God’s offer of rest is somewhat different than what the words may reflect. So keep an open mind and absorb the meaning God has in mind.
“For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.”
Commentary: 4:2. Here the writer said that the gospel was preached to us ( “we were given good news”). But this good news does not always refer to the plan of salvation from sin. In some circles the word “gospel” has acquired a sense too technical and too narrow to do justice to the writer’s ideas here. What was preached to the Israelites of old was, quite clearly, God’s offer of rest. This, of course, was “good news” for them just as it is for people now, but it is not exactly what is meant today by “gospel.” The Greek verb used, euangelizomai, was fully capable of having a nontechnical sense in the New Testament, but naturally the writer here did not sharply distinguish the “good news” about rest, which his readers had heard, from the “good news” to which the term “gospel” is more usually applied (cf. 1 Cor. 15:1-4). But as the whole context shows, his concern was with the good news about a future rest for God’s people (cf. Heb. 4:10), not with the fundamental facts Paul spoke of in 1 Corinthians 15.
As was already pointed out in reference to the Israelites, the message they heard (about rest) was of no value to them, because of their lack of faith (cf. Heb. 3:19). That is to say, through unbelief they failed to take advantage of God’s offer of rest. So it follows that for the readers to profit from this invitation to rest, they had to exercise faith.
10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.
Commentary: There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God.
But it must now be said clearly that entering into God’s rest means resting from one’s own work just as God did from His. The statement is both a reassurance and an admonition. On the one hand it follows up the writer’s conclusion (Heb. 4:9) that there is such a rest to be entered. But on the other, it reminds the readers that this is only done by their getting to the end of their task just as did God in His creative activity. In the phrase “rests from His own work,” the author employed a kind of word play since the verb for “rest” also signifies “cease” which, against the backdrop of God’s own work, clearly suggests successful completion. This thrust is what the writer has had in mind from the beginning of the section. The readers need to model their lives after Jesus Christ who “was faithful to the One who appointed Him” (3:2) and they must be careful to “hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first” (3:14; cf. 3:6). Only thus would they be able to rest from their works in the joyful possession of their inheritance in the messianic kingdom.
What does this mean? It means that all believers will have a sabbath rest. You should be able to rest just as God did from His work. God finished His work then rested and so should you. So you should model your life after Jesus and hold on to the end with the faith and confidence in Jesus that you had in the beginning. Complete the work God has asked you to do. Then you will be able to rest from your work with joyful possession of your inheritance in heaven.
Please remember that if we have any hope in our Lord and Savior who gave us “everything” we must continually be faithful to the Lord, first. Remember, God loved us first, even before He created us.
God is testing us every day and has given us the right to make our own choices. Do you know which ones are the right choices in Gods mind?
Fear God, love God, honor God, and trust God with all your heart, mind and soul and you will receive and experience the joy of the promises of God’s blessings in His time.
Prayer: Father in heaven, I praise You for Your Son and the Holy Spirit. I praise You for grace in sending us Your wisdom about “Sabbath Rest.” Thank you for the opportunity to serve You until it is our time to rest. Bless all those who have read this article for they too are seeking Your righteous truth, love, wisdom and understanding.
May God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit and Christianity be our guiding lights, our safety nets and our inspiration for loving happiness in all of Your kingdom. Father into your hands I commend my spirit. Not my will, but Yours be done. Please come Lord Jesus.
I pray in Jesus sweet name and to His glory through the power of the Holy Spirit,