Reconciliation

Concise Bible Dictionary:

Except in 1 Samuel 29:44And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? should it not be with the heads of these men? (1 Samuel 29:4), and 2 Chronicles 29:2424And the priests killed them, and they made reconciliation with their blood upon the altar, to make an atonement for all Israel: for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel. (2 Chronicles 29:24), the Hebrew word is kaphar, which is more than sixty times translated “to make an atonement;” and this rendering suits sufficiently well in the places where “reconciliation” is read in the AV (Lev. 6:3030And no sin offering, whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of the congregation to reconcile withal in the holy place, shall be eaten: it shall be burnt in the fire. (Leviticus 6:30); Lev. 8:1515And he slew it; and Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar, and sanctified it, to make reconciliation upon it. (Leviticus 8:15); Lev. 16:2020And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: (Leviticus 16:20); Ezek. 45:15,17,2015And one lamb out of the flock, out of two hundred, out of the fat pastures of Israel; for a meat offering, and for a burnt offering, and for peace offerings, to make reconciliation for them, saith the Lord God. (Ezekiel 45:15)
17And it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel. (Ezekiel 45:17)
20And so thou shalt do the seventh day of the month for every one that erreth, and for him that is simple: so shall ye reconcile the house. (Ezekiel 45:20)
; Dan. 9:2424Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. (Daniel 9:24)). In the New Testament the last clause of Hebrews 2:1717Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:17) should be translated “to make ‘propitiation’ for the sins of the people.” Elsewhere the word translated “reconciliation” is καταλλαγἠ, and kindred words, signifying “a thorough change.”
By the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross, God annulled in grace the distance which sin had brought in between Himself and man, in order that all things might, through Christ, be presented agreeably to Himself. Believers are already reconciled, through Christ’s death, to be presented holy, unblameable, and unreproveable (a new creation). God was in Christ, when Christ was on earth, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing unto them their trespasses; but now that the love of God has been fully revealed in the cross, the testimony has gone out worldwide, beseeching men to be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:19-2019To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:19‑20)). The end is that God may have His pleasure in man.

From Anstey’s Doctrinal Definitions:

•  "Suffered for sins"—This is propitiation.
•  "The just for the unjust"—This is substitution.
•  "To bring us to God"—This is reconciliation.
Note: he places propitiation and substitution (the two parts of atonement) before reconciliation. This shows us that the claims of divine justice in regard to sin had to be settled first before God could reach out to men with blessing. This was done in propitiation (Rom. 3:2525Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:25); Heb. 2:1717Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:17); 1 John 2:22And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2); 4:10), which is God’s side of Christ's work on the cross. It has rendered a full satisfaction to God in regard to the whole outbreak of sin, and thus has made "the whole world" saveable (1 John 2:22And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)). Substitution, which is the believer's side of Christ's work on the cross, has to do with what Christ did on the cross for believers, taking their sins upon Himself and bearing their judgment for them (1 Peter 2:2424Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:24)). As a result of the sin question being settled at the cross, God is able to reach out to man and reconcile believers to Himself on a righteous basis.
As mentioned, there are two things involved in God’s work of reconciliation:
•  The reconciliation of persons.
•  The reconciliation of things.
1) The Reconciliation Of Persons
The havoc that sin has caused in the fall of man is far more devastating than we might realize. Not only has it dishonoured God and ruined His fair creation, but it has also brought hurt to man and his posterity—spiritually (in his spirit and soul) and physically (in his body). One of the sad results of the entrance of sin into this world is that there are estranged relations between men and God. Wrong thoughts and feelings now possess man's heart and "mind" toward God (Col. 1:2121And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (Colossians 1:21)). Through sin, men in their fallen state have become "haters of God" (Rom. 1:3030Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (Romans 1:30)) and thus have great "enmity against God" (Rom. 8:77Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (Romans 8:7)). Hence, men are "alienated" from God and are "enemies" of God (Col. 1:2121And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (Colossians 1:21)). This condition of enmity is altogether on man's side; it is man who has sinned and gone far from God. In his alienation, he has developed ill feelings and hatred toward God.
Even though man's heart toward God has been corrupted, God's disposition toward man has not changed. He is still favourably disposed toward His creatures, for He is the Unchangeable God (Mal. 3:66For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6)). This can be seen in the fact that "God commends His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:88But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)). Thus, in his confused state of thinking, man views God as an enemy—but He is not an enemy at all. In fact, God is seeking the good and blessing of man. A change of heart is desperately needed in man, but not in God, for He has always loved man. Therefore, it is not God who needs to be reconciled to man, but man to God. To say that God needed to be reconciled denies His "everlasting love" for man (Jer. 31:33The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. (Jeremiah 31:3); John 3:1616For 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)). Sometimes, when people are awakened to their need to be saved, they have the mistaken idea that since they have sinned and have gone far from God that they need to do something to turn God’s heart toward them. Some think that they need to shed tears, while others think that they need to clean up their lives and get religious. But again, this is misunderstanding the heart of God. The truth is that His heart has always been toward man; since the day that sin entered the creation, God has been seeking man's deliverance and blessing.
