Do we still have to “labour to enter his rest”?


Dr. Brown recently argued that Christians still have to “work” to enter into the rest of God. Hence the hyper-grace teachers are in error to teach that there is nothing more for the believer to do in relation with God. This is the verse that referred to.

Hebrews 4:11
11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.

It is imperative for us to realize that this verse is written on about AD 63. This making “every effort to enter God’s rest” is actually a warning to the Jews about the impending destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem which the writer referred to “judgment and raging fire” in Hebrews 10:26.

The Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed in AD70. Those who heeded the words of Jesus in Matthew 24 fled Jerusalem and headed to the hills and escaped the persecution and took the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

These are the believers that survived the “day of vengeance of the Lord”. Many of you will notice Jesus left out these words when he was reading the words of Isaiah in relation to the acceptable year of the Lord.

Hence the warnings about “today is the day of salvation, see to it you do not harden your hearts” is about leaving the Temple worship and the keeping of the Law. The rest that they were to “labour” was about escaping the judgment that is to come and thereafter finding rest.

Hence, it was about something that at the time of writing had yet to happen. However, those who believed Jesus left Jerusalem (see the writer’s warning to go outside in Hebrews 13) found that rest.

Hence, when the writer told them to labour to enter into that rest, it was at the time of writing and it was before AD70. As such those statements about “entering into that rest” should be read now as “they managed to enter into that rest already”.

Hence dear friends, we have already entered into that rest. There is no more labour to do to enter a rest which you already have.

I hope I have cleared that up. Be at rest.

1 Comment

  1. Very informative lesson on the history of that verse. I appreciate your perspective.

    What I have found, is that they “key” to rest…is just believing.

    It is so simple to enter into the rest offered to us by Jesus that it seems “too-good-to-be-true” to some; at first it did to me too. And while it may be true at first [that grace seems to be something that is just so amazing] at some point you are to graduate into a closer relationship with Jesus – because of His love for you. Stop and think about what the point of grace is to begin with…

    Yet many complicate it with “works” because of wrong-believing.

    To enter this rest:
    Hebrews 4:1 [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. 3. For we which have believed do enter into rest…]

    Works does not earn grace:
    Hebrews 4:10 [10. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.]

    Unbelief = no rest:
    Hebrews 4:11 [11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.] & Chapter 3: 18-19 [18. And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19.So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.]

    I recommend reading the book of Romans as well.

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