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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Three Aspects of the Rest of God
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. (Hebrews 4:1—NIV)
The rest of God is the goal, the mark, the land of promise toward which every Christian is to press. There are three basic aspects that must be considered if one would understand and be able to press into God's rest. The first aspect concerns God's finished work. The second aspect has to do with the eternal Sabbath. The third aspect emphasizes the conquest of the enemies in the land.
The Book of Hebrews is an exhortation and a warning. The epistle is addressed to experienced Jewish Christians. It appears they had received Christ as Savior, no doubt had been baptized with the Holy Spirit, and had had some experience with miracles.
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? (Hebrews 2:3,4)
They had suffered persecution.
For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. (Hebrews 10:34)
These Jewish believers were beginning to neglect their salvation and perhaps were not assembling together as often as before.
Not forsaking the assembly of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)
The Book of Hebrews is a warning to saved, Spirit-filled, experienced believers to keep on pressing toward perfection. To do otherwise is to place in jeopardy one's relationship to Christ.
The first chapter of Hebrews speaks of the majesty of the Heir of God, Christ.
The second chapter of Hebrews informs us that the same majesty is being issued to the heirs of God and that this is the "great salvation" that must not be neglected.
The third chapter of Hebrews compares the Christian discipleship with the journey of Israel from Egypt to Canaan. The point is stressed that just as the unbelieving, disobedient Israelites died in the wilderness, so will we Christians if we do not persevere to the end of our pilgrimage.
But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (Hebrews 3:6)
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; (Hebrews 3:14)
"If we hold fast." "If we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end."
These two "ifs" put the lie to the current teaching that our salvation is unconditional. The term "if" means salvation is conditional.
One may ask, "Can an individual once having made a profession of faith in Christ then be lost?" If not being a part of the house of Christ and not being a partaker of Christ mean we are lost, then yes, we can be lost after we have started on the journey. To claim otherwise is to go against the express Word of God, and that is unthinkable.
To be continued.