Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’ “although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.” Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. (Hebrew 4:1-11)
The previous chapter (Hebrews 3) taught us (reminded us) about Moses and the ‘generation of unbelief’ that could not enter into the Promised Land (Canaan). We learned that the thing that kept them out of the promised location was their disbelief; they did not believe that God would want to bless them and that He would follow through on His promises. Their actions bore witness to that truth.
So we see that they (Israel) could not enter in because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:19
Using the Promised Land episode as an example, Hebrews 4 begins by telling us we should fear not entering into our promised rest. The lesson is simply to believe what God has said by faith, and to not waiver in it. The Good News is of no worth to a person if there is no faith. Nothing has changed in this regard. Ancient Israel was taught salvation in God alone just as we are today. If we do not enter in and accept the Spirit-filled life, by faith, then there obviously is no benefit.
We who have believed do enter that rest!
Hebrews 4 is establishing that our rest is in Jesus Christ, despite the fact that the Jews would say that they have a rest; a one-day in seven rest, called the Sabbath Day.
Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Genesis 2:1-3
But the writer of Hebrews is referring to another rest; a future rest, that is better and God sent. The Sabbath rest established by God in Genesis is merely a picture of the full rest we are to have in Christ; a spirit-filled life we may associate with entering into the Promised Land, being mindful that the Promised Land is not the promised rest. Joshua took Israel into the Promised Land, but if that rest was sufficient there would be no talk of another day to come, of course pointing to Jesus Christ. Ultimately, it’s not the Promised Land rest or the Sabbath Day rest we’re promised, they just pictures of the rest to come that commences on the day we first believe and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.
“Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, When your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work. For forty years I was grieved with that generation, And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts, And they do not know My ways.’ So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ” Psalm 95:8-11
Regarding our rest, we see that Psalm 95 (cited by the writer of Hebrews), demonstrates that God is speaking of a yet-future event.
A Better Rest
I like the way Jon Courson said it (paraphrased here): the rest being spoken of [in Hebrews 4] is not a vacation (a Sabbath Day of rest), nor is it a location (as was the Promised Land), but rather it is a relation with Jesus Christ. For the Christian, the Christ-rest is finally understanding and accepting that there is no work to be done in regard to our salvation—the work has been done and we can rest in His work by faith.
So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” John 19:30
It’s worth repeating: the rest that people are truly craving (and God wants to provide) is not a vacation (Sabbath) or a location (Canaan), but a relation in Christ that’s everlasting. Let us not be fooled into believing that a respite or a region (alone) will bring you rest. True rest, a rewarding rest, a blessing and sustaining rest, and most importantly, a saving rest, is found only in Christ Jesus. Locations and vacations are temporary solutions at best, if Jesus is not included.
Don’t be robbed of the blessing—there is no profit, nor is there any rest in the Gospel where there is no faith.
Do Want to Know Jesus?
The blog posted prior to this one might assist you.
These articles may or may not be related:
- Hebrews: Our humble, loving High Priest (blessedbeyondmeasure3.wordpress.com)
- Key to Gods divine rest (rockchristiancenter.com)
- Why Did the Christian Cross the Road (compassiondave.wordpress.com)
- Lord of the Sabbath (lucnia.wordpress.com)
- Finding Biblical Rest (calledoutblog.wordpress.com)
- Rosh Hashanah 2013 greeting: “we may receive mercy and find grace in our time of need!” (kzlam36.wordpress.com)
- Hebrews 4. Jesus Christ the Great High Priest. Be sure to enter the promised rest. (bummyla.wordpress.com)
- Knowing Jesus as the Lord (expressionsbyacg.wordpress.com)
- Committing Everything Into His Hands! (1safeharborisjesus.wordpress.com)
- Enter To Rest (girlfriendscoffeehour.com)
I pray you were blessed by today’s blog. If you were, please like it, share it, subscribe to it, or leave a comment. I read and respond to every comment I receive.