Sermon:  Requirements for Rest

Summary:  Rest, properly defined, does not come automatically to people at the end 
of our journey.  Rest is a reward that comes to those who carefully listen to the 
living word of God with strong, striving, and steadfast faith demonstrated by 
obedience.  This means we must listen to the word regularly so that it becomes a 
part of us.

Know:  Those who strive now at faithful obedience to God will find rest, but those 
who rest from God and do not obey will never rest in the end.

Feel:  Motivated to work hard at listening and responding with faithful obedience

Do:  Discuss the meaning of Sabbath and how the image of Sabbath is used as a 
picture of hope for the Christian.  Identify ways Israel is used as a lesson and 
discuss the relationship between the word of God and rest.  Determine what this 
passages teaches about the word and how it can be beneficial or not beneficial in 
finding rest.

Text:  Heb 4:1-13

Scripture Reading:  Mt 11:28-30

1.  Ever feel tired and long for rest, think of pillow, vacation, p.j. day?
2.  Texas preacher J.D. Tant said toward end - "There remaineth yet a rest for the 
people of God, and how I long for that rest"
	a.  There are different kinds of rest
	b.  Remember wondering at what R.I.P. meant on tombstones when little
		- Means Rest in Peace
		- Say that when we die, we are finally at rest - so rest in peace
	c.  Rest is such a great blessing
	d. Wouldn't you like to get rest?
3.  Text:  Heb 4:1-13
	a.  Context - This section began in chapter 3, talking about Israel
		- Not a good example
		- God not pleased with them
		- They all died in the wilderness, not enter rest in promised land
	b.  Chapter begins, "therefore..."
		- Talks about our rest and how to fail entering into that rest
		-  You can lose the rest, and never find it
4.  Will learn what rest is, how to gain it, and how not to lose it
	-  Several points from chapter (Heb 4:1-13)

I.  Rest does not come automatically
	A.  What is the rest of God?
		1.  Hebrew - Shabbat / Sabbath
		2.  Often think of Sabbath day
		3.  But it a generic work that means, "rest"
	B.  Look at the big picture concerning rest
		1.  Passage refers to two Old Testament passages
			a.  (Ps 95:7b-11) Israel rebelled against God in wilderness
				- God swore they never enter his "rest"
				- They never enter promised land
				- They died in the wilderness
			b.  Connects Ps 95 to (Gen 2:2)
				- God work 6 days, rested on the 7th
				- "Rest" means he ceased, finished/complete his work
					= Not means he was tired
					= Like an artist "rest" after painting, admire it
					= Like builder rest after project, admire it
					= God "saw that it was good"
			c.  Will never enter "my" rest
				- Means entering into God's rest
				- Means ceasing to labor
				- Can enjoy fruits of labor in the promised land
			d.  But they didn't enter, whole generation died in wilderness
		2.  Did the next generation enter into rest finally?
			a.  Text says, "If" Joshua had given them rest ...
				- Seems to indicate Joshua not give them rest
				- But didn't they enter into Canaan?  Yes
				- "Rest" is talking about something much bigger
				- Canaan a reflection of something bigger
			b.  Text says there "still remains a rest"
			c.  Even though Joshua led them to rest, he did not
			d.  Ultimate rest is bigger than a land on earth
		3.  (Rev 14:13) Blessed are dead who die in Christ, rest from labors
			a.  There is a final rest remaining
			b.  See it in final picture (Rev 21:4)
				- No more tears, death, mourning, crying, pain
				- Will make all things new
				- This is the end of this journey, final rest
		4.  Image of Israel in this passage is very instructive
			a.  Israel was freed from Egyptian bondage through sea
				- Like us being freed from bondage to sin
				- Were slaves to sin, but freed by Jesus blood
				- Pass through waters and freed
				- Did we enter rest then?  No
			b.  After passing through waters, journey in wilderness
				- Rest not to come till end of the journey
				- We are on that journey now
				- We have a journey to make before rest
			c.  Will cross the river into the place of rest
			d.  But, not everyone made it
				- Even Moses did not make it into the land
				- Not everyone today makes it
				- Means rest is not automatic
	C.  ILL:  Remember in HSBS, John Ross mother in law sick, & died
		1.  She suffered for some time
		2.  People said she better off, she not suffering, she at rest
		3.  John hated those words, he knew it not true
		4.  She was never a Christian - John knew rest not automatic
	D.  This text reminds us that rest is not automatic
		1.  Whether we cross into rest or torment depends on our journey
		2.  Rest is conditional on what we do now
		3.  In other words, there are conditions to be met before rest

