If you hear a message that has information in it that will save your life, but you ignore that message, what good did the message do you? It does you no good. Does this actually happen, though? Yes!
"For we also have had the gospel preach to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith." - Hebrews 4:2
They heard that they could be free and enter into the rest of God. But they didn’t grab onto it. When God interacted with Moses and told him he would lead his people out of Egypt to a land He would provide for them, Moses acted on it. The people, however, heard the message, saw the signs, and then decided that they could do it better themselves. God had offered them rest and they ignored it. All they had to do was follow Moses and trust in the God who held it all in His hands. But they didn’t. And as a result of their own choice, they had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. They did not enter rest. They were restless.
This is what sin does to us. It makes us run harder, run faster, chase, dwell, feel guilt, and shame. It keeps us awake at night thinking about all that we have done or want to do. It runs against the very core of who we are and says “do more, be more” It chips away at our understanding of who we are in Christ and the image of God upon us by saying “you are only valuable if you do this”
Of course Jesus Christ tells us something different. The message of Jesus Christ on the cross never gets old because it was there that forgiveness was offered to me for my sin. It was there that Jesus loved each and every human soul with a love that we can’t fathom. He offered Himself to each and everyone. He is offering to enter into your life. You can be forgiven. You can be free! There is Jesus, hands open wide, telling you that He loves you more than the stuff you do. He loves you more than the horrible sins you have committed. Won’t you believe it? Won’t you receive it? Let’s enter into His rest!
Are you a wilderness wanderer or are you a victor living in the promised land? There are two groups of people here. Those who will not receive the gift that God has given in Christ and those who will. Which one are you?
This is an excerpt from a sermon preached at Battle Lake Alliance Church on Sunday, March 4, 2018. To hear the entire sermon, go to our sermon page.
If you are interested in hearing more from Hebrews, join us on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. in Battle Lake, MN.
Hear one of our missionaries describe a verse that helps her find this rest here: