"As all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive. But every man [of those in Christ to be made alive will get life] in his own order [company or band]: the first fruits, Christ [The head, Jesus; the body, the faithful "Church, which is his body"], afterward those who are Christ's at [during] his presence" [Greek, parousia.]—1 Cor. 15:22,23.
We thus correct the translation of a passage very frequently misused to prove the everlasting salvation of all men irrespective of their acceptance of Christ as their Redeemer and King. But as here translated this passage is in perfect accord with the remainder of the Bible, which everywhere declares that, "He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."—1 John 5:12; John 3:36.
But, aside from the testimony of other scriptures, we call attention to the facts that the Greek text supports the above translation and that no other view of verse 22 could be reconciled with the context, verses 23,24. Note carefully that the expression, "But every man in his own company," refers to the all who are to be made alive. Then notice that but two companies are specified. The chief of these is mentioned first, and includes the Redeemer and all of the Gospel age overcomers who are now having fellowship in "his sufferings"—"his death"—and who shall be accounted worthy also to have share in "his resurrection," a resurrection to the immortal glories of the divine [R1437 : page 253] nature. (Compare 2 Pet. 1:4; Phil. 3:10,11.) The second company includes, specifically, "those who are Christ's in [the time of] his presence." And these two companies are the "all" of verse 22, who are to be made alive in Christ. Could language show more clearly than this does that none are to be made alive (in the full, complete sense in which the word "alive" is here used) except those who in this age become the Redeemer's Bride or in the next age become his children—begotten through faith and developed through obedience?
The difficulty with many, however, is that they have never noticed the full sense of the words life and made alive in the Scriptures. The whole world is reckoned as already dead—because under sentence of death through Adam—and unless they eat [assimilate and appropriate by faith] the flesh [sacrificed humanity] of the Son of Man, they have no life and can have no life. And those who do so "eat" are said to pass from death unto life now, reckonedly; but the actual making alive of such, as stated in our text, will be in the Resurrection morning. And so it will be with the world in general during the Millennium: when awakened from the sleep of death they will still be unjustified, condemned, dead. But they will be awakened by the great Redeemer in order that each may have the offer of everlasting life, on condition of becoming Christ's, accepting his gracious work for them in the past and his regulations for their future. Thus they may "eat" his flesh—appropriating his merit and receiving thereby his strength and life. They will be accounted or reckoned as living from the time that they begin to "eat," but they will not be made alive, perfect, until the close of the Millennial age of trial or testing.