There is another rest for the people of God (Heb 4:9). The question is; are you a people of God? The Bible says there is no rest for the wicked. Therefore if you are one of the wicked you had better stop all acts of wickedness, because there is a rest for the people of God. We shall speak about that rest, we shall speak about how to enter into the rest, and may God qualify all of us for that eternal rest in Jesus’ name. Amen.
What is Rest?
Rest is peace, calm, quietness, absence of worry, absence of those things that cause sleeplessness, physical and social disturbance. If you observe very well babies sleep better than adults, why? There is nothing to think about but adults wake up at night and sometimes when they wake up at night they may not catch the sleep again, because of one worry or the other but young people sleep. God is the owner of rest and rest is very important. You remember in the creation of the world, the last thing that God created was rest. He created on the seventh day so the seventh day was the day of rest. He created man before the day of rest so that man will rest. So the purpose of God for man is rest and God, who created the rest also rested. If God who is never tired, never worry, never weak has rested; He intends rest for man too. But the rest we are talking about is not the physical rest.
Israel was in the land of Egypt under bondage; the purpose of sending them there was to make them free, and God did all He could in order to get them out of Egypt, and He led them through the wilderness. The wilderness journey, was it a rest experience? No. Was there any rest there? No. At the land of Canaan there were occupants on the land. That Canaan is not a land of rest; it is a land of war. Therefore, there is no rest in this world, but there is rest for the people of God. God gave us rest.
Jesus when He came into the world, in preaching the gospel in Matthew 11:28-29: “Come ye unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. Which means rest is the promised of the gospel. Come unto me and learn of me because I am meek and lowly in heart and I will give you rest.
How do we enter into the rest?
- By believing in Jesus. Redemption Hymn 276 wonderful story of love Jesus provides a rest. Rest is in Jesus, it is by accepting Jesus you have rest. Jesus is the rest; in Jesus is rest. You remember during the flood all those in the ark: the flood carried away all those who were not in the ark, all those in the ark were saved. In Jesus is safety, in Jesus is security. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. What does it mean to believe in Him? Believe in His word, believe in His revelation. When you believe and you confess you act on what you believe.
It is not just saying it by word of mouth, follow Jesus, and follow His way: Jesus is the way, He is the life, and He is the truth; we have to follow Him. Those who don’t follow Him shall not have rest. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son; that whosoever believeth him will not perish, but have eternal life. Those who don’t believe cannot have rest. Therefore as we believe, let us follow Him; He only died to allow us to have rest. Those who depart from Him, those who refuse to follow Him, no rest for them. To enter into His rest even from this world is to believe in Him. If you believe in Him come rain, come sunshine or whirlwind, when you are in Him you are secure: Power to be in Him and remain in Him, God grant unto us in Jesus name. Amen. Let us not just profess the faith; let us follow the way. It is the way to eternal rest, and Jesus is that way to eternal rest.
- We must separate ourselves from the things of the world. We live a separated life. The world is a world of confusion, a world of pollution. We are to live a separated life. When the children of Israel left Egypt, there were a mixed multitude, that followed them, and did they get to the Promised Land? Believers are to live a separated life: we have been separated from the world, we have been called out from the world, we are to be totally separated, the customs of the world, the body language of the world, all they do in the world: we have been called to a life of separation. “Be ye holy, because I am holy”, that is the word of God. When we separate ourselves from the world, the world will hate us, because we are not of the world. Therefore, the church should be very careful these days as the church is in the world, the ideas of the world are coming in, the dressing of the world sneaking in, the drums of the world are coming in, the dance of the world is coming in, but we have to be separated. Are you looking for that rest, or do you want to rest?
Usually when people die they say they rest, but let me tell you only Christians do rest; those who are not Christians are like criminals awaiting trial. Anyone that is a criminal awaiting trial is he in rest? No, he doesn’t know his fate, in fact already he has known his fate, is he in rest? No. Therefore, let the church of God be separated from the world, so that we would have eternal rest. 600,000 people left Egypt without counting women and children under 20, how many of them made it to the Promised Land? May we not perish in the wilderness of life, in the name of Jesus. Most of those who wasted away in the wilderness were people who after they had left Egypt desired things of Egypt: they longed for the onion, for the cucumber; all the foods of slavery they still wanted. The pity of it is that they left Egypt, they didn’t get to Canaan. It would have been better for them to have stayed in Egypt. May that not be our experience, in Jesus’ name. And what would be the fate of those who profess to be Christ’s, confess Christ, were baptised, given the Right Hand of Fellowship, became officers in the church and yet they didn’t leave the things of the world? They would perish with the world.
