Acts 3:21 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 3:21, NIV: Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.

Acts 3:21, ESV: whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.

Acts 3:21, KJV: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

Acts 3:21, NASB: whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things, about which God spoke by the mouths of His holy prophets from ancient times.

Acts 3:21, NLT: For he must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through his holy prophets.

Acts 3:21, CSB: Heaven must receive him until the time of the restoration of all things, which God spoke about through his holy prophets from the beginning.

What does Acts 3:21 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Heaven "received" Jesus when He ascended into heaven after the resurrection (Acts 1:9). At some time in the future, He will return and Israel will be restored. Not even Peter knows when this will happen, although he suspects it will be soon (Acts 1:6–7). And Jesus tells us that we should continue to live as if He can return at any moment—because He can! (Mark 13:32–37.)

The Old Testament describes this restoration in several places:
  • The relationships between fathers and children will be restored (Malachi 4:6).
  • Israel will finally hold the geographical borders God promised (Genesis 15:18–21).
  • God's promise to David, that his heir will sit on the throne forever, will come to be (2 Samuel 7:12, 16).
  • The people of Israel will follow God with their whole hearts (Jeremiah 31:31–34).
  • All nations will serve Jesus (Daniel 7:13–14).
  • God will restore the peace of the animals from the fear He subjected them to after the flood (Isaiah 11:6–9; Genesis 9:2).
Other passages explain that Jesus will return after God has made a footstool of Jesus' enemies (Psalm 110:1; 1 Corinthians 15:24–28). The seven-year tribulation, a time of war, judgment, and horror, will be followed by the thousand-year reign of Jesus on the earth. This is similar to the reigns of David and Solomon. In David's time, Israel fought for honor and security. In Solomon's reign, peace ruled, and Israel was more prosperous than it has been before or since.