Sabbath Rest from WorkS
The Sabbath is often considered to be a day of rest from work; usually physical work. In recent years, I have come to observe that many Christians who purposely take a Sabbath day of rest were still plagued with the worries of life. Not only that, but they were also proud to be Sabbath keepers, considering themselves to be the more faithful of followers of Jesus; perhaps even reckoning themselves to be God's chosen "elect" for eternal life.
In my hunger for the truth about the Sabbath, I searched the scriptures with all my heart. What the Lord revealed to me in His Word blew me away! Firstly, He gave me a set of revelations regarding the Sabbath rest from "physical Work" which is good for the health of our bodies. But that's not all. God gave me a second set of revelations about another Sabbath rest that many Christians are missing - and that is the Sabbath rest from "WorkS".
Be sure to read the first set of revelations, The Sabbath: Rest from Work, as parts of this article refer to it.
The Telling Scriptures
The consecutive scriptures of Hebrews 2,3,4 contain the revelation of "Sabbath rest from works". I shall quote the relevant snippets of these chapters, but I would also urge you to read the whole chapters of Hebrews 2,3,4 to get the full picture, and sense of God's message.
9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
In summary, Jesus came in the flesh as human for humanity in order to save it; and those saved are His family (brothers & sisters).
Hebrews 3:1, 6-14
1 Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest ...
6 But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory. 7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did.
10That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’
11So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”
12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.
In summary, in order to be saved, we have to believe that Jesus is our Apostle and High Priest (which requires a soft heart, not a hardened heart). The moment we do this, we enter HIS REST. And that moment of entering should be "TODAY" (ASAP basically) and "EVERYDAY" as we encourage one another to stay in Christ until the very end.
1Therefore, 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. 2 For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
“So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”
And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.” 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”
6 Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, 7 God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
In summary, “TODAY” becomes the Sabbath day which offers Sabbath rest if “Today” is the day we choose to believe in Jesus & be obedient to Him. Furthermore, this Sabbath rest is not resting from our work, but rather resting from our workS (i.e., in striving to be saved, to be good enough to enter heaven). Hallelujah! How awesome is this! Praise the Lord!
And now the following scriptures in Matthew make absolutely wonderful sense.
27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Only in Jesus can we find rest for our souls -- from the worries of life, but moreover from our striving to be saved (from works)!
49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
If we do God's will, we are His! His family! His brothers & sisters (as quoted above in Hebrews 2 above).
The Sabbath is the day in which we enter God’s rest – both from WORK and from WORKS.
Rest from WORK
Entering God’s rest from work means we give our bodies a rest from our work activities that may have been challenging.
Rest from WORKS
Entering God’s rest means we no longer rely on our own good works to go to heaven (not that we can anyway), but that we now rely on the works Jesus did on the cross for us.
For the unbeliever:
Entering God’s rest is accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord & Saviour.
The Sabbath day is therefore the day when salvation begins!
TODAY should be the day they accept Jesus Christ; they should not delay.
In accepting Jesus Christ and being obedient to His Word, they are adopted into God’s family (into the body of Christ) as His sons and daughters. Thus, Sabbath day is a day of adoption into God’s family as His sons and daughters.
For the believer:
Entering God’s rest means living a life of intimate relationship with Him, trusting Him with their life (not worrying), living in step with His Spirit (not in bondage of the Law which leads to legalism and salvation by works).
EVERYDAY of fellowship with God and brothers & sisters in Christ is a Sabbath day – to grow and be encouraged until the very end.
Thus ultimately, as soon as anyone genuinely accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord & Saviour, they enter God’s rest, and every day from then on is a Sabbath day rest for them – in other words, their lives are submitted to Jesus Christ - they have the peace of Jesus Christ that transcends all understanding to cope with anything that life throws at them (no longer living in worry).
What Day is the CORRECT Sabbath day?
Rest from WORK
For all mankind – it is the SEVENTH DAY (only after six days of labour - no more, no less).
Rest from WORKS
For the non-believer – it is TODAY (the day of accepting Jesus Christ).
For the believer – it is TODAY & EVERYDAY (day of fellowship with God and His family).
© Elma Larsen. All rights reserved.
Image from pngegg.com