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 15:24
When is “then”? Paul writes of the general resurrection of all saints, “at his (that is Christ’s) coming” (v.23).
So here is a very clear and concise picture of the last day. Jesus returns, as he promised, this time not in humility or poverty but in glory and majesty. The dead rise from the grave, by the same power that raised Christ from the dead 2,000 years ago.
Then comes the end. Jesus Christ delivers up the kingdom of God, over which he has been reigning and which he has been guiding since his ascension into heaven. He submits his church, successfully saved and sanctified, to God the Father, having conquered every other authority and power.
Every power? Yes. Even death, we are promised, will eventually be vanquished: “the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (26). Nothing is left to oppose the reign of Jesus Christ, or the glory of His Father.
This is a thrilling, magnificent prospect, isn’t it? But why do you think Paul shares this reality with us? Is it simply information to be filed way for later, or to settle our curiosity about the future? No, it is so this future reality can enlighten and enliven our present situation.
If the end looks like this, with Christ victorious and all his enemies crushed, shouldn’t that effect how we live today? Why are we so awed by the wise and mighty of this world? Why are we so eager to please ourselves and others?