Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 1 Corinthians 15:24
Paul is giving a logical order of things to come, not all of the details included in those things. There is within his words a multitude of events not mentioned. What he said in the previous verse spoke of the order of the resurrection – first Christ and then those who are His. There is nothing to discount a rapture, a post-tribulation resurrection, and other events all occurring in his wording.
After the resurrection phase will come “the end.” The word is telos. It signifies an end; event or issue; the principal end, aim, purpose; or even a tax (which would be considered a final payment on something, thus “ending” it). This then is the end of the mediatorial role of Christ. He is currently in this position, working between God and man. However, there will be a time when this is no longer necessary.
That time will be “when He delivers the kingdom to God.” When there is no longer the need for a Mediator between God and man, God will be open and accessible directly. At this time, when Christ’s work of redemption and mediation are finished, God will receive the kingdom directly rather than through His Mediator. When this occurs, our relationship to God will be close and personal, rather than only accessible through Christ. All who are redeemed will be, in fact, redeemed. God will be “the Father” that we have truly anticipated since the fall of man.
This term, “God the Father,” can be taken in one of two ways. The first is speaking of the Father within the Godhead – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The second would be the nature of God as the Father. The second is surely the use of “Father” which is intended here. This same concept of God as Father is seen many times in Scripture. One explicit use of this is found in Malachi 2:10 –
“Have we not all one Father?
Has not one God created us?”
Paul’s continued words will bear out that this is certainly speaking of God “as” Father of all rather than the Person of “God the Father” in the Trinity. But logically, even from this verse, we can deduce this to be true. If there is no need for a Mediator, then we will have access to the Father-God referred to, such as in Malachi. He will truly be our eternal Father figure in the fullest sense. But such is not the case at this time because there are still people who are being redeemed (who are not yet God’s children, but who will be at some future point), and thus there is still the need for Christ’s work.
When that work is done, a new order of things will take form. However, this must wait until the time “when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.” Until then, we as saved believers are God’s adopted children, but we are still awaiting the fullness of what that means. The last page of the Bible gives us a glimpse of that. Take a gander at it today and revel in what lies ahead as we await the completion of Christ’s marvelous work!
Life application: There is one God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This God, our Creator, is a Father to all who are saved by the blood of Christ. Keep getting the word out while you can. The day is coming when those who are not adopted as His children will be banished from His presence forever. Now is the time to go about our business telling of the great work of Christ to redeem fallen man.
Lord, too often people mistake being a part of creation as being a child of God, and so the common term “we are all God’s children” is used in this way. But this is incorrect. We are all God’s creatures, but only those redeemed by the work of Christ can truly be called God’s children. Help us to see this distinction while there is still time. The words of Jesus – that He alone is the path to You – are clear and precise. Give me the sense of urgency I should have to get this word out now. This I pray that You will be glorified through many children – redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Amen.