1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Psalms 51:1-2 Colossians 1:27-28 (NIV) To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 27 What is divine restoration? What does it mean spiritually? How does it heal my broken soul? Can I ever return to God? Will he accept me? If I fall away , can I come back? These are some of the many questions we may ask ourselves as we continue on our glorious journey in Christ. Today our focus will be on the latter prophets Which include Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve Minor prophets. The period that we will discuss is found in the book of Isaiah warning the people of the Babylonian’s and the destruction of Judah; God will restore them if ……. Restoration "in the beginning" (Gen. 3:21) The biblical theme of restoration is found in the beginning of all things: the book of Genesis. God created the human being in his own image, man and woman. The human being enjoys God's image, his intimacy and an uninterrupted companionship with Him. However, the human being decided to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. By doing so, he wanted to take his life in his own hands. Instead of depending on God's wisdom, righteousness and resources, he would live by his own limited resources, according to his own opinion. With this tragic decision, the human being lost his divine image, as well as the intimacy and companionship of the Lord, his Creator. But God's restorative work began immediately. As the human being was already self-conscious, trying to cover his nakedness by his own hands, So what did God do? He provided him clothes made of animal skins (Gen 3:21) 21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. This revealed with complete clarity God's redemptive and restorative plan for the fallen human. After being expelled from the Garden, and separated from the Tree of Life which was in its midst, Adam had sons in his own image, disobedient and self-centered, and not in God's image. From this moment forward, the human being fell further and further into depravity until God decided to destroy the race, and begin again through one single family, Noah's. The covenant of the rainbow (Gen. 9:13) was one of the most important signs given by God during this period, a sign through which his desire was indicated to restore that which had been lost in Adam and Eve's time. With the calling of Abraham (Gen. 12), he began to develop this plan, by manifesting God's will through a specific individual. the "great nation" that he promised to prosper through Abraham began to gestate with Israel, but was destined to be transformed in the Church, the house of God. 2. Biblical definition of restoration (Job 42:10- 12) According to the dictionary, "restore" means to reestablish something to its original condition. Therefore, when something is restored in Scripture, it always grows, multiplies or improves, so that its final condition is superior to its original state Job 42:10-12 (NIV) 10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.11 All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. 12 The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. In The Book of Joel, Joel is what we call a minor prophet or the Twelve, in chapter 2 we see serious call to repent. A further description of that terrible desolation which should be made in the land of Judah by the locusts and caterpillars, Joel 2:1-11. II. A serious call to the people, when they are under this sore judgment, to return and repent, to fast and pray, and to seek unto God for mercy, with directions how to do this aright, Joel 2:12-17. But God Loves his people - A promise that, upon their repentance, God would remove the judgment, would repair the breaches made upon them by it, and restore unto them plenty of all good things, Joel 2:18-27. A prediction of the setting up of the kingdom of the Messiah in the world, by the pouring out of the Spirit in the latter days, Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:16-18. Thus the beginning of this chapter is made terrible with the tokens of God’s wrath, but the latter end of it made comfortable with the assurances of his favour, and it is in the way of repentance. Jesus told his disciples that everyone who left something to follow him would receive 100 times more (Mark 10:29,30).(NIV) 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied,“no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. God multiplies when he restores, and thus, to restore nowadays, God not only returns to the Church the glory that it reached in New Testament times, he wishes to make it more powerful, glorious and majestic, like nothing the world has ever seen! But yet there are many of those who refuse to believe in the Christ Jesus his own family would not accept him : John 1:10-12 - 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God Before we move further in our lesson , before with discuss the coming of the Messiah, before we talking about anything else. I think we need to get a better understanding of the core problem with mankind. Sin & Satan!.... A Portrait of Sin - Isaiah 44:19-20 Hebrews 7:25 NIV “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” As a Christian there are certain elements that make us feel secure in our journey and one of them is assurance. Faith and Assurance is the kind of knowledge of God in Christ that carries within it an absolute confidence that what it knows is surely true, and therefore, completely trustworthy and reliable. Paul knew whom he had believed, and was therefore persuaded that Christ was able to keep what Paul had committed to Him, against the day of destruction In 2 Tim 1:12 it reads 12 that is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. Assurance is a sense of relief and a sense of joyous freedom. Faith is confident of the good news that God in Christ has once and for all, and in a manner that cannot be undone, overcome sin, death, judgment and hell, and provided a freedom from the past that justifies and forgives and opens up the future to eternal life. The believer, therefore, experiences a joyful sense of liberation. Assurance is the quiet joy and joyous cry that nothing can separate the believer from the love of God in Christ. Well what’s the problem; we should be the most joyful people on earth. In actual life however, the believer is often anxious, vacillating between faith and doubt. The joyous, liberating assurance of faith is often lacking in the true believer’s life. He is often caught between storms without and doubts within. This lack of assurance does not flow, however, from the nature of faith, but from his disbelief and faithlessness. Though the night of struggle be long, he knows that joy will come in the morning. Even when the judgment of God is upon him, he cries—“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” Job 13:15 ……..as did Christ Himself did on the cross. Knowing this and our sinful nature sometimes we need to be restored. But we need to understand what sin can do to the believer. Today I would like to paint a picture, a portrait of sin. There are many descriptions of sin in the Bible. They are given in order to arouse the mind, awaken the conscience, and save the soul from damnation. The words "asleep," "lost," "blind," "deaf," "dead," are all Scriptural figures to illustrate the state of a man out of Christ. Any one of them should be sufficient to start a soul on its way to Jesus for salvation and restoration. Paul knew whom he had believed, and was therefore persuaded that Christ was able to keep what Paul had committed to Him, against the day of destruction In 2 Tim 1:12 it reads 12 that is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.