II.  The ultimate rest has conditions to be met
	A.  This passage reminds us of the conditions
		1.  Rest is not automatic
		2.  Rest does not come to everyone
	B.  What conditions are there?
		1.  Listen to the Word.  Passage describes the word
			a.  Living and active - Not like other people's word
				- I substitute teach and say, class quiet" - is it so?
				- But God says, let there be light, and it is so
				- Jesus says to storm, "peace be still" and it is so
				- God's word is unique
			b.  Sharper than a sword - Not say it is a sword, but sharper
				- What is sharper than a sword? Scalpel
					= Doctor do surgery, cut open, see inside
					= Will he say, "I see this is honest man..."
					= Scalpel can lay body open, but not thoughts
				- But God's word can open up what scalpel can't
					= Cuts deeper than what knife can
					= Scalpel only lay open body, not the soul
				- Notice v.13 - All things laid bare before God
					= God not need word to see our thoughts
					= Word is for our benefit, not God's
					= Similar to mirror of James 1
					= Could say, Word is like EKG, MRI, heart 
					   monitor, etc.
		 		- But just reading is no good, just knowing is no good
		2.  Must listen to word with faith
			a.  Israel listen to word, but did no good.  Why?  No faith
			b.  Must combine hearing with faith
			c.  Faith not just verbal acknowledgement
				- v.1 - Must fear
					= Not fear starvation, enemies, uncertainty
					= Israel feared these things, but no good
					= Only fear God
				- v.6 - Obedience
					= Not just read and memorize
					= Must DO what God says
				- v.11 - Diligence
					= Striving, working hard, being steadfast
					= Not just nonchalantly have faith
			d.  We must listen carefully, and do it faithfully
				- Map do you no good unless read it
				- Read it do no good if not follow it
				- Have to follow it, even if you get tired
	C.  ILL:  Remember support raising trip, William a baby still.  Month long
		1.  Many McDonalds coupons from friends, got sick of it
		2.  Travel to AR, TX, OK, and NE seeking support, and succesfull
		3.  Jeremy said at third week, "I want to go...home"
		4.  But we had a route mapped out, a plan to stick to, no shortcuts
			a.  If not, may not raised support we need
			b.  Not have a home to go to in order to rest
	D.  We need to read God's map carefully and faithfully
		1.  Jesus wrote the map with his own blood
			a.  He died on the cross to pave way for us to rest
			b.  He is the only way
		2.  Does no good to just read and know his instructions
		3.  We must follow his directions faithfully, even when tired
		4.  Song - Trust and Obey, there is no other way

III.  Word must be in our heart
	A.  Can't just be something to read in Bible class
	B.  You are so blessed these days
		1.  Educated - Can read the Bible, and have personal copy(s)
		2.  Through the ages, Christians not have personal copy
			a.  Had to listen to someone read it to them
			b.  Would listen, savor every word, memorize, meditate
			c.  Like Psalmist that look forward to night watch so can 
			     meditate on his word - Ps 119:148
			d.  Hid it in their heart, became a part of them
		3.  Just because Bible is in hand, not mean it is in your heart
			a.  Must love it because it is from God
			b.  (Ps 19:1-11) - Scripture not a drudgery to the Psalmist
				- Sweet than honey
				- Savor every word
				- Great blessing and reward from keeping it
			c.  Longest chapter in the Bible is about God's word
			d.  It may be acquired taste
				- Sample now and then, never get appetite
				- But feed regularly, begin to want more
				- Begin to NEED more
		4.  Word will guide you, become second nature to you
	C.  ILL:  Reminds me of watching my Dad drive when I was little
		1.  Never held steering wheel straight, always course correcting
		2.  It was second nature to him, did it so much, barely think about it
	D.  Word of God needs to be second nature, first nature
		1.  Must read regularly, meditate, obey
		2.  It will be a great blessing

1.  Are you weary?  Do you long for rest?
2.  Remember, rest does not come automatically
	a.  Need to list to God's word, faithfully obey with diligence
	b.  If you strive, work hard, serve God now, there will be a rest
	c.  If you rest now, not finish, then no rest in the end
3.  Need faithful obedience.  First step is the Gospel (inv)
	a.  (Mt 11:28-30) - Jesus can give you rest
	b.  Jesus will strengthen you for the journey so you can make it
		- Lay down your burden
		- Take up his yoke and his burden, it is light
	c.  And don't stop, don't give up on the journey he has mapped out
4.  If you are a Christian, you are tired and weary
	a.  Maybe it is from doing the right thing,  the honorable thing
	b.  Maybe it is due to being disowned, ridicule, left out, etc.
	c.  Maybe it is from just being tired in service to others
	d.  REMEMBER, rest is coming, don't let up like Israel did


Sermon:  Requirements for Rest

Summary:  Rest, properly defined, does not come automatically to people at the end of our 
journey.  Rest is a reward that comes to those who carefully listen to the living word of 
God with strong, striving, and steadfast faith demonstrated by obedience.  This means we 
must listen to the word regularly so that it becomes a part of us.

- What makes or has made you tired, either physically, emotionally, or both?
- In what way have you gotten tired or weary in your Christian walk?

Explore:  (Heb 4:1-13)

1.  In connecting Genesis 2:2 and Psalm 95, what point(s) and lessons does this text make 
about sabbath rest?  What "rest" is this passage referring to?

2.  When someone comes to the end of life, are they truly at rest?  Why isn't rest at the 
end of life's journey automatic to everyone? 

3.  Why didn't Israel enter God's rest?  What warnings and instructions do Christians have 
from Israel's example?

4.  How does this passage characterize God's word?  What does it take for the word of God to 
be beneficial to someone?  What relationship does God's word have with the discussion on rest?

5.  According to this passage, does God need the word?  Why not?  What is the word for?


6.  What can you do to ensure the word is more beneficial for you in your life?  What role might 
a brother or sister in Christ play in this?

7.  What areas of life do you tend to react to without thinking?  Is your reaction formed by 
time with God's word, or by something else?  What can you do to conform your actions and 
reactions to God's will?

8.  How does knowing that rest is coming for faithful, hard working believers, but is not 
automatic for everyone at the end of life, affect or motivate you?  How does it affect the 
intensity of your faith?  

9.  How might you use this passage to encourage or motivate a brother or sister?

Plan - Read Psalm 19 and Psalm 119 this week and reflect on it