Summary: Hanging around Gods people or dabbling with God is easy to do, and we may feel we have plenty of time to make sure we are right with God. But the Bible urges us to enter Gods rest today!
The Best Rest
1. Do you ever feel like you are living life in too fast a manner? Several years ago, newspapers told how a new Navy jet fighter shot itself down. Flying at supersonic speed, it ran into cannon shells it had fired only a few seconds before. The jet was traveling too fast! [source: Dennis Marquart, sermoncentral]
2. But there is entirely different categories of rest. For example, when a criminal is caught and confesses the details of his crime to authorities, he usually experiences a peaceful relief. When we have to make a stressful decision, we may experience a sense of relief. Some people consider the peace that follows an indication of God’s will — I do not think this is necessarily true.
3. But there is a tremendous peace we can experience knowing we are right with God, our sins are forgiven, and heaven is our home.
Main Idea: Hanging around God’s people or dabbling with God is easy to do, and we may feel we have plenty of time to make sure we are right with God. But the Bible urges us to enter God’s rest today!
I. Some Within the Congregation of God’s People Are in DANGER of Falling Short (1-10)
This was true among the Hebrew congregations then, and it has been and is true in Christian congregations yesterday and today.
A. What might we fall short of? Entering God’s REST!
Rest as used in this passage means
1. God’s rest after creation
2. Israel’s rest after they entered the promised land under Joshua
3. A different rest to be obtained than these, as Psalm 95 documents
B. What is the rest that is offered to us TODAY?
1. Could it be finding REST as followers of Jesus? Matthew ll:28, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
2. Could it be heaven, the NEW JERUSALEM?
Heb. 12:22-24, “But you have come to Mount Zion & to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, & to innumerable angels in festal gathering, & to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel..”
3. Could it be the MILLENNIUM?
David Stern comments: “…it seems more likely to me that he has in mind Jewish traditions that equate a day with 1000 years and is therefore speaking of the rest that comes in the Messianic Age or Millennium. For example, in Sanhedrin 97a Rav Kattina teaches that six millennia of ordinary history will be followed by a millennium of Shabbat; the passage draws on Psalm 90:4”
4. Could it be CEASING to try to gain MERIT before God by good works, rituals, traditions, and self-effort, in contrast to resting upon Jesus’ ATONEMENT?
5. Could it be some or ALL of the above?
C. How might we FALL short? (2-3)
1. There may have been many Jews who dabbled with Messianic Christianity without truly committing themselves to Jesus.
2. “rest” is used of dependence, synonym for faith. Is. 30:15, “ For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, “In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.” But you were not willing,
3. Many church goers think they are okay with God because they attend church, try to obey the tend commandments & treat others fairly & compassionately.
Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
D. Have you ENTERED that rest?
1. Have you repented and turned to Jesus by trusting His atoning death and resurrection as sufficient for your salvation?
2. Or are you on the fringes?
3. May Jews mitvot, so that they might merit eternal life-need to submit to Jesus
4. John Philips gives us a good illustration of what this means. “A man is swept out to sea on a homemade raft… a ship comes to his rescue.
No danger of being tossed back into the sea, but the captain asks for his help because they are short staffed. He can rest in that even though a hundred tasks beckon to him now that he is saved.”