THE EXAMPLE OF UNBELIEF
Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
What a horrible legacy to leave behind! And not just for their children and grandchildren, but here we are centuries later, still reading about the example they left of refusing to believe and obey the Lord who had been so personally good to them above all other peoples on earth! But let us be wise enough to learn from others failings. This is what the Apostle Paul encourages us to do in our above listed passage, as well as to the Corinthian church, as he refers to this very same situation. 1 Corin. 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Here is what the Lord God himself had to say about it as he communed with Moses: Num. 14:21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. 22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; 23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:
This an extremely serious matter. And the Lord God spoke of this very matter again to the religious gang in the days of his earthly ministry. Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? And how are we instructed to view his coming back to earth again? 2 Thess. 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Only those who are obeying the gospel are at rest in Christ’s free and complete justification! But those, like these examples in both Moses’ and our Lord’s day, who did not obey his word, did not give glory to God, and shall not enter into his eternal rest.
Please notice in our Hebrews 4:11 verse that both the words “labour” and “rest” are included together. So how do we understand laboring to enter into rest? That Greek word here translated “Let us labour” is the same word translated into English in 2 Timothy 4:9 and 21 as, “Do thy diligence.” And it is translated as “Endeavoring” in Ephesians 4:13.
And it comes from two Greek words translated, “haste” in Mark 6:25, and as “carefulness” in 2 Corinthians 7:11. Therefore we see that in order to assure ourselves of entering into a soul rest now, and the eternal rest later, we should do our diligence, endeavoring to make use of the graces which God has afforded us! And we should do so with a careful haste.
There is no other way to assure ourselves of being included in the number who shall rest eternally with God in his glory except by committing to the Lord Jesus Christ, as shown by our present obedience to him! Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
We should also take careful notice of the apostle’s writing as he warned the Gentile believers in Rome of this same matter. Romans 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. And he gives this solemn warning: Rom. 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
(To learn more of their example, read 1 Corinthians 10:1-10.)
Pastor Gene Breed 11/23/13