‘Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.’ — Hebrews 4:11
The word ‘rest’ is found eight times in Hebrews 3-4. The type of rest talked about is similar to the rest Israel was meant to have in the Promised Land after they had gone in by faith and defeated all their enemies (see Deut 3:20; 12:10; 25:19; Jos 1:13; 21:44; 22:4; 23:1).
There was a relevance for those the writer of Hebrews wrote, and there is a relevance for us today. God want us to enjoy the rest that comes from trusting Him for strength to overcome our enemies and to take all that He has for us by faith. We do this by:
- Having a healthy fear of missing out on the promised rest that God has for us (v.1).
- Mixing our faith with the word of victory that has been preached to us (v.2)
- Listening carefully to the Word of God, not doubting and not hardening our hearts (v.6-9).
- Working to enter into the rest (v.10-11). Before God rested, he worked. And before we can cease from work, we must labour in the power of the Lord. We must keep on trusting, keep on serving, and keeping on following the Lord. As those who entered the Promised Land in Joshua day had rest from their enemies after a period of battle, so we will one day enter the rest that will come on the whole earth when Christ returns.
- Allowing the Word of God to search us for any unbelief (v.12-13).
- Come boldly before the throne of grace and receive help from our loving high priest Jesus Christ (v.14-16).
The gospel of Christ death, burial and resurrection give us rest for our works. But those of us who are saved are saved to do good works for God. One day, Christ will return and set up His kingdom. He rewards those who are faithful with the privilege to be rewarded in His kingdom. We look forward to that promised time of rest, but until that time we must keep on believing God and keep on working for the day that the ultimate rest is ours.