Reconciling All Things Everywhere Except There
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
So if you want to talk about worldviews, what’s going on here? Jesus reconciled Himself to all things, whether on earth or in heaven. If it just said on earth, it would be clear that Jesus was reconciling with mankind.
But Paul mentions heaven too?! That means we have to talk about angels.
Most religions have beliefs about evil spirits and good spirits. Some non-religions believe all of the evil is in you! They think the whole world is good and perfect but people are the evil. No evil spirits are needed. We suck.
That’s not quite how God sees us.
Others believe that there are a ton of good and evil spirits all over the place messing with us. To keep the evil spirits at bay, they recognize them and honor them before honoring the good spirits in their prayers. They are regarded as troublemakers and spirits that bring difficulty to your life.
That’s a little closer to Christianity, but Christ did not honor nor entertain evil angels.
The Bible says that one-third of the angels in heaven rebelled against God and followed Lucifer. That one third has been in rebellion against God since day one. (Literally. Some theologians believe when God “separated the light from the darkness,” it was the moment that the rebellious angels were being cast out of heaven. That could be right.) The one third in rebellion is cast out of heaven and nowhere is there any mention of them being reconciled. Their rebellion is also not mentioned as a sin that was forgiven at the cross.
Unlike human sin, the sin of angels is unredeemable according to the Bible. It makes sense if you think about it. They don’t have the distractions of the world, they see God honestly. Whenever Jesus encountered a demon (an evil angel) they cried out for mercy and submitted to Him instantly. There was no cool comic-book battle or Marvel fight scene.
Jesus showed up and they did what they were told.
Without Him raising His voice or making lightning flash.
He has authority over them.
It really brings out the compassion and mercy of God. For those that have been deceived in the world and led away from Him, He offered a chance and a choice. We can call on His name and take part in His reconciliation. We can believe that what He said is true, without the best evidence in the world right in front of our faces, and He’ll reconcile us.
But for those that saw Him face to face and rebelled, there is no redemption. In God’s wisdom, He is just and merciful all at the same time in His salvation plan.