Hebrews 4:6

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, Hebrews 4:6

In this verse, we have a continuation of the same logical progression of thought which has been presented: 1) God’s labors of creation are ended and He rested. 2) He promised rest to His people Israel. This rest was offered to those who came out of Egypt with Moses. However, that same rest was not appropriated by Moses, nor was it appropriated by Joshua (verse 4:8) who followed after Moses, and who brought Israel into Canaan. Because of this, 3) It, therefore, “remains that some must enter it.” What this means is “that which was available in past times still remains available.” Because it is promised, and because the promise was not laid hold of, the promise remains unappropriated.

This will be made evident in the coming verses. But for now, the author states it as a fact. And the reason for this is that “those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience.” As noted in verse 4:2, the term “preached” is not appropriate. It should say, “those who were the first to receive the announcement of the good news.” The Israelites were informed that they were selected as God’s people, and would receive the promised inheritance of His rest. However, because of disobedience, meaning unbelief, they did not enter into His rest.

With this understanding, we need to refer back to verse 4:3 which said, “For we who have believed do enter that rest.” It is clear that he is speaking of belief in the finished work of Messiah. The promise of entering God’s rest is open to His people Today. Any who believe in what Jesus has accomplished enter into God’s rest because Today is still available for them to enter. And yet, the promise of entering God’s rest is not confined to individuals calling on Christ. It is also a promise which is intended for Israel as a people group. Unless one believes that the church has replaced Israel, a teaching which is contrary to the entire tenor of Scripture, it must be that Israel as a collective whole will enter into His rest at some point.

Life application: Jesus saves. There is no salvation apart from Him. Individually, when we call on Christ, we will be saved. At that time, we enter into God’s rest. However, it is Jesus who also will save Israel collectively. As a people, they have definite and sure promises which pertain to them. On some day, called Today, they will call on Him and be saved.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the wonderful assurance that You are with us at all times. For those who have come to You through Christ, there is no place we can go, no trial which is too great, and no pain which is too grievous that we can say, “Where have You gone, O God.” Rather, we can confidently say, “Thank You for being here with me at this time.” Help us to remember this, and to never feel that we have been abandoned by You. Amen.

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