For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.1 Corinthians 15:25(NASB)
Much in Paul's writing relates to the here and now, but there are passages that deal with events which are over a thousand years into the future, some of which take place at the end of Christ's millennial rule on earth, and much in 1 Corinthians 15 fits into this category, including this verse which states: "For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet." But we have to find out when this event takes place!
Explaining future events required Paul to confirm things from the past, and the first section of the chapter lays out various proofs and a series of logical arguments for the resurrection of the dead. There is not only a 'resurrection to life' for the redeemed but also a 'resurrection to condemnation' for the unsaved. Paul started his line of reasoning by proving that Christ was raised from the dead.
Indeed, our salvation depends on Christ's Resurrection. Old Testament Scripture prophesies about it and offers valid, theological explanations concerning it. Also, we are reminded that following His Resurrection, the Lord Jesus was seen alive by over 500 eyewitnesses, many of whom were still living when Paul wrote his epistle. It is because Christ rose from the dead and broke the power of death that we too will rise to life immortal.
Paul wanted his reader to know for certain that Christ's Resurrection guarantees our own resurrection, for He is the First-fruit from the grave. He is the first to rise from the dead. And having outlined the gospel concerning Christ's victory over death and the certainty of our resurrection, we discover that the Church is the first group to be raised 'at His coming'. Church-age believers already in their graves will be resurrected in the Rapture 'at His coming'.
The question is often asked: If Christ won the victory over Satan, sin, death, and hell, then why is he still at large and why do Christians still die if they have been saved from death and hell? The simple answer is that death must claim the life of all who are physically born in-Adam, and death will continue to claim the life of its victims until the end of the millennial rule of Christ, when all His enemies will be placed under His feet. They will all be judged at the Great White Throne Judgement seat, including the last enemy which is death.
The previous verses explain that Christ will return to earth at the end of the Tribulation period when He will rule and reign for 1000 years, at the end of which He will put all His enemies under His feet: "Then comes the end, when Christ will have delivered up the kingdom to God, the Father, when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power, for He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet."
Jesus must reign on earth until He has defeated every enemy. His rule will continue until all earthly dominion, which was lost by Adam, is restored to God - and He will make a new heaven and a new earth. Although Christ won the victory over two thousand years ago, it will not be finalised until the end of His millennial rule. Although Church-age saints who have died will be resurrected 'at His coming' when: "We who are alive and remain will be caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air." Old Testament saints and those who are saved in the Tribulation and martyred for their faith, will remain in their graves until the end of the seven-year Tribulation period.
Having explained that Christians will be resurrected and raptured before the 70th week of Daniel, Paul passes right over the Great Tribulation, the resurrection of Old Testament saints, the return of Christ after Armageddon, and His entire 1000-year rule on earth, to a particular event at the very end of His millennial rule. At this time, Jesus will hand back the kingdom that was lost by Adam, to God the Father, after having put down all rule and all authority and power: "For He must reign until He has put ALL His enemies under His feet."
Heavenly Father, what an amazing plan of redemption You have purposed, and how I praise and thank You for telling me the end from the beginning. Thank You for the Scriptures that teach and train, encourage and comfort. Thank You for Paul's detailed discourse on the Resurrection and the wonderful truth that because Jesus lives, I too will be raised to life immortal. Help me to live a life that honours Your name. I look forward to the day when Christ comes to take me to be with Himself and ask that You help me to occupy until that glorious day. In Jesus' name, AMEN.