The Millennium will take place on this planet as believers (the church) co-rule with Christ (Romans 8:17) in the positions of kings and priests: “And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God and they will reign upon the earth,” (Revelation 5:10). As the church reigns with Christ in his Kingdom, the whole earth will undergo a complete physical renovation.
We have taken a look at some of those physical changes in previous posts. In review,
+His Kingdom will literally be global, over the entire earth, “as the waters cover the sea,” (Habakkuk 2:14; Isaiah 11:9; Daniel 7:14).
+His Kingdom will literally replace all governments as he fulfills his right to sit on the throne of his glory in Jerusalem as the world capital (Luke 1:31-33; Matthew 25:31; Psalm 2:6-9; Zechariah 14:9).
+His Kingdom will literally change the world’s educational system from secular humanism to God’s knowledge and wisdom, “for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD…” (Isiah 11:9).
+His Kingdom will literally include the exaltation of the nation of Israel upon their conversion to Christ (Jeremiah 31:31-40; Amos 9:14-15; Zechariah 12:10-14), and the nation will take part in shining forth God’s law to the nations (Isaiah 2:2-4; 60:1-22; Zechariah 8:20-23).
+His Kingdom will literally consist of an environmental renovation in which the whole planet will become purified and transformed into beauty and harmony (Isaiah 55:12-13; Amos 9:13-14) like the Garden of Eden before the curse of sin polluted the earth (Ezekiel 36:35).
+There will be no more famine and starvation; the dry and desolate places will be well-watered and nurtured, “For waters will break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the Arabah, and the scorched land will become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; In the haunt of jackals, its resting place, grass becomes reeds and rushes,” (Isaiah 35:6b, 7, NASB, also, 35:1-2).
+His Kingdom will literally produce worldwide peace as Christ forces all nations to submit to his power and authority (Daniel 2:44-45; Isaiah 9:6-7; Psalm 2: 8-9; 72:3, 7; Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3).
And yet, there will be more physical changes Christ will bring when he rules the world.
+Unlike today, with so many suffering from illnesses and pandemic outbreaks (such as the Coronavirus, a.k.a. COVID-19, outbreak now freaking out just about everyone), there will be no more sickness or disease or pandemics or pain in that Age to Come. People will have perfect health, mentally and physically: “And no residents will say, ‘I am sick’; The people who dwell there will be forgiven their iniquity,” (Isaiah 33:24, NASB). By the way, forgiveness and living in peace are integral factors for promoting healing of the mind, body, and spirit (Ephesians 4:25-32; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28).
+Speaking of mental health, people will have a positive attitude rather then a depressive, negative outlook on life: “And the ransomed of the LORD will return, and come with joyful shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away,” (Isaiah 35:10).
+The Bible also says that all who mourn will be comforted. Jesus will come, “To grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise, instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified,” (Isaiah 61:1-3, NASB).
+There will be a safe, peaceful atmosphere where people are satisfied and no longer greedy, jealous, and hateful, as evidenced by the fact that there will be“peace and goodwill among all men (women, too),” (Luke 1:14)—a Kingdom of God trait (Romans 14:17). And this means there will be no more stress or struggles which move people to fight and quarrel (James 4:1-3): “May he judge Thy people with righteousness, and Thine afflicted with justice. Let the mountains bring peace to the people, and the hills in righteousness….In his days may the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace till the moon is no more,” (Psalm 72:3, 7), NASB).
+ People will no longer have to lock their doors or install alarms and surveillance systems to protect their property: “And each of them will sit under his vine and under his fig treee, with no one to make them afraid, for the more of the LORD of hosts has spoken,” (Micah 4:4, NASB, also Isaiah 65:21-23). No robbers or thieves!
+People will not have physical deformities and deficiencies: “Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer. And the tongue of the dumb will shout for joy….” (Isaiah 35:5-6a, NASB).
+In that period, earth’s inhabitants will enjoy long life way beyond our current lifespan. Today, we think it’s remarkable if a person lives to be over 100. But when Christ reigns, the Bible says, “No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days; for the youth will die at the age of one hundred, and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred shall be thought accursed,” (Isaiah 65:20, NASB). It compares longevity of life during that time to “the lifetime of a tree” (v. 22), which we know thrives for hundreds of years. We’re talking about returning to the time before the Flood when people lived to be up to 900 years old and more.
+There will be rebuilding projects and repair of ruined cities: “Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations, and they will repair the rui9ned cities, the desolations of many generations,” Isaiah 61:4, NASB).
+There will not only be peace and harmony among humans, but animals will be tame and harmless during the Millennial reign of Christ. Just think of it: Cages, tranquilizer guns, vaccines for animal bites, and other such items will no longer be needed. There will not be any dangerous or life-threatening predators injuring and killing human beings. Not only that, animals will not devour or hurt each other:
“And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.
Also the cow and the bear will graze,
Their young will lie down together,
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den, ” (Isaiah 11:6-8; see also Isa. 65:25).
All of these physical renovations of Christ’s coming Kingdom are why believers long for his glorious return. For, in spite of all the things mankind is sincerely doing today—trying to make the world a better place by attempting to improve, protect, and extend life—pale in comparison to what Christ is going to do when he brings in the Kingdom Age. And we want to be ready for it.
For we also know that when Christ comes to establish the Kingdom, it will also feature another important characteristic that will surpass time itself. We’ll discuss this in our next post titled, “The Coming Restoration—Eternal Renovation.”
Good News to YOU!
P.S. We long for the day Jesus comes and we see him face to face. And we, as well as all the world, will never be the same again. Here’s Christian artist, Jeremy Camp, singing, “There Will Be a Day”: http://youtu.be/CPKyTY71iRM