There are three appointments that each of us will be faced with. The first appointment is one none of us can avoid. The second appointment will depend upon our response to the third appointment…
1) The First Appointment: The Day Of Death
The Bible teaches that everyone who has ever lived or will ever live will face this appointment (except for two Old Testament individuals, Enoch and Elijah, and those believers still alive at the time of the rapture) – there is no avoiding it. We don’t know when each of us will die, but the day of our death is appointed by God!
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Ecclesiastes 8:6-8 Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him. For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be? There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.
Job 14:5 Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with Thee, Thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;
Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
Death entered this world as a result of Adam’s and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden. (See Genesis 3) Death is what our sin deserves – according to God. Because all of mankind has sinned (see Romans 3:23), all of us will one day die.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, 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:
Life is uncertain; Death is sure.
Sin the cause; Christ the cure.
The Bible describes death as a separation. There are two types of death:
a) The First Death: Physical Death – separation of your spirit (and soul) from your body
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
b) The Second Death: Spiritual Death – separation of yourself eternally from God
The Bible teaches in Ephesians chapter 2 (please read this chapter if you are not familiar with it) that we are born dead in our trespasses and sins, and are already separated from God – this is because of our inherited sinful nature, passed down from Adam to all his descendents. Our own sins also separate us from Him and need to be dealt with.
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.
If we meet the first appointment without having received the gift of forgiveness and eternal life Jesus Christ offers every one of us (through repentance and faith), then we will face the second death after our physical death – eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire (Hell).
2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power;
Revelation 20:14-15 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
2) The Second Appointment: The Day Of Judgment
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Acts 17:31 Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man (Jesus Christ) whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
God will bring all our works, including our sins, into judgment. Are you prepared to have all your works judged?
Amos 4:12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.
If you were to die today, would you be ready to meet God? There is a way you can be ready…
3) The Third Appointment: The Day Of Salvation
God states within His Word that there is a time that is best for each one of us to be saved – that is the day when we are presented with the saving Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. (See 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 and Romans 1:16)
2 Corinthians 6:2 (For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
As you read this today, what will your response be? If you are not saved, God says today is your day of salvation. Will you turn to Jesus Christ today in repentance (turning from sin in your heart) and faith (trusting that Jesus paid the complete penalty that we deserve for our sin when He shed His precious blood and died on the cross for us)? (See Acts 20:21)
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Jesus bore the wrath of God for our sins when He died on the cross. If we trust in His finished work and receive His gift of salvation – believing that He died in our place – then we will not have to bear the wrath of God in Hell, but instead will spend eternity in Heaven with Him.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Romans 5:8-9 But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Today is the day that the Holy Spirit is calling you; today is the day that He is speaking to your heart. Please don’t put Him off or neglect this gift of salvation. None of us knows what tomorrow will bring. We do know that we all have an appointment with death, whether later or sooner. Don’t put this matter of salvation off for some future day that may never come – get it settled today! Today is the day that God has appointed. Today is the day of salvation.
Pr 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
James 4:13-14 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him;
When someone turns in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ and receives His gift of eternal life, the Bible teaches that they are born again at that moment (See John 3:1-18); given new spiritual life by the Holy Spirit who comes to dwell inside them; made new creatures in Christ and given a new beginning that will last for eternity.
John 1:12-13 But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
If you accept this third appointment by God (the day of salvation) by receiving Jesus Christ as your Saviour, you will be ready to face the first appointment (the day of death) because you will have the peace and assurance of Heaven that only the Lord can give you through His Word, and you will not have to face the second appointment (the day of judgment) in your sins. You will then stand before Jesus Christ clothed in His righteousness, forgiven and born again, never to face the second death (eternity in the Lake of Fire).
If you are only born once, you will die twice;
If you are born twice, you will die only once.
Running To Jesus
(Based on Mark 10:17-22)
Running to Jesus, but then stopping short
Oh listen to this message, this solemn report
Don't stop when you see Him - go on, go on
Accept the salvation found in God's Son.
Running to Jesus, but then holding back
There is only one thing you so sorely lack
Turn away from all sin that stands in your way
Come running to Jesus, come running today.
Running to Jesus - oh but time is fleeting
You also are running to that final meeting
There's an appointment with death that awaits you ahead
Find refuge in Jesus and the blood that He shed.
Running to Jesus, but that is not all
Receive Him, believe Him, and answer His call
Oh sinner, don't let it be said on that great Judgement Day
That you weren't running to Jesus - you were running away...
Poem written May 16th, 2001
Study written July 31st, 2004