Hebrews Chapter 4
:1 “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it."
“Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.” There are two types of promises that God makes: one type is an unconditional promise such as the promise made to never again destroy the earth with a flood. Also, the covenant of redemption in Romans 8:29, 30 is an
unconditional promise. The second type of promise is a conditional promise that is conditioned upon the response of those to whom the promise was made. The covenant God made with Adam was a conditional promise. Likewise, the promise made to the children of Israel to enter into the land of Canaan was conditioned upon their belief. When they failed to believe the promise of God, they were not permitted to enter
into the land of Canaan. Likewise, we have the promise of rest in the gospel kingdom today that is conditioned upon our belief in the gospel. If we believe the gospel report and obey the gospel call we are blessed to enter into the promised rest in the church kingdom here on earth.
“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”
We may ask ourselves, “who are the ‘them’ to whom the gospel was preached and it did not profit ‘them?’ The answer to this is found in the book of Numbers chapter 13. The children of Israel had come into the wilderness and had sent out 12 spies to spy out the land of Canaan and they came back with the report that it was a land that flowed with milk and honey and had brought back
evidence of the great fruitfulness of that land. They also reported there were giants in the land. Caleb encouraged the people and said, “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.” However, ten of the spies discouraged the people and said that they were no match for the giants of the land. The report of the fruitfulness of the land and Caleb’s encouragement was the gospel to which
Paul was referring. The promise was to the people of a land of rest.
The people, however, did not believe the promise of God, but rather turned back and sought a leader to lead them back to the land of Egypt in which God had delivered them out of. All those of 20 years of age are older died in the 40 years of wilderness wandering except Caleb and Joshua because of their unbelief in the promise of God.
Today, we have the gospel of rest preached unto us that Christ has redeemed us from our sins and now we should press into the gospel kingdom that he has established for us and in which we find rest for our souls. The warning is that if we disbelieve the promises of God we will not be permitted to enter the “rest” that God has promised.