They certainly shall not enter My rest.
Hebrews 3 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession: Jesus; 2 He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. 3 For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; 6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold firmly to our confidence and the boast of our hope.
7 Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says,
“Today if you hear His voice,
8 Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me,
As on the day of trial in the wilderness,
9 Where your fathers put Me to the test,
And saw My works for forty years.
10 Therefore I was angry with this generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they did not know My ways’;
11 As I swore in My anger,
‘They certainly shall not enter My rest.’”
The Danger of Unbelief
12 Take care, brothers and sisters, that there will not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another every day, as long as it is still called “today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we keep the beginning of our commitment firm until the end, 15 while it is said,
“Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.”
16 For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose dead bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.
There is a debate among Christian scholars as to whether a person who is saved can lose their salvation, by falling away after they have believed in Christ. I’ll leave that debate to the scholars, but I think today’s text raises an interesting aspect of the deceitfulness of sin and the danger of unbelief. The text says: Take care, brothers and sisters, that there will not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another every day, as long as it is still called “today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we keep the beginning of our commitment firm until the end, while it is said, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.” This warning is given to brothers and sisters, to believers. It warns believers that having evil be part of a person can cause their heart to fall away from God; to be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; leave Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” Being in Christ, we must also continue in Him.
The text says: For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose dead bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. Those who died in the wilderness were delivered from captivity in Egypt, but they could not enter into God’s rest and the fullness of His inheritance, because their hearts were hardened. Even after they were free, they disobeyed God. There are many today who have been delivered into salvation because they have believed, but do not enter into the fullness of God’s rest because they are disobedient; deceived by sin and have their hearts hardened. God doesn’t condemn any to death, but neither does He condone disobedience and lawlessness. In John 3:16-21 Jesus says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. The one who believes in Him is not judged; the one who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his deeds will not be exposed. But the one who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds will be revealed as having been performed in God.” The judgment is not God’s decision against people, but rather it is people’s decision against God; that they love darkness more than light. In John 14:15 Jesus says: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” Whether a person can lose their salvation after they have believed and confessed that Jesus is Lord is not for me to say. I do though believe that if a person is questioning their salvation, it is the devil who will condemn them and tell them they’re not saved, while the Holy Spirit will convict them and tell them to repent and turn back to God. Additionally when Jesus confronted Paul, in Acts 26:14 He said: ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ In Matthew 11:28-30 He says: “Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is comfortable, and My burden is light.” If we want to enter into God’s rest, we will find it in obedience to His will; walking and working with Him.
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit that You set us free through the cross and the resurrection. Thank You that You do not condemn, but rather You convict and call us to repentance and obedience. I choose to yoke myself to You and to walk in Your will, that I might enter into Your rest. Amen.