Since this is the case, Scripture does not present reconciliation as we know it today in the modern sense of the word. That is, in having to do with two parties that have been estranged, coming toward each other's position with some degree of compromise, so that relations between them can resume as they once were. Biblical reconciliation always treats the subject as man being brought back to God. Hence, Scripture does not say that we are reconciled with God, but rather "to" God (Rom. 5:1010For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Romans 5:10); 2 Cor. 5:2020Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20); Eph. 2:1616And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: (Ephesians 2:16); Col. 1:2020And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:20)). "We" receive "the reconciliation;" God does not receive it (Rom. 5:1111And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (Romans 5:11) – J. N. Darby Trans.; Col. 1:2121And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (Colossians 1:21)). (Matthew 5:2424Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. (Matthew 5:24) does use the word "reconciled" in the sense of two parties coming together, but it is a different word in the Greek and is not in connection with the gospel blessings that we are considering.)
There are four main places in the New Testament where the reconciliation of persons is considered—each views the subject from a different aspect:
This passage presents reconciliation from God's perspective; it emphasizes what it accomplishes for the pleasure of God. It is, therefore, the highest aspect of reconciliation, for what pertains to God always must come first. It has to do with His work of bringing back His creatures and His creation to a place where He can delight in them. The Spirit of God uses "It" in this passage, when referring to “the Godhead.” This emphasizes the fact that the three Persons of the Godhead are deeply interested in the blessing of man, and are involved in the reconciling of man to happy fellowship with “Itself” on the ground of redemption.
This passage shows that man's fallen condition is two-fold: he has become an alien and an enemy of God (Col. 1:2121And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (Colossians 1:21)). "Alienated" is what men are by nature; "enemies" are what they are by practice. As alienated, man is now far from God morally and spiritually, having no relationship with his Creator. This separation was not just with Adam who sinned but is true of the whole race under him (Rom. 5:1919For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Romans 5:19)a). Man's heart is full of hatred and enmity toward God. This condition exists in every lost person in Adam’s fallen race. It is evident in the profanity with which men use His holy name (Psa. 139:2020For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. (Psalm 139:20)) and in the "wicked works" which they practice (Col. 1:2121And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (Colossians 1:21)). These things have contributed to man’s estrangement from God; men have a sense of having done wrong, and it keeps them away from the One whom they have wronged.
In this passage, Paul shows that God in grace has overcome this two-fold condition of fallen man in the great work of reconciliation. This does not mean that every person in the world is reconciled now, or that all will be reconciled, but that a provision has been made to reach and restore every person, if they are willing. He shows that in order for God to effect reconciliation, Christ had to become a Man (vs. 19) and go to the cross to pay the price for sin and sins (vs. 20). Thus, the incarnation of Christ has brought God to man. God has come down to man in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ and His heart has been fully manifested. However, the incarnation in itself was not enough to effect reconciliation; it also required Christ's work on the cross. Paul indicates this in mentioning “the blood of His cross” (vs. 20) and "the body of His flesh through death" (vs. 22). Thus:
•  The incarnation has brought God to man (vs. 19).
•  The death and blood-shedding of Christ brings men (believers) to God (vs. 20).
To be forgiven would have satisfied us, but it wouldn't satisfy God. Luke 15 illustrates this great truth. The father was not satisfied to give the prodigal the kisses of forgiveness—he would have him arrayed with the best robe, with a ring, and with the shoes on his feet, so that his eye could rest on his son with complacency (Luke 15:20-2320And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: (Luke 15:20‑23)). Thus, we see from this that God works to effect reconciliation that we might be found in a suitable state before Him as "holy and unblamable and unreproveable in His sight," so that He can find His pleasure in us. Thus, reconciliation includes, but goes beyond, forgiveness of sins and justification, to the bringing of the believer “nigh” to God in peace (Eph. 2:1313But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13)). W. Kelly said, “Reconciliation therefore is a term of rich meaning, and goes far beyond repentance or faith, quickening or justification” (Notes on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, p. 114). This is God's side of this great subject.
This passage presents reconciliation from the believer's side, and shows what God has done to meet his condition as having gone far from Him. As "enemies" of God, men have enmity and ill-feelings towards God. Their ill-feelings are actuated by the presence of an evil conscience that condemns them as sinners. It gives them a sense of having done wrong, and that makes them uneasy about meeting God. Thus, their conscience works to keep them at a distance from God.
