FROM THE DOCUMENTS OF RODGER TUTT #63
DEATH SHALL BE ABOLISHED - 1 Cor. 15:20-28
"This only means that believers will never die again."
I would simply suggest that these folks are ignoring the context of the 1 Corinthians 15 passage (ALL in Adam … ALL in Christ, etc) and the many other ALL passages in Scripture. It is a case where their minds are made up that only believers will ever be saved; so they find it necessary to place limitations on what the Scriptures actually say, lest their doctrines fall apart.
Death is abolished for the believer AT HIS PRESENCE. In 1 Cor.15:25 death is abolished AFTER Christ hands over the kingdom to God and all sovereignty, authority and power are done away. Then the rest of mankind will have death abolished for them and only then.
For me, 1 Cor. 15:20-28 is where the abolition of death is best detailed. And the subject is clearly all mankind. Plus, it says plainly that it is the LAST enemy, clearly detailing the subjection of all which must occur BEFORE. And there are clearly still kings during the New Jerusalem eon, so human authorities have yet to be nullified; Christ's mission isn't complete. Rev. 21:24. Death will be abolished for all mankind in three stages -1 Cor. 15:22-24. Then there are verses like Romans 5:18, 19.
"For this was the Son of God manifested, that He should be annulling the acts of the Adversary." 1 John 3:8b (CLV) That includes the act of leading Adam and Eve into the knowledge of good and evil. Christ was manifested to annul not only sin, but also death. For the second death to be endless would mean that the acts of the Adversary would never be annulled.
If only believers never die again, then death would be abolished when Christ returns, wouldn't it? That would be the consummation or "end." Why then is there the 1,000 years? Isn't Satan an enemy? Yet the Bible says that death is the last enemy. Satan is still rebellious after the 1,000 years.
I would ask them, "When do you think death will be abolished?"
If they say, "When Christ returns", I would ask, "And the events of
Rev. 20:7-15, do they occur after or before Christ's second coming?"
If they say, "After", I would ask them if they had read 1 Cor. 15:20-28 lately. I would encourage them to do so and to notice that death will be the last enemy, and God will abolish it. If they agree with that, I would ask them, how can death be abolished when Christ returns if Satan will later attack the saints; wouldn't that mean that there are still enemies besides death in existence? Wouldn't the fact that the nations will be deceived and join Satan in opposing God prove that God will still have many enemies at that time? I would point out that 1 Cor. 15:24-27 shows that Christ will give up His kingdom to God
the Father once all enemies are subjected and death is abolished. And I would mention one of the parallel passages in Mk. 12:36, which shows that Christ will be at God's right hand UNTIL a certain point in time, which is detailed in 1 Cor. 15. Then I would point out how Rev. 22:1-3 shows clearly that the consummation of 1 Cor. 15:24, when Christ will surrender the throne to His Father, will not yet have arrived during the New Jerusalem eon.
My POV is that God would not name the lake of fire the second death, make that death permanent, and yet claim that death had been abolished. It simply doesn't make sense to me. To argue that death being abolished only means that believers will never die again is
similar to saying that slums being abolished only means no new slums will be created, leaving the existing slums unchanged.
The context has in view all mankind (not simply believers):
Death was long ago instituted ("to die, you shall be dying"); and yet
this institution which, at present, is very much still in effect, one
day, will be abolished.http://www.concordant.org/expohtml/HumanDestiny/1cor15.html
See article above on this point also, for the likeness/parallel I
draw between, on the one hand, slavery, and on the other, death.
A snippet from The Really Bad Thing About Free Will (2006), pages
66-67, by Martin Zender:
"God is now conciliated to all mankind (II Corinthians 5:19). This blessing has come to us through the blood of Christ's cross (Colossians 1:20). God no longer holds men's offenses against them (II Corinthians 5:19). This same blood will reconcile all to Himself, both that in the heavens and that on earth (Colossians 1:20).
The cross saves everyone, but not all at once (I Corinthians 15:22-23). Jesus Christ is a ransom for all, but the testimony of it will not be seen until the eras designated to show it (I Timothy 2:6).God will one day be all and in all (I Corinthians 15:28). How can He
be that if billions of the all remain dead or tortured?
Paul speaks of a time called the consummation, when death is to be
abolished (I Corinthians 15:26; II Timothy 1:10). If there will one
day be no more death, then the time is coming when even the second
death will cease to be. At this time, those formerly captured by it
will be delivered into the life won for them by Christ on the cross.
With no more death, nothing remains but life. Some come to Christ
sooner, some come later. But eventually, all come."