It is a word that sounds so good to say and so good to think about: rest. Rest sounds wonderful. We want to rest from our work. We want to rest on our vacation. We want to rest on the weekend. Our souls long for rest. The author of Hebrews is going to call for us to enter the true rest that is available to you today.
The Warning (4:1-2)
In chapter 3 we saw the preacher of Hebrews give a warning against an evil, unbelieving heart. Israel enjoyed the salvation and blessings of God, yet failed to enter the rest. The reason they failed to enter the rest is because they had an evil, unbelieving heart. Such a heart is revealed through disobedience and sinning. Since this is true, the author tells us that we should fear in 4:1. The Greek word is phobos and we should not soften the idea to mean to be careful or watch out. The NLT hits the idea well, “So we ought to tremble with fear.” We should be concerned about this truth that we can fail to enter the promised rest because of an evil, unbelieving heart. “Let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it” (4:1; ESV). The warning is very simple: what happened to Israel can also happen to us.
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