In spite of such a condition prevailing over the human race, God has undertaken to remove it and to bring men (believers) back to Himself. This fifth chapter of Romans shows that God in grace has taken the first step toward man's reconciliation. He had to make the first advance, because man, left to himself in his fallen condition, would never make a move toward God. Thus, God has commended His love toward man by providing a sacrifice for sin, and this was done at a great cost to Himself (Rom. 5:88But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)).
Paul proceeds to tell us how God removes the enmity in the heart of a sinner—it is through "the death of His Son" (vs. 10). In this passage, the Apostle emphasizes the great love of God for man. It is so great that He would even give His own Son to bring men back to Himself! Note: it does not say, the death "of Christ," but the death of "His Son." This emphasizes the affection that existed in His relationship with His Son. God had only one Son, and He dearly loved Him, yet He was willing to give Him to save sinners! The cost of this sacrifice to God, therefore, is incalculable.
When this great fact—that God has offered up His dearly beloved Son to bring men back to Himself—strikes the sinner's heart by the power of the Spirit, his heart is deeply touched. Then, learning that God's disposition has been toward him all along (even though he has harboured evil thoughts toward God) it is more than his heart can take. The love and compassion of God so grips his heart that the enmity that once rested there is dispelled. All such ill-feelings and hatred are flushed out of his soul at once, and "the love of God is shed abroad" in his heart by the Spirit (Rom. 5:5, 85And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:5)
8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
). Thus, his thoughts toward God are all changed, and His Son, who gave Himself to make it possible, becomes the most wonderful and attractive Person to him.
In receiving Christ as Saviour, the believer’s heart which was once filled with sin and wrong thoughts of God, is now filled with peace and love, so that he is able to "joy in God" (vs. 11). He was once uncomfortable at the thought of meeting God, but now he is comfortable in His presence and actually delights in being there. In connection with this aspect of reconciliation, J. N. Darby remarked, "I feel at home with God. All His gracious feelings are toward me, and I know it, and my heart is brought back to Him." To "joy in God" is the believer's proper attitude. His heart is drawn away from himself, and he exults in what he possesses in God and in Christ.
In Romans 5:1111And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (Romans 5:11), the KJV says that the believer receives "the atonement," but this is a mistake in the translation; it should read "the reconciliation." In the salvation of men and women, God receives the propitiation because sin has outraged His holiness, but we receive the reconciliation. Thus, Paul says, "We have now received the reconciliation" (vs. 11). This indicates that it is an accomplished fact; it is not something that we are waiting to have when the Lord comes.
This aspect of reconciliation has to do with the dissension that has existed in the human race for thousands of years between Jews and Gentiles. In the great work of reconciliation, men are not only reconciled to God, but also to one another in the body of Christ.
The subject in the epistle to the Ephesians has to do with God's great plan to display the glory of His Son in heaven and on earth in the coming millennial kingdom, through a specially formed vessel of testimony—the Church, which is the body and bride of Christ. In this second chapter, we see God saving sinners from among the Jews and the Gentiles and bringing them together in the Church. His desire is that they might dwell together in a practical unity now in this world before the millennial kingdom is established, and thus to give testimony to the fact that they are one body in Christ. The problem is that there has been long-standing animosity and prejudice between those whom God has chosen to be part of this special company of believers. To get Jews and Gentiles to dwell together is, humanly speaking, impossible. In spite of this, Paul shows that God's great work of reconciliation is such that it removes this obstacle.
In this passage, Paul explains how this is done. Both Jews and Gentiles are in need of reconciliation—not only to God but also to one another. Gentiles are “far off” from God (vs. 13), but the Jews are also “far from God” (Matt. 15:88This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. (Matthew 15:8)). But Paul says, “He (Christ) is our (Jews and Gentiles) peace who hath made both one.” The aspect of “peace” that Paul mentions here is racial peace. It is one of three aspects of peace connected with the believer's standing in Christ—all of which belong to believers the moment they are saved and sealed with the Spirit. (See Peace.) God establishes this racial peace among those who believe by the annulment (not “abolished” as in the KJV) of the thing that gave cause for the enmity between the Jew and the Gentile—“the law of commandments in ordinances.” The Law of Moses has not been abolished; it still has its "application" to those in the flesh by showing them that they are sinners (1 Tim. 1:9-109Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; (1 Timothy 1:9‑10)). But for those who believe and are thus part of this new and heavenly company (the Church) it is "annulled."
