1 Corinthians 15:22-28 are some of the passages uni’s say are universal in its context as God being All in All. My question where do the unbelievers fit into these passages if these passages refer not only to the resurrection of man but the universal reconciliation of all men as well? I see at least 2 passages that mention the order of those who will be resurrected:
1 Cor 15:22-For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
1 Cor 15:23-But each in his own order: C****hrist the first fruits, then those who are Christ’s, at his coming.
1 Cor 15:24- Then the end comes, when he will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when he will have abolished all rule and all authority and power.
The bolded above are the ones mentioned that will be resurrected in 1 Cor 15:23. There is no mention of unbelievers in that verse and in verse 24 it says the end comes. Now some commentators say that “then the end comes” is referring to the unbelievers being resurrected but I don’t see how unless I’m missing something? Does “then the end comes” refer to the resurrected unbelievers and if not where do unbelievers fit into this context?
If i recall Robin Parry (author of the Evangelical Universalist) does not see “the end” as a reference to unbelievers. He disagrees with Tom Talbott on that point. You can get a free preview of the book online & possibly read that portion & how Parry interprets 1 Cor.15:22-28.
The author of this article agrees with Talbott re “the end” [order] of resurrections referring to those who were lost when Christ returns, though i expect Talbott would not agree with the entire article:
In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul provided the expectation of the resurrection! — the hope of all Christians! Paul said, that if there is no resurrection we may as well eat and drink (and be merry?) for without the resurrection, our hope is in this life only, and there would be no other purpose in life other than to obtain as much pleasure as possible before we die, for without the resurrection there would be no afterlife for anyone (See the following verse from the passage):
And now, looking at the passage itself (which comes almost immediately before verse 32):
In this passage Paul gives THE BIG PICTURE of the future resurrection and the sequence of events thereafter.
vs 22 ALL people shall be made alive! Just as naturally as descendants of Adam have ALL (thus far) died.
vs 23 Here is the order of the resurrection. The Anointed One Himself was the first to be raised from the dead. That is history. It occurred in the first century. The next people to be raised are those who belong to Christ when He returns. That is a future event. He hasn’t returned yet.
vs 24 After the Anointed One, Jesus, returns to earth, He will destroy every form of human government and will begin to reign in His Kingdom.
vs 25 Jesus will continue to reign until every one of His enemies have been defeated. Thus there will be no “unbelievers” any more.
vs 26 He will destroy even the last enemy—death itself. Thereafter, no one will ever die.
vs 27 “God has put all things under His feet.” Perhaps this will happen after those who have not submitted to God are resurrected. There will be a resurrection of the righteous and one of the unrighteous. This passage does not specifically mention the latter.
vs 28 When ALL THINGS (absolutely everything and everyone) are subjected to God, then the Son Himself will be subjected to God, so that Jesus’ Kingdom will be God’s Kingdom. Thus God will be all things in all people. All His enemies will have been defeated, and will have come under God’s authority!There will be no rebels left in the entire Universe!!!
Does “then the end comes” refer to the resurrected unbelievers and if not where do unbelievers fit into this context?
I think “then the end comes” doesn’t reference any group simply the end of an age. But the verse “so also in Christ all shall be made alive” may say that at Christ’s coming “those who belong to Christ” may include all, since the idea is “so also in Christ all shall be made alive.” Maybe there is no mention of unbelievers because there won’t be any? Anyway that’s the optimistic take on this.
Yep, I don’t think Paul is explicitly mentioning the resurrection of those who do the evil things – he refers to that toward the end of the chapter by OT context, but he isn’t talking about it specifically here. But they’re implied somewhere because Christ must reign until He puts all His enemies under His feet in subjection – the same subjection with which He subjects Himself to the Father. As long as a person still tries to rule his own heart, at least, Christ hasn’t yet destroyed every rule and authority and power (the latter two being arguably references to rebel spirits), and if He annihilates them out of existence then He cannot be subjecting them to the Father as they have been subjected to the Son and as the Son subjects to God.
Annihilating someone isn’t subjecting them to anyone, even in a still-rebellious subjection.
And a still-rebellious subjection isn’t being subjected to the Father through and with the Son (Who is already fully subject to the Father and so needs no such change in Himself – regardless of Christology here, btw), much less God being all in all.
After that, there’s only one option remaining for the rebels (even the rebel spirits) that fits both criteria.
Paidion, Paul was fighting the “beasts” in Ephesus in order to rebuild the kingdom of God on earth for themselves and the future generations of children yet to be born. What good is this life if God does not dwell in the hearts and the minds of the people? Would you want to be living in a world like that of the ancient Mayans, where they were sacrificing human beings to their fake gods?