Sermon #1831 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: “THE END”
Text: 1 Corinthians 15:24-28
Subject: The Final End of All Things
Date: Sunday Evening — February 14, 2010
Tape # Z-80b
Readings: Bob Poncer and Frank Hall
I like to get to the end of things. I try, as much as possible, to consider what the end of a thing will be before I do it. I try to consider what the end of my words will be before I speak them. From her earliest childhood, I taught our daughter never to think about her actions and words for the immediate time, but to consider what the end will be. I think she learned the importance of that instruction even as a child. Immediate gratification often ends in pain and destruction; and immediate pain often ends in life and gratification.
Š The dope addict finds immediate gratification in his needle; but pain and destruction are sure to follow in the end.
Š The cancer patient finds immediate pain in his surgery and treatments; but life and gratification in the end make the pain insignificant.
In this natural world, nothing is more important than a thoughtful consideration of and regard for the end of things. All our words and deeds, even all our thoughts and attitudes have certain, inevitable consequences. If you take fire to your bosom, you are going to get burned. If you sow to the wind, you are going to reap the whirlwind. The end of anything is far more important than its beginning.
In spiritual matters, too, the end of all things is far more important than their beginning. I want to talk to you tonight about — “THE END.” 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!” The text might better be translated — “Then, THE END!”
Though creation has revolted against God and sin has marred his handiwork, though it appears that everything here in is 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” (Ephesians 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” (Philippians 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” (Colossians 1:20).
Turn to Isaiah 45 and hear 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.
Isaiah 45:20-25 “Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. (21) Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. (22) Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (23) I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (24) Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. (25) In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.”
Proposition: Listen to me, now. — 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.
Let us consider the end of all things. It is my prayer that God the Holy Spirit will graciously turn our hearts and minds away from the cares and burdens, heartaches and sorrows, trials and temptations, difficulties and disappointments of this world of time and sense. It is my prayer that he will even take our hearts away from the pleasures, joys and comforts of this world and this brief existence. Come, O Spirit of God, come! Sit our hearts and minds this hour, and permanently, upon “THE END.” Teach us, O Holy Spirit of God, teach us to live for eternity! When everything that shall be has been, when everything that must be has come to pass, when all the will, purpose, desire and pleasure of the triune God has been perfectly accomplished and fulfilled in all things and by all things, the Scripture declares, “Then cometh THE END!”
1 Corinthians 15:24-28 “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. (25) For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. (26) The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. (27) For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. (28) And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”
Divisions: Let me show you five things from the Word of God about “THE End.”
1. Everything in this world must soon come to an en end.
2. The beginning, accomplishment and end of all things are of God.
3. The Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son, our Savior, must reign until the end comes.
4. When the end comes, Christ shall deliver up the kingdom unto God, even the Father.
5. And this is the end of all things: “THAT GOD MAY BE ALL IN ALL!”
Everything Must End
First, if we would apply our hearts to wisdom, we must learn and constantly remind ourselves of this first fact: — EVERYTHING IN THIS WORLD MUST SOON COME TO AN END.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31 “But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; (30) And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; (31) And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.”
I wonder if we will ever learn that everything here is just temporary. Time is not endless. This world is not eternal. Everything in this world had its beginning and shall have its end. And both the beginning and the end of all things has been ordained and fixed by God’s unalterable decree from eternity. God made you and me for a specific purpose. When God’s purpose for us and concerning us has been perfectly and completely accomplished, “then cometh the end.” Then our end shall be either enternal bliss or eternal woe. Think about what I am telling you.
We live in a world in which all things are temporal and passing away. — Everything around us is decaying, dying, and coming to an end. That man must be truly blind who does not see that everything here is only momentary. We are creatures created by God with immortal souls in a world where everything is temporal and perishing
Š All Property
Š All Talents
Š All Relationships
Š All Evil
Š All Good
Š All Opportunity
Nothing temporal can ever satisfy your immortal soul!
We are moving rapidly to a world in which everything is eternal. — As I just said, you and I are men and women with immortal souls. We live in a world where everything constantly changes. But we are going, and going rapidly, to a world where nothing changes and nothing ends. That great, unseen world which lies beyond the grave, whatever else it is or is not, it is eternal!
