A Call To The Remnant

Scottish Warriors for Christ- http://www.facebook.com/acalltotheremnant

Have you been diligent to enter His rest?

Posted by appolus on January 29, 2011

If you say that you are a Christian and you have not entered His rest what does that profit anyone? If the writer of Hebrews compares Christendom with the Israelites in the desert ,who do not believe and trust in God and therefore choose to wander and die in the desert, what does that say to us?Is it possible that we could have escaped Egypt, the world, only to die in the wilderness because ultimately we do not trust God?

 

HAVE YOU BEEN DILIGENT TO ENTER HIS REST?

The time is coming for us to enter in. What does it mean for someone who calls themselves a Christian to enter His rest? In Hebrews 3:12 we have a warning ” Beware brethren , lest there be in you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.” Now that should strike fear into everyone who calls themselves a Christian. It is here, plainly stated, that one can be overcome with an evil heart and the cause would be unbelief and the result would be separation from the living God. Scripture further states that if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end then we have become partakers of Christ. And the key to being partakers in Christ? Hearing and obeying His voice. ” Today if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

If we will be partakers (companions) of Christ and fulfill the promise, we must hear what God teaches us through His Word. ” Therefore since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.” Have you feared this? Have you considered what it means to enter into His rest? (Heb 4:1) The writer of Hebrews goes on in chapter four to compare Christendom with the Israelites in the desert. He tells us that the good news, the promise of entering into the promises of God fell on deaf ears because it was not mixed with faith. Brothers and sisters, we cannot enter into Gods rest if we do not believe His promises. So much of Christendom will go the same way as the Israelites who wandered and died in the desert. Scripture says ” Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest lest any one fall according to the same example of disobedience.” We are told that ” He who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.”

Have you ceased from your works brothers and sisters? If we have ceased from our works then why does James say that faith without works is dead? ” Show me your faith without your works and I will show you my faith by my works.” Now, in the previous verses, James uses an analogy. He asks the question about if someone is naked and destitute and hungry and comes to you and you say to them ( my paraphrase) ” Well, its been nice talking to you, I’ll see you around. Don’t be hungry and try and keep warm.” This is preposterous and makes no sense unless you feed and clothe them, your words are meaningless. Unfortunately the analogy that James uses has become the standard for many professing Christians. They believe this is how faith is demonstrated. But James adds at the end “Thus also, faith by itself, if it does not have works is dead.” James is not telling and teaching us here to feed the poor to prove our faith. He is merely saying that to say that you have faith but there is no works is equally as preposterous as saying to a hungry man to go on his way and may your stomach somehow be filled, it profits no one.

If you say that you are a Christian and you have not entered His rest what does that profit anyone? If the writer of Hebrews compares Christendom with the Israelites in the desert ,who do not believe and trust in God and therefore choose to wander and die in the desert, what does that say to us?Is it possible that we could have escaped Egypt, the world, only to die in the wilderness because ultimately we do not trust God? And so works, in this context, is to enter into the promised land. Since James spoke of it, what are the two actual examples that God gives through James to illustrate what works is? We know that believing in the one true God means nothing without the accompanying evidence , ” works,” because “even the demons believe- and tremble.” So, if saying you are a Christian without any visible evidence of it , is as preposterous as sending a hungry man on his way hungry, what is the ” works,” that God is looking for? Example number one that James gives is ” was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac , his son, on the alter?” Now as you can see by this example, this is not helping an old lady across the street or feeding families at thanksgiving or feeding the poor. Anyone can do these things but it does not prove anything.

The ” works,’ that Abraham was doing was being obedient to the voice of God. And, in being obedient, he was putting everything on the line. All of his hopes, dreams, ambitions, his future and everything he had lived for was vested in this child. He was willing to give that all up to be obedient to God. God was more important to Abraham than anything else and indeed God says of him ” Now I know that he will hold nothing back from me.” Can God say this of you? Is God more important than all of your own dreams and ambitions? Is He more important than all of your family members? Do you live only for Him? Do you know and embrace that you are merely a sojourner in this life, an ambassador? ” You see, a man is justified by works and not by faith only.” James is saying that if a man only says he believes, but is not prepared to die to his hopes, his dreams, his ambitions, perhaps die to life itself and he loves other things more than God, then he is not justified, he has not entered into that rest.

The second example that James uses to illustrate works is Rahab. ” Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them another way.” It is great that James uses people from opposite ends of the scale to prove what works mean. On the one hand we have mighty father Abraham, and on the other we have a harlot. No matter who we are in this world, we will all enter His rest on the same principles. Now what was Rahabs ” works,’ and how is it the same as Abrahams? Well, in order to take the stand that she did, she had to put everything on the line. She faced the loss of her business, her family and her very life. She had heard of Gods presence that went with the Israelites, and, putting it all on the line put her trust in the God of Israel. Do we have the works of Rahab? Can we say that we would be willing to turn our backs on our country, our family, our friends and be willing to put it all on the line for God?

And so we see that trust is the issue. This is the ” works,’ that God is looking for. How preposterous to say that we have faith without works because they are ultimately one and the same thing. We can be delivered from Egypt but how many of us trust and obey God? Trust, faith, is the foundation of any relationship. Do you trust in other things apart from God? If we do, ultimately we will remain in the wilderness. Does your security come from God? Is your security in your check book? Is your security in your husband or wife? Your children? Your Government? Your armed forces? The gun under your bed? What is it that hinders you from entering in? What giant lurks in the shadows of your mind that would keep you from entering into His rest? Will some of these things, in the end, cause you to ” depart from the living God?

How do you get oil in your lamp? How do you enter into His rest? We must trust and obey God in everything. In order to fully trust God one has to be broken, surrendered and yielded. From that place of brokenness and surrender we obey God. Its the obedience that flows from a place of surrender that takes us into His rest. Now one can say that they trust and obey God, yet here is the crux of the matter for James. Our words are without meaning unless they are fleshed out with circumstances. Circumstances will reveal what is genuine. When the storms of life come against us, come against our families and loved ones, when all of our hopes and dreams and ambitions are gone, when everything that made us feel secure has been ripped away, will we still believe and trust and obey? When the rain comes down and the river rises and the storm rages will your house be the house that stands upon a foundation, or will your house be the house that stands upon shifting sands and is swept away? We cannot fool God. We must be ” diligent to enter that rest,’ now when there is yet time. For when the mighty storm comes, and it is coming soon, it will be too late.

” The word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword-piercing even to the division of soul and spirit and joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.’ Do you know in your heart that you do not trust God? Do you know that there are things that you desire more than Jesus? Remember, God knows who is a Abraham or a Rahab, He knows who believes and trusts in Him, He knows it . We may be able to fool men by our words and our good works, but its the works herein described that are the works that God is looking for, the ” works,’ of Abraham and Rahab. Right now He is calling all of Christendom out of the desert and into His rest while it is yet day, hurry, the night is almost upon us.

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