By Todd Pekel


"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Eccl. 3:1). These words, though written long ago, ring loud and true yet today. More and more I see this mortal life as a series of seasons or time frames of reference. Indeed, there is “a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Even now, as we fully enter the holiday season, we know that it too will pass and time will continue its relentless march toward its date with destiny, when time will be no more.

1 Corinthians 15:24-28:
Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Until God is “all in all,” there will be a season for everything. Until God is “all in all,” there will be a time for every purpose under the heaven, “according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:11).

What about death, one asks? As we read above, death is the last enemy that will be destroyed. What is truly amazing is “that through death, he might destroy him that had the power of death” (Heb. 2:14b). Death, the Scriptures say, is “swallowed up in victory.”

1 Corinthians 15:51-54:
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

This “swallowing up” takes place in our resurrection. Of course our resurrection is dependent upon the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:20-24:
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

Jesus Christ couldn’t have been raised, if he hadn’t first died.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4:
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Our Lord could not have died, if he wasn’t first born.

Luke 2:9-11:
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Of course, he couldn’t have been born, if he hadn’t first been conceived.

Luke 1:30-33:
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Our Lord’s birth was indeed at “a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Eccl. 3:1b). As we remember and celebrate our Lord’s birth during this season let us be mindful of the ultimate victory we have in him who “hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:9b).

1 Corinthians 15:57-58:
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Let us be thankful for all the seasons we pass along the way to when time shall be no more and we enter the final, eternal season of our manifest immortality in Christ. Until then, however, let us be comforted knowing that “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Eccl. 3:1).



From the December 2001 issue of The Vine & Branches