Date: 1 March, 2015
Text: Hebrews 4
Title: Rest Worth Working For
Theme: God's promised rest to His children.
When we left to come back to the United Kingdom, we had loads of luggage....750 pounds to be exact. It was a burden until all of the bags were checked. Our journey was much easier because the bags were carried by the airline even after our return. (9 of our bags were late....so they delivered them.)
Now those bags emptied and no longer a burden to us at all. We have entered into our eternal rest. :)
Our text this morning has similar ideas in it. We have burdens in life that we carry. God can carry them for us. He will carry them for us. Some day they will be set aside eternally.
note: Our world is longing for rest.
· Luxury: Worth every penny?
By Rebecca Marston
"Asked to define luxury, the head of one of the world's best-known luxury goods makers simply looked baffled.
"I wasn't prepared for that question. I'd need some time to think about it."
He could have said this: once you have met what you need to survive, you achieve a level of comfort. Beyond that is where you find luxury.
The growth of the global luxury market has been astonishing, and continues that way, from a collective $247bn five years ago, to $338bn (£224bn; €296bn) last year- a rise of some 36% - according to market data specialists Euromonitor.
And that growth is impressive. Euromonitor is forecasting spending on luxury goods to be $463bn by 2019, an increase of 88% in 10 years."
· Suicide in men 'highest since 2001'
By James Gallagher
The proportion of men taking their own lives in the UK has reached its highest level for more than a decade, according to official figures.
The Office for National Statistics data shows 19 deaths by suicide for every 100,000 men in 2013.
Overall, 6,233 suicides were registered in men and women over the age of 15 in 2013 - 4% higher than the previous year.
note: The answer to men's need for rest is one word - JESUS.
Matthew 11: 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
I. You can have this rest.
1 ¶ Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
exp. The writer of Hebrews didn't want anyone to miss out on this rest. Because of that he wanted them each to approach this truth with dread of missing out.
ill. If you were going with our church to your favorite activity - football - restaurant, etc. and I had a bus hired to take us all there. I would tell you to make sure that you are ready. Set your alarm. Because YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS OUT ON THIS. And you don't have to, if you are properly anxious about the need to be ready, you will be ready.
exp. The problem with many is that they have no anxiety about the state of their soul. If they are damned, they don't care. They are content in their religion or they are content in their unbelief and if it is wrong - so what.
app. Friend, do you have God's rest? If not, are you anxious to have it. The author of Hebrews would have you anxious to have this promise from God.
II. You can only have this rest by faith.
2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
ill. The story he used to introduce this topic is of the Israelites and God's promised place of rest. (Hebrews 3:17-19)
question: What kept them from obeying God and taking the Promised land?
Numbers 13:32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
note: Caleb and Joshua preached a message of God's ability to bring them to rest.
God - "How long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?"
exp. They had a choice - TRUST GOD's WORD - or trust their feelings, reasonings and what they could see. They trusted themselves instead of God.
app. Are you trusting God this morning? You can have this rest unless you are willing to step out on the truth of God's Word.
III. You can rest because God has worked.
3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. (Psalm 95:11 "They shall not enter into my rest.")
note: Adam and Eve entered into God's rest because he had worked in Creation. We can enter into rest because of the finished work of Jesus for our redemption.
FACT: Jesus finished His work on Calvary.
John 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
question: Have you rested in the finished work of Jesus on Calvary.
ill. Martin Luther, the German reformer tried many things to get right with God. But, then he realized the JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH and he entered into the "rest" of the finished work of Christ.
app. Are you resting in what Jesus has done? Or are you still trying to find rest by your good works?
IV. You can miss this "rest" by hardening your heart in unbelief.
6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
exp. Rejecting God is willful. It is not "I can't believe." It is, "I won't believe. I don't want to see. I don't want to hear." But, if you'll listen - don't harden your heart. Take your fingers out of your ears, open your eyes. HE IS A GOD WHO CAN CALM THE STORM OF LIFE. He commands peace.
ill. the calming of the storm. Mark 4:35-41
app. Trust Him - even if the boat is shaking and the waves are crashing. Just wait - He will bring peace. Don't harden your heart in unbelief.
V. You can be assured of eternal rest.
8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
exp. Now he is speaking of an eternal promised rest. This rest has not been received but it is a final "sabatical" rest as God had when He took the first Sabbath.
note: When Israel did get into the Promised land there were still battles and there was still sin. Neither of those are in Heaven.
ill. The hymn writer, Annie Johnson Flint, was severely crippled by Arthritus but in Heaven she has been set free.
app. We rejoice this morning because we have before us the hope of an eternal rest.
Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
VI. You can do something to find this rest.
11 ¶ Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
exp. This is not "works of the flesh" to gain God's favor. This is just practical - how does somebody come to resting in Jesus.
A. Work at understanding God's Word.
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
exp. God's Word cuts us to the quick. It goes right down into internal motives and thoughts. Have you got the courage to let it expose what the problem is?
ill. Someone may have cancer and not want to know it. They don't want an MRI or CT Scan because they show the reality of what they fear. BUT KNOWLEDGE is what leads to answers and a right diagnosis leads to right remedies!
app. Think how hard people work to find rest in Alcohol. They take lots of money and put it into alcohol. They drink and drink and drink killing their physical body. The vomit and pass out and get up and say, "I've got to do it again."
app. If someone is willing to do that for rest, why not put that energy into FINDING THE ANSWER TO TRUE REST.
B. Trust God's ability to make your life right from the inside out.
13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
exp. Jesus is the great physician. And He has the ability to see every problem in our life and the ability to fix it.
question: Do you think this morning that your sin is hidden to God? Your employer, spouse, friends, may know nothing about it, but God knows what is robbing you of peace.
Isaiah 57:21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
app. Why not get honest with God who already knows what the problem is and deal with it today.
C. Grab ahold of God's truth with conviction.
14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
exp. Don't just say, "You are trusting in Jesus." Put some actions behind your professioin. Get on board for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jas 2:18 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
app. James is saying, "Don't tell me you believe in Jesus. Show me you believe in Jesus.
D. Understand that Jesus knows what you are going through.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
exp. Jesus has experienced the temptation of what is robbing us of our peace. He went through tests of his faith as well. BUT HE WENT THROUGH THEM IN VICTORY.
ill. My mom told me the story of a friend of ours who was in the military, Major Ron Brooks. He timed his men and told them to get the time under a certain parameter. After many failures they said it couldn't be done until he showed them that he could do it in that time.
app. You can't succeed but Jesus has succeeded. By HIS GRACE you can to. He sympathizes with your struggle.
E. Go boldly to God for His help to take the rest which He has given you.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
app. God doesn't want you to give a half hearted unbelieving cry for His help this morning. He wants you to come with confidence in what you will receive.
ill. Imagine Nelson coming and saying, "Dad you're probably not going to give me the thing that I need today. That's ok. I didn't think you would." Nelson says instead, "Dad can I get a chocolate bar? Yes?"
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
note: Anticipate the affirmative.
conclusion: Our world seeks peace in "luxury" in untimely "death." Peace is only found in Jesus. He alone can give "rest." Is your soul at rest today? Unbeliever - you can't have this rest except by faith in the finished work of Jesus. Believer you can't have it unless you deal with what is robbing you of His rest. Won't you go to Him to enter into His rest!