In what sense is the world reconciled to God through Christ?

In what sense is the world reconciled to God (5:19)?

Reconciliation involves a change of disposition, from enmity to a right relationship. The change is based on the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. "When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son" (Romans 5:10). Believers "now have received the reconciliation" (v 11, JND). God is righteous and therefore angry because of the offense resulting from man’s enmity against Him. God is gracious and therefore desirous to bring man into a right relationship with Himself. Through the cross, God in Christ has a righteous way to extend this grace to the world. Apart from the prospect of the cross, righteousness demanded that God hold mankind immediately accountable for each sin. If God immediately imputed every person’s trespasses to him, judgment would have fallen when each one committed his first sin. On the basis of Christ’s death, God holds back the wrath, while righteously offering to the world a right relationship with Himself.

God has not changed because of the cross. He remains both righteous and gracious. He has a righteous basis for extending His gracious offer to the world. Potentially, every person in the world can be brought into a right relationship with God; all can be reconciled to God. Effectively, only those who receive the word of reconciliation receive the reconciliation.

No wonder Paul was urgent with the message (v 20), and so should we be urgent! Those who reject the message and remain enemies of God will eternally endure His righteous wrath. We must "pray" them "in Christ’s stead, ‘Be ye reconciled to God.’"

D. Oliver