Summary: There will come to all an end to our existence in this world, either by physical death or the return of Jesus Christ by which judgment will come to all.
An Appointed Time
Text: Hebrews 9:27-28
We are going to examine an uncomfortable topic this morning, one that we tend to ignore throughout all stages of life. When we are young we tend to not even give this topic a second thought as it is so foreign to the vigor of youth. At middle-age we are simply to busy to give it any serious thought. And at the twilight of life, in our old age, is seems there are so many evidences of it that we just don’t want to think about it at all.
Our message for this morning deals with the topic of mortality, the quality or state of being mortal, our being subject to death.
I’d like to mention two names to you this morning: Michael Victor Pyper and Edward Philip Ward. I heard about these two men last night in a teaser for the News at Ten. I call them men but legally Michael was not an adult, he would have been 18 today. Edward was 84; he was an adult for a number of years. I speak of both in the past tense because both of these men lost their lives this weekend. Michael died in a crash Friday night; Edward was killed crossing the east bound lanes of State Route 52 yesterday. Michael had just left a High School football game and Edward had stopped along the side of the freeway to take pictures of the Tierrasanta hills.
Both of these deaths are tragic in their own right and their announcement together, one life ended when barely begun, one life ended when not nearly done, was stunning to me. I had a cascade of emotion and images in my mind which culminated into a truth of the human condition: life may end at any time followed then by another absolute, life will end at some time.
Which brings us to our lesson today, consider with me
Hebrews 9:27 ( NASB ) And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,
I. Mortality Is Not By Chance: (v27a)
A. Death is by divine appointment.
1. We are not subject to physical death because of physical laws.
a. Physical death was not a condition of our creation but was appointed (assigned, decreed, given) to man to die.
b. Genesis 3:19 By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”
B. The appointment was made due to sin
1. By the sin of Adam, death came to mankind.
b. Romans 6:23a ( NASB ) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2. The appointment falls to everyone.
a. “No one gets out alive.”
b. The end of life on this physical plane is guaranteed to everyone no matter their station or place in life.
c. Young, old, rich or poor; no matter your genetics, no matter your heritage – all will face the end of their days on this earth.
d. Good or bad, righteous or wicked, life will end at some time. Read Luke 13:1-5
II. After Death Comes Judgment (v27b)
A. Also appointed to everyone
1. All will stand before the judgment seat (Romans 14:10)
Romans 14:12 ( NASB ) So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.
a. 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NASB) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
b. Hebrews 10:31 ( NASB ) It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
B. Terrifying for some but not for all
Romans 5:18-19 ( NASB ) So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
III. No Fear For Those In Christ
A. By His sacrifice we may be cleansed.
1. 1 John 4:10 (NASB) In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.