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Restoring The Fallen

Years ago a man bought a beautiful piece of
land on which he was going to build a large custom
home. On the back of that land was an old house
covered over by vines and foliage. From a distance, it
looked to be merely a remnant or a shell that would
probably have to be torn down, but upon further
investigation he discovered that the old house was a
dilapidated New England Victorian style mansion.

For years he had been buying and restoring
antique pieces of furniture, so he decided that he
would also try to restore the old mansion.

He cleaned the outside of it, cut away the
overgrown brush, stripped the chipping paint off of
what used to be perfect woodwork, replaced pieces of
wood that were missing, and fixed little nicks and
notches in the woodwork.

He would go to junkyards and find parts that
were discarded and worthless by themselves, but
were the missing piece for some antique door,
fireplace, or stairwell. He used those pieces to fix and
repair those things in the house.

He furnished the house with furniture that he
had started purchasing as a very young man at junk
stores and garage sales. He would find an old piece
of furniture that someone had painted, and would strip
it, clean it, and restore it to its original luster and
beauty. Slowly, but surely, he restored and furnished
that old house until one day it was finished. It was
beautiful, and he was so very proud of what he had
done to a house that once had seemed worthless.

Those visiting his home were taken on a tour,
and told of the history of each piece of furniture in
each room. They learned how he had found each
one, what it looked like originally, and what it was
meant to look like. Then he would explain all of the
work that had gone into making it look as good as

In most cases, those restored pieces were
much more valuable than when they were new. It was
incredible what he had done to restore things that
once were considered mere junk.

What a perfect example of restoration. It is
amazing what could be done with a discarded home,
a discarded little piece of wood, or a discarded piece
of furniture, when one who is a master craftsmen, and
who envisioned what it once was and what it could
still could be, with his loving hands begins the
enormous task of restoring it.

Because of the work of the master, that old
restored home and its restored furniture was far
greater than it was originally. The glory that it brought
was not just to itself; it was also to the master who
had done the handiwork of restoring it. He was so
proud, so pleased, and so delighted with what he had
done with those discarded things. There was an obvious glow about him as he explained all he had
done to restore them.

He did not talk of these pieces of furniture as
worthless pieces of junk. He spoke about them as
precious possessions. When he had purchased each
one, he had done so with a vision, a plan, and a
preconceived idea of what it could become.

Those pieces of furniture were now collector’s
items, worth thousands of dollars, and the home
would probably be valued in the millions of dollars,
with all of its antique contents. Yet, there was a time
when all of it was virtually worthless to most people.
Once upon a time when they were new they were
worth something, but they had been discarded, or
painted-over until they had eventually become junk.

Then, one day someone saw what they could
become again, and the master was able to restore
them to even greater value and usefulness.

That is a perfect picture of what restoration in a
church is all about. Many a person, born-again by the
Spirit of God, goes into the Christian life with great
hopes and dreams. Many a pastor sees these young
converts and wonders what great things they will be
able to do. They become a showpiece in the church.

My, how proud we are of these unblemished
Christians. How excited and how delighted we are to
show them off to everyone. Their beauty is our pride
and our joy, but one day something happens. That
beauty is tarnished by sin. Eventually, that once
worthwhile life becomes worthless, discarded, junk.

There are tens of thousands of Christians who
tragically have fallen away. Lives that have been
tainted, shattered, cracked, now have coats of sin that
cover their once beautiful life. Most people consider them as junk that have no more use. The Christian
world virtually discards them as useless trash.

It is a tragedy of the church that there are not
more people who have become masters of
restoration. Maybe the most beautiful lives are those
that were built from pieces that have been discarded,
and that had to be rebuilt by someone who could see
a vision of what they still could be.

There are tens of thousands of people who
once were worth something, who pastored churches,
who taught Sunday school classes, who sang in the
choir, or who won many souls to Christ. These people
were everything we believed the church was
supposed to be. Maybe we believed wrong.

Maybe for too long we have believed that the
church is a new furniture store for displaying our
perfect pieces of furniture that have never been
marred, splintered, or broken. Maybe we have put on
a pedestal the works of men that were never stained,
rather than displaying the great works of God’s grace.

We fill our churches with people out of the
custom-made furniture store rather than bought at a
garage sale and remodeled, fixed, and restored. The
church needs to be more like that restored Victorian
mansion. We need more people who look at the
broken lives of those who once held value and see
the potential of even greater value.

