Here below I’ll lay out a totally different take on this Hebrews passage from a pantelist perspective…
Heb 9:27-28 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
So, taking a pantelist or inclusive prêteristic approach and considering the Greek text so as to not just read right over this passage with preconceived presupposition, consider this…
“Traditionally” verses 27-28 have been rendered as given above. Accordingly, this translation is mostly understood to assert… a post death individual judgment, but is this what is really being said? — the pantelist view does not believe so. Read in the larger context of verses 23-28 the focus of this passage is in accordance with the perpetual sacrificial ministry of the high priests, typifying and in contradistinction to the once for all atoning death of Christ.
The conventional reading does not reflect the true intent of the passage, nor the flavour of the book of Hebrews as a whole of a better priesthood—sacrifice etc. Between the words “it is appointed for” and “men to die once” is the Greek definite article and IF correctly parsed reads “those” <τοῖς> tois. This specific parsing actually occurs twice in this passage and in the very next verse concerning… “those who eagerly wait for Him…” — thus the passage can be rightly read accordingly…
Heb 9:27-28 And as it is appointed for those men (the high priests) to die once (ceremonially), but after this the judgment (acceptance—acquittal), so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those (the firstfruits) who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
Read in this fashion gives those two little words as and so their proper and essential contextual meaning and application. It was in this foreshadowing ministration of the Old Testament priesthood of those men that the pattern was laid for Israel’s Messiah to come and perform the ultimate sacrifice, of Himself, “to put away sin” by His better and more perfect offering that now sees all redemptive and prophetic history sealed — for the Great High Priest has returned!
So how does this all work? The High Priest once a year in entering the Tabernacle went in “not without blood” signifying death (or a dying) on his own behalf and then Israel’s… he died in the sacrifice ceremoniously, figuratively speaking, and then by extension the people likewise died. This was laid out in the ceremonial garb and practice as established under the Aaronic Priesthood (Ex 28:30b; 30:10) where the High Priest bore the judgement and made atonement on behalf of the people. Thus were “those men” <τοῖς ἀνθρώποις> tois anthrōpois, i.e., the high priests appointed to die once — annually, and as it turned out, repetitively.
The high priests alone were “appointed” — NOT all the men of Israel, but only specific ones…
Heb 5:1, 3 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. — Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins.
Heb 8:3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer.
Again… in terms of the high priest’s ceremonial death consider the context:
Heb 9:16-17 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator (Moses). For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.
The old covenant was the first testament… and Moses was its testator. But that testament was in force obviously before Moses died, temporally, i.e., ceremonially/figuratively; thus the type of sacrificial death in view.
Heb 9:18-20 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. For when Moses (the testator) had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.”
Thus “the shedding of blood” prefigured the death of Moses — the testator of the first testament and subsequent high priests being duly appointed once, that is, annually, to offer said sacrifices, as Moses did on their own behalf and then the people. Hence it can be said… they were appointed to die, as had Moses the testator of the first testament, figuratively speaking. And so it was… with the high priests’ function fulfilled the atonement then flowed to all Israel.
Now this pantelist position of mine is not so unique however so if you doubt my thoughts then check out this Universalist of 170yrs ago from the 1800’s, Erasmus Manford… HERE pg. 85-86, and HERE pg. 111-112, who in-kind notes the “those men” of Heb 9:27 was applicable to the then Judaic priesthood and is NOT broadly nor universally applicable to postmortem ‘judgement’ realities.
It was finding this particular parsing of the definite article “those men” <τοῖς ἀνθρώποις> tois anthrōpois that first grabbed my attention, and so to be drawing the same conclusion that I subsequently found Manford held has solidifying for me this rendering. It surprises me somewhat that present day ‘universalists’ can’t grasp these clearly prêteristic overtones of scripture given the strong prêteristic theology of past 18-19th century Universalists, i.e., the history is there in your own writings.