Summary: This is the 5th sermon in the series "Jesus Is Better- The Better Covenant".
Series: Jesus Is Better- The Better Covenant [#5]
IT COULD BE YOU
One of the most difficult things I have to deal with as a pastor is death. Each time I get a call that someone has died or is near death, it always comes to mind that “it could be me”. In those situations that the person is in their late 70’s or 80’s I can say that they were given a long life here on this earth, but it is those times that I notice a friend of mine in school shows up in the obituary or notice that someone may own age died; I then realize very quickly that this could have been me. I remember visiting a man that told me on a Friday night that the doctor was sending him home the next day and getting a call the next morning that he had died. It could have been me. As many of you know, Jim Laster was a very close friend and great mentor to me in the ministry. When he died, his family gave me all of Jim’s sermons that he had preached through the last 25 years. Now I do want you to know the way he wrote sermons makes it impossible for me to use them anymore that I would a commentary, so they are really more of a sentimental value than anything. As I was preparing for this sermon, I looked in the Hebrews folder and this sermon was there. As I looked at the date he preached it, I noticed that he was going to preach it again the week before he died. He never got to preach this again, but how fitting because it could have been you or I.
Hebrews 9:23-28 (NIV)
“It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
? Death is certain.
Adam and Eve died. Abraham was the father of a great nation, but he died. Noah built the ark, but he died. No human power can stop the hand of death. Medical science can’t save a person from death. Greatness is no match for death. Wealth is no match for death. Goodness cannot save a person from death.
We all are just but a step towards death. Unless Jesus comes back before you die, you will go through the experience of death. The power of death is certain. You may be next or I may be next.
All through the Bible, the Lord is warning us, “Be careful what you believe and how you live. Judgment is waiting for every person.” In the Book of Revelations we are told that when Christ mounts the judgment throne people will cry out for rocks and mountains to fall on them and hide them from God and His wreath. People may think that they can get away with sin here on this earth. They may neglect salvation or laugh at the pleas of preachers to come to Jesus, but some day they must face God and give an account of their life.
The Bible speaks of 2 judgments. 1st, the judgment for the Christian. This will not be judgment to determine whether they are saved or lost because you were saved the moment that you repented of your sins and trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior. This judgment is a judgment of our works on earth. If they were for God’s glory you shall receive a reward and if it was not for God’s glory it will be burned up.
2nd, the judgment for the unsaved person which is called the Great White Throne Judgment. The unsaved does not appear there to have it decided whether they are going to heaven or hell. They already made that decision when they rejected Jesus Christ. They are there to have their works on earth judged and then punished.