Introduction: Most of us live in a world that consists of various appointments. Some are good about keeping appointments; other tend to forget them. Hebrews 9: 27 advances two appointments set by God for man. The verse reads, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Let us briefly analyze the appointments of Hebrews 9: 27.
I. "It is appointed unto men once to die ."
A. Physical death is the result of the sin of Adam (Gen. 2: 17, ch. 3, 5: 5).
B. If the Lord does not first return, all men shall experience the appointment of death.
a. Death (thanatos) is the separation of the body and the spirit (Jas. 2: 26).
b. Notice, the writer said "once to die." Once (hapax) means "one time" (Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words). The notion often advanced by re-incarnation of multiple births and deaths is false.
II. " but after this the judgment."
A. The scriptures teach all men shall be present at the judgment (Acts 17: 30, 31, Rom. 14: 12).
B. All men will be divided into two groups, the saved and the lost (Matt. 25: 31-46).
C. Jesus himself shall be the judge (2 Cor. 5: 10).
D. We shall be judged based on our deeds (Rom. 2: 6, 2 Cor. 5: 10).
E. The words of Jesus, his teaching, shall be the standard by which you and I shall be judged.
a. Jesus said, " the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (Jn. 12: 48).
b. There should be no dread for the righteous (I Jn. 4: 17). However, the wicked have much to dread (Rev. 20: 11-15).
Conclusion: It seems to be the trend today to miss appointments. However, we will not be able to cancel death and the judgment. You and I will absolutely be present for man's ultimate appointment - the judgment. The sensible thing is to make ourselves ready for these appointments. The inspired apostle Paul wrote, "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men " (2 Cor. 5: 11). Let us be persuaded now because later will be too late. (For additonal study material, be sure to read "Death and the State of the Soul").