Title: Back to the Old Grind
Purpose: To encourage Christians to keep living their faith


Intro:
  1. People enjoy vacation. But after , ďback to the old GrindĒ. All good things come to end
  2. This is not true, not all good things must come to an end
  3. Text: Hebrews 4 (3:14-15 serves a backdrop)
  4. We must hold fast our assurance in Godís rest.


I. Hold to Almightly God in Fear

  1. We are commanded to fear (what about 3:6?)
  2. Text
    1. Begins with "therefore"
      1. 3:16-19, Moses could not lead the people into Canaan
      2. Even though the people were unfaithful, Moses was faithful, but the people still did not enter in
      3. So the warning comes across, we are to "fear"
    2. Did Israel have fear?
      1. Fear of enemies, starvation, and not knowing what happens next
      2. Their fear was misplaced. They feared everyone but God!
    3. But what about Psalm 23? (thy rod and staff, they comfort me)
  3. I used to work around electric equipment
    1. New guys were very safety conscious, almost skidish
    2. The older guys were not skidish (one guy got zapped with 600 volts, got a hole in hand).
    3. When you stop fearing, you get careless
    4. Because of fear, does that mean you quit your job? No.
  4. Where do you run to get away from God's wrath? (God wanted to unleash His against Israel)
    1. There is a place you can run: The only way to run from God, is to run to God
    2. (v.1) Chapter begins with "fear", and ends with "draw near"
    3. Are you getting careless?
      1. Afraid of what someone might think or do if:
        • You pray in cafeteria at work, or school?
        • Talk openly about faith
        • Pass up a company party, or a school party because of your faith?
        • IF SO, YOUR FEAR IS MISPLACED
      2. Jesus said - Donít fear men who can kill your body, but the Lord who can destroy both body and soul in hell
      3. If you have a healthy fear (respect) for God, you will have all the confidence you need


II. Hold to Godís Promise with Faith

  1. (v.1) A Promise remains of entering His rest
  2. Explanation
    1. Like Israel, we have the good news preached to us, though it was different
    2. (v.2-3) Faith was, and still is necessary to enter
      1. Israel did not enter because their hearing was not united with faith (Rom. 10:18-14)
      2. Those who believe enter that rest (v.3-6)
      3. God rested (it is HIS rest which is still available, which he invites us to)
    3. Did Israel ever enter their rest? (v. 7-10)
      1. v.8 - No
        • The text quotes from the Psalms
        • David wrote this hundreds of years later, yet still speaks of another rest
        • It says "Another Day After that". When is this?
      2. "TODAY" is the other day. The promise remains TODAY
  3. "Words are Cheap"
    1. We make promises, handshake (just words, one may or may not keep it)
    2. Sometimes we get irritated and say "begone", but the person might stay & plague us
    3. We tell our children "use your words", instead of whining, and they do, but get upset when the other children don't cooperate even after using their words
    4. HOWEVER
      1. Godís word is living and active (if he says "begone", guess what)
      2. If God "uses his words", guess what?
      3. The whole anolaogy about the word being a sword is meant to comfort
      4. God knows you, examines you, & HIS WORD REMAINS SURE
  4. Admonition
    1. Be diligent to enter that rest (spoudazo) Work HARD, LABOR
    2. But aren't we going to rest?
      1. It is Godís rest, yet - (John 5:17), God is working (ergon, which means activity not spoudazo which means hard labor)
      2. (Rev 14:13) - We will rest from spoudazo
      3. (Rev. 7:14-17) - We will serve him day and night eternally
    3. Heaven is not a spit and whittle club, not a paradise for the lazy
    4. Heaven is for those tired IN the service of God, not those tired OF the service of God
    5. What are you tired of?
      1. Serving the Lord?
        • How much do you serve him compared to 1 year ago? 2? 3?
        • How much pray, study, serve needy, share faith, make decisions in God's interest
        • If it is less than it used to be, then you are tired.
      2. Are you drifting?
      3. Let Godís sword do its needed surgery, it can fix the problem


III. Hold our Confession Fast

  1. A Good grip gets tiresome. So we need to strengthen Muscles
  2. Text
    1. Sword analogy meant to admonish and comfort in context
    2. Now moves to Jesus
      1. Godís final word
      2. Was a merciful and faithful High preist (2:17)
      3. His faithfulness as a Son established (3:1-4)
    3. Now Jesus is called a GREAT High Preist
      1. Passed through the Heavens BOTH WAYS
      2. Walked in our shoes. He was perfectly God and perfectly Man
  3. Try to see the President, Congressman, Mayor, Boss (will need an appointment, if you can get in at all)
    1. God needs no appt.
    2. God Almighty who sits on the throne, is approachable
    3. His Son, the King in his Kingdom, is sympathetic
  4. Admonition: Jesus wants us to hold fast our confession
    1. He is fully aware of the difficulty and challenge of maintaining that confession
    2. Rest assured, he will help
    3. Are you maintaining your confession at home, school, on job, in neighborhood
    4. If not, it is time to approach the throne. You need no appointment.


Concl:

  1. We need to hold fast our assurance
    1. By holding to God in fear
    2. By hold to Godís Promise in Faith
    3. By hold our Confession Fast
  2. Problem with Israel is not that they never believed, but that they didnít maintain their faith. They lost their grip
  3. Are you losing your grip? Do you truly labor to enter Godís rest?
  4. TODAY the promise remains, (I donít know about tommorrow). Come to the Throne of Grace TODAY



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Side Note on the Sabbatarian view:
  1. The "rest" we are to enter is not the Sabbath day (Ps 95)
  2. Present tense in v.3 is not the Sabbath - Some say that since this is not in the future tense, but in the present, it is saying that faithful people observe the Sabbath. However, the present tense is used in other ways:
    1. Present used in Is. 9:6 - "A child is born" (used of an event to come in the future)
    2. Historic Present used a lot in the book of John. eg. - "Jesus says to him," "he says to him" used for dramatic purposes
    3. If I say "Those who believe go to Heaven" (you understand this to mean in the future)
  3. The text does not say that Israel did not "keep the Sabbath", but that they failed to enter God's rest,(v.6) which is clearly understood in context as entering Canaan
    1. Deut 12:9 - Canaan is called the "resting place"
    2. Deut 12:10 - When they cross into Canaan, they will have rest from their enemies and live in security
    3. Joshua 1:12-15 - when they obtain the land, they will have rest from God
  4. Aside from all of this, the text does say that the people DID observe the Sabbath DAY in the wilderness (Ex. 16:30)
    1. For Those who did not keep the Sabbath DAY, the penalty was death (Ex. 35:2)
    2. There was an example of a man who didn't keep the Sabbath DAY, and was stoned (Num. 15:32ff)
    3. So, they did keep the Sabbath DAY in the wilderness
  5. All of this makes it clear that the Sabbath mentioned is not the "Sabbath Day", but a "Sabbath Rest" which is given by God, which was the promised land for Israel, and Heaven for us

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