Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets (Acts 3:19-21).
An astounding miracle had happened at the Temple: a man lame from birth was healed and was walking, jumping and praising God. Crowds gathered around Peter and John who was used by God to heal the man. Peter seized the opportunity to declare that the Jesus they crucified has been raised from the dead, and it was not they, but this risen Jesus who healed the lame man. Peter than said these promises: If they would repent and believe in Jesus, their sins will be forgiven and wiped off completely like whiteboard ink. He also promised two more things that would be theirs if they responded to Christ’s finished work: first, times of refreshing; and second, the restoration of all things promised by the prophets of old.
The latter blessing of the restoration of all things is in the future. It is set by God: “until the time comes”, the risen Jesus will remain in heaven. When the time comes, Jesus will return, and the promise of the restoration of the manifest, realized rule of the kingdom of God upon a new heaven and new earth will be fulfilled. All that the old testament prophets prophesied of the future kingdom will be actualized. God’s plan to unify all things in Christ, where things in heaven and things on earth unite (Eph 1:10) would be firmly established. Not only will the sons and daughters of God obtain the freedom and glory of the children of God, so will the whole of creation be set free from its bondage to corruption and futility (Romans 8:20-23). This blessing is made possible for the redeemed because of the finished work of Christ.
The former blessing is “that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” between the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost till the Day of the Lord Jesus return. The believers experienced a time of refreshing in the presence of God, but Peter prophesied that there would be more such “times” and seasons throughout the last days and all over the world where people repent and believe in the good news of God’s love and grace. In fact such times of refreshing would be a necessity for they are the empowering and sanctifying beauty treatment for the Bride to be ready to wed the Bridegroom. Until the Bride (comprising Gentiles and Jews who believe in Jesus) is ready, heaven will still retain Jesus. God’s time is contingent upon the Bride’s readiness not only in empowerment and sanctification, but also in the salvation of souls through the proclamation of the Gospel to all the peoples of the earth before the end comes(Matt 24:14).
This is part of a planned series of writings on the topic, “The A to Z of Christ’s Finished Work”. I am writing it alphabet by alphabet. Thus far the others that I have written can be found HERE.