1 Corinthians 15:23.

J. A. Trench.

from 'Truth for Believers' Vol. 3. — Miscellany.

The Apostle was addressing Christians at Corinth, and not dealing with abstract questions. In speaking of the order of the resurrection, "Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming," we need not suppose that He was thinking of any but Christians. But there is nothing in the expression to exclude any of the redeemed of a past dispensation. It is true that without us they could not be made perfect (Heb. 11:40), that is, have their place in bodies of glory according to God's counsel. With us they shall; though the place of those who have been called in this present time will ever be distinct.

As to children of irresponsible years, how could they be excluded of whom it is expressly said (Matt. 18) "The Son of man is come to save that which was lost," and that they have their representatives before His Father's face in heaven? Not a hoof was to be left behind when redemption from Egyptian bondage was in view. Would it be like God's ways to leave the little ones, for whom Christ died, when He comes for redemption in power?

The confusion may have arisen from thinking that it is as the Assembly we are raised at His coming. It is not so as Scripture presents it. The Assembly is composed, as Ephesians 2 shows, of those who are quickened together with Christ, raised up together, and made to sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus. The Assembly as such is not raised. The resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 is of individuals who as to the body sleep, for flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; though, as Christians, our proper expectation is not death at all. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye — all that is mortal swallowed up in the power of the life we already possess in Him. (See 1 Cor 15:50-53; 2 Cor. 5:4; 1 Thess. 4:15-17.)