Why should Christ hand over the kingdom to God?

Answered by Eugene P. Vedder, Jr.

QUESTION: If Christ is co-equal with God the Father, why should He hand over the kingdom to God as stated in 1 Corinthians 15:24?

ANSWER: We speak of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit together as God, recognizing that these three Persons are one God. The three Persons of the Godhead together are referred to as the “Trinity.” While we cannot understand such a relationship by our human reasoning, we recognize from Scripture that each of the Three is fully God and that the Three, while distinct, are absolutely co-equal in every way. Scripture tells us too that God is a Spirit (Jn. 4:24) and that, as God, He has no material body.

Fulfilling the counsels of the Godhead, God the Son humbled Himself and came to earth as Man, sent by God the Father, conceived by God the Holy Spirit, born in Bethlehem to the young virgin Mary. While still being true God, He is now also true Man, yet holy as man could never be – entirely without sin in nature, thought, word or deed. In fulfillment of the promises of God in the Old Testament, He came to glorify God and to be the Savior mankind needed. “Messiah” is the Hebrew word for which “Christ” is the Greek equivalent, meaning “Anointed One.”

The promises of God included not only the suffering and death of the Savior, but also the fact that God would reward Him by raising Him from among the dead and exalting Him to sit at His own right hand (Ps. 110:1). God has also appointed Him to rule over the entire world as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Tim. 6:15).

It is wonderfully true that the Lord Jesus was raised from among the dead as a real Man. He ascended into heaven as Man and sits at God’s right hand as Man. He remains God and Man in one person forever. Revelation 19 shows us that at the close of the tribulation He will return to this earth, followed by His glorified saints, and will annihilate the armies of the world, cast the Antichrist and the beast alive into the lake of fire, and set up His kingdom in righteousness.

Revelation 20 goes on to tell us that He will then rule in righteousness for 1,000 years. He will do so as the Christ – the Man Christ Jesus. Other Scripture passages show us that this will be a glorious time. Satan will be bound, the desert will blossom as a rose, swords will be turned into plowshares, and evil will be dealt with righteously every morning. Additionally, the environment will be fully cleaned up, there will be peace on earth and lives will be extremely long since death will only come as the wages of overt, or public, sin. No kingdom on earth has ever been so glorious or lasted so long under the same ruler.

God has tested mankind in various ways since He made the first human beings and placed Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, including in innocence, under conscience, under government, under the law and under grace. The Lord’s rule in righteousness will be the final test of mankind. Satan will be bound during this time so no one will be able to honestly say, “The Devil made me do it.” After 1,000 years in the bottomless pit, Satan will be loosed. The Bible tells us that he will go to deceive the nations again and will gain a huge following, for many will have been subject to the Lord only with a feigned obedience, rather than from the heart. The ingrained wickedness of the human heart will become evident as vast crowds from the ends of the earth will follow Satan to march toward the camp of the saints, Jerusalem, the holy city, the world’s capital (Rev. 20:7-8).

What God has always known about man will become fully manifest: The human “heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9)! Man will have demonstrated that his heart is incurable. The judgment of God – fire from heaven – will fall and devour this vast company. The heavens are going to “pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Pet. 3:10). The time of rule will be over. Christ will not have been deposed, but He will have reigned until He has put all enemies under His feet. He will raise the wicked dead, and they will appear before the great white throne to be judged according to their works. There will follow a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

The wicked dead will be raised, judged and consigned to hell along with Satan and his demons; the lake of fire being their lot forever. Death, the last enemy, is then destroyed. All things will have been put under Christ’s feet. His bride will be with Him in perfect bliss forever. Of the new earth we read, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself shall be with them and be their God” (Rev. 21:3). Evil will have been rightly dealt with forever, so there will be no more need for rule, authority or power. Christ’s work of salvation and of annulling the work of the Devil will have been completed to the glory of God. Hence, He can then turn over the responsibility He has exercised in perfection to God the Father, who had entrusted Him with it. He, the Son, “will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all” (1 Cor. 15:27). God will dwell with man. Individual work for each person of the Godhead will no longer be needed. God will be all in all.