This is a little story. A girl Ella, had a packet of biscuits in her hands. Two boys, John and James come and each take a biscuit from her hand by force. Somebody sees them and tells them that this is stealing, that they should go and apologize to her. John puts the biscuit in his mouth and goes to Ella and says ‘Sorry’. But James returns the biscuit and he too says ‘Sorry’. Who did the right thing? Of course it is James. (In the picture there is a pretty little girl that attends our church with her parents)
Restitution it means to return something back to the rightful owner. It also means to give something, an equivalent for an injury. God punishes sin and restores what was lost!
“But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost’” (Lk 19:8-10)
From Zacchaeus’s words, we gather that 1) he had been guilty of defrauding people, 2) he was remorseful over his past actions, and 3) he was committed to making restitution. From Jesus’ words, we understand that 1) Zacchaeus was saved that day and his sin was forgiven, and 2) the evidence of his salvation was both his public confession (see Romans 10:10) and his relinquishing of all ill-gotten gains. Zacchaeus repented, and his sincerity was evident in his immediate desire to make restitution. Here was a man who was penitent and contrite, and the proof of his conversion to Christ was his resolve to atone, as much as possible, for past sins.
The same holds true for anyone who truly knows Christ today. Genuine repentance leads to a desire to redress wrongs. When someone becomes a Christian, he will have a desire born of deep conviction to do good, and that includes making restoration whenever possible. The idea of “whenever possible” is crucially important to remember. There are some crimes and sins for which there is no adequate restitution. In such instances, a Christian should make some form of restitution that demonstrates repentance, but at the same time, does not need to feel guilty about the inability to make full restitution. Restitution is to be a result of our salvation—it is not a requirement for salvation.
Finally, this is the most important question you must answer: “Are you saved? Are you born again? Are you a child of God? Are you a child of Light? Did you surrender your life to the Lord Jesus Christ? Is Jesus Christ your Savior and your Lord?”