This is what God gave me today in his word:
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. 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. (Hebrews 4:1-2)
The, “them” The Writer (who from now on we’ll refer to as, “he”) is referring to, is the Israelites (you can see that in chapter 3). With that established… He says here that “the message they heard did not benefit them,” why didn’t it benefit them? Because, “they were not united by faith with those who listened.” How does that figure? How could anyone actually be united with someone else by faith? Do we need to be untied with these people by faith?
Who exactly are ‘the people who listened’? …
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. (Hebrews 4:3)
Seeing as he’s talking about the Israelites, who weren’t able to enter the promised land because of their disobedience, it’s safe to assume the ones who listened are Moses, Joshua and Caleb. Seeing as the afore-mentioned all said they could take Canaan and what with the giants, everyone would have had to believe them by faith. But he isn’t talking about that it seems. In fact, it seems we’ve sort of left behind the whole, “promised land” idea and replaced it with, “rest”. He continues:
For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this passage he said, “They shall not enter my rest.” Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 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.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, (Hebrews 4:4-9)
“there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,” This does not mean we have to continue keeping the Sabbath like the Israelites did. On the other hand, it does mean we still need to keep the Sabbath. Not physically however, but Spiritually. ‘He’ is talking about our rest is Jesus. This why he talks about the Sabbath in context with not hardening our hearts. And what is there to harden our hearts against, except the same thing that everyone today seems to have hardened their hearts against? i.e. The Gospel of Jesus.
The point? We have a promised land just like the Israelites did/do. it’s just we don’t have to fight for our’s (it’s Heaven). There is still a Sabbath rest, it’s just not the weekly one the Israelites had. Instead, as long as we have Jesus, we have his rest. – But now there’s a question, “what does it mean to have Jesus as our Sabbath rest?” It mean’s temptation no longer is unbeatable. It means our Spiritual life can rest in Jesus. The point is simply that through Jesus, the Sabbath is fulfilled.
You are Loved!