Hebrews 4:10-13

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Hebrews 4:10
  • Hebrews 4:11
  • Hebrews 4:12
  • Hebrews 4:13

In chapter 3, Paul used the Israelites as an example of a group that did not obey God and did not believe His promises, so they failed to enter His rest (finish the work and receive their inheritance). Similarly, we see in this chapter that we also can miss out on God’s rest if we are not obedient. This does not refer to believers losing their salvation of being justified in the presence of God, but rather the opportunity we have to share in Christ’s inheritance if we hold fast.

Believers must be diligent to be obedient so that they enter God’s rest (receive their inheritance). God is able to discern all, even the thoughts and intentions of our hearts.

Paul goes back to his illustration of God resting from His works after He finished creation on the seventh day. God did not enter this rest until He finished His works. Similarly, this reward is available to us but only if we are diligent to finish our works.

This rest does not refer to entering Heaven, everyone who has trusted Christ’s work on the cross has been made right before God and will spend eternity with God. Rather, this rest Paul is referring to is the opportunity to receive the reward of an inheritance. The Israelites had the opportunity to inherit the Promised Land and possess it as land owners. And we have the opportunity to receive an inheritance with Christ (3:6). The first generation Israelites failed to trust God and obey Him so they did not receive the inheritance of possessing the land. Similarly, if we do not have faith in God firm till the end (the work is completed) we will not receive our inheritance (3:6).

One day at the Judgment Seat of Christ, every believer will give an account of their time on earth (2 Corinthians 5:10). 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 explains that a believer who has not been obedient to God will suffer loss at that judgment, not the loss of Heaven, but the loss of a reward. God knows all the thoughts and intentions of our hearts; Paul is urging his audience to not fall away from obedience to God. If we do not remain faithful, we may lose the opportunity to receive the reward of our inheritance. God’s ability to discern all things is a warning; there will be no fooling God.

It is also a comfort, for it is not the results of our actions God will judge, but our deepest intentions. God can make results happen, but He has given us the choice to choose whether or not to walk in obedience to Him. Further comfort is this: we have a high priest who has experienced the same difficulties we go through and stands ready to help in our weaknesses. as Paul will explain in the next verses.

Biblical Text
10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

Listen to the Yellow Balloons Audio Devotionals Podcast!