Paul wrote that when perfection comes, the gifts of prophecy and knowledge will pass away (1 Cor. 13:8). What could this state of perfection, maturity, and clarity refer to, that will make prophecies and knowledge stop?
It could refer to the Completion of the Scriptures. However, there will still be the gifts of prophecies and knowledge in the future millennial kingdom (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17; Rev. 11:3). (MacArthur, 1750). If the completed Scriptures will make prophecies and knowledge stop, then why will it still continue in the millennial rule of Christ?
Yes, we now have the completed Word of God. Yet our understanding of it is yet partial and imperfect (1 Cor. 8:3; 13:9-10). We still know in part, thus needing to know the Word more. That’s why I think we still need the gift of knowledge for this age.
It could refer to the 2nd Coming of Christ. However, there will still be many preachers and teachers with the gifts of prophesying and knowledge in the Millennial Kingdom (Isa. 29:18; 32:3; Joel 2:28; Rev. 11:3). (MacArthur, 1750)
I think this state of perfection, maturity, and clarity refers to the Coming Glory or what theologians call, the “eternal state.” A story is told of a man who loved his riches and gold. When he died, he carried his gold with him on the way to heaven. An angel met him and said, “Why do you carry asphalt to heaven? In heaven, your gold is the asphalt that we walk on.”
In heaven, we shall walk on streets of gold. But that is not the glory of heaven. The glory of heaven is to see Christ. It refers to that day in glory when we shall see Him face to face. Paul wrote, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face” (1 Cor. 13:12, ESV). “They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads” (Rev. 22:4, NKJV). In glory, in the eternal new heavens and new earth, we shall know fully and perfectly. In this eternal state, we will be fully grown as spiritual adults, leaving our limited childish understanding behind.
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