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Hope from Hebrews #7 - Entering the Rest

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Text: Hebrews 4:1-11

Thesis: To emphasize the necessity of staying on track in order to enter God’s rest.

Introduction:

(1)   Do you ever long for “rest?”

(2)   Here, the author will explain to us how we may have rest.

Discussion:

I.                   What is the rest?

A.    It is something that God has promised for His people.

B.     It is something that many, in the past, have failed to attain.

1.      ‘Come short’ (v. 1) “conveys the meaning of being left behind in the race and thus failing to reach the goal” (Kistemaker 105).

2.      The Israelites are an example of people “coming short.”

C.     It is something more than a physical reality.

1.      In verse 8, the author proves that “the rest that Joshua gave to his followers was only physical; it was only temporary and it did not really satisfy. If it had been adequate, the psalm would not speak about another day” (Lightfoot 97).

2.      Thus, we, like Abraham, are looking for a heavenly country (Heb. 11:16).

D.    It is a rest with God in which we cease from our works (v. 10).

1.      Cf. Rev. 14:13 – “that they may rest from their labors”

2.      Thus, our rest is in Heaven.

II.                How do we acquire the rest?

A.    First, we must “fear” (v. 1).

1.      ‘Fear’ “often expresses an appropriate reverence and awe that stem from mighty acts of God and accompany faith. More than mere caution, it communicates an emotional state in which one reflects the awesome dimensions of God’s power” (G. Guthrie 150).

2.      “There is no attitude more dangerous for the church than that of unconcern and complacency” (P. E. Hughes 155).

B.     Second, we must “believe” (vv. 2-3).

1.      Cf. James 1:22 – Hearers + Doers

2.      Cf. James 2:17 – Faith + Works

C.     Third, we must “be diligent” (v. 11).

1.      Cf. 1 Cor. 15:58 – Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding

2.      “Winners never quit, quitters never win”

Conclusion:

(1)   God’s rest can be yours today if you will give Him your life.

(2)   As Jesus said: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

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