They Shall Fail

1Corinthians 13:8 Charity never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 

‘Charity never faileth …’ This is the 11th New Testament prophecy in 1 Corinthians (13:8-13).

‘But whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.’ Three things that will fail or be superseded: prophecies, tongues, and knowledge.

‘Fail’ [Greek: katargeo] to make useless or void; abolish; leave unemployed (Rom. 3:3; 4:14; Gal. 3:17; 5:4). It is translated “fail,” “vanish away,” “done away” and “put away” (13:8, 10, 11). Here it literally means that when the completeness of communication and knowledge comes, tongues will be no barrier and partial knowledge will be superseded by the perfect or complete (13:9-10). People in eternity will be able to speak all the languages – or just one language – of all others in the universe, thus doing away with present-day language barriers. The partial knowledge will be superseded by perfect knowledge. It is only that which is in part that will be done away or come to an end (13:9-10).

In 1Corinthians 13:11-12 Paul further makes clear his meaning, when he compares the next life to something as far advanced over this one as adulthood over childhood; and when he declares that we now see darkly into the future, knowing only a few things, whereas then, face to face with God, we shall know other persons and things as now known by God. Don’t use this Scripture as an excuse of not knowing the Bible (2Tim. 3:16).


1Corinthians 13:1-7 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me nothing. Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity vaunts not itself, is not puffed up, Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.’ Paul here shows the possibility of exercising gifts in a backslidden condition (13:1-3), as Solomon did (Eccl. 2:9).

‘Tongues of men and of angels’ – This suggests that those who speak with tongues could be using earthly and angelic languages.

‘Charity’ [Greek: agape] spontaneous and divine love, the unconditional love that God has for us. It is more eternal than gifts. Nine ingredients of divine love: Patience- love passive: no hurry; suffers long; bears, believes, hopes, and endures all things (13:4, 7). Kindness- love in action: never acts rashly or insolently; not inconsistent, puffed up, or proud (13:4). Generosity- love in competition: not envious or jealous (13:4). Humility- love in hiding: no parade; no airs; works then retires (13:4). Courtesy- love in society: does not behave unseemly; always polite; at home with all classes; never rude or discourteous (13:5). Unselfishness- love in essence: never selfish, sour, or bitter; seeks only good of others; does not retaliate or seek revenge (13:5). Good temper- love in disposition: never irritated; never resentful (13:5). Righteousness- love in conduct: hates sin; never glad when others go wrong; always gladdened by goodness to others; always slow to expose; always eager to believe the best; always hopeful, always enduring (13:6-7). Sincerity- love in profession: never boastful and conceited; not a hypocrite; always honest; leaves no impression but what is strictly true; never self-assertive; does not blaze out in passionate anger, nor brood over wrongs; always just, joyful, and truthful; knows how to be silent; full of trust; always present.

Do These Things – You Shall Never Fall

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall 2Pet. 1:10 KJV

Christians are warned to give diligence to meeting certain terms of God lest they fall into sin and be lost. The theory that God will not punish, judge, and condemn His people when they backslide and persist in sin and rebellion has no foundation in any attribute, act, promise, prophecy, covenant, or revelation of God. He has been just and good to all in all ages. He is completely impartial; nothing can cause Him to act contrary His nature as He has revealed it. God has given hundreds of warnings for men not to backslide lest they die in their sin and rebellion and suffer the fate of all sinners. Heb. 6:1-2, 4-9; 2:1-4; 10:26-29; 2Pet. 2:20-22; Rev. 2:5  If we do the things mentioned here, we will never fall.  Let’s have a look at what they are:

According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  2Pet. 1:3-7 KJV

Through God’s divine power we are given ALL THINGS that pertain unto life and godliness! HOW?  Through the knowledge of Him that hath called us!  By getting to know God as our love grow in relationship with Him when we read and implement the Word in our lives, Php. 1:9-11 He enables us through His power to get the things that is relevant to life and godliness.  Never that which is sinful or that can lead to temptation. Jas. 1:2-16 We were called to glory and virtue, that which is attained when answering the call on our lives Acts 10:34, 35; John 3:16-20 to follow in Christ’s footsteps 1Pet. 2:21 when we make the decision to represent Him on earth.. John 14:10-12

AFTER we have escaped the corruption that is in this world through lust, we are then given exceeding great and precious promises that we might be partakers of the divine nature!  With diligence Christian virtues are added to our precious faith; 2Pet. 1:1; Rom. 10:17 and to virtue knowledge; Php. 1:9-11  And to knowledge temperance; Gal. 5:22 and to temperance patience; Gal. 5:22 and to patience godliness Tit. 2:11-12 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 1Cor. 13:4

Verse 8 says that if these things are flourishing in us, then we shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  And an important warning follows in verse 9:

But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins

I choose to be diligent, making my “calling and election sure,” declaring that I will do these things so that I may never fall. In Jesus Name, amen.