1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it…
9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. Heb 4:1,9-11
I wonder if you can identify with the fact that it is possible to rest without finding rest. I remember hearing a friend describing a restful holiday after which he didn’t feel rested. Sometimes life is like that also. We remain restless even though we occasionally rest. This passage in Hebrews 4 is encouraging us to find true rest. It opens by referring to a promise to enter into HIS rest; God’s rest. This describes a state of being in Christ which is where we find true rest.
The Book of Hebrews is largely about the finished work of Jesus on the cross. It is finished because there is nothing that you and I can add to what Jesus has done to ensure salvation for our souls or those of others. Jesus has already done it all. It is therefore ironic that the command of verse 11 is for us to ‘make every effort to enter that rest’. Remaining restless does not require effort. Trusting in our own strength and ability does not require effort; it comes naturally.
The effort we make is to stop trusting in our own abilities to give us eternal rest and to believe in Jesus. Faith in Jesus gives us access to his perfect sacrifice and his eternal rest. And having believed and entered his rest, let us not now turn and believe another Gospel that says that we can work to earn favour with God. Let us continue believing and let us remain plugged in to Christ, our source of life and our eternal rest.
We no longer approach life for the point of view of the law. We are not legalistic about how we gain access to God and find rest. It is only by grace through what Jesus has done. Let us remain in his grace and enjoy his rest.