Will Jesus Return to Earth? David Lipscomb Speaks

Lipscomb was asked: “What are the times of restoration and the all things spoken of by the prophets in Acts 3:20,21?”

According to J. W. Shepherd’s Queries and Answers (published by F. L. Rowe, 1918), Lipscomb responded in this way (p. 360):

Jesus had been to earth and returned to heaven. Heaven must receive him until “the times of restoration of all things.” Then “the times of restoration of all things” must be when Jesus returns again to earth–the restoration of all things to their original relation to God. The relation which the world originally sustained to God was boken and destroyed when man, the ruler, rebelled against God. That destruction of the world’s relation to God was more far-reaching and destructive than we realize. The whole material creation shared in the evil. Briers, thistles, thorns grew in the material world, as in the spiritual. Sickness, death, mortality afflicted the material world. When man rebelled against his Maker, the under creation rebelled against man. The laws of the natural world were disordered. The germs of vegetation put forth; biting frosts or burning heat destroys them. Disorder in the laws of the material world came as the result of man’s sin against his Maker. When Jesus comes again, the will of God will be done on earth as it is in heaven, and all things in the world will be restored to harmonious relations with God, the Supreme Ruler of the Universe.

There are, at least, two interesting points in this brief answer.  First, Jesus will return to earth and when he returns to earth it will involve the full harmony of God, humanity and creation as the will of God will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Second, Lipscomb recognizes a strong connection between human evil and disorder (chaos) within creation. Whether or not one thinks of this in terms of Adam & Eve or one thinks about it in terms of the interconnectedness of created reality, moral evil has ecological effects (cf. Hosea 4:1-3). The restoration of all things includes redemption for God’s creation and the final defeat of chaos within the creation.

4 Responses to “Will Jesus Return to Earth? David Lipscomb Speaks”

  1.   riverwindfire Says:

    Thanks, John Mark. Very interesting indeed, I like Lipscomb’s vision of Jesus’ reign.

    I’m asking out of what I hope is pardonable ignorance: was Lipscomb pre-millennial, i.e. would Lipscomb place this restoration of all things within a millennial reign of Jesus in human history, or elsewhere? I mean, I know where I think I’d place it, but I’m interested to know what Lipscomb was thinking. Does he have anything to say about the how the dragon manages to turn the whole world against Jesus reigning in Jerusalem during the millennium?

    •   John Mark Hicks Says:

      David Lipscomb is rather ambiguous about the millennium itself. He clearly believes in a renewed earth, but whether he is premillennial or not is uncertain in my mind. Some believe that he is, like James A. Harding, premillennial (such as Richard Hughes). However, I think it more likely that he is believes that when Jesus returns the eternal home will begin upon a renewed earth without a literal 1000 year reign. Yet, Lipscomb is never explicit about his millennialism–whatever it might be. He often refused to comment on Revelation 20 or Revelation itself since he was uncertain as to its meaning.

  2.   Dr W Says:

    When you stop to think about it–really think about it–it makes a lot of sense.

  3.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    I tend to think so. 🙂

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