Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (I Corinthians 15:24-26)
Paul is writing to the Corinthians about the resurrection which will occur when Jesus comes again. Because Jesus was raised from the dead we shall be raised also.
Jesus came to preach and proclaim the coming of the Kingdom of God. He often spoke about the Kingdom by means of parables. The Kingdom is the reign of King Jesus which is His rule in the hearts of His people. As King He conquers people to be His own and then He sets up His rule in their hearts. This is the present aspect of the Kingdom.
But there is a future aspect of the Kingdom as well. There is the “now and not yet” of the Kingdom. The “not yet” occurs when Jesus has conquered all of God’s elect people, when the last of the elect are brought into the Kingdom through the powerful work of the gospel. It is for this reason that Jesus said, “And this gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14). God’s people are saved through the proclamation of the gospel. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
Jesus ushered in the Kingdom and often taught about it. His followers continued to proclaim the truths of the Kingdom. This will continue until the whole world has heard it; thus, giving all nations (all ethnic groups) the opportunity to hear and to believe the central message of the Kingdom, the gospel of Jesus Christ. When the last of the elect are brought into the Kingdom, the end of things as we know them will come at that time.
Before looking at the “not yet” of the Kingdom, we must realize the task given to God’s people. We are to be God’s witnesses on earth. Jesus’ last words before He ascended into heaven were to pass onto to us the responsibility of being His witnesses to the world.
But you will receive power when the Holy has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
Jesus clearly has chosen that the means through which the gospel of the Kingdom will go forth is through the witness of His people. We are His ambassadors.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (II Corinthians 5:20)
Thus, we are the witnesses, the ambassadors who proclaim “the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into HIs marvelous light” (I Peter 2:9). We are the means through which the gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed to the ends of the earth.
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