The End as the Wedding
When Discussing “The End” of 1 Corinthians 15 it seems interesting to me that several motifs from other texts, which are widely admitted to be synchronous with the time of the resurrection, are in fact, all but ignored in the exegesis of Paul’s resurrection discourse. One of those motifs, a critical one, is Christ’s parousia (the time of the resurrection) for his Wedding. This is a hugely important subject as it relates to the resurrection and has a direct bearing on the proper interpretation of Corinthians, and yet, the implications of that connection are seldom explored. See my We Shall Meet Him In The Air, The Wedding of the King of kings, for an in-depth discussion of the Wedding Motif, as it relates to eschatology.
Virtually all commentators agree “the end” of 1 Corinthians 15 is the time of Christ’s coming for his Wedding. I will simply take note of a few critical issues.
Paul said Christ would present the church to himself (Ephesians 5:25f). I have consulted over 50 commentators, and everyone of them agrees that the presentation occurs at the parousia, agreeing with Matthew 25:1f; Rev. 19:6f.
So, here, in a nutshell, is the problem for the postmillennial (and amillennial) world. Remember that all futurist paradigms claim that Christ surrenders his throne at his coming, i.e. the end of 1 Corinthians 15. This is a blatantly false idea. Watch the following argument carefully:
Christ’s coming in 1 Corinthians 15, at the final “the end” (being the same end / coming as in Matthew 25:31f; 1 Thessalonians 4, Rev. 19, etc.) is when he surrenders, abdicates, his throne– giving it to the Father– (amillennialism, postmillennialism).
But, the coming in 1 Corinthians 15, (Matthew 25, Rev. 19, etc.) is the time of Christ’s wedding.
Therefore, at his coming for his wedding, Christ divorces, i.e. surrenders his wife. He hands her over to the Father, is no longer married to her.
Let’s be honest here. No one says Jesus will divorce his Bride at his parousia! And yet, if the traditional claim that “the end” is when he surrenders the kingdom is true, then Jesus must divorce his Bride at the very moment he is to present her to himself! This is one of those huge disparities, one of the major self contradictions within Christian doctrine that simply has not been addressed. There is no reconciling these two positions.
The application here should be evident. Gentry says the wedding of Matthew 25 is the consummative, true end, (not a typological Wedding or end). Likewise, he says 1 Corinthians 15, “the end,” is the time of the Wedding of Matthew 25. Yet, he then says Christ married his bride in AD 70, with the New Covenant Bride fully supplanting the Old Bride. And of course, he says AD 70 was typological of the true end! Mathison seemingly agrees with this assessment, claiming Matthew 25 predicts the yet future parousia (1995, 144). Yet, he says the wedding of Revelation 21 is “being fulfilled.” I fail to see how a wedding can continue for 2000 years! (See all documentation of this in my AD 70 A Shadow of the “Real” End? in which I carefully and thoroughly refute the claims of those who claim that AD 70 was a type of the yet future parousia).
Thus, of logical necessity, Gentry, along with DeMar, McDurmon, and all those who claim that AD 70 was a shadow of the real end, creates a doctrine of two weddings, two Brides (?) and most assuredly two comings. McDurmon hints at two Brides / Weddings,( or is it two Grooms?), in his comments on Matthew 25. He applies the parable to AD 70, and the Jews: “They had missed their opportunity, not having their lamps lit. They lost all future inheritance, and were left no better than adulterers, as far as that particular Bridegroom was concerned” (Jesus V Jerusalem 2011, 29).
The position these men take demands either two weddings, two Brides, or two Grooms. They claim AD 70 was the wedding of Christ, the divorce of the Old Covenant, unfaithful bride. Well, if that was typological of the real end, we have every right to conclude that the church will one day be divorced for unfaithfulness, and Jesus will marry another bride, under a (another) new covenant. This is a loathable idea.
The problem is, if “the end” of 1 Corinthians 15 is the “real” end, and if it is the time of the Wedding of Christ, the Biblical truth is there was but one wedding foretold (Isaiah 62; Hosea 1:10f; 2:18f) at the end of the Old Covenant age, at the fall of Jerusalem (Matthew 22:1-10). That leads us to this:
The end of 1 Corinthians 15:24-25 is the consummative end, not a typological “end.”
The end of 1 Corinthians 15:24-25 is the time of the parousia of Christ for his wedding.
The coming of Christ for his wedding was in AD 70 at the destruction of Jerusalem (Matthew 22; Revelation 19– Gentry, DeMar, McDurmon, Mathison (1999, 157f– The marriage and the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21-22 is currently “being fulfilled”).
Therefore, the end of 1 Corinthians 15, the consummative end, was in AD 70, at the destruction of Jerusalem.
There is no logical, textual way to posit the wedding (not the betrothal) in AD 70 and yet, posit the wedding at the so called “real end.” We have more, so stay tuned!
Be sure to get a copy of my book AD 70, A Shadow of the “Real” End? for a complete refutation of the claims of Gentry, Mathison, McDurmon, DeMar, et. al. that AD 70 was a type or shadow of the real end.