In Hebrews 3, you learn how God wants you to hear His voice today. Many harden their hearts and rebel God which causes many to not enter into His rest. Hebrews 4 continues with this promised rest that God gives to His chosen ones. Go ahead and read Hebrews 4 for today’s study.
God promises to lead you home to heaven, read 1 Peter 1:3-5 and John 14:3 for added insight. It will be a place of rest where there is no more toiling and hardships like on earth. In the first verse, the author of Hebrews says that “God’s promise of entering His rest still stands.” God keeps His promises, read Romans 11:29, Matthew 24:35, and 1 Kings 8:56, to be encouraged.
How should you respond to this promise, see verse 1? Why? What will keep people from entering into heaven, see verse 2?
Verse 3 says that only true believers can enter in. What about everyone else? Why do you think this makes God angry?
Verses 4-5 give reference to Genesis 2:2 and Psalm 95:11. The author is helping you to understand how truthful the Scriptures are. You can trust the very words of God. Rest is important to God. He gives a way for you to rest. He gives His people the Sabbath Day on a weekly basis. Too many believers don’t respect this day and they abuse it.
As a true believer, one who has surrendered himself to Christ as his Savior and Lord, can enter into heaven, into God’s promised rest, see verse 6. The author gives us a “but” which indicates disobedience. Those who first heard the Good News were the Israelites in the Old Testament. They lived in captivity in Egypt waiting for their deliverer to come and save them. After a long period of waiting, God called forth Moses to lead God’s people to His promised land. What started as a pilgrimage of 2 million people, ended in just a few entering in 40 years later. Why so few? Disobedience. Want to learn more? Read the book of Exodus in the Old Testament.
Now, God set another time for believers to enter His rest, see verse 7. When is it? Why do you think the author gives the same message three times in Hebrews 3 and 4?
The author talks about Joshua in verse 8. You can read the book of Joshua in the Old Testament and learn how he took over Moses’ job in leading God’s people into the promised land. Today, man is still in the same predicament as the Israelites. Because of sin, you and I need to be delivered from it. Egypt represents the world which is sinful. Jesus came to save us and deliver us from the bondage of sin. Moses was an example of Christ. After Moses, Jesus came and He leads those who say yes and follow Him home to heaven.
What are believers doing in heaven, see verses 9-10? What does verse 11 tell you about how you should live today? What if you choose to disobey?
Disobedience leads to a fall.
Since man is prone to walking away from God, the author switches gears to help you to not make the mistake so many make. What do you learn from verses 12-13 that hopefully will ignite your heart for the first time in believing Christ or awaken your sleepy heart to repent and turn back to God?
You and I need to praise God when we rise in the morning as well as when we lie our heads down to rest, and every moment in between! Living in this manner is only possible because of Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, see verse 14. What do you learn about our High Priest in verses 14-15? What are you to do with the truth that you know? What else do you need to do, see verse 16?
In God’s presence, you will find mercy and grace. Be encouraged by Hebrews 4:16. Christ not only makes it possible for you to stand in God’s presence acquitted from all your sins, but you can run to Him and be bold!
God loves an honest, broken child ready to receive help.
For those who abide in Christ and remain steadfast in faith, heaven will be yours when God comes for you. You will experience a wonderful rest which He promises. So, don’t get lazy in your walk, taking God for granted because you assume that once your saved you are always saved. Don’t let twisted thinking cut you off from God’s promised rest. Align yourself with God’s Word. Don’t let the idea that just because you received Christ one day that heaven will be your eternal home down the road on another day, and during this in-between time you live how you want to live. This is what tripped up the Israelites, and it is tripping up many believers today.
Heaven is not a guarantee. Keep the faith and remain steadfast in the ways of the Lord. He will lead you home.