1 Corinthians 15:23-24
But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.…
Then cometh the end, when He shall
have delivered up the kingdom to God.—
The coming of the end: — The end comes —
I. TO MAN'S GREATNESS. Alexander the Great conquered all that was known of the world, and sighed because there was only one world to conquer, and yet one small grave in Babylon was large enough to hold him and his greatness. Solomon's wisdom and greatness were such that there was none like unto him, and yet he "was buried in the city of David his father." If I visit the Pyramids of Egypt, I am reminded of the glory of the Pharaohs, yet if I were to touch one of these Pharaohs roughly he would crumble into dust. William the Conqueror was a mighty king, yet his horse stumbling over the hot ashes of a burning town brought all this greatness to an end. Napoleon's ambition knew no bounds, and yet a lonely tomb holds all that remains of that mighty conqueror.
II. TO OUR OPPORTUNITIES FOR GOOD. All have these opportunities, yet some of you are not using them. An end will come to them. God will not always strive with man, and then the recording angel will point sadly to the text, "Then cometh the end."
III. TO A LIFE OF OPEN SIN AND DISSIPATION. I see men and women staggering out of taverns, I see them gambling in reeking rooms. I see women hovering through the streets seeking whom they may devour, then I open my Bible sadly and read the text, "Then cometh the end." And it is nearer by forty, or fifty, or sixty years than when you were born. What sort of end is it going to be? Conclusion:
1. There are only two kinds of endings possible for you: if you are in Christ Jesus, then the end will be for you the end of waiting, of toil, of sorrow, and it will be the beginning of peace, of joy, of rest everlasting. But for those who die in their sins, the end must be the end of all hope, of all amendment, and the beginning of the blackness of darkness for ever.
2. Choose then this day, whom you will serve!
(H. J. W. Buxton, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.