2 Corinthians 4:18 “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Š Hell is eternal!
Š Heaven is eternal!
Illustration: Grown Men Playing With Sandbox Toys
Mark 8:36-37 “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (37) Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Everything here is vanity! Only that which is eternal is of any real meaning, significance, consequence, and value.
The Lord Jesus Christ alone can prepare us for eternity. — Your happiness or misery in eternity depends entirely upon and will be determined entirely by your relationship with the Son of God now. I am fully aware of, rejoice in and dogmatically preach the glorious gospel doctrines of Divine Sovereignty and Absolute Predestination. It does not matter to me whether this fits or does not fit with your understanding of those blessed truth. I know that what I am telling you is so. Your eternal happiness and bliss or your eternal torment and woe will be determined entirely upon the basis of your relation to and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ!
John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
John 6:47 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”
1 John 5:10 “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.”
Š Only the blood of Christ can wash away our sins.
Š Only the righteousness of Christ can give us acceptance with God.
Š Only faith in Christ can fetch the merits of his blood and righteousness to our souls.
Š Only the Spirit of God can give us faith.
Will you hear me? — Everything in this world must soon come to an end! Then, whose shall these things be? What will all these things matter then? I urge you, for your soul’s sake, count nothing on this earth more valuable and precious now than you will in that day when you must leave it.
All things here will soon be past.
Heaven and hell alone will last.
Will you, for trinkets of a day,
Eternally be cast away?
Immortal souls, can’t you see,
All things here are vanity?
Should you gain the world’s store,
Is it really worth your soul?
Set your heart on Christ alone
Trust the work which He has done;
And when this world has passed away,
You’ll never miss the melting clay.
I cannot warn you, my friends, I cannot warn you, O my soul, with sufficient urgency to beware of “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things (which) entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful” (Mark 4:19).
All of God
Secondly, if you would live peaceably in this world, you must learn that THE BEGINNING, THE ACCOMPLISHMENT AND THE END OF ALL THINGS ARE OF GOD. I mean all things. — “All things are of God” (2 Corinthians 5:18). All things in heaven, all things in earth, all things in hell - all things good and all things bad - all things pleasant and all things painful - all things temporal and all things eternal — “All things are of God!”
Isaiah 14:26-27 The Lord God says in response to Lucifer’s proud boast — “This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. (27) For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?”
Isaiah 45:2-13 “I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: (3) And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. (4) For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. (5) I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: (6) That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. (7) I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (8) Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it. (9) Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? (10) Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth? (11) Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. (12) I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. (13) I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts.”
Isaiah 46:9-11 “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, (10) Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (11) Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Romans 11:36 “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”
Š God predestinated all things according to the good pleasure of his will.
Š God created all things according to the good pleasure of his will .
Š God rules all things according to the good pleasure of his will.
Š God disposes of all things.
Š God shall have the praise according to the good pleasure of his will of all things.
Psalms 76:10 “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.”
Proverbs 16:4 “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.”
Ephesians 1:11 “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:”
Christ Must Reign
Thirdly, I want you to see that THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, GOD’S SON, OUR DEAR SAVIOR MUST REIGN UNTIL THE END COMES.
1 Corinthians 15:24-26 “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. (25) For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. (26) The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”
That Man who lived and died for us, as our Mediator, Surety, Representative and Substitute, that he might save us and bring us to heaven, is himself God Almighty, who rules all things. He earned the right to reign over all things as a Man, as our Mediator and Surety, to be the sovereign Governor of the universe, by his obedience to his Father. And he forever possesses the power of absolute, unrivaled, sovereign dominion because he is God the Son. Observe what the text says.
“He must reign! — Our Lord Jesus Christ must reign because he is God. A god who does not reign is no God at all!
Psalms 115:3 “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.”
Psalms 135:6 “Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.”
He must reign because his dominion is the reward of his obedience.
Psalms 2:8 “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.”
Romans 14:9 “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.”
