“Then cometh THE END.”
1 Corinthians 15:24
When everything has run its predestined course, when time shall be no more, when this earth is dissolved in a ball of fire, the resurrection is past, and the judgment is over, we read, “Then cometh the end.”
Though creation has revolted against God and sin has marred his handiwork, though it appears that everything here is in utter chaos, though antichrist seems to reign among men without rival, though Babylon (the great whore of free-will, works religion) has made all the earth drunk with the wine of her fornications, there is a day coming called “the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21).
Though today all the world, all men, and all events appear to be set in direct opposition to Christ, there is a day coming called “the dispensation of the fulness of times,” in which the Lord God will “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him” (Eph. 1:10).
Though all men by nature despise his rule, there is a day appointed by God, in the which “at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10-11).
Though all men by nature are the enemies of God, though Satan and all the demons of hell oppose his purpose, though men and devils unite as one in thought, word, and deed to rob the triune God of his glory, in the end, through the blood of his cross, by our Lord Jesus Christ, almighty God shall “reconcile all things unto himself, whether they be things in earth or things in heaven” (Col. 1:20).
Read what the Lord God himself has to say about the way things shall be in the end and hearken unto the gracious counsel he gives (Isa. 45:20-25). — “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”
In the end every creature in heaven, earth, and hell, every deed performed in God’s creation by men, angels, devils, and Satan himself, (Every deed!) great and small, good and evil, and every event of providence shall magnify, honor, exalt, and praise our great and glorious God.
Then, when the end comes, the Lord Jesus Christ shall deliver up the kingdom unto God the Father (1 Cor. 15:24-28). What do those two verses mean?
Do Not Mean
First, let me tell you what they most certainly do not mean. When the Scriptures here declare that the Son shall deliver up the kingdom unto the Father, they do not teach, suggest, or in any way imply that Christ is not God (1 Tim. 3:15), that the Son of God is in any way inferior to the Father (1 John 5:7), or that Christ will cease to be Prophet, Priest, and King over his Church and Kingdom (Heb. 1:8).
Christ’s Final Work
What does Paul mean when he tells us that Christ shall deliver up the kingdom unto God, even the Father, and shall be subject to him? When the resurrection is over, when the great white throne judgment is done, and all things are created new, when all God’s elect are saved, there will be one final work to be done by our Lord Jesus Christ as Jehovah’s Servant, as the Surety and Mediator of the covenant. The Shepherd will present his sheep to the Father, who trusted them to him. The Savior will present his Church in glory. The Son will present his brethren, all of them, to their Father. The King will present his Kingdom to God, even the Father (John 10:16; Eph. 5:25-27; Heb. 2:13).
Augustus Toplady was exactly right when he wrote, “I take the kingdom to consist of that innumerable company whose names were written in heaven; and which, when their numerical fulness is completed, the Son of God, who graciously consented to become the Son of Man for their sakes, will present in one, entire, and glorified body to the Father.”
In that great day, in the end, Christ will stand before his Father and our Father, with all his elect by his side in the perfection of his holiness, and say, “Lo, I and the children which thou hast given me. All are here. Not one is lost!” — “All, my Father, you chose and gave to me, all you trusted me to redeem, here they are, just as I promised, holy, unblameable, unreproveable, washed in my blood, robed in my righteousness.” — “All that I redeemed, every blood bought soul is here.” — “All those who have been regenerated, called, and sealed by the blessed Holy Spirit are here.”
He will, no doubt, go on to say, “Now, my Father, all the purpose of grace is fulfilled. All the counsel of peace is accomplished. All that we agreed upon in the covenant is done. In all things our great purpose in predestination is now fully accomplished. Now grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life!”
God All in All
This shall be the end of all things: — “That God may be all in all!” God Almighty has from eternity ordained everything that comes to pass in time to make himself an everlasting and a glorious name (Isa. 63:12, 14), that in all things Christ might have the pre-eminence (Col. 1:18). And in the end, God, the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as he is revealed, known, loved, and worshipped in the Person and work of Christ, our God-man Mediator, shall be “ALL IN ALL.”