The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Heb 9:27

The particular interpretation of Heb 9:27 for which I will be arguing below will likely be new to many, but it is not completely original. :slight_smile: It was, in fact, first advanced in 1823 by Walter Balfour, a Scottish-born American universalist from whose books and magazine articles I’ve gleaned many insights over the years. While I’ve somewhat modified and expanded upon his initial argument (as well as attempted to show how v. 28 relates to v. 27), I am very much indebted to his initial thoughts on it. (I should also add that, if this particular view turns out to be erroneous, it’s by no means the only possible interpretation that is consistent with an “ultra-universalist” theology! :mrgreen: )

Hebrews 9:27

“…it is appointed for men to die once, and after that judgment…”

What is the “judgment” (krisis) of which the author speaks here? First, it is important to note that there is no indication that this krisis involves anyone’s being punished after death, whether for an infinite or a finite duration of time. Nor is there any indication that it involves any kind of conscious experience whatsoever. And if this krisis takes place prior to the resurrection of the dead, then it most certainly doesn’t refer to this - for it cannot. From the opening chapters of the Bible we find that death is not an entrance into more life, but a termination of life. God’s complete silence concerning anything Adam and Eve would experience following their deaths strongly suggests that death would put an indefinite end to their conscious existence (Gen 3:16-19). This fact is consistent with what we are told elsewhere in the OT, where the dead are spoken of as being “no more” (Gen. 42:13, 36; Lam 5:7; Ps. 39:13; cf. Matt. 2:18).

We know that this was Job’s understanding of man’s condition after death. In chapter 3, Job laments:

“Why did I not die at birth, come out from the womb and expire? Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breasts, that I should nurse? For then I would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept; then I would have been at rest. For then I would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept; then I would have been at rest, with kings and counselors of the earth who rebuilt ruins for themselves, or with princes who had gold, who filled their houses with silver. Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child, as infants who never see the light? There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest. There the prisoners are at ease together; they hear not the voice of the taskmaster. The small and the great are there, and the slave is free from his master.” Job 3:11-19

Similarly, in Job 14:10 the following question is asked: “Man breathes his last, and where is he?” There can be no doubt that Job’s question is spoken of all people without exception; thus, to answer this question is to know what happens to all at death. Fortunately, we do not have to search far for an answer to Job’s question, for he answers it himself in the next few verses: “As water disappears from the sea, and a river becomes parched and dries up, so man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, they will not awake nor be roused from their sleep. Oh, that you would hide me in the grave [lit. [i]Sheol], that you would conceal me until your wrath is past, and that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me” (vv. 11-13). Here, Job reveals his understanding of where man is when he “breathes his last.” According to Job, he is in Sheol (i.e., the domain of death). Here, man is said to “sleep” in silence. It would appear from these verses that Job had no knowledge of a conscious existence for anyone immediately following death. Instead, Job’s hope for any kind of life after death was in a resurrection alone (cf. vv. 14-15).

Sharing a similar view regarding man’s state following death is Solomon, who declares, “The living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing. Their love and their hate and their envy have perished” (Eccl 9:5-6). He goes on to say (v.10), “There is no activity or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol.” That those who die lose all capacity to engage in any conscious, vital activity (of which worship was seen as the greatest) is also taught throughout the Psalms: “The dead do not praise the Lord, neither do any that go down into silence” (Ps. 115:17). “For in death there is no remembrance of you: in Sheol, who shall give you thanks?” (Ps. 6:5) “Shall the dust praise you? Shall it declare your truth?” (Ps. 30:9) “Will you show wonders to the dead? Shall the dead arise and praise thee? Shall your loving kindness be declared in Sheol, or your faithfulness in destruction? Are your wonders known in the darkness, or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?” (Ps. 88:10-12; cf. Isa. 38:18-19)

