Six times you find the word abolish or abolished in your Bible. Abolish in the Merriam Webster dictionary is defined as “to end the observance or the effect of (something, such as a law): to completely do away with (something); Annul. You will find, in the references that we study, that the word abolish is used both ways, to end the effect of or to completely do away with.
We’ll study all the references so that you can see what Jesus Christ has abolished and how he abolished it, what he will abolish, and what will never be abolished.
Jesus abolished death – 2 Tim 1:10 – that is, he ended the effect of death. The effect of death came in with sin. God told Adam, speaking of the forbidden fruit, “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” [Gen 2:17]. Death didn’t kill Adam immediately, but it was effective immediately; it was effective “that day.” Rom 5:12 says, in part, “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin.”
When Jesus died, was buried and rose again, “he brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,” [2 Tim 1:10]. He “abolished death.” We are alive in Christ and are the current possessors of eternal life. We have a life that will never end. Our physical life will end in death if Jesus doesn’t return in out lifetimes. However, even that death is temporary. When Jesus returns for us at the rapture, “the dead in Christ shall rise,” [1 Thes 4:16-18]. Our corruptible will put on incorruption [1 Cor 15:50-55]. Death has lost its sting and victory. Eventually, death will be destroyed and completely done away with [1 Cor 15:26].
Jesus abolished the law and the vail – 2 Cor 3:13 – that is Jesus ended the effect of the law. See Rom 10:3-4. “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.” Rom 4:5 says, “to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” We don’t keep the law to be saved; we trust the one who kept the law for us to save us. When we put our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, God makes us righteous [2 Cor 5:21].
The trouble with Israel is that they are still looking at the vail and thus cannot see the glory of Christ’s righteousness and completed salvation. For us, the vail is completely done away with. For individual Jews who trust Jesus Christ to save them, the vail is abolished, as well. But for the nation of Israel, the vail remains until all Israel is saved at the return of the Lord Jesus Christ [Rom 11:25-27]. Thus, Jesus didn’t completely do away with the law, he just ended the effect of the law for those who trust Jesus Christ. You see, the law will come back into effect when God starts dealing with Israel as a nation again, during the Tribulation [Col 2:16-17; Rev 14:12].
Jesus abolished the enmity between Jews and Gentiles – Eph 2:15 – because of the law, Gentiles had no hope and were without God in the world [Eph 2:12] unless they became Jews. For example, strangers could partake of the Passover only if they were circumcised and became “as one born in the land,” [Ex 12:43, 48]. In Esther’s day, for another example, Gentiles became Jews [Est 8:17].
But after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, everyone who is born again has access to the Father [Eph 2:18] and is a member of Christ’s body [Eph 2:16] because “the middle wall of partition between us [Eph 1:14] has been broken down. In Christ, “there is neither Jew nor Greek,” [Gal 3:28]. We are the “church of God,” [1 Cor 10:32]. Peter didn’t understand this initially. But when Cornelius and his kinsmen were saved, he got it [Acts 11:12-18].
And Jesus will abolish all the idols – Is 2:18. To this day, there are false religions all over the world. They are all idolatrous because their gods are not the God of the Bible, no matter how many people tell you that “we all worship the same God.” That’s nonsense. There is only one way to the Father and that is through his Son, Jesus Christ. Read Jn 14:6 and 1 Tim 2:5. For now, the Lord has not destroyed the idols of all these false religions. But when Jesus rules the earth, “the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish.” You won’t have to worry about any Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses knocking on your door during the millennial reign of Jesus. They won’t be here.
And for Israel and their continual idolatry that you see in the Old Testament, God will put an end to all of their false gods and idols, as well. See Ezek 6:6, and its context.
But His righteousness will never be abolished – Is 51:6. Imagine that. The heavens shall vanish away, the earth shall wax old but the salvation of the Lord shall be for ever. You and I are the possessors of God’s righteousness because he made us righteous when he saved us [2 Cor 5:21]. The righteousness of Jesus Christ was imputed to us when we received Jesus as our Savior [Rom 4-5]. Therefore, since the righteousness of the Jesus will never be abolished, neither will we be abolished. We will live forever with him.
Conclusion: If you have not yet received Jesus Christ as your Savior you should do so now. The Bible says, “Ye must be born again,” [Jn 3:7]. Your religion will be abolished, your idols will be abolished. They cannot save you. But Jesus can and will save you if you will trust him. Death will no longer have an effect on you, the law will be fulfilled in you and you will be a child of God in the body of Christ waiting for the coming of the Lord.