To enter God's promise of rest
For we who have believed enter the rest, in keeping with what he has said,
So I swore in my anger,
“They will not enter my rest,”
even though his works have been finished since the foundation of the world. Hebrews 4:3 CSB
As we established yesterday, the term for heaven used by the author is “the rest.” Those “who have believed,” those that made the decision to accept the free gift of salvation “enter God’s rest,” experience heaven when they pass away or when Christ returns. After comparing the Israelites who wandered in the desert and the recipients of his epistle, the writer of Hebrews confidently asserts, “For we who have believed enter the rest.” He does not use the future tense, “will enter” instead he says, “We who have believed enter,” and thus affirms that God’s promise has become reality according to His divine plan and purpose. The author then states again Psalm 95:11, “So I swore in my anger, ‘They will not enter my rest.” Due to the Israelites unbelief, they were unable to experience the rest, the Promised Land. This passage was written so that future generations can learn from their past decision, such as the readers at the time of this letter’s writing. Also, this “rest” closely resembles the rest when God completed creating the universe and everything in it. When God rested on the Sabbath, it wasn’t because He was tired, but rather, to show completion. Now, believers experience rest from Jesus Christ when they become followers of Him. We can see this in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Believers experience a sense of completion when they experience salvation through Jesus Christ. At the moment, in principle but not yet in full realization, we are entering that rest for we have trusted Christ as our Lord and Savior. It is important that keep our eyes fixed on “Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), so we can enjoy the rest God has promised, and eventually we shall be with Him for eternity.
Isaac De Guzman