Summary: God’s rest, what is it and why is it important?
Entering His Rest Hebrews this is still in the Joshua series; Where the promise becomes a reality" Preached at Midway Community Church may 22, 2000;
The challenge for us: to enter His rest;
What does this term mean? Rest, to be safe and secure in the middle of all kind of storms. Not to be performing before God to get His acceptance. For us to cease from our ‘works’ as a way of gaining favor with God, and staying in good favor with Him.
A short way to put it: to live DEPENDENT upon him and not INDEPENDENT from Him.
CHRIST IS GOD’S REST FOR US THE SHORT LONG OF IT;
Not relying on my own resources to make life work or to get through a circumstance or a situation.
A Biblical example of a person who is resting: Paul in Philippians; “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstance I find myself”.
He was in the mindset of resting. He knew something about God and this brought him into rest.
We are going to share this morning about ENTERING THIS PLACE OF REST.
THERE ARE THREE DIFFERENT PLACES OR MANIFESTIONS OF REST in the Bible.
One is when we have trusted Christ for salvation and not any of our works, we are resting in the finished work of Jesus, the second, resting in Christ in the middle of various circumstances, (where we are going this am), and then the final rest when we enter Heaven.
The letter to the Hebrews chapter three and four give us the way to ENTER HIS REST.
The setting": Jewish Christians, note some of the things they were going through, the seizing of property, the persecution,read about some of the reaction to this; (perserverace, doubt, desertion, (apostasy), shrinking back the writer calls it. And he calls for them in the midst of these attitudes to ENTER HIS REST.
It was not performance or a sacrificial system, a religious system that would bring them peace but entering into his rest. To posses the possessions of Christ. Their own provisions would not see them through, what they could produce or how they performed (kept the law) but resting in Christ his provisions and powers his life.
He was the end of performance of provisions for them and the solution for their problems. Some of the Jews had trusted Him for salvation but not for life, they were trying to live the Christian life out of their own resources. They knew no safety and or security with Him.
They had to STRIVE to enter his rest; STRIVE against using their own resources; So how does the writer address this situation? How do we ENTER his rest?
1. CONSIDER JESUS; the Apostle and The High Priest of our confession. Why did he start here? Significant players in the faith of Israel. They communicated God to them; His will for them; His expectations for them; Then what does the scripture say? Jesus is this to them. If they are to enter into this all trusting relationship called resting they must exchange their view of help coming from the apostle and priest and bring Jesus on line. Consider Him. How do you view Jesus? Is he the bearer of truth? Is he the one you go to for help in a time of need? Resting must start here, we can not rest in one we do not trust, or one we do not know. Consider Jesus! He was FAITHFUL; to God; as compared to a man who was faithful also but he was in the house, Jesus is over God’ household; Jesus never wavered in his mission, or compromised his message, he has more glory than a man, even Moses.
APPLICATION: NO HUMAN RESOURCE WILL BRING YOU TO REST, NO HUMAN CAN DO THIS; THE MOST FAITHFUL PERSON YOU KNOW THE MOST GODLY PERSON YOU KNOW WILL NOT BRING YOU TO REST, ONLY JESUS. Are you trusting yourself or others to bring you into rest, or are you trusting Jesus? Note the next verse about holding fast our confidence and hope firmly, not loosely till the end; WHEN THE STORMS BLOW THE HARDEST, WE NEED TO HOLD ON THE TIGHTEST TO OUR CONFIDENCE IN JESUS; He will meet the circumstances of our life. FOCUS ON HIM; and him alone; If we are not RESTING WE ARE RESTLESS; So he tells the believers to CONSIDER (FOCUS ON) JESUS; do you think it would be different for us. We will never enter rest, which is IN Him until our complete focus is ON Him;
2. 7-13 take CARE THAT THEY LISTEN TO GOD; we go back and find out why they did not enter His rest; did not listen to God; It says here THEY hardened their heart, but what PRODUCED THAT UNBELIEVING HEART? THEY DID NOT LISTEN TO GOD. The bible is more than a book it is God’s word to us, more than ink on a page it is his will to us, his plan for us his expectations of us. God will speak to us through His word. It is imperative that when we go to God with our problems we listen to Him for the solution. He does not give us a multiple-choice answer. Our independence will deceive us and the problem will not go away, our hurts will not heal until we listen to God’s solution for the circumstance. HAVE YOU CONSIDERED JESUS WORTHY TO BE TURSTED, HAVE YOU TAKEN CARE TO LISTEN TO GOD?