Rest is For Today
Hebrews 1 - God speaks most clearly to us through His Son, Jesus Christ
Hebrews 2 - Jesus proclaimed a messaged declared by angels; the Gospel
Hebrews 3a - The Jews at that time viewed Moses as a representation of the law and they held the law in very high regard; Jesus is so much better than Moses because he fulfilled the law
Hebrews 3b - The Jews had a hard time with sin and we have a hard time with sin; the more you are around sin the more comfortable you become with it and the harder your heart becomes; Today if you hear His voice respond to it, don’t harden your heart
Today we are looking at the first part of Hebrews 4, specifically Hebrews 4:1-13
We will see that the Christian life is different, there is peace in resting in the Lord
That peace is for today
The writer of Hebrews is still using the account of the Exodus
He is pulling principles from what happened in the Hebrew’s history and applying it to his listeners lives
He is preaching and teaching from the scriptures
That’s what we are going to do as well
Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.
The preacher of Hebrews says that the promise that was offered to the Hebrews is the same promise offered to them and to us
Entering into God’s rest
Entering into God’s rest
But they did not enter into the promised land did they?
Instead they wondered around for forty years
While they heard the good news; they had no faith in the message
Same holds true today for us church,
God’s rest is reserved for the faithful
That is, those who believe the Good News
The writer goes on in verse 3 to say...
For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’ ” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this passage he said, “They shall not enter my rest.”
Rest has always been part of the plan
Although many will not enter into it
God didn’t rest on the seventh day of creation because he was tiered
It was for creation’s sake
God doesn’t fatigue
but creation does; ever since sin entered into it
But Pastor Fall, the creation account happens before sin enters the world, why would there be rest before the fall
Its almost like God knew or designed how this would all play out
The writer compares the creation account to the account of the Hebrews and is saying that same rest that was offered to the Hebrews...
Is that same rest that is offered to those hearing or reading him
And is the same rest the writer of Hebrews is imploring us to enter into
What is this rest?
EXCURSUS on biblical rest
Rest in this biblical sense is not necessarily a stopping of work or activity
God rested from the work of creation
He has not rested from working in creation
In John 5:17 Jesus says “My father is working until now, and I am working”
Jesus is God in action
He did a lot of work
Often without a place to lay his head
God is not static but active in creation
The sabbath rest commanded in Exodus points to a kind of rest that Jesus further elaborates on in his Sermon on the Mount
Matthew 6 - Jesus tells us not to be anxious
Matthew 11:28 - Jesus calls all believer unto him, for he will give us rest
This rest is a ceasing of fear, anxiety and stress
Someday we will live eternally in complete joy and harmony with each other and our heavenly creator
This rest will be without a diminishing of joy
In the meantime,
In this world
In this time
We need to strive to enter into that rest
That State of Heart and Mind
Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
The writer still making the comparison to the Hebrew people
They heard but did not listen
Through David - Pointing to Jesus Christ, who came through the blood line of King David
The writer of Hebrews is connecting the dots for his Jewish listeners
He is saying that season of Today, has come
Like listening to your favorite baseball team and the announcer reminds you that this braodcast was brought to you by (fill in the blank)
Today; this season of salvation
Is brought to you by Jesus Christ
The writer cements his argument and says “Hey if Joshua leading the people was really God’s redemptive plan, then why would he and all that came after him speak of a Messiah?”
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
We ought to strive to enter into God’s rest
Why wouldn’t we?
You like living in a state of fear?
You like being anxious?
You like being stressed out?
Of course not!
Then why do we choose that for ourselves?
Why do we choose to live that way?
Sometimes the purest people get sucked into the anxiousness of those around us
Look around right now
The world is in an all out panic over COVID-19
Find rest in the truth of God’s Word
For those that will not enter into God’s eternal rest; this world is the closest thing to Heaven they will ever know
That should scare you
But, for the believer, this world is the closest thing to hell that we’ll ever experience
That should give us rest
When you know this, not even death can shake you
Church, God’s rest is for today
When you live in God’s rest, you also proclaim the Gospel
You show the fear gripped world that it cannot shake the unshakable God that created it
Enter into God’s rest
Love and encourage one another
And know that God loves you and has you in His mighty hand