151108 Hebrews 9:27-28

Last Updated on Monday, 09 November 2015 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Text: Hebrews 9:27 – 28

Theme: What Does Jesus' Appearing Mean for Me?
1. He Appeared the First Time to Take Away My Sins
2. He will Appear a Second Time to Bring Me My Salvation

In the calendar of the Christian Church we have moved in to that time know as "The Sundays of End Times". During the next three weeks we will consider the truth found in the Bible that our Almighty Lord is coming again on the great Last Day known as Judgment Day. We will rejoice that through the forgiveness of sins won for us by our Savior we will live forever as the saints triumphant in heaven. Finally, in the last Sunday of our Church Year, we will offer our praise and worship to the King of kings and the Lord of lords, our Lord and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Today, as we consider our Lord's coming to this earth, each one of us asks ourselves the question, "What does Jesus' appearing mean for me?" Based on God's Word from Hebrews chapter 9, we will see that Jesus appeared the first time to take away my sins; and that he will appear a second time to bring me salvation. Listen now as I read for you from the Second Lesson appointed for our worship this morning. I will be reading verses 27 and 28 from Hebrews chapter 9.

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

For many the thought of dying brings feelings of fear. Why fear? Because as God's Word that I just read tells us that "Man (mankind) is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment..." Death is a scaring thing for those who hear about and think about having to face eternal judgment before a holy and just God who demands perfection. Just as we aren't able to escape death, so also you and I are not able to escape judgment at the time of our death. As we read in Ecclesiastes chapter 12, "For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil."

And because of your sin and my sin each one of us should tremble at the thought of our own death and having to stand before the judgment seat of the Lord. Every bad word that we have ever spoken, every sinful thing that we have ever done, every evil thought that we have ever had, makes you and me guilty. What your sins and what my sins deserve, the Bible tells us, is to have our physical death here on this earth end with a judgment to eternal death in the flames of hell.

But, as we worship together on this Last Judgment Sunday, there is some wonderful Good News for you and me to hear. Listen again to how the writer to the Hebrews was led by the Holy Spirit to speak about that Good News, "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people." God's people in the Old Testament spent a great deal of their time offering sacrifice after sacrifice. As they offered those sacrifices, gallon after gallon of blood was poured out over the altar in the Lord's temple.

All these sacrifices pointed ahead to the Lamb of God, Jesus, who was sacrificed once and for all for all sins. Nothing more is due on our part. No more sacrifices are needed. Through his perfect life, through his blood poured out on the altar of the cross, through his innocent suffering and death, Jesus Christ won the forgiveness of your sins, my sins and the sins of the whole world. As one author has written, "The blood of Christ wipes the record clean: a sinner forgiven by God stands before him as if he had never sinned at all." King David was lead to write about the love of our Savior-God in Psalm 103 with these words, "The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." In great, undeserved love for you and me, Jesus appeared the first time to take away your sin and my sin.

At this time, I would like to read from Revelation chapter 6. As you listen to this section of God's Word, I want you to think about how it makes you feel as I read it: "I watched as he (the Lord) opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?'"

Now...what is your first reaction? For many, they hear these words and words similar to them from other portions of Scripture, and their reaction is: "What a fearful and dreadful day Judgment Day will be!" And let's be honest at this point: because of your guilt and mine, because of your sins and my sins, the great Last Day, known as Judgment Day, rightly should only be one of fear and trembling. Each and every one of us is guilty of sinning against the Lord's will. Far too often we are eager to do those things he tells us not to do; far too often we fail to do those things he commands us to do. Because of our sin, the only picture of Judgment Day that you and I have earned for ourselves is that found in the last chapter of Isaiah's prophecy, "And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind."

But, by the grace of our loving, merciful and forgiving Savior-God, there is another view of Judgment Day we are able to enjoy. The Holy Spirit led the writer to the Hebrews to comfort us with these words, "He (Jesus) will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." Jesus Christ appeared the first time to be the sacrifice for all sins. What does the second appearing of Jesus mean for you personally? It means that he will appear to bring you salvation, that is eternal life at his side in the perfect glory of heaven. You and I will be judged worthy of salvation, worthy of a place at the Savior's side, not because of anything we accomplished while here on this earth, but because your sins and mine have been washed away by the blood of our one and only Savior, Jesus Christ.

So you and I are able to look forward to Judgment Day with eager anticipation, much like a child waiting for the day of his or her birthday to come. Because of our Savior, Jesus Christ, on that final Judgment Day we will be judged worthy to to take our place in the perfect joys of heaven. As we read in Revelation chapter 7, "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: 'Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.' All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!' Then one of the elders asked me, 'These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?' I answered, 'Sir, you know.' And he said, 'These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, 'they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'"

The calendar of Christian Church year is divided into two parts: during the first half of the year we spend time reading about and talking about what Jesus Christ has done and continues to do for all of us as our one and only Savior from sin; in the second half of the Church Year the focus of our readings changes to our response to the forgiving love of our Savior-God. Now, in these last Sundays of our Church Year, once again our focus switches back to what Jesus Christ has done for each one of us. This morning each one of us has been given the opportunity to ask ourselves, "What does Jesus' appearing mean for me?" By God's grace, you and I are able to answer that question knowing the Good News of the Gospel: that Jesus appeared the first time to take away my sins and that he will appear a second time to bring me salvation at his side forever in heaven. With joyful hearts, you and I look forward to our Savior's glorious return and pray, "Come, Lord Jesus, Come!" Amen.


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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.


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