A few days ago I read in the Newspapers how a man wrote to West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) alleging that he cheated while writing his exams, so he needs forgiveness. WAEC responded by telling him to return not only the WAEC certificate but also the Degree he has obtained using that certificate.
My question is;
Is it a New Testament based Doctrine? Does it have anything to do with one’s salvation? Will you fail to make heaven if you don’t do restitution?
If a chief in Africa or a Muslim Alhaji for instance that had three wives with grown up children got converted, will you tell him to send the last wives away as a way of Restitution?
I have heard men use the case of Abraham and king Abimelek to support this view as seen in Genesis 20:1-7.
That God asked the king to return Abraham’s wife to him. But what we have forgotten in this instance is that the king never slept with Sarah. The king must return the wife to Abraham, God named who to and Abraham must pray for the king.
The question now is, who will the chief return the wives to who must also pray for him. What happened to these women being sent out?
I have seen men divorce their wives or women their husbands while serving in Rivers State claiming to be obeying the doctrine of restitution.
Somebody will say the scriptures said it must be one man one wife. Yes!
But what Paul told Timothy was those seeking the Office of a Bishop or Deacon must be a husband of one wife meaning there were others that had more than one wife who were not qualified to head the church.
So in 1 Corinthians 7:20, he says “wherever state a man is when called into the faith let him abide or remain there.”
What the scriptures teach is after being born again, you can’t marry more than one wife.
The truth is you don’t have to do any form of restitution after you are saved. Stay and serve your God in the state with which you came in. If restitution is required to make heaven, then Paul was not qualified to be saved or to talk of being a minister. How would he have been able to do restitution to the family of those whose husband or wives he killed? Or is restitution discriminatory as to what to restitute?
The police men that collect bribes from check points, got saved at last, how will he be able to return all 50kobos he collected from drivers after conversion?
If we are saved by grace and not by works but the gift of God, then teaching restitution is an aberration and total insult to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Restitution in the Old Testament was only a civil law to avoid bad attitude and character like stealing or not being responsible in keeping an eye on your neighbor’s property, or allowing your carelessness to destroy another man’s farm by not being able to control the fire you ignited (See Exodus 21 & 22). It has nothing to do with the salvation of an individual.
The Doctrine of Restitution as taught and practice in the church today is a religious bondage.
So enjoy your salvation without a guilty conscience thinking of your past. You are a new creation. Simple!