Then Comes The End
First Corinthians chapter fifteen deals with the resurrection of the dead. At the time bodies are raised the end will come. "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) As Christians we must continually keep in mind the idea that the end will come. Let me read it to you once again, "Then cometh the end." The end has reference to the end of time, the end of history or the end of the world. The end is coming. Therefore, we must not get too caught up in the things of this present world.
We should remember the end because it reminds us that now is the time that we should be serious about Christ and His church. "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2) God will abundantly bless and reward those that serve Him in this life. The coming of the end should move us to be "steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 15:58) As faithful children of God we must have the end in mind.
The end will mean the end of the Lord's invitation. Today, "the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Revelation 22:17) At the present Godís invitation is extended. At the end His invitation will be extended no more. Today you can come to the Saviour. Today you can come and partake of the spiritual blessings of the gospel. Today you can come and be saved. Everyone that is willing should come to Christ now because one day the end will come and then it will be too late to obey.
The end will mean the end of the reign of Christ. The Bible says, "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." (1 Corinthians 15:24-26) Jesus presently rules over His church or kingdom. (Matthew 16:13-18) Obviously 1 Corinthians 15 says that at the end Jesus is going to surrender or deliver up this kingdom to God.
The end will mean the end of death and the end of this present world. Paul wrote, "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." (1 Corinthians 15:54) There will be no more dying after the end has come. Isaiah wrote, "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it." (Isaiah 25:8) At the end the earth will be burned up. "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." (2 Peter 3:10) All earthly things will be consumed at the end.
The end will mean the end of opportunity. Now we have the opportunity to obey. You have only a short time to prepare to meet God. It is time to become a Christian now! To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30), confess Christ as Lord (Acts 8:37), and be baptized to be saved. (1 Peter 3:21) After bap≠tism follow Jesus in faithfulness as He leads you home to heaven. (Revelation 2:10) Preparation time will end. The opportunity for serving others and doing good to them will end in a brief time. We must be constantly "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2) The end is coming.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA