Restitution is one of the Tenets of Faith of Christian believers. It’s one of the important things a believer must know, believe, obey and practice to lay hold on eternal life.
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses (1Tim 6:12).
Ignorance is one the strongest destroyer of mankind. It’s also true in spiritual matters, Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge… ”
WHAT IS RESTITUTION?
Restitution is a process or the act of making right or compensating for the wrong in terms of loss or injury one caused to hurt another person in the past. God commanded it (Exodus 22:1-17).
DISAPPOINTMENT AT THE GATES OF ETERNITY
Jesus predicted about many believers who will come to Him in eternity and say, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt 7:22,23).
Why would these believers be met with such a disappointing remark from the Lord on that day? Didn’t they prepare? Hadn’t they thought they were on their way home? What went wrong? The answer is partly ignorance of biblical requirement and partly insensitivity to the directives of the Holy Spirit. One fearful thing about our God is that He won’t struggle with you if you refuse to yield to His clear command. He would even still use you and do wonderful works through you, but, on the day you will need to enter into eternity with Him, He will require from you the reason for your disobedience. Learn from Saul the king.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR CONSCIENCE: YOU WILL BE JUDGED BY IT
The human conscience is the mouthpiece of God to all humans (Romans 2:14,15). Pay attention to what your conscience is saying, God will judge you by it. The conscience is however made more sensitive and sharpened at conversion by the washing of the blood of Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit (Romans 9:1).
ILLUSTRATION ON HOW YOUR CONSCIENCE WORKS
While you were a sinner, you stole some money from your friend. Your friend didn’t know till this day. Now you’re saved, you’ve confessed your sins to God and are Born-Again, having repented from all those sins, including stealing. You will always see your friend. Except your conscience had been seared with a hot iron (which will be an indication that you had never actually repented truthfully), you won’t feel comfortable anytime you see your friend. Not until you confess to him, and make plan to return his money back to him. That’s Restitution.
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). In order to see God, we must make peace with all men, part of making peace is restituting what we have done wrong to affect them negatively.
RESTITUTION WON’T BE POPULAR; SO, FEW SHALL BE SAVED IN THE END (MATT 7:14)
Restitution is not popular among the believers of today, even though it’s clearly written in the Bible. Most of our Churches too don’t like preaching it, and they pretentiously hide under the fact that it’s old testament. The reason is not farfetched, it’s a very sensitive and sometimes hard Bible truth to practice.
“How will you tell me to return such amount of money when I’ve spent it and forgotten about it?”.
“What do you mean, I should go to the Civil Service Commission and tell them that the date of birth in my record is not correct, you want me to lose my job?”.
“You must be joking to assume I’ll listen to you to tell my admin manager that the certificate I presented is fake, am I crazy?”.
“How can we tell that ‘committed’ politician who pays a heavy tithe and offering to return the embezzled money he stole while in office?”.
The list is endless. We all got into many dubious practice before we came to Christ, but the amount of premium we place on making it to heaven at last above temporal earthly gains will determine who makes it at the end of time.
REPENTANCE IS TWIN BROTHER OF RESTITUTION
Repentance must go with Restitution; Restitution must accompany Repentance to make it genuine and lasting. If you’ve not repented truly, you’re exempted from restitution. Restitution is for those who have repented wholely and truly, because they’ll need the grace and favour of God to carry it out. Restitution in itself doesn’t offer salvation, but it does validate your testimony. Also, remember, what account you fail to reconcile down here on earth, you will be required to render it in eternity, be warned.
WHY DOES REVIVAL TARRY?
Revival tarries because believers will not repent fully and truthfully. Absence of Restitution leaves many skeletons in the cupboards of many of our brethren and leaders. Lasting revival can’t come until sin and all its associates are removed.
WHAT TO RESTITUTE
Another person’s husband, wife, house, land, car, phone, money, inheritance etc taken under any guise should be returned after repentance. Other things to restitute includes untrue rumour you maliciously started to damage the reputation of someone, fake certificates, false declaration of age, or any false status we projected to acquire what we know should not have been given to us if we would have been truthful.
WHAT DO WE GAIN IF WE RESOLVE OUR RESTITUTION(S)
(1) Peace of mind.
(2) Peace with God and peace with fellow man – family members, relatives, friends, colleagues at work, members in the Church and acquaintances (Heb 12:14).
(3) Clear conscience towards God and man. “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men” (Acts 24:16).
(4) Confidence in God’s presence. “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God (1Jn 3:21).
THERE’S NO FIT-ALL RULES TO RESTITUTION
Seek counseling. If there is nothing to return/restore back, there is nothing to restitute. Confession then should be made to God, and if led by the Spirit of God, to one’s Pastor. In the case of adultery, confession may extend to one’s spouse. Some restitution can also be sensitive and impossible. I don’t think God will require from us what He knows is beyond our capability or that could potentially lead to a dangerous and fatal situation. The blood of Jesus is powerful enough to suffice in such cases. One thing we must acknowledge is that no man can mock God (Gal 6:7a). God knows you, your heart and your innermost motives. He won’t excuse you for a wrong He knows you have the capability and opportunity to correct before you appear before Him. Obedience is the essence of holiness.
I’ve done the bidding of the Lord. Peace
credit: raphael .A. olanrewaju