Acts 3:17-21
When Wrong Is Made Right

John and Peter were going to the temple to pray and as they passed
through a certain gate, the meet a man who had been lame from birth.
Everyone knew him for he had sat outside the gate begging for most of
his life.  Peter was drawn to the man and the man, seeing Peter,
thought he might receive some financial gift from him.  What he
received was so much more!  Peter reached out and helped the man to
stand to his feet.  As the man attempted to stand, his legs and feet
were healed,  Before long, he is running around praising God and a
crowd gathers so Peter started preaching.

Peterís church was the Jewish temple.  His topic was Jesus.  He
congregation was the very Jews who had been part of the crowd
who had crucified Jesus just a few months before.

While Peterís entire sermon is worthy of our attention, I just want
to draw out a single phrase in the sermon.  In speaking of Jesus,
Peter told the congregation that Jesus would remain in heaven until
"the times of restitution" of all things.

I. Letís consider the phrase.
    A. This is the time of Jesus coming back.
        1. \\#19\\ Peter spoke of the refreshing that will come with
            the presence of the Lord.  But Jesus is not present right
        2. Why?  \\#21\\ The heavens had received Him.
        3. That is recorded in Acts 1.  We call that event the
            ascension but it is the same thing.

Acts 1:9  And when he had spoken these things,
while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud
received him out of their sight.
10  And while they looked stedfastly toward
heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by
them in white apparel;

        4. But which return of Jesus is it?  There are two.
            a. Rapture - This is a secret, quit, stealth mission when
                Jesus returns for the church, His bride.
            b. Revelation - Public, open.
                (1) \\#Rev 1:7\\ Öevery eye shall see HimÖ."
                (2) On this return, Jesus will judge the world and
                     set up His earthy kingdom.
    B. "the times"
        1. Peter could have said, "the time," singular, but he did
        2. He used the plural of the word which indicate there things
            will not be made right all at once.  Rather, it will
            happen over several times or a period of time.
    C. "restitution"
        1. Restitution is one of the stages of making a wrong right.
        2. Most of us do not know much about making a wrong right.
            a. Like so many other things that have been lost, making
                a wrong right simply isnít taught today.
            b. How does one make a wrong right?  Three steps:
                (1) Acknowledge the wrong.  This is not a time to
                     make excuses or to attempt to switch blame.  If
                     you did wrong, it doesnít matter why you did it.
                     It only matters that you did it and you need to
                     state the action that was wrong and acknowledge
                     that you did it.
                (2) If you feel any, state your sorrow over doing the
                     wrong and ask for forgiveness.
                     (a) Most people today, if they make any kind of
                          attempt to right a wrong, will only do half
                          of this.
                     (b) They will state that they are sorry for
                          doing it.
                          i. Have you ever asked what that even
                         ii. To say you are sorry simply means that
                              you are feeling badly that you did the
                        iii. That is not what some people mean to say
                              at all, because often they do not.
                         iv. What they mean to say is that I hope you
                              will forget the wrong I did because I
                              donít feel badly and nothing is going
                              to change.
                     (c) However, if you are a Christian and you did
                          a wrong, you should feel badly about it
                          because you not only did wrong to that
                          individual, you did wrong to God and you
                          hurt God.  That should make you feel badly.
                     (d) If you do feel badly over the wrong you did,
                          you should state that you do.  If you
                          donít feel badly, you have not only done
                          wrong to the person you are speaking to,
                          but now you are wasting their time.
                     (e) So you should state that you feel badly over
                          the wrong you did and be able to tell them
                          that you do.
                     (f) But sharing your feelings is only the
                          introduction to what you really need to
                           i. You need to ask them to forgive you.
                          ii. When you wrong someone, you are to go
                               to the injured party and ask for their
                         iii. That is how you reconcile.  You take
                               blame for what you did wrong and you
                               ask them to forgive you.

Matt 5:23  Therefore if thou bring thy gift
to the altar, and there rememberest that thy
brother hath ought against thee;
24  Leave there thy gift before the altar, and
go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother,
and then come and offer thy gift.

                (3) You make restitution.
                     (a) Exodus 22 teaches about restitution.
                     (b) There we learn that when we have done wrong,
                          we suffer whatever loss our wrong caused.
                           i. \\#Ex 22:5\\ If our beast eats another
                               manís crops, we give him the best of
                               our crops.
                          ii. \\#Ex 22:6\\ If our fire does damage
                               to anotherís fields or buildings, we
                               cover the costs.
                         iii. \\#Ex 22:7, 12\\ If we stole something,
                               we pay double.
        3. So in this verse, Jesus will return when it is time to
            make things right, to settle the debt, to fix that which
            is wrong.
            a. We need to say this plainly.  He is not coming to make
                restitution for wrong He has done.  Jesus never did
                anything wrong.
            b. He is coming to collect on the payments owed Him for
                the wrongs done against Him.
    D. In my mind there is no doubt as to when Peter was speaking. He
        was speaking of Jesusí return in glory, His revelation.
        1. As I mentioned, Jesus revelation will be open and public.
            At that time,
            a. He will establish a kingdom and rule over the earth.
            b. This verse is telling us that He will collect on the
                debts owed Him.
        2. Although Jesus will return on a specific day, there will
            be seven years of tribulation before He actually comes.
            That seven years will be the TIMES spoken of.
        3. The revelation of Jesus is described in many verses:

Mt 24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the
Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the
tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see
the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven
with power and great glory.

