Jump Start # 2516
1 Corinthians 15:25-26 “For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death.”
Our verses today come from the powerful resurrection chapter. Paul shows by evidence, logic and Scripture that Jesus was resurrected from the grave. There is no doubt. There is no other possibility. It happened. When folks say, “Even if Christianity isn’t true, I’ve lived a good life.” Wrong answer. Christianity is true. There is no way that it cannot be true. The mountain of evidence is more than convincing, it’s overwhelming. Up from the grave He arose!
From the resurrection Paul moves to the present. What is Jesus doing now? The cross is over. The burial is over. The resurrection is over. Some may get the idea that Jesus is just sitting on the front porch of Heaven enjoying retirement. False. Jesus is busy. One of the many things that He is doing today is reigning.
Now, some thoughts from these verses today.
First, Jesus is currently reigning. He must reign UNTIL all enemies are defeated. The last enemy is death. Did someone die today, anywhere in the world? We know the answer to that. It’s yes. According to the statistics, around 150,000 people die every day. That means the enemy is still alive. The enemy is still active. The last enemy is death. It will be abolished. Revelation tells us that death and Hades will be thrown into the lake of fire. Death will be abolished. Jesus is reigning. He is reigning today. How do I know that? Someone died today. He reigns until death is no more. Too many want to believe that Jesus is coming to begin His reign. Look at the words. It’s clear. Jesus ascended to the right hand of God and has been reigning ever since. His reign ends when death ends.
The idea of “reign” brings thoughts of authority, control, rule and power. A king reigns. We don’t like that word when it comes to American politics so we say “term.” The president has a term. Jesus is in charge. Now some may question that. They may see the world as being out of control and no one at the helm. But Jesus is reigning. Nothing will happen against the will of God. Death, disaster, destruction, disease are part of what we deal with in this world we live. Even with those, Jesus reigns. He does things that most never see, understand or know about.
Second, death is the enemy of God. All the enemies will be abolished. The final or last one is death. The very fact that God has enemies is hard to understand. God is good. God sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. God loves. God isn’t pulling the arms off of people. God isn’t messing with our lives to make us miserable and unhappy. God isn’t evil. He is not twisted or mean. He is not trying to scare us or chase us like in a horror movie. Why would anyone not like God? He’s the best! How could anyone be against God? That doesn’t make much sense. But it does when you realize that people love sin more than righteousness. They’d rather enjoy the moment than to think about consequences and eternity. Without God in my life, I can do what I want, say what I want, go where I want and no one is going to bother me. Sounds great, but it doesn’t work that way. With every choice comes responsibilities and consequences. I can ignore God, but He’s not going away. I can pretend He doesn’t exist, but He does. I can deny Him, argue against Him, dispute His word, and scoff at His commands, but Jesus still reigns. Satan is against God. He always has been. And, those who are the enemy of God stand side by side with Satan.
The book of James tells us that friendship with the world makes us an enemy of God. Jesus said that if we are not with Him then we are against Him. What a terrible thought to imagine that you and I can become the enemy of God. The enemies of God will be abolished.
Third, God will smash all of His enemies. They will be abolished. The last one, death, will end as well. The history of the Bible shows this. Egypt was the enemy of God. They were smashed. Jezebel and the prophets of Baal were the enemy of God. They were smashed. Assyria, smashed. Babylon, smashed. Rome, smashed. Pilate, smashed. The closed minded high priest and Pharisees that crucified Jesus. Smashed. God never lost a battle. God never sat at the table of compromise or surrender. Jesus reigns. All His enemies will be abolished, and that includes Satan.
Fourth, death is the enemy of God. God uses death. God allows death. But God doesn’t like death. It’s His enemy. His design, His dream, His plan was for mankind to live forever in Paradise. The first couple chose to disobey. They were warned. Death entered the world because of sin. The first page of the Bible shows us that all creation, man as well as animals were all vegetarians originally. There was no death. Nothing ever died. Adam didn’t have a pet that died. Adam never went to a funeral. There were no cemeteries. Not originally. Not in the garden. But man wanted to reign instead of God. Man wanted to do what he felt like. He disobeyed. Death was the penalty. Likely, the very first recorded death was that of the animals that God slew to cloth Adam and Eve. We are not told what animals they were. I like to think leopards. We are not told if Adam witnessed God killing the animals. I don’t know if he saw the blood that came from those animals. A blood sacrifice always followed disobedience and sin. Later, God would kill His Son to redeem mankind for our sin.
Death is not God’s friend. When something tragic happens, someone cries out, “Why God?” First, God doesn’t owe you an explanation. You are not on the throne, Jesus is. He doesn’t report to you. He doesn’t have to run things by you to get your approval. Don’t forget that! But screaming “Why God?” implies that God and death are on the same side. They are not. The book of Job shows us that death was a tool of Satan, not God. The Lord will allow death, but it’s certainly not what He likes, nor wants.
Finally, when the last enemy is abolished, the war is over. There are no more enemies. Death is the final one. Death is the last one standing. And, how appropriate. Death is Satan’s greatest tool. No one can escape it. It comes to every family. There is no place that you can run to in order to get away from death. People have died at home, at work, at school, in the gym, on vacation, on airplanes and even in church. Death comes to the young. Death comes to those who are successful. Death comes to the foolish. Death comes to the righteous.
But a day is coming in which death will be no more. Death will be defeated. No one will die again. There won’t be any more enemies after that. Peace will prevail. The cloud of our mortal lives will evaporate into eternal life. We will live on and on. And, we will live on and on without any enemies. It will be a time of sweet victory. Triumphant with the Lord! Triumphant forever! Triumphant and nothing can change that. Jesus reigns and all the enemies are defeated.
Things are just going to get better and better for those who walk with the Lord.