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  C. S. Lewis, author of the book "The Problem of Pain"
  (page 106) Chapter Eight entitled "Hell", says this:
  I would pay any price to be able to say truthfully, "All will be saved."

 

  (page 76) Chapter Five entitled "The Fall of Man" says this:
  ...
and we have said nothing about the Pauline statement that "as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive."

 

Jack (C. S. Lewis) did have the answer but did not see it.




WILL ALL WHO DIE IN ADAM
BE MADE ALIVE IN CHRIST?

Man was made for life, but death swallows up the race.
Is death always to be the abject, heartbreaking end of
life, or will death some day be vanquished and its vic-
tims freed? The right answer to this question reveals
a triumphant Saviour, strengthens faith in God, gives
true comfort, and inspires worship, thanksgiving and
joy. The right answer is God's answer. It is direct
and clear. Note it carefully.

AS in Adam ALL die
SO ALSO in Christ shall ALL be made alive.
BUT each in his own order:

1. Christ the Firstfruit;

2. Then they that are Christ's, at His coming;

3. Then cometh the end [order], WHEN He shall deliver
up the kingdom to God, even the Father; WHEN He shall
have abolished ALL rule and ALL authority and power.
For He must reign. TILL He hath put all His enemies
under His feet. THE LAST ENEMY THAT SHALL BE ABOLISHED
IS DEATH. (1 Cor. 15:22-26, R.V.).

This is an unexplored portion of God's Word to many.
Its challenging statements should strengthen our deter-
mination to understand and believe the truth God has
revealed in it. Let us consider some of its outstanding
points:

As in Adam all die. Death is the heritage of all who
are related to Adam, none escape it. Even those who
believe in Jesus Christ as their Saviour, succumb to the
sleep of death and are referred to as "the dead in
Christ" (1 Thess. 4:13-18); and as "the dead" that
"shall be raised incorruptible" (1 Cor. 15:51, 52).
The fact that "those who are Christ's" need to be "made
alive at His coming" shows that they too are included
in the ALL who die in Adam.

Satan's success in blinding men to the nature and
extent of death is the cause of much error. That this
would be a master stroke of deception is evidenced by
the fact that Satan's first lie was "You shall not surely
die" (Gen. 3:4). This deception is still believed by many
in spite of the fact that all die. Truth is sometimes
rejected because it is unpleasant. The apparent finality
of death appalls man. His aversion to death causes
him to welcome any philosophy that explains it away.
To reject the truth concerning death is to lose the com-
fort contained in God's way of dealing with it. Death
is indeed a grim and relentless enemy but there is One
Who is "the Resurrection and the Life" (John 11:25).
He has "the keys of death and of Hades" (Rev. 1:17,
18). He it is who will conquer death and set its victims
free. Hear the thrilling words:

So also in Christ shall all be made alive. Think of it
ALL who die in Adam will be made alive in Christ!
Made alive beyond the reach of death. Made alive unto
immortality as was Christ "the Firstfruit" when He
was raised from the dead (1 Tim. 6:16). Made alive
as "those who are Christ's" will be made alive at His
coming — the dead raised "incorruptible" and the living
"changed" from mortal to immortal (1 Cor. 15:51-55).
Marvel of marvels, "incorruptible" and "immortal" — 
incapable of being corrupted and incapable of dying.
This is the "victory" that will "swallow up" all death
in due time. What rejoicing there will be then! What
glory to God and to His Son!

But each in his own order. Not a "but" of exception,
rather a "but" of order. ALL are to be made alive but at
different times. "Each in his own order." Three orders
are enumerated and located in relation to other events:

1. Christ the Firstfruit — Three days alter His death.

2. Then those who are Christ's — At His coming.

3. Then the end [order] — WHEN He shall deliver up the
kingdom.

It is the third or "end" order that many overlook. A
thoughtful reading of this passage will enable most be-
lievers to see clearly that the words "then cometh the
end" refer to this end order to be made alive. The sub-
ject the apostle is elucidating is: The order in which
all who die in Adam will be made alive in Christ (vs. 22-
24). Christ the firstfruit (order one) and those who
are Christ's at His coming (order two) comprise only
a small part of the all who die in Adam. A third order
is necessary to make all alive. To refer the "end" to
anything else is to ignore the context and to introduce
something foreign to the subject. It cannot possibly
refer to an end of the kingdom, for though the kingdom
will be "delivered up" to the Father (1 Cor. 15:24), it
will never end (Luke 1:33).

Four statements in this passage indicate that the
words "then cometh the end" refer to the making alive
of an end order.

1. "As in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made
alive. But each in his own order" (vs. 22. 23).

2. "The last enemy that shall be abolished is death" (vs. 26).
It is the making alive of ALL that will abolish death. As long
as any remain dead, death has not been abolished.

3. "When all things have been subjected unto the Son" (vs.
27, 28). The dead must ALL be made alive if all are to be sub-
jected unto the Son. The only exception in this subjection is
God the Father.