Now, if the dead in Sheol “know nothing,” and are no longer engaged in any activity or thought, then it follows that they are no longer able to consciously experience “judgment” (at least, as long as they remain dead they’re not!). While it’s remotely possible that a judgment following the resurrection may be in view, it’s unlikely that this is what the author had in mind. Had that been the case, it would have been more appropriate for him to have said, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after the resurrection, judgment…” Moreover, the preposition translated “after” (meta) suggests that the judgment in view so closely follows death in sequence as to be nearly accompanying it (as opposed to a judgment taking place after a long and indefinite span of time, and then only after the dead have first been raised). So to what then does the krisis after death refer? Well, as the word krisis can denote a decisive or critical event or action (as our English word “crisis” means), given the close association of this krisis with man’s death we may understand it to simply refer to the decisive event by which man’s death is given the appearance of finality and permanence. And what event is that? Answer: the decay and decomposition of the human body. This inevitable process is so closely associated with death in Scripture that God represents it as the event by which Adam’s life of pain and toil under the sun would come to an end: “By the sweat of your face you shall eat your bread,till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen 3:19).

In the OT, both death and Sheol (the state of the dead) are commonly associated with the corruption and destruction that follows death when man begins to return to the elements from which he was made (see Job 26:6; 28:22; Ps. 16:10; 49:9-20; 88:11; Prov. 15:11; 27:20). Using typical Hebrew parallelism, Job speaks of going down to “the bars of Sheol” and “descending into the dust” as being equivalent (Job 17:16). Job also refers to the sleep of the dead as being “in the dust” (Job 7:21). Psalm 30:9 describes those who are in Sheol (here referred to as “the pit”) as being “dust.” And as his death was quickly approaching, David told a young Solomon that he (i.e., David) was about to “go the way of all the earth” (1 Kings 2:2; cf. Josh 23:14). The fact that we must inevitably return to the elements from which we were made is a sobering thought for those contemplating death, and serves as a solemn and humbling reminder of our human frailty and utter dependency on the One who both created and sustains us: “Put not your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goes forth, he returns to the earth; in that very day his plans perish” (Ps. 146:3-4). Here the Psalmist fully explains the verse under consideration: “It is appointed for men to die once (“his breath goes forth”) and after that, judgment (“he returns to the earth”).”

Significantly, it is this otherwise inevitable event (i.e., the bodily decomposition that follows death) that we are specifically told didn’t happen to Christ after he died. In Acts 2:31, the apostle Peter declared to his Jewish brethren that David “foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.” Similarly, Paul exclaimed in Acts 13:36-37, “For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, but he whom God raised up did not see corruption.” Just based on the fact that it was prophesied that the Messiah’s flesh would not “see corruption,” it would appear that bodily decomposition and decay was not something that was looked upon as a desirable thing by the Hebrew people - and the fact that Jesus was spared from this fate was likely seen as further evidence that he was God’s Anointed one.

So how does all of this tie in with the verse that immediately follows the one under consideration? Verse 27 is often quoted as if v. 28 were completely disconnected from it. But together they form a complete sentence: “And AS it is appointed (or “allotted”) for men to die once, and after that judgment, SO Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” But what is meant by Christ’s appearing “a second time?” First, the word here translated “appear” (optanomai optomai) need not refer to a literal, visible sight. That this is the case is evident from John 1:51, where Jesus tells Nathanael he would “see (optanomai optomai) heaven being opened, and the angels ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” Similarly, in Matthew 26:64 (cf. Mark 14:62; Luke 22:69) it is unlikely that Jesus was telling the High Priest that he (i.e., the High Priest) would be looking out his window one day and see Jesus riding in on a cumulous cloud! Jesus is here referring to a vision from Daniel 7 concerning the Messiah, and the prophesied scene is set in Heaven’s throne room (thus, even if it did describe a literal scene, it’s not something people on earth could visibly observe). Second, the time at which this “appearance” of Christ was to take place likely corresponds to the “Day” that the original readers of this epistle (written circa AD 60-68) could, in their generation, “see drawing near” (Heb 10:25) - i.e., the overthrow of Jerusalem in AD 70. Thus, Christ’s appearing “a second time” would refer to his coming to establish the Messianic kingdom in the world before that first-century generation passed away (Matt 10:17-23; Matt. 16:27-28; Mark 8:38-9:1; Luke 21:20-32; cf. Luke 17:30-31). This was a promised kingdom which the believers to whom this epistle was addressed were apparently expecting to receive in their lifetime (Heb 12:25-29; 11:39-40; cf. 13:14). Moreover, we are told earlier in the epistle that the time in which they were living was “the last days” (Heb 1:2), as well as that Christ had appeared to put away sin “once for all at the end of the ages” (Heb 9:26) - which suggests that a new age (i.e., the age of the Messianic reign) was about to dawn at that time.

