Entering God's rest
God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it. For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God. For only we who believe can enter his rest. As for the others, God said, “In my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest,’” even though this rest has been ready since he made the world. We know it is ready because of the place in the Scriptures where it mentions the seventh day: “On the seventh day God rested from all his work.” Hebrews 4:1-4 NLT
From the text, “entering God’s rest” means experiencing the salvation that God provides. We receive salvation through faith in Christ. Experiencing rest is to be dependent upon God’s accomplished work at the cross and not on our own works of salvation. The writer of Hebrews told the readers to “tremble with fear” for in their disregard to God’s offer, they will find themselves like the Israelites who did not enter the Promised Land for they did not believe God’s promise of rest. This is a warning given to us as well so we will not commit the same costly mistake made by the Israelites. The message of salvation which was referred to in v. 2 as the “good news” was already announced and the proper response should be to listen to God and obey His call to receive Him as Lord and Savior. We will not be benefitted by merely listening to the gospel. No matter how inspired we are when we hear God’s message, this will not result to experiencing rest if we will not place our faith in God through Jesus Christ. Those who believe in Christ will enter that rest and will fully experience rest when called upon to be in His physical presence. The writer referred to God’s rest as “has been ready since he made the world.” Then, the writer expounded more on the meaning of rest by relating it to God’s sabbath. After God created everything for six days, on the seventh day He rested. God’s resting on the seventh day does not mean inactivity but completion. There is a sense of completion when a person trusts Jesus by willingly coming to Him to take His yoke. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).