By Stewart Topping …
Hebrews 3:15-19 (NKJV) 15 while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” 16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.So what happened after the Jewish people followed Moses; they went through the Red Sea, then moved through the wilderness and then stood at the Jordan River. It would seem that after discussion with God they didn’t want to go into the land of Canaan. God called it the promise land; given to Abraham if he was obedient to the covenant with God, which he was.
Genesis 17:7-8 (KJV) 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. 8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
They were to follow the instruction that God had given them; but instead they sent spies to check out the land, (they did not need to check it out), and when they returned they reported to the leaders that there were giants in the land of Canaan. That bothered them even more. What’s really funny is that God told them he would fight their battles and allow them to occupy the land; all they had to do was hear his voice and believe God at his word.
Hebrews 4:10 (KJV) 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
It would seem that Jewish people did not cease from their own works. This is why we have so many problems with our walk with God. He wants to talk to us, but we are too busy. He wants to lead us, but we want check out where we are going first. He wanted to do all the work for us, actually it has already been done since the foundation of the world. God planned it before we were born.
It was not the sins that the Jewish people committed, wild partying when Moses went up the mountain, and it was not the strange golden calf that they created and worshiped. It was the unbelief. The message is simple, but we complicate it. We try to analyze it, check it out. We listen to other people; we listen to people who teach incorrectly. We are told to listen God (hear his voice) and obey (follow His instructions). Believing God means that you need to cease from trying to do something in order to gain salvation and to learn how to just rest and let Gods do the work.
The Jewish people suffered for forty years in the wilderness and they died in the wilderness. It took 40 years to change their thinking and to trust God in the wilderness. God raised up a new generation of people. The new generation did obey God and went across the Jordan River.
Galatians is a good epistle; to realize that works are a law unto itself.
Resting is a cessation from all work (our work) and cessation from activities concerning God (we are to accept God word).
Galatians 2:16 (KJV) 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Our salvation comes from believing God not working for our salvation. There is nothing you or I can do to earn our salvation. It is a free gift from God thru the shed blood of Jesus
Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV) 8 for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
How many times to we think that we have to earn our salvation, do something. But God has said it is a gift of God. What do people think they have to do to get saved?
1. Water baptism.
a. They think that water is part of their salvation.
b. Water baptism is a good witness to others.
2. Good works.
a. Donating time and money for worthy causes.
b. Good outweighing the bad we do in life.
3. Going to Church.
b. Serving on Church Boards.
c. Belonging to the right Church.
4. Hanging around the right people.
Let take a moment at look at what the Bible says about rest, God rested on the seventh day because the work was already done. Nothing left to do. We must believe that all the work for our salvation has been done. If God said; Jesus would die, would be buried and that He would be resurrected by the power of God and all we had to do was believe him. Then why do we try to work our way into heaven.
Remember just believe God and receive the Holy Spirit and be Born Again. God will give you a new life! That new life will be forgiven; your sins gone. Remember it’s not your sins that will keep you out of heaven; it will be your unbelief!
It’s your chose!
Are you resting in Jesus?