But what is the connection between v. 27 and v. 28? It is possible that the only point the author is making is simply that, just as certainly as man is appointed to die once and then return to the earth, so Christ would certainly appear a second time to “save those eagerly waiting for him” (understood in this way, the parallel being made would simply be between man’s one-time death and Christ’s one-time death). But I submit that there is more to it than a mere simple comparison. The terms here translated “as” (or “just as”) in v. 27 (kay hoson) can also be understood to mean “inasmuch as” (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown). The same expression occurs in Heb 3:3: “For this one has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as (kay hoson) he who built the house has more honor than the house.” Thus, understood in this sense, the expression would be pointing to the reason or occasion for which Christ appeared “a second time” to “save those who [were] eagerly waiting for him” - with that reason being the universally-known fact that “it is appointed for men to die once (his breath goes forth) and after that, judgment (he returns to the earth).”

It may initially appear strange to view this fact of human experience as being the reason for why Christ would “appear a second time.” But the larger context of Hebrews may help us appreciate what the author is saying. Back in chapter 2, we were told that the Messiah had to share in flesh and blood in order that, through death, he might “destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the slanderer, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Heb 2:14-15). From these verses we may infer that the salvation that Christ appeared a second time to bring those who were eagerly waiting for him was a deliverance from the fear of death (a fear that was only confirmed and accentuated by what inevitably followed death - i.e., our return to the dust!). Those who were converted to faith in Christ after his ascension to Heaven did not get the opportunity see Jesus in his resurrected state; consequently, their faith in the fact that Jesus had indeed “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light” (2 Tim 1:10) was based solely on the testimony of others. But when Jesus’ prophetic words concerning the overthrow of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple came to pass before that generation passed away, it was viewed by the believers as Jesus himself appearing “a second time” to announce to the world his victory over death and the grave, and to proclaim his Lordship over both the living and the dead. In this way, Jesus’ coming at the end of the Jewish age was the ultimate source of hope and consolation for those who believed on him as the promised and risen Messiah, for it was (and continues to be for us today!!) a powerful and permanent reminder that death, the last enemy, will ultimately be destroyed.

Hi Aaron,

Funny that you should post on Heb 9:27 right now; I was just discussing this same passage with Aaron37 eariler today. And rather then address all of the other passage that you also presented (which I can do later, if you wish) I’d like to just start by asking you about Heb 9:27 first, if I may.

What is being discussed in this chapter and whose death is being talked about? The death of men in general? Or the death of Jesus Christ in particular? when the writer of Hebrews says “and after this the judgment”?

Right. The Sadducees did not believe in a resurrection - and for good reason - there was no definitive proof of that in the OT - they grew up believing that death was the judgment. And were blameless in that belief - they didn’t enjoy OUR hindsight.

The key thought for me in this chapter is that Christ ‘obtained an eternal redemption’ - in other words, the redemption obtained extended back in time as well as forward - applied to those ‘waiting for Him’, and those yet to come and go…i.e. the dead. There is no doubt about what the writer meant salvation was from!

I need a little more time to look at this closely and the tie-in to the end of the ages (70ad) - it is, after all, the book of HEBREWS. 70ad was a punctuation point.

Hi atHisfeet (and welcome to the forum! :smiley: ),

I’ve actually been chewing on this verse a good bit lately, and it was my observation that it was being discussed by you and the other Aaron elsewhere on the forum that prompted me to start this thread and offer a different perspective. :slight_smile: My understanding is that, in v. 27, the article tois (when used in the expression tois anthropois) can denote either (1) one or more individuals as distinguished from others of the same class or species OR (2) an entire, collective class or species as distinguished from other classes or species (as is clearly the case in John 1:4; Luke 6:26; Matt 6:16; Titus 3:8; etc.). So depending on how tois anthropois is understood, then it may refer (as some are inclined to view it) to Aaron and his successors in office (i.e., the High Priests). Or (as seems to be your view) it may refer to Christ alone (perhaps as representative of the human race). Either option is completely consistent with my overall theology (and personally, I’m more inclined to see it as referring to Christ alone than to the High Priests!). But in this thread I’ve simply given an interpretation that assumes that tois anthropois refers to all mankind (as it does in the above references), since that seems to be the most common understanding. So according to this view, it’s not so much a matter of either/or, but both/and. But I can certainly appreciate your view!

