Summary: God desires for every person to have His rest!
Let us start with this question: Does God rest?? How do we know??
But does God really need rest??
Because God is God, He is rest! Now, let’s answer this question; If God is already rest, why did He create humans (who He already knew were going to sin against Him)??
Hebrews 4 starts with the word “Therefore” meaning it is connected with the truth from Chapter 3. We noted last week, Basically from Hebrews 3, the Hebrew Christians of 2000 years ago were reminded and warned of their disobeying ancestors in the desert who fell from God’s rest!
I’ve asked Tim Jaenchen to read for us Hebrews 4……. Let us read along with Tim… and let us remember the Letter to the Hebrews is a letter to Believers of Jesus Christ!
v1a: the promise of entering God’s rest still stands:
- God is rest and created humans to be with Him!
- Sin disrupted the rest with God!
- God called a people, the Hebrews, to show them “rest” away from slavery, to the desert, and towards a Promised Land!
- God’s Laws to the Hebrews prepared the way for the Messiah Jesus Christ!
- Matthew 11:28…. Jesus Christ is Rest!
v1b: “Believers” of Christ are warned not to fall short of God’s rest = not to have FULL rest in God! Doesn’t this indicate that one can believe but not fully believe? the Lord Jesus Christ stated “Let your yes be yes and your no be no!” (nothing in between)
And because God is always calling people to be with Him, let us note rest in God can mean a present rest or a future rest! We’ll come back to this point in our applications later.
v2: God speaks about His rest (present and future) but it is useless unless heard and put into action by faith!
For v3-5: I find the New King James Version a little helpful in understanding:
A little word “do” added in v3 from the NIV to the MKJV denotes that:
- Believers of Christ choose to enter God’s rest!
- Hebrews in the desert chose to disobey and so missed God’s rest
- everything was already set by God in 6 days, all humans had to do was follow (obey)
And what can we note from v6-7? What do you think??
God’s offer to His Rest is still available Today BUT will end one day set by God! And the Hebrews 2000 years ago were again reminded on how to be in God’s rest… how??
When God speaks, listen, do not harden heart (i.e. receive and believe), obey Him and one will have rest!
I would like to save v8-16 for next week. I believe there are enough Biblical Principles from v1-7 for us to apply today! Speaking of today…
1. How important to God is today that we’re living in? We should take notice of how often God states the word “today” in His warnings. The day that Adam and Eve were living when the devil showed up to them was important to God. The day that the Spirit of Death went through Egypt where the Israelites lived was important to God! The Day God called the Israelites in the dessert to follow Him only was important to God!
Today is important to God because He is offering His rest to everyone still alive:
• only if we listen to, receive and believe with our hearts that Jesus Christ is our Only Lord and Savior! This choice leads us to a future eternal rest with God! John 3:16 …..
• only if we will obey the Words of Jesus Christ! This choice leads to a present rest with God! Matthew 11:28-29…… Jesus said “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Is being yoked with Jesus a one time action? Like oxen being yoked together as they will do work, it is done daily! Being yoked with Jesus Christ is life lived everyday!
2. God desires a FULL rest (not short of it) with Him, for the present and the future! The key to this again is the word today. Let us note that every tomorrow will be a today as we live it out! What does it mean? Christians are to persevere with our faith and obedience to Jesus Christ daily! We have to choose to be yoked with Jesus Christ everyday!