Sermons

Summary: Entering the promised land of the spiritual life.

Introduction

1. Quote: Anne Morrow Lindbergh gives us a key insight with these words: “If anyone sets aside time for a business appointment, a trip to the hairdresser, a social engagement, or a shopping expedition, that time is accepted as inviolable. But if someone says: I cannot come because that is my hour to be alone, one is considered rude, egotistical, or strange. What a commentary on our civilization: when being alone is considered suspect; when one has to apologize for it, make excuses, hide the fact that one practices it, like a secret vice.” - Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea (New York: Pantheon Books, 1975), 50.

2. Rf- Exo. 20:8-10 “Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your god; you shall not do any work - you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns.”

3. Modern day Israel still keeps the Sabbath. Beginning on Friday night whole communities shut down.

4. Illus...From Homileticsonline: “There is a natural rhythm to life. To work without a Sabbath leads to a dysrhythmic life replete with all sorts of dysrhythmic diseases - like chronic fatigue syndrome, pain, depression and low energy. Our Sabbath-less culture suffers from “timesickness” - where we have no time to do the important things - only time for frenetic running to-and-fro.”

5. But there is something more to this Sabbath rest than just the physical.

Trans...The physical is many times a metaphor for the spiritual. The writer of Hebrews refers to the failure of the Israelites coming out of Egypt and failing in the desert.

I. An Example of Spiritual & Physical Failure

A. They started out with a great deliverance from slavery ... just as you and I start our spiritual journey with a great deliverance from the slavery of sin.

1. But they provoked God by the hardness of their hearts.

What was it that provoked God? It was their unbelief!

They had seen miracles ... they had the fire by night & the cloud by day which represented the presence of God.

Leadership was not a problem ... they had one of the best ... a prophet by the name of Moses the great lawgiver.

They had been given God’s promise and even seen His power demonstrated in their behalf.

Yet it tells us they provoked God and because of their sin of unbelief their bodies fell in the desert and they failed to complete the purpose for which God had called them out of Egypt. Their spiritual failure led to their physical death.

They were not able to enter because of their unbelief!

Trans...The author (Paul) is telling his listeners not to make the same mistake. There is a spiritual promised land for us to enter. There is a Canaan land of spiritual enjoyment, refreshment and delight. And it is ours for the taking.

B. Canaan Land Rest

1. Fear Falling Short of The Rest

Hold in high regard God’s promise!

Illus...CCN’s Great Debate / Atheism vs Christianity / The atheist had no regard for the scriptures.

There are those in the Christian community who profess Christianity but live like atheist’s.

Not necessarily immoral but unbelief.

They hear the word (God’s promises) but they fail to combine it with faith.

Cf- Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

Word Meaning: pi,stij pistis {pis’-tis}

Meaning: 1) conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it 1a) relating to God 1a1) the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ 1b) relating to Christ 1b1) a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God 1c) the religious beliefs of Christians 1d) belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same 2) fidelity, faithfulness 2a) the character of one who can be relied on.

2. And what has God promised? Much! Let’s just consider one thing that goes along with this passage. Rest!

Chap. 4:1 tells us that “...a promise remains of entering His rest....

Who was Paul writing too? Hebrew Christians! Christians who had been delivered from the slavery of sin and brought to the entrance of the promised land!

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