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Intro: The writer of Hebrews is telling his readers that Jesus Christ is a better sacrifice. He wants them to know that the salvation Jesus purchased when He died on the cross is real, powerful and perfect. Jesus is better than the Law with all its sacrifices. His blood is better than all the blood of all the sacrifices offered since the dawn of time. The day Solomons Temple was dedicated, so many animals were sacrificed that they could not be numbered, 2 Chron. 5:6. Solomon himself sacrificed 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. The precious blood of Jesus is better than all those sacrifices.
The writer wants his readers to know that Jesus did not have to offer Himself often, v. 25. But, just as men die once, v. 27, Jesus died once, and in that one death, He purchased eternal redemption for all those who will believe in Him. The Old Testament priest and the worshippers under that old system offered many millions of animals over the years that could never take away sins, Heb. 10:11. When Jesus died, He offered one sacrifice for sins forever, and sat down on the right hand of God, Heb. 10:12, having forever finished the work of salvation. He is the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, John 1:29.
Now, for a sinner to be saved from the wrath of God is for that sinner to believe on Jesus Christ, and on His death and resurrection, Rom. 10:9. That is the primary message of this passage of Scripture.
There is another message here that has my attention today. I am interested in the phrase after this found in verse 27. This little phrase reminds us that this life we are is fleeting. The Bible writers describe the briefness of our lives in various ways. James says it is like a vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away, James 4:14. Job said they are swifter than a weavers shuttle, Job 7:6. In Job 7:7, he said life was like the wind. David said that God had made his days as a handbreadth, Psa. 39:5. He prayed that God would help him to Remember how short my time is, Psa. 89:47. In Psalm 102:3 David described his days as smoke. And Peter said our days are as the grass, which withereth and the flower thereof falleth away, 1 Pet. 1:24.
These are all vivid images of the brevity of this life we now live. They remind us that we will not live in this world forever. When our lives in this world end, we continue to live on somewhere else. That is why the phrase after this is so important.
I want to point out some realities that present themselves in this passage. These realities teach us the truth that life goes on After This.
I. v. 27a AFTER THIS THERE IS AN APPOINTMENT
The word appointed is a very interesting word. It means to fix a point or to prepare. It can refer to putting one into a non-elected office. We know it as a meeting arranged ahead of time.
All of the nuances of meaning are reflected in this word. The writer is telling is that we have a meeting that has been arranged ahead of time for us by another. This is a meeting that we would not choose to attend if we had any say in the matter. In fact, we do everything we can to put off this meeting as long as possible. That is why we go to the doctor, swallow their pills, and try to take care of these bodies of clay.
No matter what we do, the day will come when we will keep our appointment. Lets spend a few minutes considering the nature of this appointment that has been arranged for us.
A. The Form Of This Appointment - It is appointed unto man once to DIE - The appointment we have is with something called death. We have the idea that death is an ending; that it refers to the cessation of life. For animals that is true, but for people, death is something else entirely.
When people die, their bodies return to the earth, but their spirits live on forever. There is a part of you that is eternal. There is a part of you that will continue to live on after your body dies. You see, death is more of a separation than it is an ending. In death, we are separated from this world, from the people we love, from this life with all its blessings and its sorrows. In death we live on, but we do not live on here.
There are only two places where spirits live on after the death of the body. One of those places is Heaven, and the other place is Hell. Those who receive Jesus Christ as their Savior and are saved by the grace of God will go to Heaven, John 14:1-3. In Heaven the saints of God will enjoy the presence of God and eternal joy in that perfect place, Rev. 21:4. Those who reject Jesus will go to Hell, where they will endure an eternity of torment and suffering because of their sins, 2 Thes. 1:8-9.
In other words, there will come a day when you will die. You will leave this world behind to either go to Heaven of to Hell, depending on what you do with Jesus Christ, John 3:16; John 8:24. That is the form of this appointment.
B. The Fixer Of This Appointment - This One Who determines when this appointment will take place is God Himself. While this verse doesnt mention this, other places in the Bible do.
· Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass, Job 14:5.
· If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come, Job 14:14.
· Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling? Job 7:1.
· So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom, Psa. 90:12.
So, there is a boundary set somewhere in the future that you will not pass. God has already determined the length of your life and He knows when this life will end.
C. The Focus Of This Appointment - As it is appointed unto MEN - These words are written to people. He is not warning angels or animals, He is warning us to be aware that our lives will end someday. God wants us to know that we are frail, fleeting flesh and that one day our time on this earth will come to an end.
This life is a time of preparation. Our years are given to us so that we might glorify God by believing on His Son and by living for Him. If you have never looked to Jesus Christ for salvation, I would challenge you to do that today. Soon, your life will end. When it does, everything will come down to one question. That question is: What have you done with Jesus? What you do with Him determines what He does with you, 1 John 5:12. If you are saved, let me challenge you to make the rest of your life the best of your life by determining in your heart to live every moment for the glory of God, 1 Cor. 15:58.
D. The Frequency Of This Appointment - As it is appointed unto men ONCE to die - With only a few exceptions, people only die once. Some have died twice, Lazarus, the widow of Nains son, Jairus daughter, the boy Elisha raised from the dead, and Tabitha, to name just a few. While these died twice, a couple of people never died. Their names are Enoch and Elijah. One day a whole group of people will leave this world without dying. They are called the Church, and they will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air on day soon, 1 Thes. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-52.
For most of us, however, death will come, and it will only come once. I would say that is a good thing! By the way, the word once forever puts to death any silly notions of reincarnation. There are no second chances at life. There is merely one life followed by death.
So, the first part of Hebrews 9:27 teaches us that there is an appointment that we will all keep. We have a date with death. Are you ready for that appointment? If not, you can be!
