Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Our Eternal Rest

Hebrews 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.

profileThere is a dichotomy between grace and works. Some define grace as unmerited favor. Paul defines salvation as a free gift – given by grace – Ephesians 2:8 – For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—. Yet James reminds us that without works our faith is empty – even dead – James 2:26 – As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. Salvation by grace through faith – and real faith WILL produce good works.

Salvation is by grace is a true statement. It is a free gift from God to those who receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The saved will produce good works is also a true statement. Jesus said that if we loved Him we would do the things He told us to do – John 14:15 – If you love me, keep my commands.

Christians will do good works – they will witness for Jesus. Jesus even told us that He would deny us before the Father if we denied Him before men and women – Matthew 10:33 – But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

Recently two different people – one even contacted me through the app on my iPad I use for playing Words with Friends – asked me about heaven – about our eternal resting place (for the saved). Maybe the movies out right now – Heaven is for Real or God’s Not Dead – have prompted people to ask questions about their faith. Maybe something else is going on in the lives of folks.

Let’s read today’s passage again. Hebrews 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. There is a promise of an eternal rest for those who walk with Jesus. A promise that we can rely on – count on. The urging of the passage is to make sure we are not found wanting – to fall short – of this eternal rest. This promotes in some a concern that they are not doing enough – that they have to do more to earn or secure heaven.

Here is the dichotomy – we cannot earn a free gift – salvation – yet our works are a sign that we have received the gift. The unsaved can do good works – so it is not the good works that save us. Yet – the saved will do good works.

The call of Christ is to show our love for Him by being obedient to His commands (see John 14:15 above). Jesus calls us to let Him shine in our lives that others may see Him in us. Matthew 5:16 – In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

We can be assured of our eternal resting place if we have yielded our lives to Jesus Christ. As disciples of Christ we are called to follow Him and do what Jesus would do – living in us – through us – and at times in spite of us.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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May 1, 2014 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , ,

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