Philippians 2:9-11 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: (10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
He must reign because the salvation of God’s elect and the glory of God depend upon it.
John 17:2-4 “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. (3) And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (4) I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”
He must reign because no one is going to stop him!
Our great and glorious Savior shall soon put down forever all rule, authority and power.
Š All Civil Rule, Authority and Power.
Š All Domestic Rule, Authority and Power.
Š All Ecclesiastical Rule, Authority and Power.
Š All Satanic, Demonic, Hellish Rule, Authority and Power.
The Lord Jesus shall soon put all enemies (his and ours) under his feet. — He will put all his enemies under his feet. — He will graciously, effectually conquer the hearts of all his elect, bring them to his feet, make them willing in the day of his power to be there, and cause them to bow in subjection to him, to his scepter as their King, and to obey his gospel and his ordinances.
If he does not thus conquer you by his grace, the Son of God will conquer you by his wrath. Bow to him you will, either as a willing servant saved by his grace, or as a conquered vassal compelled to acknowledge the dominion, the rightful dominion of that King whom you despise.
He shall put our enemies under his feet, too; and if they are put under his feet, they are put under our feet.
Š The World!
Š Death! — Judicial Death! — Spiritual Death! — The Second Death! — Physical Death!
Fourthly, WHEN THE END COMES, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST SHALL DELIVER UP THE KINGDOM UNTO GOD THE FATHER.
1 Corinthians 15:24 “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.”
1 Corinthians 15:28 “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”
What do those two verses 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…
Š That Christ is not God (1 Timothy 3:15).
Š That the Son of God is in any way inferior to the Father (1 John 5:7).
Š That Christ will cease to be Prophet, Pries, and King over his Church and Kingdom.
Hebrews 1:8 “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.”
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? — I’ve got something here that will help you. Give me your attention. 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.
Š The Shepherd will present his sheep.
Š The Savior will present his Church.
Š The Son will present his brethren.
Š The King will present his Kingdom to God, even the Father.
John 10:16 “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
Hebrews 2:13 “And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.”
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!”
Š “All, my Father, you chose and gave to me, all you trusted me to redeem, here they are, just as I promised, holy, unblamable, unreproveable, washed in my blood, robed in my righteousness.”
Š “All that I redeemed, every blood bought soul is here.
Š “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!”
All in All
Now, fifthly, THIS IS THE END OF ALL THINGS: —“THAT GOD MAY BE ALL IN ALL!”
1 Corinthians 15:28 “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, 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 (Isaiah 63:12, 14), that in all things Christ might have the pre-eminence (Colossians 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.” There are three things in this last verse of our text which I want you to see.
1. The works and purpose of the triune God shall be perfectly accomplished.
Ephesians 1:3-14 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (8) Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; (9) Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: (10) That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: (11) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (12) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
Ephesians 2:4-7 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (7) That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
2. Christ shall be all in all.
Š All Meat, Clothing and Shelter for Our Bodies.
Š All Life, Joy, Peace, Glory and Satisfaction for Our Souls.
Š All Sun and Moon and Light Forever!
3. The Triune God in Christ shall be all in all.
Š God shall be all in all things.
Š God shall be all in all his people.
Š God shall be all in all the praises of all saints and angels forever!
The delivering up of the kingdom to the Father will not put an end to it, but eternally establish it in a new and more glorious form. Christ shall not cease to reign, though the mode of his administration will be different. As a Divine Person, he will always be one with the Father. Even as the incarnate God-man, he will continue forever. It is only in Christ the Word that we can see and know God. The effects of his mediatorial kingdom will abide forever. There will never be a time when the God-man will be cast aside, or hidden in the shadows. Our Lord Jesus Christ will never be less than he is now: The Image of the Invisible God!
Is this the goal for which we labor? Is this the burden, care, concern and prayer of our hearts?
Š “Our Father, which art in heaven, ‘Hallowed be thy name.”
Š “Thy kingdom come.”
Š “Thy will be done.”
If this is indeed the thing for which we most ardently labor, the thing we desire, for which we earnestly pray, then we have every reason to take heart and be of good courage.
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
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