It is easier to win a lost person and make a
new piece of furniture out of him than it is to take a
saved person that is fallen and let Christ restore him
to even greater value than he was. But both are
important, and both must be viable ministries of the
church. We need to reach the point where we never
lose sight of what God can do in the life of someone
who has been restored.

What Is Restoration?

1. Restoration is recognizing the future
value of a person’s life. It is recognizing his true
potential. It is looking beyond the surface of paint
stains, nicks, and scratches that sin has brought, and
seeing what would happen if we could restore him.
We have a garage sale mentality. However, instead of
looking for garage sale pieces of furniture, we are
holding too many garage sales of our own.

Many of our churches basically auction off their
sinners. We put them out as garbage. We leave them
with no place to go and, more often than not, others
come along and snatch them up in an attempt to
restore them. Why? Because we are afraid of them!
We are afraid to take on that challenge.

Perhaps we fear it would taint our separatists’
image to take on someone who has fallen. Perhaps
we do not truly believe in restoration, or perhaps we
have never examined the value of a life that was once
worthwhile, and thought of what that life could be

When Jesus was looking for someone to lead
in the great revival of Pentecost, He did not use a new
piece of furniture that had never been scarred. He
went down to the sea and found Peter, who had
cursed and swore and denied that he had ever known

Jesus brought him to the shore, fed him, and
worked a miracle of restoration on him. When you
look at Peter’s life, do you ask what might have been
had he never denied Christ, or what might have been
if he had never cursed and swore, or what might have
been had he never denied that he knew Jesus? Of course not! You look at the life of Peter and see the
grace of God that would restore and use such a man
as this.

I wonder just how many valuable lives are
being wasted because of the lack of a spirit of
restoration that exists in so many of our churches.
We have young people who have grown up in our
churches and graduated from our Christian schools
yet have fallen away from the Lord. Many of these are
still tender and would love to come back, but they do
not know if they will be treated like garbage by other
Christians. We must recognize their value to the Lord
and respond in a way that reflects that value.

2. Restoration is placing upon our
shoulders the responsibility of bringing a fallen
person back to a point of usefulness. It is the
church accepting the responsibility for those within it
who fail and fall, not to excuse his sin, but rather to lift
that person back to a place of usefulness. That
requires the meekness and patience to work with a
person, believing that there is still hope to restore him
to a state of usefulness.

If it is not the job or the responsibility of the
church to reclaim these lives, then someone else
must claim them. All too often Satan is willing to claim
them for his own. Many times lives that once were
useful for God fall away because of sin and are
accepted willingly by the world. Satan finds great use
for them.

The tragedy is that in many cases those lives
could have been very effective. Because of a sense
of hopelessness, or a sense of no place to go, or no
way to come back, they never return to that
usefulness they once experienced. A broken life is
always a tragedy, but how much greater is the tragedy when that broken life could have been
restored. Yet, because of our unwillingness to accept
the responsibility, that life simply wastes away.

We must not allow that to happen. We must
do our best to actively work in the process of restoring
lives. It is not easy, nor can we expect the results to
always come quickly, but in the end the reward is in
seeing a life restored back to usefulness for the Lord.

3. Restoration is the recognition of the
value that God places upon each and every one of
His children. Sometimes, Christians fail to place the
same value upon each other as Christ does. We are
talking about restoring the life of a human being who
is bought and purchased by the precious blood of

We are talking about restoring someone God
loved enough to send His Son to die for. We are
talking about restoring someone who has the very
Spirit of Christ living within him. We are talking about
restoring a brother or sister in Christ.

Why is it that we do not recognize that the love
of God extends to the fallen saved as well as the
fallen lost? Why is it that the church seems unable to
recognize that Christ loved us so much that when He
saved us, He indwelled us with His Spirit in order to
retain possession and ownership? Why is it that when
we sin, God does not discard us, does not take back
that spirit, and does not withhold the eternal life that
He gave us? Yet, we as a church tend to discredit and
disregard that life.

When the Bible speaks of restoration it says,
“ye which are spiritual.” In other words, ye who have
the spirit within you, and who have a spiritual nature,
restore those others who also have a spirit. In other words, if you are spiritual, there is a bond and a love.
There is disgust in many of God’s people for fallen
brethren. It is almost a feeling of contempt. The Bible
says, “herein shall ye know that ye are my disciples
because you love one another.”

