Hebrews 4:1-13 along with Hebrews 3:7-19 is a warning to people who had experienced the glory of God in action, and didn’t fully accept it due to unbelief. When the children of Israel left Egypt, on the way to the promised land of Canaan, they saw God help them in many miraculous ways. But because they didn’t believe God fully, they weren’t able to enter the promised land where they could experience God’s total rest.
What, then, is experiencing God’s rest? It is a realization that you cannot be with God in heaven by your own feeble efforts, a recognition that there is freedom from guilt provided through Christ’s complete forgiveness and an acknowledgment that a secure salvation established in Christ and in Him alone is necessary. Experiencing God’s rest isn’t going to happen just because you go to church, or read your Bible, or pray everyday. It is because of a personal faith in Jesus Christ (v.2). God’s sovereign purpose is part of God’s rest as well. All things were created that we might have a relationship with Him (v. 3-6). Don’t delay in receiving God’s rest (v. 7). It won’t be available forever. The day will eventually end. We must cease from our striving and trust in Christ alone.
God’s Word is not only saving, comforting, and a way of being fed, it is also a sword of execution. One day the judgment will come (v. 11-13). His wrath will be displayed and men’s hearts will be exposed to what is really true. Eventually, there will be a face-to- face confrontation with God. It will either be with a heart that totally believes in the saving grace of Jesus Christ or a heart that is full of unbelief, which deserves God’s wrath. God’s Word is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of every man’s heart.
What will it be for you? Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, has provided the ultimate sacrifice in order that we can boldly come into the presence of the Lord (vs. 14-16). Don’t just stand on the threshold. Turn your heart totally to Jesus today! Don’t turn back! True salvation is characterized by those who remain. What a tremendous relationship we can have with God through Jesus Christ our Lord!