Summary: Will the Last Day be a day of joy or terror for you? It all depends on your relationship with Jesus. Parts: A. He came to remove sin once and for all. B. He’s entered the heavenly sanctuary to return for you who wait.

Text: Hebrews 9:24-28

Theme: Look Who’s Coming! The Sacrificed Sacrificer

A. He came to remove sin once and for all

B. He’s entered the heavenly sanctuary to return for you who wait

Season: End Times 2: Last Judgment

Date: November 8, 2009

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Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Word from God through which the Holy Spirit points us to our Savior is Hebrews 9

"For Christ did not enter into a man-made sanctuary, a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself to now appear for us before the face of God. He did not enter to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the sanctuary year after year with blood that’s not his own, since then it would be necessary for him to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world.

"But now once at the consummation of the ages for the removal of sin through his sacrifice he has appeared. As much as it’s set out for people to die once and after that judgment, so also Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time without sin for salvation for those eagerly waiting for him." (Hebrews 9:24-28)

Dear friends in Christ, fellow saints washed clean in the blood of our risen Savior:

"Look who’s coming!" little Jacob shouted. His big brother Nik’s face turned white as he saw their parents’ car pulling into the driveway. He and his friends had made a mess of the house. He hadn’t had a chance to clean up, and he wasn’t even suppose to have friends inside while his parents were gone.

Scenario two: "Look who’s coming!" little Jacob shouted. Relief spread over Nik’s face as he saw their parents’ car pulling into the driveway. In the darkness there had been such a racket in the backyard. The two brothers had huddled together in the living room, hoping for Dad and Mom to get back soon. Now they were safe.

"Look who’s coming!" Those same words can bring terror or joy. Which will it be for you when Jesus comes? Many imagine themselves to be rather indifferent about it. Even we can push those thoughts to the side busying our hearts with the concerns of the moment. But when Jesus returns, there will be no in between. It will be either terror or joy. No one will be able to ignore it. For he will come in his divine glory on the clouds with his holy angels. Like a lightning flash filling the sky, he will appear and all flesh will stand him, the Judge of all. "Look who’s coming!" Words of terror or joy?

The text from Hebrews 9 show us why those words can bring us joy, the greatest joy of all. May the Holy Spirit work that joy in you, dear friends, as we ponder his words here.

A. He came to remove sin once and for all

1. What evidence in our lives proves that sin stains us?

Now we’ve certainly made a mess of our house and life. You might not be that bad compared to a lot of people out there, but that’s not the standard of comparison, is it? The holy law of God sets the mark of perfection, the bull’s eye we are to hit. And it’s not only that we fall short when we try to hit that mark, but how often do we fail even to aim at it? Rather than aiming at what God commands as we make decisions and choices, we aim at what we think will bring us happiness or success. We aim at what might make others like us more or what might ease our pain. We aim at propping up our ego rather than glorifying God in all that we say, think, and do. How far off we are from the bull’s eye of holiness set by God’s law!

Based on what you and I have done, we fall far short of God’s approval. Like rebellious children who’ve partied while the parents were gone, what can you and I expect when our God returns to judge the living and the dead? As long as our sin clings to us, punishment and hell await us. As long as sin stains our hearts, terror fills us at Christ’s return.

Your good works cannot cover up your sin. Your effort cannot scrub out that stain. Whatever comfort you have because you’ve tried hard and done your best is a false, deceptive dream. That day of awakening when Jesus returns will shatter that dream with the terror of reality.

2. How did the sanctuary picture the way Christ removed sin’s stain?

But look at who is coming. Look at this Jesus who returns. He came once before. Look at what he did then. "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" (Hebrews 9:26-28 NIV).

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