1 Corinthians 15:22-28

"The more one studies this Scripture as well as dozens like it, it becomes abundantly clear that as in Adam all died, the very same all will be made alive in Christ. There is not one in Adam who will not be made alive in Christ."
-Louis Abbott

"Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:22-28 takes us much farther into the future than does the book of Revelation."

Some say that the teaching of universal salvation, or reconciliation, gives one license to do as he wishes with no fear for the consequences, and the "hell-fire" must be taught in order to keep them in line and get them saved. Some say also that Paul's teaching of salvation by grace gives license to sin, but consider this fact: Denominational teaching has included threats of eternal punishment in hell for many centuries, and it has not "saved" the masses of humanity as yet. Do men serve God best when they realize He loves humanity, or when they fear He will send them to "hell" forever? Romans 5:8-12 tells us God loved us while we were yet sinners, and sent Christ to die for the sake of the irreverent. Although most seem to believe the book of Revelation tells of God's ultimate goal, Paul tells us it was given to him to complete the words of God and the consummation was revealed to him, not to John, even though in human measurement of time, Revelation probably was written after the books attributed to Paul. Paul says (Col. 1:25), "...of which I became the dispenser according to the administration of God, which was given to me for you, to complete the word of God." He was not speaking in terms of time, but in matters of revelation. It is through the writings of Paul that we get the truths concerning God's ultimate goal for mankind, as well as for the entire universe.

Dr. J.B. Lightfoot, in his commentary on Colossians, says (p. 67), "The word pljrosai, to fulfill; i.e., to preach fully. To give its complete development to." Luther used reichlich predigen, "to preach fully," and Olshausen says: "That is, to declare the gospel in all its fullness and extent." Each of these writers were commenting upon the pljrosai, the completing of the revelation of God, by Paul.

Mr. Ray A. Van Dyke, compiled a comparison between the revelation given in Revelation and that given to Paul, as recorded in 1 Cor. 15:22-28. His comments are reproduced here:

"In the book of Revelation we do not have the final plan of God. Paul, in 1 Cor. 15:22-28 takes us much further into the future than does the book of Revelation. To illustrate this more clearly, study the following: 1 Cor. 15:22-28 as compared with the new heaven and new earth of Revelation 20:21-22:

In 1 Cor. 15:22-28, we have:

  • No more rule
  • No more authority
  • No more power
  • No more enemies
  • No more reigning
  • All subjected
  • No more death, death destroyed.
  • All made alive, immortal

In Revelation 20:21-22, we have:

  • Still rule (20:6; 22:5)
  • Son still reigns (22:1-5; 11:5)
  • Authority (21:24,25)
  • Power (21:24,25; 22:2
  • Kings (21:24-26)
  • Saints reign (22:5)
  • Second death still exists (21:5)
  • The nations still mortal (22:2)

-end quote

Christians who believe in universal reconciliation believe that the Bible is God's Word, and His Word cannot contradict itself, hence the inspired sacred Scriptures say in Rev. 11:15; 22:5, eis tous aionas ton aionon, "for the eons of the eons." Thus, Christ our Lord "reigns for the eons of the eons," not as the king's translators rendered, "forever and ever." Therefore, Revelation 20:21, 22 fits into the framework of the eons, and is truth relative to the eons. First Corinthians Chapter 15 fits at the consummation (end) of the eons. We give the second Adam, Christ, as much credit and numerical ability as the first Adam, and use 1 Cor. 15:22-28 also for this truth. (Read Rom. 5:18-19.)

Consequently, Col. 1:16-20:

All in heaven and earth created in Him (verse 16)

All for Him (verse 16)

All estranged are reconciled (verse 20)

1 Corinthians 15:22:

In Adam all are dying

In Christ shall all be made alive

The literal Greek in 1 Corinthians 15:22 reads:

hosphor gar en to Adam pantes apothnjskousin houtos kai en to christo pantes zoopoijthjsontai.

"Even as for in the Adam all are dying, thus also in the Christ, all shall be made alive."

The more one studies this Scripture as well as dozens more like it, it becomes abundantly clear that as in Adam all died, that very same all will be made alive in Christ. There is not one in Adam that will not be made alive in Christ. It is a perfectly balanced statement which Jesus said was already set in motion. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw (drag in Greek) all mankind unto Myself. (John 12:32, NKJV)

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