A billboard from my early years successfully did its job of scaring me half to death with its quote of verse 27 and its unfinished sentence: "It is appointed for man once to die and after that comes the judgment! Where will YOU spend eternity?" But the rest of the sentence spells out more clearly the kind of "judgment" the author has in mind.
Verse 28 speaks of a Savior Christ who laid down his life to bear our sins, and whose coming again is not for the purpose of instilling fear, but promises rather to bring salvation for all those who eagerly await his coming. For the sake of the Gospel, it is important for us to live each day not in the unfinished sentences of law and fear, but in the completed sentences of the forgiveness and love of this One who sacrificed his life for the forgiveness of all people.
O Saving Lord, it is so easy for us to be caught up in our sin and unfaithfulness and to forget to live in the complete sentences of the gospel promises. Help us to remember our Lord Jesus Christ, and that it was for us and for all people that he laid down his life. In him indeed is our life and our salvation. Amen.
Hebrews 9:24-28 (NRSV)
24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
25 Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own;
26 for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27 And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment,
28 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.