4. "That God may be All in all" (vs. 28). This requires that
all be made alive. As long as any remain dead God cannot be
ALL in ALL, for He is not the God of the dead (Luke 20:37, 38). 

But the question arises, May not the making alive of
this end order refer to "the resurrection unto judg-
ment" at the time of the "Great White Throne" (John
5:29; Rev. 20:11-15)9 This cannot be the case for three
reasons :

1. In the resurrection unto judgment the dead are not made
alive unto immortality as is the case in the end order. Were
they raised "incorruptible" and "immortal" to be judged, they
could not afterward die the second death. God's Word makes
it clear that "if any are not found written in the book of life"
they will suffer the second death (Rev. 20:13-15).

2. The making alive of the end order will abolish death. The
resurrection unto judgment does not do this for it is followed
by the second death. As long as the second death exists, death
has not been abolished.

3. The making alive of this end order takes place long after
the resurrection unto judgment at the Great White Throne—
more than a whole age later. The end order is made alive,
"WHEN He shall deliver up the kingdom to God even the
Father." When does He do this? "WHEN He shall have
abolished ALL RULE and ALL AUTHORITY and POWER.
For He must reign TILL He hath put all His enemies under His
feet. THE LAST ENEMY THAT SHALL BE ABOLISHED IS DEATH"
(1 Cor. 15:24-26, R.V.).

The Son does not deliver up the kingdom to God the
Father until He has abolished all rule, authority, power,
and death. Since death is the last enemy to be abolished,
as long as rule, authority, and power remain, the end
order has not been made alive. With these facts in mind
let us glance at the outstanding events of the future
which bear on this subject.

AN OUTLINE OF FUTURE EVENTS
When Christ returns He will set up a kingdom upon
earth (Rev. 11:15; Dan. 2:44). Together with His
saints He will then reign for 1,000 years (Rev. 19:11-
20:6). When the 1,000 years are finished there will be
a Satan-led revolt which ends in disaster for the re-
volters (Rev. 20:7-10). This will be followed by the
resurrection unto judgment (Rev. 20:5, 6 and 11-15).
The present heavens and earth will then be dissolved
(2 Pet. 3:7-13). Then will come the New Heavens and
the New Earth upon which the New Jerusalem descends
(Rev. 21:1-22:5).

Will rule, authority, and power still be present on the
New Earth? If so, death has not yet been abolished.
Let us see: "The throne of God and of the Lamb shall
be therein" (Rev. 22:3). "And his servants shall serve
him" and "they shall reign for the ages of the ages"
(Rev. 22:3-5). "The Kings of the earth bring their
glory into the New Jerusalem" (Rev. 21:23, 24). Yes,
rule, authority, and power are still present on the New
Earth. The Lord Jesus is still reigning, the saints are
still reigning, and there are still kings on the earth. The
end order has not yet been made alive. Since there will
be no death on the New Earth (Rev. 21:1-4), the only
dead ones to be made alive in the end order are those
who have suffered the second death. When these have
been made alive, then indeed and in truth, death will
have been abolished.

The question arises, When will these who are made
alive in the end order come to believe in Jesus Christ
as their Saviour? Another question answers this one.
How can unbelievers experience the resurrecting power
of Jesus Christ in saving them out of the first death, be
brought into His presence at the Great White Throne,
and not believe? The Judge is none other than the
Saviour (Rom. 2:16). "All judgment has been given
unto the Son that all may honor the Son even as they
honor the Father" (John 5:22, 23).

But the objection arises, if they come to know Jesus
Christ as their Saviour then, why should they suffer the
second death? Again we would answer by asking another
question. Why do those wile believe during this life 
suffer the first death? We should not forget that the
first death is the condemnation of God against sin (Rom.
5:12-19). Deliverance out of it for anyone is on the
basis of the saving work of Jesus Christ (John 1:29).
Unbelievers will be saved out of the first death in the
"resurrection unto judgment" (John 5:28, 29). They
will then be judged and dealt with according to their
deeds (Rom. 2:5, 6; Rev. 20:11-15) after which they will
suffer the second death. The second death is because of
the sins of the individual, and deliverance out of it will
be on the basis of the saving work of Jesus Christ (1
John 2:2; Rom. 5:18, 19; 1 Cor. 15:20-26).

The teaching of endless punishment slanders the
character of God and dishonors His Son. Failure to
distinguish between the elective salvation of the ages
(2 Tim. 2:10), and the general salvation beyond (1 Tim.
4 :9-11;2:3-6), has caused many to malign the God they
seek to glorify. This distinction is clearly revealed in
the types of the Old Testament. There was a redemption
for some prior to Jubilee, and a deliverance for all at
Jubilee (Lev. 25:1-55). There is to be a grand Jubilee
of Salvation. All are to receive "justification of life"
and "be made righteous" (Rom. 5:18, 19). Jesus Christ
is indeed a triumphant Saviour! "The pleasure of the
Lord shall prosper in His hand, He shall see of the
travail of His soul and shall be satisfied" (Isa. 53:10,
11). —Rev. JOSEPH E. KIRK



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