The promise of rest
Therefore, since the promise to enter his rest remains, let us beware that none of you be found to have fallen short. For we also have received the good news just as they did. But the message they heard did not benefit them, since they were not united with those who heard it in faith. Hebrews 4:1-2 CSB
We again see our key word “therefore,” meaning that the next few statements should be taken into context of what was previously discussed. The writer of Hebrews from the previous chapter provided an extensive discussion on why there are Israelites that did not enter God’s rest. This was because they chose to disobey against God, rebel against Him via sin, and due to their unbelief, an entire generation died before seeing the Promised Land. So, the author begins this new section with a warning, that “the promise to enter His rest remains, let us beware that none of you be found to have fallen short.” In other words, because the promise of salvation exists to those who confess and believe in Jesus Christ (“enter His rest” = enter heaven), the author warns his non-believer readers to make that decision now, or else they will be found to have fallen short. As Paul wrote to the Romans in Romans 6:23-24, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Everyone is in need of salvation for we all are fallen short of God’s glory. Thankfully, through Jesus Christ, we can be redeemed. The author of Hebrews states this wonderful news, the gospel message: “For we also have received the good news just as they did.” The Israelites received good news from God: the promised freedom from the Egypt and entering the Promised Land. But, “the message they heard did not benefit them, since they were not united with those who heard it in faith.” The majority of them had unbelieving hearts that turned away from the living God (see Hebrews 3:12). Therefore, the author warns his readers and us today that we all need to make decisions of faith, believing in the gospel message provided to us and living it out, or else we face destruction due to our unbelief and sinful behavior. God’s promises remain the same for all times. The promise of rest to the Israelites did not end during the time of the Israelites while they were in the desert. His promise of rest is still valid today for God will always be true to His Word.
Isaac De Guzman