I. After This There Is An Appointment
II. v. 27b AFTER THIS THERE IS AN ARRAIGNMENT
After we die, we have another appoint that we must keep. After we die, we will all appear before the court of Heaven. We will all stand before God and face Him in judgment. Lets examine this arraignment.
A. The Timing Of This Arraignment - After we keep our appointment with death, there is another appointment after that. Death, as I said earlier, is not the end. The Bible clearly says, but AFTER THIS the judgment.
The word judgment is another interesting word. It comes from the word that gives us our word crisis. Originally, it was a medical term that referred to the turning point in a disease. It was the moment of crisis. It was that moment when the patient took a turn for the better and lived, or when they took a turn for the worse and headed off to keep their appointment with death.
After we die there will come a moment of crisis. We will all face God with the deeds done in this life. Redeemed saints will face Him, 2 Cor. 5:9-11; Rom. 14:10-12. Lost sinners will face Him, Rev. 20:11-15. We will all stand before the Lord and face the lives we have lived and the choices we have made, John 5:25-29.
B. The Terror Of This Arraignment - The writer calls this arraignment the judgment. We dont like the idea of judgment. We dont like to think about someone passing sentence on us. Christ will judge us after we die. The saints of God will be judged according to their works, and they will either receive rewards or loss of rewards. 1 Cor. 3:10-15. The lost will be judged in their sins and will be cast into the lake of fire, Rev. 20:11-15. That is why the writer of Hebrews says, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, Heb. 10:31.
C. The Testimony Of This Arraignment - The words after this remind us clearly that we should not presume on this life. This life will end and we will go out into eternity. The truth that there is a Judgment Day out there in our futures ought to cause us to wake up and take a look at the way we are living.
Are you ready to meet God? If you were to die today and you were called to stand before Him how would you meet Him? Would you meet Him as one who is saved, trusting in Jesus and living for the Lord? Would you meet Him as a lost person who has consistently rejected His love and His Son? Would you meet Him as one who claims to be saved, but who actually lives for yourself?
There will come a day of reckoning. Be ready when that day comes! Come to Jesus Christ for salvation. Come to Jesus Christ in repentance. Come to Jesus Christ in humility, dedicating your life to do His will, whatever it may be!
I. After This There Is An Appointment
II. After This There Is An Arraignment
III. v. 28 AFTER THIS THERE IS AN AMAZEMENT
A. The Amazement Of Our Substitute - Just as people are appointed to die once, the Lord Jesus Christ died once. He died on a cross, not because He deserved to die. He did not die because He had broken any laws. He did not die because He had sinned. He never sinned and He perfectly kept the law of God. When Jesus died, He died to bear the sins of many.
The sins of His people were laid on Him and took them away through His agony on the cross, Isa. 53:4-6. He took our place and was judged by God as our substitute, 1 Cor. 5:21. Now, because of His death, sinners like us can be redeemed from our sins, 1 Pet. 1:18-19. We can be washed whiter than snow, Isa. 1:18; Rev. 1:5. We can be saved by grace, Rom. 10:9, 13. And all of our sins can be forgiven, Col. 2:13-14; Psa. 103:12; 1 John 1:7.
What a amazing thing it will be to leave this world through the door of death and step into His presence in glory. Not because we deserve to be there, but because He took our place and died to save us. He is an amazing Substitute.
B. The Amazement Of Our Savior - After this, He shall appear unto them that look for Him. Right now the heart of the child of God longs to see the Lord Who loved them and died to save them. One day that desire will be fulfilled and we will look upon His face. On that day, we will stand before our God and be accepted by Him because of what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross. By the way, if you are not looking for Him, He is not coming for you!
If you are saved, Jesus is coming for you one day. He will take you home to Heaven, to meet His Father, and there we will spend eternity in His presence. That is good news!
One of the amazing things about our Savior is that He makes us acceptable to God right now. Eph. 1:6 says that He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.
I told you a little while ago that Jesus was a better sacrifice, and He is. Under the Old Testament Law, a man had to bring a perfect sacrifice. It was to be without spot of blemish. It was to be perfect. Now, when that man brought that sacrifice, he himself might be blind, deaf, crippled, or deformed. It did not matter! The Lord received that perfect sacrifice in that sinners place and God no longer looked at that sinner, He looked at the sacrifice. That sacrifice stood in the place of the sinner.
Thats is just how it is for whose who are in Jesus Christ! The Lord does not look at us any longer; He looks at the Lamb. I will never be holy enough in myself to be accepted by God, but He accepts Jesus, and I am in Jesus, so I am accepted in the Beloved! That is an amazing thing!
C. The Amazement Of Our Salvation - The writer says that he shall appear the second time without sin unto salvation. This means that when the Lord comes again, He is coming without reference to sin. In other words, when He died on the cross, He did everything that was necessary to deal with sin forever. When He comes again, there will be no cross. When He comes for His people he is not coming for sinners, but He is coming for His saints. When He comes, He will complete forever the process of salvation.
He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, Eph. 1:4. He died on the cross to redeem us from our sins. He saved us by grace when we responded to His call. He changed us and is in the process of sanctifying us day by day. When He comes again, He will change us into His image. He will cause the flesh to drop away forever, and He will make us like Himself, 1 John 3:1-3. That is an amazing salvation.
Conc: What are you going to do after this? Most will go eat lunch. After that some will take a nap, visit family, or engage in some other activity. I hope you will come back tonight.
The bigger question is this: What are you going to do after this? what are you going to do after this life? Where will you spend eternity? Are you ready for Jesus to come for you? Are you living for Him? Where will you be after this?