Hebrews: 4 – Entering God’s Rest

Hebrews 4- Entering God’s Rest

Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.  For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.

(Hebrews 4:1-2 ESV)

THE PROMISE OF ENTERING HIS REST STILL STANDS

The exodus generation had been enslaved in Egypt, wandering through the wilderness for years, and they longed for rest; the rest of being free men in a land of their own.  No more oppression.  No more nomadic lifestyle.  Just rest.  Caleb and Joshua would be the only two of that entire generation to reach the Promised Land.  But God’s rest is about much more than the Promised Land.  That is why David writes about God’s rest in Psalm 95 years after Joshua led the next generation into Canaan.  The promise of entering God’s rest is still for us today.  This is a rest from all toil, and fear, and suffering; a rest from warring against our flesh and against the enemy.  This rest is spending eternity in the presence of Jesus.  God rested on the seventh day because His work was complete.  The believer can rest because Christ’s work on the cross is complete.

HEARING THE GOOD NEWS

The exodus generation heard the good news of the Promised Land.  They left Egypt in pursuit of it, but ultimately the news itself did not do them any good because they had no faith.  Verse 2 says, “they (the exodus generation) were not united by faith with those who listened (Caleb and Joshua)”.  We have also received good news; the good news that God sent his Son to become man, live the righteous life we could not live, and to lay down his life to pay for our sins.  We have heard the good news that Christ rose again, and offers salvation to all who repent and believe.  But simply hearing the message will not carry us through the struggles of this life on to the shores of eternity.  Hearing the Word of God is essential, but it must not be an end in itself; it must result in faith.  It is faith in Christ that will produce the perseverance that will spur us on until the day we finally and completely enter God’s rest.

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