1Co 15:24-27 “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. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 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.”
In the previous verses of this chapter, Paul has been dealing with the necessity of Christ’s resurrection. He has instructed us in the vanity of our preaching, our faith, and our existence if Christ is not raised from the dead. In verse twenty-three, he states that Christ is the firstfruits, raised and offered unto God, and then after that those that are His.
I believe the scripture tells us a lot about God’s kingdom here and only gives us glimpses of the eternal realm of glory. After all, our finite minds are not capable of grasping fully the eternal things of God, even though our faith allows us to believe it is true. However, based on the language here, I do believe that Paul is dealing with the end of all things as we know it, and not just the end of an era.
It is evident that He is not finished putting down the rule and authority and power of this world, because the end is not yet come. What is also evident by Paul’s writing is that Jesus Christ must reign until all enemies are overcome. This should cause the believing child of God to rejoice and have peace in this world of upheaval in which we find ourselves today. God has, by His grace, deemed it necessary that Christ should reign here until all enemies are put under Him.
The phrase “put all enemies under his feet” has the same Greek root as the word “destroyed.” Therefore, we are not simply being taught that these enemies shall be subdued (as in conquered and brought under subjection) but that they shall be utterly abolished. The enemies, including death, shall be destroyed. His resurrection is our assurance that death cannot reign.
Even though we do not yet literally see death and all the other powers of this world destroyed, we know by faith that He has put all these things under Him. We know this when we find that we have peace in the midst of all the strife of this world. We know this when the passing of those we love, while grievous, does not overwhelm us. We know this when the contemplation of our own death does not bring us into abject terror. Because we know that all enemies are under His feet, we have confidence that they shall all (including death) be destroyed.
We also know that “all” things being put under Him does not include God the Father. Indeed, everything that Christ has accomplished exalts God the Father. It is obvious (manifest) that He who raised up Jesus from the dead is not going to be under His feet. We lift up praise to God because He is exalted above all else, and when every enemy is destroyed, our Lord Christ will deliver up the kingdom (whole and untarnished) to God, even the Father!
May God comfort our hearts with the sure knowledge that no enemy of our Lord will ever prevail!