So, assuming Christ in particular is in view in v. 27 (which, again, I think is possible), could you clarify what the “judgment” after his death refers to? I saw that you referenced John 19:31, but I’m not entirely sure how you understand that verse. Thanks!

HI Aaron and thanks for the welcome, :smiley:

I think you might be misunderstanding what I mean or to what I am referring. I’m not saying that the “men” in v27 (which is plural) is referring to Christ alone. I don’t believe that it is, though Christ is included among “men”. But, as I pointed out to Aaron37, the chapter is about Christ fulfilling His role as the sacrificial Lamb, dying once for all. As such, He came ONCE TO DIE (((as it appointed unto to men))) AND AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT.

Please correct me if I am wrong but I believe that I recall that you have said that you are one of the ones here who is of the opinion that our punishment (judgment) for takes here, pre-mortem (as opposed to post-mortem)? At the same time you said something about the dead not being able to “experience judgment” post-mortem because they are dead (and not conscious of anything until resurrection).

So what I am trying to do it connect the two by showing that this passage of scriptures which so many use to support the notion that judgment is post-mortem (after men die - physically) actually supports the notion that “now is the judgment of this world”, as it connect “judgment” WITH THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST.

I’ll post a larger part of the passage here, again, for those who were not following my conversation with A37:

*Heb 9:23-28 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves WITH A BETTER SACRIFICE than these. For CHRIST is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but INTO HEAVEN ITSELF, now TO APPEAR IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD FOR US: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but NOW ONCE in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin BY THE SACRIFICE OF HIMSELF. 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. *

So, again, we have Jesus who came ONCE ((in the end of the world)) to be sacrificed. And ((as it is appointed unto men)) ONCE TO DIE, BUT AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT.

The “men” in v27 is not referring to just Christ, but is saying that just as it is appointed unto men to die ONCE, Christ came to die ONCE… and after this the judgment… not after the death of all men or each man, but (it seems to me) after HIS DEATH, as the passage is about HIS DEATH. Remember, too, that His death is THE SECOND DEATH that we are ALL baptized INTO. As I am seeing this, this is how we are CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE, which is THE SECOND DEATH.

See what I am saying so far, before I continue?

One could argue that that was part of the problem. In chapter 10 we see the warning for trampling the Son of God, insulting the Holy Spirit and angering The Father. Christ was coming back, alright, but with a sword and in just a little while. And the writer likens the Trinity as the ‘three witnesses’ bearing testimony against that generation. Heb 10:28

They had murdered God, not a mere man and yet another prophet. So HIS sacrifice was the atonement for all sins for all time - so that even His enemies are ‘being made holy’ by it. He repeats the phrase ‘once for all’ often enough that the eternal redemption won by Christ should be seen as both complete and universal. Heb 10:13

Actually, if we believe the account of 70ad by Josephus - that did happen! And Caiaphas’ bones and vestments were found in a tunnel under the city - we know he was in the city to see what Christ predicted he would see what Josephus said everyone saw.

But there is no krisis in that if one is not conscience of it. What continues (the spirit of a man) is not his earthy body - so the krisis must be of fitting that spirit into an immortal resurrected body - the imperfect into the perfect - there’s the moment of krisis! The imperfect must need to undergo something - I think that ‘something’ is fire in terms of refinement and not destruction of the essentially made holy resurrected person. It is certainly not a battle of wills - no one can withstand His Fire because His Love is in it. It may happen as quickly as regeneration here - instantaneously. But is THAT the judgment? I don’t think so.

The judgment is clearly about rewards due (and never lost) to some of the resurrected. Faith will be rewarded, not in and of itself, but by the fruit it produced in advancing His kingdom while here. A spurious faith which actually hindered the advance of His kingdom (Lord, Lord!) will be burnt up in the resurrection itself.

‘Everyone will be salted with fire.’ THAT’S NOT a judgment on mankind - that’s part of salvation and the renewal of man.

