Hebrews Chapter Four
There is a belief in the Christian world that some hold to called “once saved, always saved.” Basically this means that if you come to a saving relationship with God and Christ, then you can never lose your ticket to eternal salvation. This can be a dangerous perspective because it enables Christians to become complacent with where they are at if they believe they can never lose their salvation. Worse yet, it can lead people to a life of sin and destruction if they do not take seriously the consequences of sin. Verse six of Hebrews chapter four discusses this doctrine of once saved, always saved a bit by stating, “Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience.” The author is stating that some who receive the good news/gospel fail to enter rest because of their disobedience. They initially accepted the promises of the gospel, but they failed to enter because of their disobedience. In other words, they were once considered saved when they accepted and received the gospel, but they lost it when they disobeyed. This verse suggests that maybe the doctrine of once saved, always saved is not founded in the Bible.
This should provide a wakeup call for us! We need to take the sin in our lives very seriously. We are to be sanctified and set apart from this world, so let’s act like it! Let’s not become complacent and degrade the consequences of sin. God hates sin. The hardening of our hearts can lead us to sin, and again the author warns us of hardening our hearts in verse seven. We should take this warning seriously since the author has repeated it three times in chapters three and four.
The concept of rest is repeated a lot in this chapter. What exactly is the author referring to when he is talking about rest? Let’s take a look at what this rest is described as in chapters three and four:
- Israelites unable to enter God’s rest because of their disobedience and unbelief (3:18-19)
- The promises of entering God’s rest still stand (4:1)
- We who believe enter the rest (4:3)
- God swore that some will not enter his rest (4:3,5)
- God rested on the seventh day (4:4)
- Remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God (4:9)
- Whoever enters God’s rest also rests from his works (4:10)
- Strive to enter the rest (4:11)
Here’s what I get from all of this. God offered the Israelites during the exodus a chance to rest, but they were not able to enter God’s rest because they were disobedient. The author then compares the rest that was offered to the Israelites to the coming Kingdom. I come to this conclusion because the promises of entering God’s rest still stand. There is still a chance to enter God’s rest. However, not everyone will attain that rest, only the people of God. In fact God swore that not everyone will enter his rest. If we are disobedient and unbelieving, then we will not enter God’s rest. However, if we are a people after God’s own heart, then we surely will enter God’s beloved rest in the coming Kingdom. Hallelujah! Praise God! Amen! Therefore, continue to strive toward the Kingdom and bring as many people with you as possible because one day you will enter God’s rest in the Kingdom.
Chapter four ends with talk of Jesus being the great high priest. We truly do have a great high priest in Jesus. One of the awesome things about Jesus being our high priest is that he is able to sympathize with us. Jesus was tempted just like we are, but fortunately he did not sin. He knows what we go through when we are faced with trials and temptations. He is no stranger to struggle and suffering. We can seek refuge in our high priest when we face these temptations because he is able to sympathize with us and plead our case to our Heavenly Father, YHWH. Jesus being tempted is also more great proof against the trinity. James 1:13 states, “God cannot be tempted with evil.” If Jesus were God as well, then James and the author of Hebrews would be contradicting one another. It cannot be possible for the word of God to contradict itself. Jesus can’t be tempted, and never have been tempted at the same time. It doesn’t work that way. It logically does not make sense. Jesus was indeed tempted like us, and being our high priest, he is able to sympathize and help us.
To close out today’s devotion, I want to point out Hebrews 4:12, “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.” I hope you have gotten benefit from reading these posts. However, if you don’t get anything else, I want you to know and fully understand that the word of God is living and active. We are beyond blessed to have the Bible today. If it weren’t for God’s supervision, there would be no stinking way that we should have it because of the numerous attempts to rid the world of the Bible. The Bible has only flourished though. It is truly a divine miracle that we all have access to a Bible, God’s word. I want to encourage you to keep up the awesome work in delving into God’s word through these devotions. You are truly doing a great deed. Keep up the awesome work, and truly believe in your heart that these words are living and active.