- Setting our affection on the things of heaven. The Bible says keep your affection in Christ. What do we do? Set your affection on the things of heaven. When we think of the things of the world; there will be worry, there will be burden, no affection for heaven. God is in heaven, Jesus is in heaven, our home is in heaven, our inheritance is in heaven, let’s look on heaven. The people of the world what do they look on? Things of the world. You know a palm wine tapper where do they look? Up. What of the farmer, where do they look? Down. Children of God who are going to heaven focus on the things of heaven, while the children of the world are focused on the things of the world. When politicians are looking forward to election; what do we look forward to? — Where our saviour is. Our rest is in heaven, it is eternal rest, it is spiritual rest; rest from all labours; rest unmerited. May we never lose that rest, in Jesus name. Amen. The Bible wants us to know our citizenship, where is it? citizens of heaven. We are pilgrims, we are sojourners on earth, we have no permanent city here, and we look for the one that is coming.
- Not being anxious about the things of the world. Don’t let us please the world to forfeit that of heaven, anxiety is for the world. Jesus taught us about anxiety in Matthew 6:25. That we should not be anxious, God takes care of even little birds, look at flowers how beautiful they are, if God can take care of them, look at the birds flying in the air; even if one of them falls, God knows. God wants us to cast our cares upon Him. Peter tells us casting all our cares on Him for He cares for you.
I am not saying you don’t work, you come to the church to pray you don’t work you will just discover that you are experiencing hunger. Work and pray, pray and work isn’t it? Occupy till I come that is the balance of the word of God. But anxiety, worry more than your ability is dangerous: cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you; He will supply your needs.
- Fill your souls with the word of God. The Christian life is a race and when you are running a race, you must prepare for that race. You need food for the race, but appropriate food for the race. You are a footballer and you are preparing for football match, than you prepare pounded yam, bread and beans and coke and you are going to the field; that is the wrong food for the game. What will happen to you? You will be defeated. As believers we need the word of God, it is the word of life, the word of power, the word of strength. Without the word of God, we cannot run the race, the word of God is the map for the journey; it will guide you in the journey; you must be guided by the word of God. It is the word of light, it is the lamp to your feet, and it is the light to your path: so the word of God is very important.
As we go in this journey the word of God that is written, the word of God that is spoken, the word of God that preached we must go in the word of God. The strength for the journey when other people fail those who rely on the word of God will never fail. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall fly on eagle’s wings, when they walk they shall never be tired, when they run they shall never be tired. Let us walk according to the word of God. Rest at last, rest at all times, let’s feed on the word of God, it is the food of life; it is the way of life; it is the strength for the journey: you will receive strength at last in Jesus’ name.
- Spiritual mentors are needed. In the faith, there are fathers, and mothers in the faith; there are brothers: those whose ways are according to the life of the scripture, we need their counsel. The greatest counsellor is the word of God himself, it is the Holy Spirit himself: the Holy Spirit can teach you; he can reveal things to you things that are difficult for the preacher to preach. The Bible can preach it to you. You need to walk with people who are upright. The Bible says, “Behold the upright, the end of that man is peace”. When you behold the upright, and you walk in his way, your end will be what? The end of that man is peace. Peace is rest. Behold the upright one, it is very important. The Bible says, “Iron sharpens iron”. A strong brother who stands in the faith will help you. A child that is crawling wants to teach the other baby how to walk, a child that is crawling wants to teach somebody how to walk. A lame teaching another lame how to walk where are they going? If a blind is leading another blind where do they go? Jesus is the light, let us walk in His light, we shall get home at last, we shall have that rest at last.
- We need to do God’s will. Jesus prayed and He taught the disciples when they prayed they should pray “our Father in heaven hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done” God’s will must be done in our lives, not our own will. You remember Jesus when the agony of death was facing him at the garden of Gethsemane when He was praying that the cup should pass from him, he had to reverse His prayer “not my will, not my will but thy will be done”. We must do the will of God, not the will of friends, not the will of the world; the politicians or man, but His will must be done. May we do His will in the name of Jesus.
- We must move on with the people of God. The righteous people of God, the upright people of God, walk with them, walk after their pattern. There are heroes of faith in the Bible, lets study their lives, they walked in the faith and at last they rested. Therefore what the Lord is putting before us is that there is another rest; another rest different from that of this world, another rest is coming, and it is coming for the people of God.
What is the nature of that rest?
It is spiritual rest, eternal rest, rest forvever, rest in heaven, rest with those who have gone before us. Rest that God, Jesus has provided, rest that has been promised, eternal rest, glorious rest, promised rest, rest without end, only for the people of God. Are you the people of God? You may be coming to the church but you might not be a people of God. You might be an officer, a pastor in the church, but you might not be a people of God. People may look at you as a people of God; the Bible says amongst my people are the people of wickedness.
There is another rest for the people of God. It is possible to be in the church and not be a people of God, are you people of God? Those who are covering robbers are they people of God? Collaborators are they people of God? There is another rest for the people of God. May God count you worthy: Repent today so that you can be among the people of God, and the assured rest may be your portion. God promised some people; though God was not able to give them because they didn’t meet the condition. Therefore they didn’t enter into the rest. “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God (Heb 4:9).You will have the rest in Jesus name. Amen. The rest shall be yours; repent today, that rest shall be yours. God bless you from His word.
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