Although I have no doubt that some miraculous things occurred at the overthrow of Jerusalem (including a vision of “chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor running about among the clouds, surrounding the cities”), I have not read in Josephus that anyone saw with their eyes Christ seated at the right hand of God and “coming on the clouds of heaven” (even though I do think this prophecy was fulfilled at this time!).

I see it as being a “krisis” from the perspective of the living, not the dead (for “the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing”).

But the word translated “judgment” in this verse is krisis, so they’re one in the same thing. I’m not sure how you can consistently say that one thing is “the moment of krisis” but that another is “the judgment.”

“Clearly?” While I could certainly be wrong about the krisis referring to our return to the dust, I’m not so sure I can agree with you that it refers to rewards being dealt out after the resurrection. Where do you believe it is taught that rewards will be given out after the resurrection of the dead?

I can’t think of any interpretation of scripture that I hold that is original with myself. I’m always picking-up things from others. It’s tantalizing to think that (given 2,000 years of Christian meditation upon the scriptures) for any given passage there is probably a written interpretation that I would joyfully adopt.

Ok, it was in going through my saved “favorites” the other day that I came back across this forum and a few minutes ago I decided to just start poking around through my “favorites” again and came across this thread at Theology Web. Aaron, is this your thread? :smiley:

The direct answer to that would be: show me your mansion. The best Christians are rewarded here with death (martyrdom) - surely, you don’t think that’s their reward! He has something better for them.

Faith leads to works - what we do. That’s where the judgment lies: in determining rewards. A faith without works is really no faith at all. The two go hand in hand.

But the basis for our salvation is solely His redemption, not our faith and not our works - those are the basis of rewards.

My bad; I was misunderstanding you.:blush: But I’m not sure I can agree with your interpretation, because whatever the “krisis” refes to, it is evidently something that follows the death that “the men” are said to “die once.” In other words, if tois anthropois refers to mankind in general (which you agree it does), and the death here refers to the death that all men are appointed to “die once,” then the judgment (krisis) that follows “after” (meta) this death is a judgment that necessarily follows the death of each man. Consequently, it could not be a judgment that follows Christ’s death only. Does that make sense? Or perhaps I’m missing something here!

Now, as I alluded to in my last response to you, my understanding is that tois anthropois (here translated “men”) could take on a singular meaning and refer to one man (e.g., as representative of the race) and not necessarily to all men in general (although I don’t know of any NT examples where this is the case). I could be mistaken about this, however; I just remember reading that somewhere a while back. Perhaps Jason (who has more knowledge of Greek than I do!) could shed more light on this. :slight_smile: But anyway, that’s why I originally thought you understood v. 27 to be referring to Christ only, and not to mankind in general.

No, you’re correct; I believe all punishment takes place during this lifetime only, and that there are only two states of conscious existence for men: this mortal life, and the one that will commence when the dead are raised and the living are changed. After the resurrection, I believe all people will be sinless (thus, no more punishment will be necessary).


Again, the judgment appears to be connected not with Christ’s death, but with the death that tois anthropois (i.e., mankind in general) are appointed to “die once” (unless, of course, tois anthropos refers to Jesus Christ alone, and not to mankind in general). Unless I’m mistaken, the word meta (“after this”) connects the death of tois anthropos with the krisis, not the krisis with Jesus’ death in v. 28. So I’m not sure I can agree with your interpretation here.

Also, I don’t understand Christ’s death to have been the “second death” (which I must confess is something I’ve never heard before!). For my thoughts on the “second death” go here: The Hell on Earth View - a subset of UR

But I’d be interested in knowing how exactly you apply the “second death” and “lake of fire” of Revelation to Christ’s death! :slight_smile:

It is! :mrgreen: Were you posting on the forum back then as well?

Ain’t that the truth! :smiley:

How does THAT happen? Simply because their bodies decay? Surely, something happened! Something changes resurrected people.

If you want to continue to see our being salted with fire (post-mortem) as punishment - then so be it. But if the salting is an integral part of the resurrection for everyone why not call it a necessary good that only the self-righteous and hypocrites think they will escape, and let them make their case. But don’t make their case for them.

Don’t they all claim that they have become sinless elsewhere? When in fact, they aren’t.

