Will you enter God's heavenly rest?
The apostle wrote a letter to Hebrew Christians to warn them of the danger of falling away from Christ Jesus and going back to the Old Covenant sacrifices.
In the first two chapters, he has shown them that Jesus is greater than the angels because he is a divine Son.
Then for a little while, he became a man and “was made lower than the angels” in order to “taste death for everyone” of his “many sons and daughters”.
But now he’s “crowned with glory and honor” at the right hand of the Father because he suffered death”.
Then the apostle has taught them that Jesus is greater than Moses just as the builder is greater than the house. And Jesus is the one who built the house of God with Moses being one the people of God in the house.
In chapter 2 the apostle has urged them to pay attention to this great salvation lest they drift away. But now in chapter 3:7-11 he quoted a passage from Psalm 95:7-11 to remind them of the rebellious history of their ancestors. It was a vivid picture of how God’s people in Numbers 14 have turned away from God in the hardness of their heart and unbelief.
So the apostle warns the Hebrew Christians to make sure that they don’t have a “sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God” like their ancestors.
Three times he has told them “Today” if they hear God’s voice, his last message in the person of his Son Jesus Christ. They are warned not to harden their hearts in unbelief but instead, they are to “encourage one another daily” so that none of their hearts would be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness and turn away from the living God.
The apostle didn’t say that these Christians have turned away from God, or that they will turn away from God, but he warned that they would not turn away from Jesus, which would be the same as turning away from the living God.
He used a warning as a means of God’s grace to spur them on to trust and depend on Jesus all the way to the very end. And such perseverance by trusting in Jesus by the help of the Holy Spirit to the end would have been an indication to the Hebrew Christians that they “have come to share in Christ” - that they were one with him, united to him. And only in this way they will never perish but will enter the heavenly rest promised those who are not trusting in their own goodness and righteousness but are trusting only in the finished work of Christ on their behalf.
May you and I likewise trust in Jesus alone to save us from our sins, that we may not perish but enter God’s rest. Only Jesus is the way to the heavenly rest. Let’s strive to enter into his rest so we may not “perish by following their example of disobedience - the disobedience of those whom Moses led out of Egypt and who perished in the wilderness because of their hardness of heart.
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