And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: ~Hebrews 9:27
The words “after this” are used 53 times in the Bible. In general, it refers to a post event: the event immediately following one that just occurred. It gives us the idea of what is next, what to expect, and what will happen. As Christians, we should always be forward looking. We can, often times, only focus on the now and neglect to think about the next. Let us consider this morning: “after this.”
We see the former.
Life is a series of divine appointments. God appointed the day of our birth and, eventually, the day of our death. As Paul wrote Hebrews 9, he thought about the days he had lived up to that moment. Those days are former days. They are days we lived that will not be repeated again. There were days of accomplishment, days of affliction, days of anxiety, and days of anticipation. There were happy days, hurting days, and hopeful days. They are days we rejoiced, days we remember, and days we regret. The former are days we lived but will not live again.
We see the finality.
“It is appointed unto men once to die.” He didn’t emphasize once to live, but once to die. The curse of sin has placed finality upon us. Every life, sadly, will come to the end of the journey. Every life will come to its last chapter where it will be the end. What was done is done. What was unaccomplished remains unaccomplished. The clock has stopped, and the race is over. It is a universal finality: all men face their final day. It is an urgent finality. The reality of a finality presses and urges us to be sober about how we should live now and where we will go after this life.
We see the future.
“But after this the judgment.” We are told the future for every person. There is judgment coming. There is a final exam. We either pass or fail. There is the judgment of the sinner. This judgment is the Great White Throne Judgment. Every sinner will face the grim reality that he rejected every opportunity that God gave him to be saved. At this judgment, every sinner will see that his name is not written in the Book of Life and will spend all of eternity in the Lake of Fire as punishment for his sin. Then, there is the judgment of every saint. Every saved person will come to the Judgment Seat of Christ regarding rewards to be given in Heaven. There will either be reward or there will be loss. In both cases, judgment is inevitable.
We see faith.
Knowing that we will have a finality and that there is coming judgment stirs us concerning faith. “We walk by faith, not by sight.” Every Christian is on a pilgrim journey of faith. Walking by faith is trusting God to lead you step by step and day by day. The life of faith is God’s will being done on earth as it is in Heaven. The life of faith is the life that pleases God. We read that Enoch walked with God, and God was pleased. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” A sinner begins his journey of faith when he believes with all his heart that Jesus died for his sins and rose again from the dead. Finality and the future compel us to live by faith. Only a faith life will overcome the world. Like Abraham, we must be strong in faith, not doubting the promises.
“After this” means the next event. Rearrange your priorities and live each day as if it will be “after this.”
Have a prioritized God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Ezra 8-10