Weekly Devotional 2-6-23 / An Appointment With God
Many people want to deny the existence of God, not wanting to accept the many Biblical and historical secular proofs that He does. To such persons I lovingly once again ask that they seriously consider and investigate their conclusions because the Bible makes this claim “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). The text in which this verse is found (Hebrews, chapter 9) speaks about the sacrifice and priestly mediation of Jesus Christ. Because of sin all persons die physically, and all are spiritually separated from God, that is they are spiritually dead toward God. The only acceptable remedy is the remedy provided by God. He shed the blood of Jesus Christ, His only begotten son to satisfy the requirements of that remedy. One must believe and commit to this truth.
Continuing on in the Book of Hebrews we read “1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.’ 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come– In the volume of the book it is written of Me– To do Your will, O God.’ 8 Previously saying, ‘Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them’ (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:1- 10).
C.I. Scofield, D.D., editor of the Scofield Study Bible, expounding on (Hebrews 9:27), wrote, “Physical death is a consequence of sin (Genesis 3:19) and the universality of death proves the universality of sin (Romans 5:12-14). Physical death affects the body only and is not cessation of existence or of consciousness (Luke 16:23; Revelation 6:9- 10). All physical death will end in the resurrection of the body (Job 19:25-26). The soul and spirit of man live on independently from the body when it dies.” Taken together, the below quoted verses attest to this truth:
Genesis 3:19 “In the sweat of thy face shall you eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it was taken; for dust you are, and unto dust shall you return.”
Romans 5:12-14 “12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.”
Luke 16:23 “And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”
Revelation 6:9-10 “9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”
The blessing for the Christian is that at the death of his body the spirit will immediately be in the presence of the Lord, having the price of their sins paid. Paul testified, “1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:1-6). And Job testified “25For I know that my redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:25- 26).
The ancients Job and Moses, the apostles John and Paul, and the physician Luke expected their spirits to live on should physical death come to them. Further, they all expected that their bodies would be resurrected. Job and Moses believed in the promise that God would justify them because of their faith in His promised Redeemer, the promise that told of their sins being placed on Him. John knew this redeemer personally, and Paul met Him by special appointment. They all knew that their sins had been judged and dealt with, but it is not so for those who will not believe God and turn to Him for salvation. Their sin must still be dealt with. This is why the writer of Hebrews wrote, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” This need not be. Join Job, Moses, John, Paul, and millions of others who have put their faith in God’s promise!
The body of the believing person will also die but he or she will not be judged for their sins, that has been borne by Jesus Christ. There is no double jeopardy. There is only one payment for sin, and Jesus paid it.
A staff writer at Got Questions.org writes: The judgment seat of Christ involves a time in the future when believers will give an account of themselves to Christ. This is the plain teaching of Scripture: “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). This admonition is to Christians, not unbelievers. As Jesus taught in His parable, the king is going to return, at which time he will require an account from his servants (Luke 19:11–26).
The judgment seat of Christ is different from the Great White Throne Judgment. That will be the final judgment of the wicked prior to their being cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11–15). Appearing before the Great White Throne will be unbelievers. Believers will appear before the judgment seat of Christ.
The judgment seat of Christ does not determine our salvation; that matter was settled by Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf (1 John 2:2) and our faith in Him (John 3:16). All our sins are forgiven, and there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).
Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of man