No, I joined TheologyWeb a little over a year ago (Jan 09). I think because I came across that thread (and a few others that I liked quite a bit, which is probably why it is bookmarked). I posted a little then (not to that thread though) but have not been back in quite some time. I was there with a friend and she didn’t like the forum for some reason (I love vBulletin - it’s so much easier to use, no offense to the phpBB users :confused: ) and we both left.

I’m reading through the thread again (and loving it, again :smiley: ) but I have to say that it amazes me that, despite everything you seem to understand about “death” and “resurrection” (not being "literal’) in your posts there, that you still do believe that we are in a state of unconsciousness upon physical death as we await a future resurrection of the dead… and I’m not sure if I should inquire about that here or there… and if here whether on this thread or another one. :laughing: As I see you also address the parable of Lazarus and the rich man in that thread over there and you have a thread on it here too (if I recall correctly).

Small world. :mrgreen:

If by “mansion” you’re referring to John 14:2-3, what makes you think Jesus is here talking about “rewards?” I agree that the resurrection is in view here, but whatever the “mansions” (or “rooms”) refer to, I see no reason to believe that they’re “rewards” bestowed for good works done here.

Of course I don’t think death is a reward. The believer’s reward (graciously given by God in response to his “faith that works”) is “the life of the age” (Rom 2:6-7), which has nothing to do with going to Heaven and everything to do with inheriting the kingdom of God now and receiving all the spiritual blessings that the subjects of God’s kingdom enjoy.

I agree!

Yeah, it seems my views haven’t changed very much over the last 3 years! Hopefully that’s not a bad thing, though. :slight_smile:

Well my understanding is that it’s not something that changes people, but someone (i.e., Jesus Christ), and that he does it by the power that God gave him when he exalted him as Lord of all and gave him all authority in heaven and on earth. So no, I don’t think people become sinless “simply because their bodies decay.” :wink:

As I’ve said in another thread, I see no proof that this “salting with fire” refers to something post-mortem. I realize this single verse from Mark 9 is rather central to your theology, but for me, the evidence seems to point to its pertaining to a this-life judgment that took place nearly 2,000 years ago. I believe the “all” (pas) whom Jesus said would be “salted with fire” refers to all who were to be thrown into Gehenna (i.e., all who had to undergo this temporal judgment). But anyway, I think we both agree that people in the resurrection are sinless. If you want to ascribe this radical change to our being “salted with fire,” then ok, fine. :slight_smile:

The hypocrites maintain that they enter the resurrection sinless and AS IS. They cannot admit to correction being necessary - because to do that would mean that others would be corrected because they need it too. That would be opening the flood-gates as far as they are concerned. So they maintain they’re sinlessness at all costs, while condemning the next guy to hell.

I don’t find your version any better. Where everyone enters the resurrection sinless and AS IS and in no need of correction. At one point you call death the enemy and in the next, it’s the magical means to sinlessness all by itself.

It’s not a question of deserving correction and refinement, but of needing it.

Ooops, I missed a post…

I think you are missing something. I think you are still overlooking the fact that, despite the fact that it is appointed unto men to die once, the passage is still about the death of one man not all men.

I was reading in one of your post at theologyweb that you believe that the first and second death have to do with (1) Babylonian captivity and (2) God’s judgment on Israel; but I see both deaths in conjunction with the two Adam’s. And just as all were found dead “in Adam” all have been baptized into the death of Jesus Christ (making them “twice dead”). But it is though “the second death” (dying with Christ and being found “in Him”, who has the keys of death and of hell) that “the dead” are resurrected and death is destroyed.

I think you are misreading the intent of the passage, as it doesn’t seem to me that the passage is about anything other than the sacrifice being wrought through one man, Jesus Christ. A man who came to die ONCE (just as it is appointed unto all men to die “once”) and in so doing take away the sins of the world.

If the passage was speaking about men in general and it said “it is appointed unto to men once to die and after this the judgment” I would agree with you. But it’s not talking about the deaths of men, in general, other than to point out that it appointed unto all me to die “once”. The fact remains that it is the death of one man in particular that is being discussed. And it goes on to say “and after this the judgment”.

Remember that Christ said:

John 16:7-11 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. **And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. **

ie, “now is the judgment of this world”. (John 12:31)

I will check that out. Perhaps it is similar to what I read at theologyweb, that I referenced above?

If the above doesn’t answer that, let me know and I will elaborate.