Three Appearances Of Christ

THREE APPEARANCES OF CHRIST
Hebrews 9:24-28

INTRO: In our text we find the "appearances of Christ" noted three times, although not in chronological order. Each time it is connected with the salvation of man at a different period of time. We now consider them - past, present and future.

I. THE FIRST APPEARANCE (v. 26)
   
A. "He has appeared" (past tense).
    B. Purpose - to "put away sin" (1 Tim. 1:15; 1 John 3:5).
        1. Only perfect obedience to law would justify (Gal. 3:10; Rom. 10:5).
            i. But no man ever did this - so sin remained.
    C. Christ the only removal of sin.
        1. Animal sacrifices ineffective (Heb. 9:11-14).
        2. Wealth won't do it (1 Pet. 1:18).
        3. Our own goodness won't do it (Tit. 3:4-7).
    D. Those who have put away sin:
        1. "New creation" in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
        2. "New men" (Rom. 6:6ff; Eph. 4:22-24).
            i. These have taken advantage of the "first appearance."

II. THE SECOND APPEARANCE (v. 24)
   
A. "Now to appear ..." (present tense).
    B. Purpose - "to make intercession for us."
        1. "Intercede" - "to meet in order to converse; to make petition - either
            for or against others" (Vine).
        2. Christ our only mediator (1 Tim. 2:5; Eph. 2:18).
        3. He is our high priest (Heb. 3:1; 6:20; 8:1-2).
        4. "For us;" i.e. on our behalf.
    C. Claims of men.
        1. Especially Catholicism - the "priest" a mediator.
            i. Again 1 Tim. 2:5).
    D. Intercessory work of Christ.
        1. Priest represented man to God; the prophet - God to man.
        2. Brings us before the throne of God (Heb. 4:16).
        3. Without Christ we could not come to God in prayer (Heb. 10:19f).

III. THE THIRD APPEARANCE (v. 28)
   
A. "He will yet appear ..." (future tense).
    B. Reference to his second coming.
        1. Don't know when; yet we look (Tit. 2:11-14; 2 Pet. 3:12).
    C. Purpose of this coming.
        1. Salvation of saints (Heb. 9:28; 2 Thess. 1:6-7; 1 Thess. 4).
        2. Doom of sinners (2 Thess. 1:8-9).
        3. To judge the world (John 12:48).

CONCLUSION: Three appearances of Christ - all for man's eternal welfare. One is past, one is present, and one is yet to come. How he will deal with men when he comes depends on whether they allow him to put sin out their lives now, and whether they allow him to intercede before God for them.