The enmity has been annulled by God’s taking believing Jews and Gentiles “out” of their former positions "in the flesh" (Acts 15:14; 26:1714Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. (Acts 15:14)
17Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, (Acts 26:17)
) and making them members of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-1312For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:12‑13)). Thus, He has removed the distinction of Jew and Gentile. Those who are part of this new company are neither Jews nor Gentiles (Gal. 3:2828There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28); Col. 3:1111Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. (Colossians 3:11)). For them the middle wall of partition has been done away, and God has made of the two "one new man." The “one new man” is Christ (the Head in heaven) linked to the members of His body on earth by the indwelling Spirit. Hence, in the one new man, the Jew is gone, and the Gentile is gone, and with them, the enmity that once existed!
Reconciliation Announced to the World (2 Cor. 5:18-22)
This passage shows that after God reconciles believers to Himself, He uses them as instruments to announce the truth of reconciliation to the world. This is done through the preaching of the gospel. Ephesians 2:1717And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. (Ephesians 2:17) alludes to this. It says that the Lord has “preached the glad tidings of peace to you who were afar off (Gentiles), and the glad tidings of peace to those who were nigh” (Jews). We might wonder how the Lord could be preaching on earth when He has gone back to heaven. But this fact just illustrates the great truth of the "one new man." Christ is preaching to the world today through the members of His body. (Compare Acts 9:44And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? (Acts 9:4).)
These verses in 2 Corinthians 5 show that God was working to bring the world (persons) back to Himself in the ministry of the Lord Jesus when He was here on earth. These verses also show that this work has been passed on to the apostles and other Christian workers in the time of Christ’s absence. His ministry was to "seek and to save that which is lost" (Luke 19:1010For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10)). Thus, as Paul says, "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." He adds, "Not imputing their trespasses [offences] unto them." This means that the Lord did not condemn the sinners with whom He interacted (John 3:17; 8:1117For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:17)
11She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (John 8:11)
). However, in spite of all the love and kindness shown out through the Lord's ministry, all but a remnant of believers rejected Him—His mission to sinners seemed to be in vain (Isa. 49:44Then I said, I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God. (Isaiah 49:4)).
Now that Christ has been turned out of this world through death, Paul says, God has "committed unto us the word of reconciliation." The "us" here would firstly refer to the apostles, but it would also include other Christian workers who are presently engaged in gospel work. It is called "the word" of reconciliation because it has to do with communicating the truth of the gospel, and we do this by using words. Paul said, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech by us: we pray in Christ's stead, Be reconciled to God." Hence, we are a reconciled people in a un-reconciled world, announcing a message of reconciliation. The story of Mephibosheth illustrates (in type) the truth of reconciliation (2 Sam. 9).
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There is an aspect of reconciliation of persons that is purely an external thing; it does not mean that all who are reconciled are saved (Rom. 11:1515For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? (Romans 11:15)). This aspect of reconciliation has to do with God’s bringing the Gentile world into a place of relative nearness to Himself in this Day of Grace. Israel's rejection of the gospel, and the consequent temporary setting aside of that nation, has opened up a tremendous opportunity for Gentiles today—in that the gospel has been sent into all the world. Thus, it has been called “provisional” or “dispensational” reconciliation. As mentioned, it doesn't mean that the whole world has been saved and reconciled in the sense in which we have already considered, but that the privilege of being blessed through believing the gospel has been extended to them. Therefore, the Gentile world is seen as being near to God in this present day, while Israel is set aside. It is a relative nearness to God.
2) The Reconciliation Of All Things
The second part of reconciliation has to do with created things. This will take place in a coming day when the Godhead will “reconcile all things to Itself” (Col. 1:2020And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:20)).
The whole creation (heaven and earth) has been affected by sin and is defiled. Everything must be brought back into its proper relationship to God. The lower creation is currently suffering under the effects of sin and needs to be redeemed—set free (Eph. 1:1414Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:14)). Even though the creation did not go away from God of its own will (Rom. 8:2020For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, (Romans 8:20)), it is still defiled and is in need of cleansing (Job 15:15; 25:515Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. (Job 15:15)
5Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight. (Job 25:5)
). By virtue of the blood of Christ, God can, and will, in a coming day, effect a cleansing of the creation (Heb. 9:2323It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. (Hebrews 9:23)). He will take the material creation out of the hands of sinful men and set it free for God's use. At the Appearing of Christ, God will deliver the creation from its bondage and then will begin to reconcile all created things to Himself. This work will not be complete until every trace of sin in the creation is gone—which will not be reached until the Eternal State begins and everything will be made new.
Note: while Colossians 1:2020And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:20) says that "all things" will be reconciled, it does not say that all persons will be reconciled. This shows that the will of man may resist the grace of God. All who will not believe “the word of reconciliation” will have their end in a lost eternity. There is no reconciliation for infernal beings—the devil and his angels, and unbelieving men.