Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love





The business of Jesus was said to be restoration but restoration to what? I get the impression that most feel that Jesus was to restore a few to the state or status enjoyed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden prior to their eating of the Tree of Knowledge. In effect, Jesus allows men to regain the blissfulness of pre-sinfulness. This all is predicated on the assumption that what happened in the Garden spoiled God's original plan and was not what God had wanted and purposed. This, in turn, is rooted in the idea that God was disappointed or angry because of Adam and Eve's actions and cursed them out of that anger. It is further assumed that God turned His back on mankind in a very real sense, not being able to tolerate sinfulness and its effrontery to His righteousness. None of this makes the slightest sense if one insists on a sovereign  deity, one who is always in control. All the reference to man's free will as a moral necessity is a merely ludicrous and vain attempt to explain God's supposed impotence and inability to maintain what He had created and declared as good.


It makes infinitely more sense to conclude that a sovereign God would orchestrate all the events in the Garden in accordance with His divine purpose.  This concept of God's purposefulness and complete competence is clearly stated in passages such as Isa 14:24, 46:9-10 and Eph 1:11. To insist against the firm declarations of scripture and the very  nature of God, that somehow He lost control or for some reason allowed His purpose to be thwarted by men is the real effrontery to God that the church should avoid.


So if the restoration of Christ does not return man to the Garden, where does it end. If, as I suggest, all the events of the Garden were in accordance with God's plan, it seems illogical that the restoration takes man back to that state after a long and circuitous religious odyssey through paganism, Judaism, and subsequently Christianity. Man was there and God did not leave him there, so I must conclude that God's plan for mankind directs us to something better than Eden. In searching for an explanation for how a process which leads to something better than the original can be called a restoration, I hypothesize that God is preparing us for a return to a state outside or before human history. There is no solid reason to insist that any of us came into existence in the eyes of God either at conception or birth. If we existed before time, restoration is not confined to the realm of time.  


Whatever restoration implies, we can be sure that it does not mean that God finally regains the lost control over His creation. "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will." Eph 1:11