Thankful The Future Is Secured Bill D. Whittaker September 1, 2006 Hebrews 9:24-28 A car accident occurred in the small town where I was a pastor. A mother and three children from out-of-town were injured and taken to the emergency room. I was called to the hospital and asked to wait with the nine-year-old daughter. I tried to calm her and give assurance. She asked me several times, “Are we going to live?” Her question has often come to mind over the intervening years; as far as life is concerned I could have answered her question with a no. That is the truth from Hebrews 9: 27 – It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. We must face life’s greatest certainty – death. We might forget an appointment made with the hair salon, or the auto mechanic, but death is an appointment we can’t miss. It doesn’t matter what you have planned on the schedule; this appointment takes precedence. You can’t fail to show up for it; you can’t forget it. People keep trying, like those who have membership in a cryonics mausoleum – “freezing morgues” – they’ll thaw you out later when a cure is available and you can go on living. However, freezer burn doesn’t sound too good. We do not know how, when or where death will come. It might come quietly and calmly like Joseph, Joshua and Solomon. It might come tragically like Eli who fell and broke his neck, or Absalom who didn’t look where he was going and hung himself in a tree. You might be killed like John the Baptist, the victim of a woman’s wrath. You might die in remorse like Zedekiah who witnessed the death of his two sons and then had his eyes gouged out. The how, when and where are secondary; we must face the certainty of death. “For dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:19). Are you ready for this appointment? We must prepare for the judgment that follows death. After death we face another appointment – judgment. Webster was once asked the most significant English word; he answered “accountable.” Many people live as if there is no accountability. Kenneth Lay wrongfully operated the Enron Corporation and continued to live in luxury after his conviction. Waiting for the judge to pronounce his sentence he died of a massive heart attack. Was he prepared for the final judgment? Death is itself a judgment. Adam and Eve were driven from the garden and access to the tree of life as judgment for their sin. That judgment has passed upon all of us sinners (Rom. 5:17, 6:23). Beyond physical death is the “second death,” eternal separation from God. Which word will you hear at that judgment? “Welcome, you blessed of my Father!” or “Depart, I never knew you.” Maybe you are saying, ‘It doesn’t matter, preacher; when death comes that’s the end.” On what authority can I rest that statement? Prepare for death and judgment with Christ. I’ve decided to take the word of Jesus who went through death, arose to life and “to those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (v. 28). The word “appear” occurs three times in the text (vv. 24, 26, 28). Warren Wiersbe (The Bible Expositor Commentary, Vol. 2, 312) describes these as the “three tenses of salvation” and all are based on Christ’s finished work. Because Christ obediently appeared “to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself,” all who know Christ in repentance and faith can face death and the judgment without fear. For what are you waiting – that big opportunity, that special someone, retirement? Some people are just waiting to die – actually, they’ve never really lived. Some carelessly or deliberately choose death, with no security for a meaningful future. In this Thanksgiving season all who know Christ can be thankful our future is secured. We eagerly wait for Him and the completion of the work started when we first believed. ___________________Sermon brief provided by: Bill Whittaker, President of Clear Creek Baptist Bible College in Pineville, KY Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.