“Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.
For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this passage he said, “They shall not enter my rest.”
Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:1–13 ESV)
The seventh day rest that existed in Eden still exists today and the offer of reconciliation and rest still stands to all who will abandon self willed, self reliant effort and trust completely in the finished work of Jesus (v3-5). The Sabbath day rest of God is centered around the completed work of God in creation, just as the eternal rest of God is centered around the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Both are finished and provided for by God to those who will believe and receive (v6-7); this means resting in the certainty of the finished work of Jesus on the cross – all spiritual striving which reflects our uncertainty of our ultimate home now ceases. The joy of being reconciled with the Creator ensues. The same contentedness of soul that Adam & Eve experienced in Eden before the fall is now being restored to humanity; this abiding, peaceful, safety (shalom) in the presence of God is being returned as those who trust have been reconciled with the Creator of the cosmos. We begin to taste this now as the rule and reign of the Messiah is set up in our hearts, but will be ultimately culminated at the end of time when Jesus himself makes all things New (Revelation 21:4-5). We see this offer of rest being extended to the Israelites in the rest extended in the promised land, but they did not enter into God’s rest because they did not have faith; belief is the activator of this rest. There should be a sober mindfulness in us regarding those who have not yet entered in to the rest of God. Do you have rest in your soul? It is still available TODAY! Persevere in your faith, battle against unbelief, lean on God’s revealed word for conviction, encouragement and assurance of His rest for you. Let us strive to enter the rest of God by fortifying our belief in Him and His promises. We must remember that we are not saved or sustained by our own good works, but rather by the finished work of our preeminent high priest, Jesus.