Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of February 25, 2007

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.

All of us have an appointment that has been made for us. We don’t know when the appointment is but we know that it will involve a funeral. I get up many mornings and wonder how many people will be keeping their appointments unexpectedly that day. I often wonder whether if I will be the one to keep that appointment through an accident or through an unknown health problem.

I suppose that this statement in Hebrews 9:27 is a general statement because there are some people who have died twice and there are some people who will not die at all. Those who have died twice are those who were raised from the dead and then died again. In the New Testament we would have the raising of the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:15). Also, the ruler of the synagogue’s daughter (Luke 8:53-55) was raised from the dead as was Lazarus (John 11:44). Peter raised Dorcas from the dead (Acts 9:41) and Paul raised Eutychus who had fallen out of a window because he had gotten sleepy while Paul was preaching (Acts 20:9-10). Those who will never die would be those who are alive and remain at the coming of the Lord for the church (1 Thessalonians 4:13, 1 Corinthians 15:51). But these are exceptions to the general rule that all must die once because of sin. This reminds us to look at verses in the context of the whole Bible as we decide how they should be interpreted.

In our passage there is one appointment, one sacrifice that prepares us for that appointment, and two comings of the Lord. I have recently been involved in the funeral of a very close friend. It was comforting to know that she left a clear testimony that she had trusted in that one offering for sin. There is no other sacrifice that has satisfied God. Trusting in the Lord Jesus who was offered as the sacrifice for our sins is the only way to prepare for the appointed day of our death and for the Lord’s second coming.

Carrying out ceremonies such as baptism and the Lord’s supper does not prepare us for our appointment, even though they are ways that the saved should worship the Lord. Joining a church will not prepare us even though the saved need to join together in a Biblical fellowship to support one another. Good works cannot prepare us although Christians demonstrates their faith by their good works (James 2:18). A preacher cannot prepare us for that appointment. He can only tell us of the One who can.

Some people assume that it doesn’t make any difference as to what we believe as long as we are sincere and try to live right. I believe that what and who we believe will determine our eternal destines when it comes to keeping our set appointment. John 3:18 says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” God has given us one lifetime to get this right and an eternity to regret it if we do not get prepared for that one appointment and the Lord’s second coming by trusting in Lord who became the one offering for our sin. What we believe will make all the difference in the world when we keep our appointments.

Bruce Collins

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