Hebrews 3:19-4:11, Matthew 11:28-30 (Pastor Heo)
3:19 So we see that they were not able to enter [the rest of God], because of their unbelief.
A Sabbath-Rest for the People of God
4:1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
“So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ” And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.” 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”
6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. 7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matt 11:28-30 = the direct voice of Christ. Maybe many of you already memorized these verses – they are so familiar. Please memorize, meditate, and put them into practice.
As we know, the first generation of Exodus began their migration from Egypt to Canaan with great success – because of the great power and help of God. But they finished in great disaster because of their own unbelief and disobedience.
All of the first generation died in the desert during their 40 year wandering. Only Joshua and Caleb entered the Promised Land because they believed in God.
The story of 12 spies – they explored Canaan for 40 days – spending the same time together – but they had very different reports. What was the difference?
10 people with a bad report – saw only what they saw with their eyes.
Joshua and Caleb saw what they saw through their faith in God.
- 10 = what is seen
- 2 = what is unseen (faith)
This is the background.
“3:19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.
4:1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.”
Romans: “Everything that was written was written to give us a lesson so that we may have hope.”
Several thousand years ago, the Israelites lost the rest of God because of their unbelief. But this same rest is still available today. So, the Bible is warning us: “Today if you hear the Word of God, do not harden your hearts.” This is a challenge and encouragement.
(How many times do we see it?)
We read 11 verses (in chp 4) and the word “rest” is repeated 11x – in every verse.
In this text, Hebrews is using “rest” in 3 senses:
- Peace of God
- Entering the Promised Land
- God’s rest from work (on the 7th day)
Today, God invites us into his rest.
Enjoy these verses:
“28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” “
This is the invitation of God to all human beings to come to him and receive rest. Can you imagine? If you receive this invitation – what an exciting thing!
Imagine if the human President (the blue house in Korea, the white house in US) – if he invites you and calls you to come and have dinner in his house – what an exciting thing! This is the invitation of God – the Maker and Creator of All Things.
Rev 3:23 “Here I am. I stand and knock. If anyone hears my voice, I will come in and eat with you and you with me.” This is not only one meal – but your whole life. This is the invitation of God. “Come to me – let us dine together eternally.”
Are you weary [tired, burned out, exhausted] and burdened? All humans are tired in some ways. Even a kindergarten boy said, “I’m so tired.”
All human beings without God are restless wanderers.
In Genesis – Cain is the first son of Adam – he committed sin against God and went away – but no matter where he tried to go nor what he tried to do, he became a “restless wanderer.” This is a symbol of all humanity without God.
If there is no God in you, you are also a restless wanderer. A life without God is just motion without meaning; activity without direction; events without reason. We need rest.
“Come to me all who are weary and burdened…”
Everyone has his own burden to bear. What’s yours? At least there are 4 common burdens everyone is carrying. Nobody is free from these:
- Sin – the guilt of sin, regrets, shame, bad memories, the past you cannot remove
- “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… there is no one righteous, not one… the wages of sin is death.” (Romans)
- After sin, punishment = hell
- Whether you know or not, conscious or not, SIN is the heaviest burden. It is heavier than the whole universe.
- Problems – difficulties, hardships, pains.
- As long as we live in this world, we cannot escape from problems.
- From birth – this is a kind of problem – to death – life is filled with problems – physical, spiritual, mental, social, financial, career, emotional, psychological, school, work, relationship – PROBLEMS…
- We are all carrying the burden of problems.
- Worry – anxiety, fear.
- Many people miss GREAT opportunities because of fear. Fear is a self-imposed prison that prevents us from becoming what God wants us to be.
- Worry about job, marriage, life, house, children…
- Death – “just as a man is destined to die once and after that face the Judgment…”
- Physical death is NOT annihilation, not the end. This is just a separation – body from spirit. Spiritual death is separation from God.
- We have some young men.
- Do you think you will never die because you are young? No, even children instinctively know they must die someday.
- I also know. You also know.
- Everybody knows.
- But, nobody knows HOW and WHEN.
- And nobody HAS the experience of death. This is the worry / burden of death.
I know I must die, but I have no experience of this thing – directly nor indirectly.
Q: Have you ever died?
Have you ever tasted death?
Have you heard a first-hand eyewitness account of death from someone who has once died?
We have no knowledge of this – but we all know we must die someday.
Jesus knows this perfectly and says, “Come to me, and I’ll give you rest.”
Found only in Jesus Christ.
Sometimes we say to each other, “Take a rest” – but we must know that REAL rest is only found in Christ. And we must know the definition / meaning of “what IS rest?”
What is REST?
What is the REAL meaning of REST?
In preparation for this sermon, I looked in the English dictionary.
