Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com
Hebrews 4:1-13 (ESV)
4 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. 2 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. 3 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. 4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5 And again in this passage, he said, “They shall not enter my rest.” 6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 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.” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 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. 13 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.
How would you explain the “promised rest” to someone who is not a Christian?
Faithful Father, thank you for Your promise to provide rest for my soul and freedom from slavery to sin. If only we would trust You and accept Your promise. You led the nation of Israel right to the promised land. In that land, You promised to defeat all enemies, supply every need, and to be their God. But they refused to enter that land due to lack of trust and unbelief. As Christians, You give us a similar choice. You promise a spiritual land in which You will defeat all enemies, supply all needs, and be our God. So often we refuse and reject You and our soul remains in internal turmoil. We trust ourselves and work hard to do good but without You, it only produces discontentment and frustration. The key to entering Your promised rest is simply believing and obeying Your promise. There are so many people who are in need of Your loving care. When they enter Your spiritual rest they can let go of all the evil that has them enslaved. Although as a Christian I may still struggle with sin, slavery to sin has diminished and the hold it once had on my life is gone. As I submit to Your Loving plan, my life is transformed, allowing me to be at home in You, content, fruitful, and open to receive the abundance of Your promises. Help me to dedicate the necessary time to soak in Your Spirit and refuel through Your Word, prayer, and worship. Lord help me to accept Your promise to be in that place of Your protection and help me to show others the way to Your eternal rest. Thank You, Lord, for opening Your arms to hold me in Your care. Amen