The Bible does not say you love one another
only when you do not sin. Often there is contempt for
saved people who have fallen. The Bible says restore
such a one in a spirit of meekness, considering

The idea is to watch yourself. Do not allow
yourself to slip into the sin. Yet, the Bible does say
restore. Who? “Ye which are spiritual.” The true
mark of a spiritual person is the ability to restore
another Christian. Why would that be? That is exactly
what Jesus did. Jesus was in the restoration
business, and if we are to be like Jesus, we, too, must
accept that as part of our responsibility.

We need to understand what the Bible means
when it says, “when a man be overtaken in a fault.”
The Bible is not speaking here of a man being
possessed by a fault. The Bible says overtaken by a
fault. What exactly does this mean?

A runner is running a race and attempting to
reach the finish line. As he runs there is something
behind that runner trying to catch him, and stop him
from finishing the race. Finally, it overcomes him,
knocking him out of the race. The job of a Christian is
to restore that person who is overtaken in the race. It
is not talking about someone who has decided that he
wants to live the life of sin. It is someone who ran the
race, fell, and lies bruised and battered in the midst of
the race.

Peter was trying. He sinned, but he was trying.
He failed, but he was trying. He denied Christ, but he was trying. He cursed and he swore, but he was
trying. When it overtook him, he wept bitterly. His
heart was broken. Peter wanted to run the race.
Peter wanted to serve the Lord. Peter wanted to
follow Jesus. He was trying, but he was overtaken.
Jesus came to him and said, “I want to put you back
on the track and use you again.” Restoration should
be first and foremost to those who have been
overtaken in a race; those who have been knocked
out of the race; those who have been out there on the
front lines and fallen.

The most maligned people in Christianity are
the pastors and Christian leaders who fall into sin.
Often times these people have been overcome and
have no way out. They did not know how to escape,
but they kept on running.

Why? It is because they wanted to serve the
Lord. They meant well. Their hearts were right in their
desire to please God, but they did not know how to
get rid of the fault, and it eventually overtook them.

Often, when a preacher is overtaken by sin in
his life, we call him a hypocrite. That is not what
Jesus did. Jesus understood. He appreciated Peter
for what he tried to do. He did not praise him for his
mistake, nor did He malign him for his efforts. He
knew he meant well. He knew he was flesh. He knew
that this was a humbling experience already. Jesus
wanted Peter to know that He still wanted him to run.
He could get him back on the track, and restore him
to usefulness.

We should not be quick to discard the
preachers, the teachers, and the people that are out
there on the lines trying to serve God who are


Why is it that they are the ones we cast before
dogs to be devoured? They are the ones who have
proven their desire to run the race. Perhaps we would
see a lot less of the world judging our own if we would
restore our own.

The world takes a life that has been destroyed
or overtaken, tears it up and uses it for kindling, and
laughs as they do. If the church would take those
pieces and restore them, the world would see exactly
how great a God we have, how good the grace of
God is, and what He can do in a life. That is what the
world wants. The world wants to go somewhere
where people truly love sinners.

If we love those that sinned who are among us,
is that not even a greater proof of our love for those
who are not among us? When we love those who
disappoint us, who have let us down, and for whom
we had high expectations, would that not prove even
more to the world the sincerity of our love?

If we show them that God never discards his
own, would that not cause more of those who are lost
to want to know that God? We are living in a day of
true tragedy in the church, because we have not
realized the greatness of the restoration powers of
God, and have not been willing to accept restoration
as our responsibility.

4. Restoration is seeing a person all the
way from uselessness to usefulness. It is one thing
to bring a person out of their sin and clean them up; it
is quite another to keep working with that person until
we have helped them find a way to be used of God
again. Often times we like to see a person salvaged
from sin, but we do not see a place for them to really
be used of God. We clean them up and keep them in the closet and their lives never find a place of great
ministry for God.

When an individual is restored there may be
some things that they will never be able to do for the
Lord, but instead of concentrating on what they
cannot do, we must immediately begin looking for
things they can do.

God saves people to use them and He restores
them to use them as well. Let us not limit those we
restore to a place of worthlessness. Restoration in
itself demands a place of service or usefulness.

Somehow, we must capture the spirit of
restoration, and commit to reclaiming lives once
useful for God.

Look around at some of those in the junk pile
of Christianity and see what could be if the Master
restorer were ever allowed to do His marvelous
handiwork. Restore such an one, for Jesus’ sake.

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