What are the two divine appointments?

Question

Someone mentioned that we have two divinely set appointments. What are these?

Answer

Everything that happens in life is a set appointment for God's glory. God is sovereign. He controls all things. So, I would submit that all of us have more than just two divinely set appointments.

However, there are two notable appointments: death and eternal judgment. These are referred to in Hebrews 9:27:

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.

Physical death is the result of the sin of Adam (original sin) and our own personal sin (Rom. 3:23). I'm a sinner, so I'm going to die. The same for you. Death (Greek, thanatos) is the separation of the body and the spirit (cf. Jas. 2:26). We die once. There are no do-overs, mulligans, or reincarnations. You're only given one life to live on this present earth. That's it.

But then there is judgment, the second appointment. Paul tells us in Romans 14:12: So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. (cf. Rom. 2:6; Acts 17:30-31).

Jesus himself will be the final judge (2 Cor. 5:10), and we will be judged by God's set standards, not our own (John 12:48). There are two different groups in the world often referred to as the saved and the lost (Luke 19:10), or the sheep and the goats (Matt. 25:31-46), or the wheat and the tares (Matt. 13:24-30). While the righteous in Christ have every reason to be joyful (cf. 1 John 4:17), the wicked have much to dread (Rev. 20:11-15).

In life we may have the liberty to cancel appointments, but death and judgment will definitely be kept. We will be present for both, and we won't be late for either. A wise person would be ready (Matt. 25:1-13).  

Let's be fully persuaded now because later will be too late. (2 Cor 5:11)

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).