Entering into God’s rest

By: By Gilbert Owens - Guest columnist

The Bible says in Hebrews 4:9, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” As we sit here in 2015, is there still a rest for the people of God and what is that rest?

The people of God are the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is all true believers who have confessed Jesus as Lord and believe God raised him from the dead. And yes, there still remains a rest for the people of God or should I say the people within the Body of Christ.

As we look across the landscape, it seems that everybody is in a hurry. Everybody is working hard. Many are working two and three jobs. Anxiety is up. Depression is rampant. All rage is up. And all of this is happening to Christians who say they believe in God and have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

So, the serious question becomes, why is all this happening to the people of God? It is happening because, in my opinion, 99% of most believers have not entered into God’s rest. Therefore, there remains a rest for the people of God.

This issue of entering into God’s rest first surfaced when God was dealing with the Jews who came out of Egypt. In chapter 13 of the Book of Numbers, God instructed Moses to send spies into the land of Canaan, which he had promised to give to them. The spies returned and said the land was exactly what God said it was but it was inhabited by a people that were stronger than they were and as a result brought up an evil report about the land. They told the people the land was a land that eats up its inhabitants and the people in the land were men of great stature. In the end, God’s people did not believe God would be able to give them the land although God had promised to give it to them.

As explained in Hebrews 3, God was angry with them and swore in his wrath that the people of God (Jews) would not enter into His rest.

Later, Joshua 24:13 gives us an indication of what God meant when he said to the next generation of God’s people, after the first generation died in the wilderness, due to God’s wrath. God said, “And I have given you a land for which ye did not labor, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and olive yards which ye planted not.”

Herein lies the meaning of God’s rest. Entering God’s rest simple means entering a period of abundant blessings.

Entering a period of abundant blessings is predicated on the words of Hebrews 3:7-12. Verse 12 of Hebrews 3 gives a stern warning to every believer. It says, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” Your beliefs in God’s word, your doubts about God’s word will result in you never being able to enter into God rest or in a period of abundant blessings.

It is what you believe and not what you do, that enables you to enter into God’s rest. And you must know the full revelation of God’s word in order to believe correctly. Without knowing the full revelation of God’s word you will eventually depart from the faith. The word “depart” is the source of the word “apostasy”.

For example, people who do not understand or know the full revelation about salvation will never enter into God’s rest. I’m talking about those who still believe that in order to be saved you must (1) be living something, (2) speak in tongues and (3) be baptized with the Holy Spirit after you get saved. There are many issues whereby the people of God are believing incorrectly. That’s why the Bible warns us not to allow man to teach us anything but let the Holy Spirit teach you. God wants you to be taught correctly so you can believe correctly. And if you believe correctly you will enter into God’s rest.

Believers who are sitting under pastors who spend time teaching denominational doctrine will never enter into God’s rest. Believers who believe they can solve all their problems by spending time in church instead of spending time with God will never enter into God’s rest. Believers who always go to the church altar and never to the Throne of Grace will never enter into God’s rest. They will never do so because their belief system has been tainted by the words of men. I could go on and on but I’m sure you get my drift.

God is in the blessing business. He wants to bless you like he blessed the second generation of Jews in Joshua 24:13. He wants to give you homes and land for which you did not have to labor. He wants to give you things you did not build or plant. He wants to bless you in such ways that you and everyone else will know it came from Him. But more importantly, he wants to bless us all in such a way that only He receives the glory.

I say again, God is in the blessing business. And his business runs on the working capital of faith which is based on what a person believes. It is sad but it is true, there still remains a rest for the people of God.

By Gilbert Owens

Guest columnist