14th March, 2019
IPR DAILY DEVOTION
Topic: IS EVERYONE APPOINTED TO DIE?
Hebrews 9:27-28 (KJV)
 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
It’s important that we always look at verses of Scripture within the context of the chapter, or sometimes the book of the Bible in which it appears. A portion of Scripture that has been misquoted, and therefore misapplied by many Christians, is our theme Scripture for today.
The book of Hebrews chapter 9 begins by comparing the Tabernacle of Moses with the Tabernacle in heaven. The high priest of the Old Testament went alone into the holy of holies of the earthly Tabernacle once every year. Hebrews 9:7 (KJV) says, “But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people.” All those sacrifices were a shadow of the real sacrifice, which is Jesus Christ. Unlike the high priest under the Old Testament who offered the blood of animals for himself, and for the errors of the people, Jesus, under the New Testament, was both the High Priest and the sacrifice; He offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice, once and for all, to take away the sins of humanity.
The actual context of our theme Scripture starts from Hebrews 9:25. Since Christ was the High Priest and at the same time the sacrifice, He couldn’t have offered Himself every year, as the high priests under the Old Testament did; He could only offer Himself once, since men die once. The verse 26 says, if it was the case of offering Himself every year, then, Christ must have suffered often since the foundation of the world; but He appeared once to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Then, the verse 27 says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Take note of the punctuation marks. There’s no full stop in verse 27. It’s not a categorical statement, that, “It is appointed unto men once to die.” But that’s the way many of us quote this verse. It was an analogy, that, just as men die once, Christ couldn’t have died several times. Hence, the verse 28 says, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Take note that there’s still no full stop after the phrase, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many;” It’s a semi-colon. The real import of verses 27 and 28 is the last statement, “...and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” This was the real message, but we have misquoted and misapplied the initial analogy, and neglected the actual message.
We don’t even have enough space to discuss the real message; we can do that in our next devotion. But suffice it to say that, it is not everyone who has been appointed to die. So long as we keep misquoting this verse, expecting that everyone should die before he/she goes to heaven, God will allow it, because that’s our expectation. The generation of believers who will embrace the actual message and work towards that goal, is the generation that will be alive till Christ comes. This is a mystery, yet to be unraveled by the 21st Century Church.