Summary: The Promise of entering God’s Rest still stands!
Making an Effort to Rest
If today I told you that somewhere in the building there were tickets for everyone here to enjoy an all expense paid vacation, would you be interested in searching for them? Suppose I hid them so good that no matter how hard you looked you could never find them? Suppose further that although you couldn’t find them on you own that I had provided a map to anyone who wished to use it, would you follow the directions of the map to get the free vacation?
This is a weak example of the idea the Hebrew writer is expressing in our text. "The promise of entering God’s rest still stands," it is ours for the taking but the taking will require some effort, it can’t be entered unless we follow the map God has provided. This is why the writer says, "there remains a rest!"
MAIN BODY Main Points taken from Mark Copeland
I. What is God’s Rest?
A. God Himself entered this rest. Heb. 4:4, 10
B. It is a rest that Joshua couldn’t provide.
1. Israel’s rest in Canaan was rest from it’s enemies, but it would not last.
2. There still remains a rest.
C. It is a rest that Moses through the Sabbath command could not provide.
1. The Sabbath as a day of rest was given only to Israel. Deut. 5:12–15
2. The Sabbath, along with the rest of the Law of Moses, has been abolished.
a. Ephesians 2:11–18
b. Colossians 2:13–14
D. God’s rest is a Heavenly rest. Revelation 14:13
1. We must be diligent not to fall short of it. Heb. 4:1, 11
2. Those who enter His rest also rest from their own work. Heb. 4:10
II. What does it take to enter God’s Rest?
A. It takes the Word of God to enter His Rest. Heb. 4:2
1. Without the word we would not know about this promised rest.
2. Without the word we would not know how to receive this promised rest.
3. The Word is God’s Power to save. Romans 1:16–17
B. It takes the Word of God combined with faith to enter His Rest. Heb. 4:3a
1. The word of God was of no value to Israel because they did not receive it in faith. Heb. 4:2
2. The word of God produces faith. Romans 10:17
C. It takes our Every Effort to enter God’s Rest. Heb. 4:11
1. We must make an effort to grow in faith.
2. 2 Peter 1:5–11
According to researchers at the Univ. of Michigan, exercise may help a person avoid colds and infection. The theory is that a good workout puts the body in a condition similar to what happens at the onset of a fever. Fever is the body’s way of fighting back when foreign invaders are introduced into your system. The increased body temperature aids the white cell defense system while also slowing down the action of bacteria and viruses. It seems that exercise does the same thing. During a workout, the body releases chemicals into the blood that stimulate a rise in body temperature.
The Bible teaches that spiritual exercise is necessary to the health of your soul. It shows us that sin is warded off in a person who is walking in the light of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, disobedience or following the path of least resistance cools down one’s spiritual temperature. Fellowship is neglected. Sin is neither forsaken or confessed. The result is a cold Christian who is overcome with a disease called Sin. Taken from Dennis Marguardt @ sermoncentral.com