I wrapped up my personal reading of 1 Corinthians last week. While I was in chapter 15, a few things stood out to me. You might be interested. Or not.
23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “Go has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.
Christ is the vice-regent. I mentioned this while preaching about Joseph as vice-regent to Pharaoh (for all intents and purposes). Jesus, on the throne of David, rules under the authority of the Father to accomplish the purposes of the Father. Someone, understandably, asked me about this. It is not common to speak this way.
Here we find that Jesus presently rules and is currently subduing His enemies. When He completes this work, the end comes and Jesus hands it all over to the Father. He is not independent of the Father, but subdues their injuries.
Death is the Final Enemy. Death is the last enemy that He will destroy. We are moving toward this. Keep this thought in mind!
51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Resurrection is the End of Death. Paul ties the resurrection at the return of Jesus with the death of death. We who are in Christ will no longer sin, and therefore we will no longer die. Death is swallowed up at the resurrection. This, according to Paul, includes the transformation of those who are still alive.
This passage presents a huge problem for those who advocate a pre-tribulational or mid-tribulational rapture. We who are alive are not taken up and changed prior to the resurrection according to Paul. This is the death of death- the final enemy is destroy at the resurrection. Therefore, the resurrection cannot take place prior to the judgment when the enemies of God are thrown into the abyss.
We see here that Jesus, as the 2nd Adam, does what the first Adam failed to do. He subdued and ruled the world! We see this fulfilled most clearly in Revelation 21-22. Our future is an earthly future. Ponder that, an eternal earthly future in the world that Jesus subdued, ruled and renewed.
No, not the most earth shattering thoughts for most of us. But perhaps a few of you might consider, or reconsider, a few things.
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