Can you imagine life without death? Such a day is coming. Because Christ lived, died, and rose again, the end of death is a reality otherwise impossible. It’s been rightly said that the entirety of the Christian faith rests on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is an historical figure. He was a man wise beyond His years. He was a teacher of great renown. But, if He had remained in the grave, all these attributes would be just that. He’d be remembered perhaps as others who accomplished great things, but that would be the end of it. The world would go on as before, slowly winding down until it ends with a whimper, or possibly it would go out with a bang as man destroys himself and everything around him. Either way, mankind would have no hope.
Just as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:14, 17:
And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain…
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
All that we learn and practice as Christians would be useless. The God we serve would be no greater than the one of Islam or the many gods of Hinduism. Desperation and emptiness would consume all humanity, just as they devour so many in these false faiths. People would remain in their sinful condition and their only hope would be in themselves.
Is it any wonder that the rich seek to prolong their lives through the artificial means of technology? If the only way to eternal life lies in the preservation of the flesh and the mind, then those who have the means will do anything – anything – to accomplish this.
But, the fact is that Jesus did rise from the grave. Although God, He was a man while walking this earth. He died a man, but rose glorified. This is the pattern and hope that all true believers have. We will never be God, but Scripture says that we will be like Him in our own resurrection. What a glorious promise! Jesus was the firstfruit; we will be the second fruit. What does this mean? That through Christ, death has been overcome. He defeated this foe and paved the way for us to enjoy this victory.
Because God’s plans and purposes are so amazing, we who believe will partake in the astounding future He has determined. For 1,000 years we will rule and reign with Christ. What does that look like? We can only imagine, but it’ll be good!
After Christ’s Millennial Reign, what then? Paul gives us a very hopeful description in 1 Corinthians 15:24:
Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.
Judgment comes. Who or what are every rule and every authority and power? One that we know is Satan. At the end of the 1,000 years, he will be cast unceremoniously into the Lake of Fire. But, he’s not the only one. In Ephesians 6:12 Paul described the demonic hierarchy over which Satan currently reigns. In the spiritual realm, there are numerous demonic entities of many types. One such is the rebellious sons of God (bene Elohim) who set themselves up as the gods over the nations after God scattered mankind at the Tower of Babel and placed these sons – who were loyal at the time – over the nations (Deuteronomy 32:8 – ESV). When these mighty spiritual princes rebelled against their Father, as you can imagine, that didn’t go over well with Him. At a gathering of the host of heaven in what we know as a Divine Council scene, God declared in Psalm 82:6-7 the following:
I said, “You are gods,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”
These immortal beings would have an end just like any mere human. When Paul states that the rulers, powers, and authorities would be destroyed at the end, that will be the fulfillment of these verses in Psalm 82.
There is one final, glorious event that will also happen. Paul states this in 1 Corinthians 15:26:
The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
At this time of judgment, in the most spectacular ending imaginable, Revelation 20:14 tells us:
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
And so, eternal life begins. No longer will the fear of death hover over anyone. All who belong to Christ will enjoy uninterrupted peace and joy with Him forever. He will put each of us to useful work in this new kingdom of the New Heavens and New Earth – the new Eden. Only this time, none will fall. Again, what this will actually look like is beyond what we can imagine and comprehend. It’s probably why God doesn’t tell us.
The one thing we do know is that we owe everything to Jesus Christ – our Lord and Savior. Without Him, all we could look forward to is the grave. Instead, we have life. Hallelujah!