In a somewhat cryptic, enigmatic text Paul says to the Corinthians in I Corinthians 15:24-28,
“Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.”
The purpose of Christ’s reign is to do what Adam lost in the garden of Eden – his regency. Adam, the ruler of all, was now under the feet of all in the dust of death. Christ as the Last Adam will do what the first did not and that is to reestablish God’s rule through “man.” As Paul said, “the last enemy is death.” Once death is abolished, the kingdom will have come to its end, mankind will have been judged and the wicked punished then God will re-create the universe into “new heavens and new earth where righteousness dwells.” It is as if the old universe that had to endure and behold the corruption of the old should then share in the new birth. What will it look like? We don’t know. It is in the mind and plan of God. Only He knows.
The only hold over from the old world will be the people of God, saved and raised. The first of a new creation that shall be erected around them. And then heaven shall come down. The holy city from heaven will descend to occupy a new earth. The ultimate reunion of God and man. Not man in a garden appearing in human form but the glory of God among man who may “see His face.” In a sense there will be no heaven and earth. Both are together united. The ultimate and final stage of reconciliation. And there will be no mediation in the sense of Christ visibly ruling in the stead of God invisible. This is what Paul meant when he wrote, “When all things are subjected to Him (meaning the kingdom then death) then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him so that God may be all in all.” (I Cor. 15:28)
This means that when death is no more and all the rebellion against God has been subjected to Christ’s rule and the failure of Adam has been restored in Christ, that His role in representational mediation will end and He will “hand over the kingdom to the God and Father… that God may be all in all.” This means that at that time God the Father Almighty will assume His rightful place as “all in all.” He will be to all what He indeed is, and that is everything to every living creature – angels and men. Finally. Christ’s restoration will be completed. His work finished even though “He ever lives to make intercession for us” as “a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
The interesting thing is that this eternal truth has begun now in His work in the Church who “takes every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” (2 Cor. 10:5) and that Christ may be “all in all.” (Eph 1:23) Indeed is eternal life “to know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) Our eternal life has begun.
Read Revelation 21 and behold the beauty and glory of the eternal city. Read Revelation 22:1-5 and behold the eternal rest of our eternal state. Rev. 22:1-5 is purposely the reversed image of Genesis 3 and the fall of man. All the evil of the fall will be restored in the eternal state.
The last verse? “And they shall reign forever.”
Imagine! We will behold the Trinity! The Father’s face we will behold. The Lamb “standing as if slain” will be before us and the visible glory of the Holy Spirit represented in Revelation 4:5 as “seven fires burning before the throne.”
What follows? Joy inexpressible. Revelation 23 and following.
But that bit of truth you’ll have to wait for and experience it personally.
Ah, that will be glory.
All provided for by our incomparable Christ.