Hebrews 3:7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. 10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ 11 As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.'”
Unbelief can cause a person to rebel against God and thus fail to enter into His rest. What kind of rest does God offer to us? Today we will look at the ‘Rest of Salvation’ and tomorrow the ‘Rest of a Surrendered Life’.
The Rest of Salvation
The Bible is very clear that there are those who, although they profess to be followers of Christ, their faith is not genuine. Jesus stressed this very strongly in His Parable of the Sower.
Matthew 13:3 Then Jesus used stories to teach them many things. He said: “A farmer went out to plant his seed. 4 While he was planting, some seed fell by the road, and the birds came and ate it all up. 5 Some seed fell on rocky ground, where there wasn’t much dirt. That seed grew very fast, because the ground was not deep. 6 But when the sun rose, the plants dried up, because they did not have deep roots. 7 Some other seed fell among thorny weeds, which grew and choked the good plants. 8 Some other seed fell on good ground where it grew and produced a crop. Some plants made a hundred times more, some made sixty times more, and some made thirty times more. NCV
As Jesus explained this parable He said – “And what is the seed that fell on rocky ground? That seed is like the person who hears the teaching and quickly accepts it with joy. But he does not let the teaching go deep into his life, so he keeps it only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching he accepted, he quickly gives up.” (Mt 13:20 NCV)
Was this person saved and then lost their salvation, or were they never saved in the first place? Personally I believe that they were never saved. Theirs was only a head-knowledge and not a heart-knowledge. I believe this because our Lord also said – “Not all those who say that I am their Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven… On the last day many people will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, we spoke for you, and through you we forced out demons and did many miracles.’ Then I will tell them clearly, ‘Get away from me, you who do evil. I never knew you.’” (Mt 7:21-23 NCV) John writes this concerning those who walk away from the faith – “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.” (1 John 2:9 NAS)
Though most believers will at times struggle in their faith, every born-again believer has the witness of the Holy Spirit living within them (Rom 8:16) and therefore will always eventually return back to the truth. In contrast, the non-believer will turn from the truth: “…A dog returns to its own vomit, and, “a sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.” (2 Pet 2:22 NAS)
The Bible says: “Examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Don’t you understand that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless, of course, you fail the test.” (2 Cor 13:5 CEB) If you have concerns about your salvation and relationship with God, please contact me at: email@example.com