let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.

Pastor Ino

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Today’s message title is from Hebrews 4:1, “let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.” It’s important for us to have a fear of the Lord to enter into God’s rest. We are challenged to listen to God’s Word with a fear of the Lord, and to listen to God’s Word as a gospel. Now, please read Hebrews Chapter 4.

 Hebrews 4: 1 says, “Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.” First, let us consider the rest of God. What Jesus gives us as high priest, is the rest of God. Jesus was crucified, forgave our sins, and restored our relationship with God. Christians who live in a new covenant with God are able to enter God’s rest. To clarify that, the author of the Hebrews cites the events of Exodus in the Old Testament. Do you guys remember that the Israelites could have become a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, through keeping the Ten Commandments of Moses? And the land of Canaan was supposed to be their resting place. However, they sinned in the land of Canaan, the country became unstable, divided into two nations, each captive, and the nation was destroyed, that is the history of the Israelites. Unfortunately, the events of Exodus did not bring God’s rest. It points out that it was due to their unbelief (3:19). But Jesus gave us a second experience of Exodus. It means Jesus frees us from the slavery of sin, makes us God’s people, and gives us the rest of God. In order for that, we need to listen to the gospel correctly and accept it by faith. Please read Hebrews 4: 2. It is written that the reason why they cannot enter into the rest of God is that “the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.” Then, verse three continued “Now we who have believed enter that rest,…” To be in God’s rest, the Word needs to be united by faith. Hebrews 11: 1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” As such, faith has the power to change our hearts and thoughts. The gospel itself is the power of God. Those who believe in Jesus will be saved. Heaven is promised for those people. We are made priests of God, and holy nations. These are biblical promises. We want to live a life in faith, receiving these Bible promises as God’s promises. Of course, our lives are not full of just good things. However, we are still able to have a confession of faith that we are living with Jesus every day. I believe that when we begin to live a life like that, Jesus, the high priest, lives with us and we’ll be able to experience the escape of trials and the rest of God.

 Hebrews 4:6 says “Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in (because of their disobedience,)…” and verse 9 says “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;” Those who formerly had the good news proclaimed refers to the Israelites in Exodus. God has left His rest for us, for those who believe in Christ. Verse 11 says“Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest…” In order for us to enter God’s rest, we need the right attitude and effort of our hearts. It is important to stop being disobedient and unbelieving and start walking with a step of faith.

  Verse 12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Continue to verse 13, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” We must look at the Bible and God with great fear. What we should do is to listen to God’s Word as the gospel, good news. When the Bible points out to our inadequacy and sinfulness of our hearts, keep an eye on Christ who gave his life for us and his forgiveness is extended to such sinners. Jesus, the high priest, lives with you. He listens to your prayers and your thankfulness. The Bible is not a book that ruins your life, but a book that gives you life. God is speaking to you from Isaiah 43:4, “(Since) you are precious and honored in my sight, and (because) I love you, (I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.)” In that way, it is necessary for us to listen to the Word of God as the gospel. Let us keep the fear of the Lord, listen to the gospel, and enter the rest of God.