Ecclesiastes 3 begins by saying, “There is a time for every purpose under heaven; a time to be born and a time to die.” The writer of Hebrews affirms this truth in 9:27-28. He writes, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes 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.” This simple statement denies the doctrine of reincarnation as professed in some eastern religions. Guzik explains, “Though it was not really the point of the writer to the Hebrews to discuss reincarnation, he certainly and completely denies it here. We do not die and live and die and live, facing an eternal reckoning some number of lives down the road. This life is it, and then we face judgment.”[1] Once we are separated from our bodies, we leave this physical realm of constant change in which we are born and enter into the spiritual realm of a stable reality unchanging and unchangeable. When we breach the spiritual realm at our death there is an accounting for our sin, a judgment.

But Christ has already entered eternity for us having taken care of God’s judgment on our sin by taking them upon himself and paying the penalty we all deserve for our failure in time. He has satisfied God’s wrath over our sin. He has accomplished that on the cross and ascended into heaven with his offering on our behalf to God who accepts it unconditionally and receives Jesus and seats him at his own right hand, the highest place of honor. When Jesus returns he isn’t returning to deal with our sins again. He’s already permanently resolved our sin issues. He’s coming back just as He promised to bring us home. In John 14:1-3 he made this clear, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

The whole of chapter 9 of Hebrews deals with what has been accomplished for believers through Christ’s work on the cross. The sacrifice of Christ is sufficient for you and me. The blood of bulls and goats won’t save anyone but the blood of Christ washes away our sins. No one has explained this better than William Cowper in his famous hymn. He writes:

There is a fountain filled with blood

Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;

And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,

Lose all their guilty stains.


The dying thief rejoiced to see

That fountain in his day;

And there may I, though vile as he,

Wash all my sins away.

[1] David Guzik, Hebrews, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible (Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik, 2013), Heb 9:23–28.