Copyright ©2018 Keith Holder, Rays of Light Bible Lessons. All Rights Reserved.

Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE FINAL APPOINTMENT

Hebrews 9:27-28 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

It is appointed unto men once to die. The appointment of death has been made for all mankind; it must be kept. God made this appointment immediately after the sin of Adam and Eve. God told Adam, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return (Gen. 3:17-19).

The apostle Paul confirmed this in his letter to the Christians at Rome. He wrote, Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (Rom. 5:12). The Psalmist asked this rhetorical question: What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death (Psalm 89:48)? The writer of Ecclesiastes, thought to be the wise Solomon, emphatically tells us that all go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again (Eccl. 3:20), and again, then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it (Eccl. 12:7).

As is the case of all mankind, so Jesus Christ did not fail to meet His appointment with death. His death took the form of a sacrifice - Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. Animal sacrifices were offered many times periodically under the old law for the atonement of sins. Sacrifices were required for individuals, families, and the whole Jewish nation. Sacrifices were required daily, weekly, monthly, and annually. Sacrifices were required for various sacred days, weeks, and longer periods of celebration. However, under the New Covenant Jesus Christ was the only atoning sacrifice that was necessary. It was sufficient for all people, both Jew and Gentile, and it was sufficient for all ages of time. As a human being, it was not possible for Jesus to be sacrificed many times for all occasions. He could die only once, and therefore, once was sufficient for eternity.

Certainly, death is the inevitable lot of all men and women. This is, indeed, true of all with these few exceptions. First Enoch did not die, for God took him (See Gen. 5:18-24). Secondly, Elijah did not see physical death on earth. He was translated by a whirlwind into heaven (See 2 Kings 2:1-11). Thirdly, all that are alive at the coming of Jesus on the Day of Judgment will not experience physical death, but will be changed into a form suitable for inheriting the eternal life that follows physical life on earth (See 1 Cor. 15:50-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-17).

Considering these exceptions, is death the final appointment of all mankind? No! Death is an appointment that must be kept, but it is not our final appointment. Death must take place (or for those living at the end of time, a change must take place to separate the physical body from the soul), ...but after this the judgment. The Day of Judgment is "The Final Appointment" that all men and women of the earth must keep. It cannot be delayed or avoided. It is sure! It is the day appointed when God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil (Eccl. 12:14). Jesus, also told us of that appointed day, When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth His sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left (Matt. 25:31:33). The apostle Paul assured the Christians at Corinth, and all that read his epistle, of this appointed Day of Judgment. He wrote, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad (2 Cor. 5:10).

It was on Mars Hill that Paul told the men of Athens to repent. Why? Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead (Acts 17:30b-31). By God's appointment, all must die, but "The Final Appointment" that we all must keep is Judgment Day!