Last week I stated that Hebrews 4:8&9 brings out 2 very important truths. The first is that Jesus is the source of true rest of soul. The second is that most of Jesus’ followers have yet to experience or enter into that rest. Hebrews 4:1&2 tells us what is required to enter God’s rest and why so many of His people have yet to enter into it. It says:
4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left [us] of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard [it]. (Emphasis supplied).
The “them”, that the gospel was first preached to were the Jews. The reason the gospel did not benefit them is because it did not result in them entering into God’s rest. Even though they eventually possessed the land God promised them, they never entered the rest that the possession of that land was supposed to bring them. They did not and still have not entered into God’s rest because of their unbelief or lack of faith (see Hebrews 3:17-19).
However, Paul was not writing this to the Jews; Paul was writing this to God’s New Testament people, those of us who call ourselves Christians. Therefore, he is telling us that most Christians have not entered into God’s rest for the same reason: The lack of faith. We too have possessed many of the physical earthly blessings of God but these blessing have not resulted in us experiencing the deep soul rest that is promised to those who come to Jesus (see Matthew 11:28-30). Paul tells us why in Hebrews 4:8-11.
4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his. (Emphasis supplied).
This tells us that those who enter God’s soul rest: The rest that comes as a result of yoking up with Jesus, will cease from their own works. In other words, those who are still depending and trusting in their works to survive and find happiness cannot enter into God’s rest because they do not trust and depend on God’s promises.
Next week we are going to take a deeper look at what it means to live by faith and why we must cease from our works in order to do so.