“rest” = to stop / cease working or movement in order to sleep or recover strength
Many people think rest = not working, sitting down.
But we must know the biblical meaning is VERY different. Let me show you HOW different this meaning is.
I said already first: for the people of Israel, “rest” was the Promised Land. But do you know that when they entered there, they had MUCH MORE to do? They had to fight and conquer enemies, establish a new kingdom to be ruled by God. They had a HUGE assignment / task to do in Canaan. Yet, entering Canaan is called “rest.”
So, rest does not mean “no work” but rather “obtaining promised inheritance.”
Genesis: God rested on the 7th day. This does not mean that God has no more job.
John 5:17 “My Father is always at his work – since the Creation of this world – to this very day, so I too am working for you.”
God rested: “full satisfaction in his mission / job”
Biblical meaning of rest: FREEDOM
Jesus “I’m truth. If you know the truth, the truth will set you free.”
Galatians “It is for freedom that Christ has set you free, so do not allow yourselves to be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Remember the 4 common burdens?
According to the context here, rest = freedom from these 4 burdens.
REST = Freedom from
- Sin = freedom is found only in Jesus Christ – he came into the world as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. We all need forgiveness of sin. This can be found only in the blood of Christ.
- 1 John 2 “Christ is the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for our sins.”
- Problems = freedom from difficulties, hardships, pains.
- Jesus “In this world, you will have trials of many kinds, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.”
- As long as we live in this world, we cannot escape problems, but we can overcome and conquer problems. How? In Christ.
- “You are more than conquerors through Christ” (Romans?)
- “Apart from me, you can do nothing.”
- “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians?)
- Worries = freedom through Christ
- “Cast all your anxiety on God because he cares for you.”
- “I will guide you and strengthen you and uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah)
- “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” (Jesus)
- “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything through prayer and petition, present your requests to God, and the peace of God which transcends ALL understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ.”
- Death = freedom from Death
- Who can be free from THIS burden? Who can set us free? This is common sense, think about it. Only Jesus. He is the only one with power over life and death.
- “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me will live though he die.”
- “I have come to give you eternal life… No one can snatch you out of my hand.”
- “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my voice and believes him who sent me will have eternal life. He shall not be condemned, but has crossed over from death to life.”
- Salvation rest
- Submission rest
- Sharing rest of inheritance
- Peace rest
- Joy rest
- Inheritance rest
- Eternal glory rest
This is the real biblical meaning of rest.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I’ll give you rest.”
How to enjoy this kind of REAL rest?
“Come to me…”
This is very easy – this is part of reading comprehension.
“Come to me…”
We know now what is real biblical rest, and we know we need it. To receive it: “Come to Christ.”
Q: How can we come to Christ?
Conclusion: (3 points)
this is not literally, but biblically, practically.
- A = Accept Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord
- B = Believe that he died on the cross for my sin
- C = Confess with my mouth that he is Lord
1. Accept / Believe / Confess
Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. With your heart you believe and are justified; with your mouth you confess and are saved.”
“To all those who believed in his name, God gave the right to become children of God.”
“Salvation is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Accept / Believe / Confess (publicly – this is not to be a hidden thing, but a public thing)
You must confess publicly before people.
2. Learn from Jesus
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me… and you will find rest.”
Even Christians may think “believing in Jesus is enough.” Quick prayer, “Jesus, I love you, I confess, be my Savior. Finished!”
Yes, while making a confession in Christ is so simple, but truly living with faith in Christ is a WHOLE life practice of discipleship – fighting sin, old self, Satan.
Learn from me – Jesus encourages us.
We know to learn anything, we need time – we cannot learn quickly.
“Learn from me” = follow me / walk with me daily.
If we believe in Christ truly, we know that each day requires full effort.
3. This is the most important. If you catch it and put it into practice, you will be so blessed. Are you ready to be blessed?
- Learn from Jesus
- Mission rest
3. Take the yoke of Christ and carry his burden.
“Take my yoke upon you…”
Nobody likes a yoke
“… my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
This is Mission rest.
It means “take Jesus’ burden as my burden.” Replace my burden with Jesus’ burden. Jesus’ job becomes my job. His task is mine, his burden is mine.
What is his burden? Salvation of the world.
This is a mystery – a secret.
- If you carry your own burden, you will be exhausted, tired out.
- But if you carry the burden of Christ, you will be energized.
- To take the burden of Christ is the best way to be free from my own burden in this world.
- The more we carry the burden of Christ, the more rest we will enjoy.
The principle is very simple:
“The more trust, the more rest.”
Jesus “If anyone would come to me, he must deny himself daily and take up his cross and follow me.”
“11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.”
Let us stand up.
Let’s pray – you may pray following me.
If you want / need real rest, follow me in this prayer.