“For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” (Hebrews 4:3)
In verses three through nine of the fourth chapter of the Book of Hebrews, the Holy Spirit gives us three concepts that have to do with being able to enter the rest of God:
1. God’s creation, all the way from the separating of the light from the darkness to the descent of the new Jerusalem, was completed in God’s mind before the events described in Genesis, Chapter One came into existence.
2. The Jewish Sabbath day.
3. The land of promise.
Let us consider the three concepts one at a time. If we do not believe them and embrace them, applying faith to them, we will not enter the rest of God. We will not attain the fullness of the inheritance that God has prepared for each believer in Christ.
First, consider this statement: “the works were finished from the foundation of the world.”
We understand from verse three that all the works of God were completed in God’s mind, in the spirit realm, before God said, “Let there be light.” We who are imprisoned in the physical realm are bound by time. God beholds a matter as being accomplished long before (sometimes thousands of years before) we humans arrive at the time of its physical appearance and substance.
“The works were finished from the foundation of the world.” The fact of the pre-working, the foreknowledge, the predestination, the sovereignty of God, is taught by statement and by example throughout the Scriptures.
From the calling of Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees, to the establishing of the last saint in the new Jerusalem, the sovereignty of God is demonstrated clearly.
Does this mean that no matter what anyone does, those who are to be saved will be saved and those who are to be destroyed will be destroyed?
The Scriptures do not teach this. Every human being on the earth determines his or her eternal destiny by the way he behaves and the choices he makes. Grace, salvation, and the Kingdom of God are not edicts. They are opportunities.
How can these two concepts be reconciled?
Perhaps they cannot be reconciled in the material world. But both of the concepts—that God is sovereign in the universe and His works have been finished already and now are being fashioned for us to see, and also that each individual must choose to accept God’s will in Christ for his life or to reject God’s will for his life—are taught throughout the Scriptures and are true and factual in the spirit realm.
The knowledge that God already has completed all things has a very practical effect on the overcomer. Such knowledge gives him rest from the tormenting driving of his own fears and feeling of duty and obligation, and enables him to settle back into the arms of God and allow Christ to build the Kingdom of God.
To be continued.