Mt 26:64  Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said:
nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye
see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of
power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Re 14:14  And I looked, and behold a white cloud,
and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of
man, having on his head a golden crown, and in
his hand a sharp sickle.
15  And another angel came out of the temple,
crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the
cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the
time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest
of the earth is ripe.
16  And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his
sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

2Thess 1:7  And to you who are troubled rest with
us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from
heaven with his mighty angels,
8  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that
know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our
Lord Jesus Christ:
9  Who shall be punished with everlasting
destruction from the presence of the Lord, and
from the glory of his power;
10  When he shall come to be glorified in his
saints, and to be admired in all them that
believe (because our testimony among you was
believed) in that day.

        4. This is definitely not the rapture of the church.
        5. In all of this judgment, Jesus will collect on some debts
            which are owed Him.

II.  What kind of wrongs will be righted?
    A. The devil owes Jesus a debt.
        1. There are certainly a lot of things about Godís business
            that I know nothing of, but the devil has a lot to give
            an account for!
            a. The devil has been a thorn in our side since the
                Garden of Eden, but one of these days, Jesus is going
                to settle with him!
            b. He has tempted, deceived, blinded, and lied to us more
                times than any human being could count!
            c. We most often think of Satan has the trouble maker,
                but he is more than that.
            d. He also a sinner who must give an account to God for
                his actions.
        2. Because he is a sinner, all of the same judgments of sin
            that apply to us, apply to him.
            a. The devil is separated from God, just like we are.
            b. Unlike us, Jesus did not come to die for the devil!
            c. So the devilís end is predetermined and recorded in

Rev 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.

            d. In fact, when human beings are cast into the Lake of
                Fire, they will be out of place; for that place was
                created for the devil.

Matt 25:41  Then shall he say also unto them on
the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into
everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his

        3. When God said "Vengeance is mine, I will repay"
            \\#Rom 12:9\\, He meant it.
            a. Do you think a sinner is responsible not only for his
                immediate actions but to some degree for what his
                actions do to others?
            b. If so, the devil has a portion to pay for every sin
                ever committed, every tear ever shed, and wrong ever
            c. However, I also know that the devil cannot make us
                sin.  He can only entice us to sin.
            d. That means Eve may have been pure but they were not
                (1) Eve listened to the devil.
                (2) Eve lusted after the fruit.
                (3) Eve left God for what she thought was a reward of
                     the fruit.
    B. I donít know that we could say that the world owes Jesus a
        debt, but Jesus is certainly going to make some things right
        that wrong with it.
        1. The Bible portrays the world as a victim of sin too.

Romans 8:21  Because the creature itself also
shall be delivered from the bondage of
corruption into the glorious liberty of the
children of God.
22  For we know that the whole creation groaneth
and travaileth in pain together until now.

        2. But sin has its hooks so deeply into the world that God
            condemns it as our enemy!

1Jo 2:15  Love not the world, neither the things
that are in the world. If any man love the world,
the love of the Father is not in him.

Joh 15:19  If ye were of the world, the world
would love his own: but because ye are not of
the world, but I have chosen you out of the
world, therefore the world hateth you.

        3. And why is that?  Two reasons:
            a. It is because of the curse God put upon the world when
                sin entered it.

Gen 3:17  And unto Adam he said, Because thou
hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and
hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded
thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed
is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou
eat of it all the days of thy life;
18  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring
forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of
the field;
19  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat
bread, till thou return unto the ground; for
out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, .
and unto dust shalt thou return.

            b. It is because the devil took the world from Adam.
        4. So what is God going to do about it?  I am not completely
            a. Jesus is going to take the world back!

Re 11:15  And the seventh angel sounded; and
there were great voices in heaven, saying, The
kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms
of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall
reign for ever and ever.

            b. The Bible indicates Jesus is going to purge the world.
                (1) Some verses indicate a total destruction of the
                     world and a recreation of a new one.

2Peter 3:10  But the day of the Lord will come
as a thief in the night; in the which the
heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and
the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the
earth also and the works that are therein shall
be burned up.

Rev 21:1   And I saw a new heaven and a new
earth: for the first heaven and the first earth
were passed away; and there was no more sea.

                (2) However, the Bible also reveals that something on
                     the new world will not be quite right even after
                     all of this.

Rev 22:1   And he shewed me a pure river of
water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out
of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2  In the midst of the street of it, and on
either side of the river, was there the tree of
life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and
yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves
of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3  And there shall be no more curse: but the
throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it;
and his servants shall serve him:

    C. But Acts 3:21 doesnít just list a few wrongs that will be made
        1. It says all of the wrong things will be made right!
            a. There are still sins to be made right.  Every sinful
                act ever done, from the first to the last, will be
                individually accounted for.
            b. Sin, as a possibility, must be dealt with.
            c. Hell must be closed.
            d. Death must be destroyed.  That will be the last enemy
                \\#1Cor 15:26\\.
        2. And then at the end of it, Jesus will give everything to
            the Father that the Father might be glorified.

1Cor 15:  And when all things shall be subdued
unto him, then shall the Son also himself be
subject unto him that put all things under him,
that God may be all in all.

When that is done, every wrong will be righted!  It is going to be a
glorious day, unless you are one of the wrongs.  If you sins have not
be placed under the blood of Jesus, you will be cast into the Lake of
Fire along beside the devil \\#Rev 20:11-15\\

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