Let’s read Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” There is an appointment that we all share, and that is our death. It may come while we are young or we may live very long lives on the earth…but we will all die. The reason we all die is found in Genesis 2:16-17, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” This reason for death is disobedience to God. Even as Eve and then Adam disobeyed the Lord and ate of the ‘forbidden fruit’, we all have sinned by disobeying God and so we also will die one day. We learn in Romans 5:12, “…by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” We have all sinned and we will all die because of our sins.

There is an exception to this rule of physical death. We find this in 1 Thessalonians 4:15, “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.” If we, who know Christ as our savior, are alive when the Lord returns to rapture His church, we will not have to experience death; we will meet the Lord in the clouds. We read in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” In both of these portions, death is described as being asleep.

After death, there is ‘the judgment’. For the believer, we shall appear before the ‘judgment seat of Christ’ (read 2 Corinthians 5:20). We read in details of that event in 1 Corinthians 3:13-15, “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” Notice that we believers are not judged. Our works are judged. For the unbeliever, his judgment will occur at the Great White Throne Judgment, where he will be judged according to his works. Revelation 20:11-12 says, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” These judgments do not happen at the moment of death, but they will both happen at some point before the eternal day begins. Are you ready? Have you put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ so that you will not have to face the judging hand of God? I urge you…before you meet your appointment of death (which could happen at any second), put your faith in the Lord Jesus for your salvation so that you will not have to face Him at the Great White Throne Judgment where the Lord will act in justice and swift punishment. (232.4)