Restless and Rebellious

Restless and Rebellious

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:11
Date: 07/10/2021  Lesson: 2
Though it’s always easy to be critical of church leadership, at any level, how much better would our church and our own spiritual life be if, instead of complaining, we would intercede in behalf of our leaders even when we disagree with them?

Why God Said Remember - Paper or Digital Download

Why God Said Remember - Paper or Digital Download
When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.
If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.

Luccas Rodor: Hi, welcome to our "Sabbath School Study Hour" here at the Granite Bay Hilltop Seventh-day Adventist Church. We are so happy that you have decided to invest this hour of study and of diving into God's Word with us. I'd like also to welcome our local community. Thank you for being here with us, and we're so glad that you are here with us too.

Today we will be studying the second lesson of our new quarterly. The title of the entire lesson this quarter is "Rest In Christ." There are so many beautiful lessons that we need to learn about this reality about how to rest in Jesus. This week's title is "Restless and Rebellious," and Pastor Shawn will be leading out today, and I'm sure that we have a lot to learn with him here in our lesson.

But before I ask him to come out and before our choruses come out, I would like to invite you to take advantage of our free offer. This week's free offer is "Why God Said Remember," and so if you want a copy, a physical copy of this, and you live within the Continental North America, you can call 866-788-3966, or if you want to remember it better, you could call 866-Study-More, and then you can ask for the Offer 185, Offer Number 185, or if you're in the USA, you can text "SH1292," to the number 40544, or if you're outside North America, you can go to study.aftv.org, and you could get a digital download of that.

Now I would like to call our choruses out. Sing with confidence. Sing because the Lord is here with us, and I'm sure that He will be blessing us throughout the praise and throughout the teaching.

♪♪♪

♪ The Savior is waiting to enter your heart.

♪ Why don't you let Him come in? ♪

♪ There's nothing in this world to keep you apart. ♪

♪ What is your answer to Him? ♪

♪ Time after time He has waited before, ♪

♪ and now He is waiting again ♪

♪ to see if you're willing to open the door. ♪

♪ Oh, how He wants to come in. ♪

♪ If you'll take one step toward the Savior, ♪

♪ my friend, you'll find His arms open wide. ♪

♪ Receive Him, and all of your darkness will end. ♪

♪ Within your heart He'll abide. ♪

♪ Time after time He has waited before, ♪

♪ and now He is waiting again ♪

♪ to see if you're willing to open the door. ♪

♪ Oh, how He wants to ♪

♪ come in. ♪♪

Luccas Rodor: Dear Lord, we praise You for this beautiful day. We praise you because you are among us, and we are ready to receive Your Word. Lord, please imbue Pastor Shawn with your Holy Spirit as he teaches us that this quarter's lesson is all about not allowing ourselves to go restless, to grow restless or rebellious, and allowing You to always touch our hearts and be led by the Spirit. I ask You for all the worshipers that are here this day, and I ask this in Jesus's name, amen.

Shawn Brummund: We would all do well to underline the "in," in this quarterly's Sabbath School title, "Rest In Christ." We want to circle it. We want to highlight it. We want to underline it. We want to make sure that we capitalize it. It is the key word in the title and theme of which we continue to study as we started last week. "Rest In Christ." Paul had found the ticket to true rest and peace in his life. And that was in the person, the eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ Himself. We would do well to underline that "in." We find there the justification. We find the sanctification that is found in the person and work of Christ. It is the only way that we can find true rest for our souls.

Jesus summed it up best for us when we come to the book of John chapter 14, and verses 13 through 14, where Jesus answered and said to the woman at the well as He was having this personal encounter with her, and she with Him, and as He was in the heart of that conversation, He was working up to the punch line when He says, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again." They had their conversation beside Jacob's Well. The woman was there to fetch the water that she and/or family and household needed for that day. Jesus says, "Whoever drinks of this regular water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him," Jesus says, "shall never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."

Jesus was talking about Himself. Jesus is declaring that He is the water of life. Not only did He equate himself with water and call Himself the water of life, but He also called himself the bread of heaven as well. The bread of life. In John chapter 6, just two chapters later in verse 35, Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger." "He who comes to Me shall never hunger."

Do you see the parallel between the conversation in John chapter 4, and the woman at the well, and that in which Jesus is having with the crowd that, later, some days or weeks after? Jesus says to the woman, "Whoever drinks of this water will never thirst again." When Jesus speaks to the crowd, some days later, He says, "I am the bread of life. If you eat of this bread, you will never be hungry again." And then He follows up and brings Himself and His crowd back to that conversation with the woman, where He says, "He who believes in me shall never thirst."

I can speak my personal experience that, when you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, there is a satisfaction that is beyond compare. There is a place in which you can find yourself parked for the rest of your life when it concerns to the greatest philosophical questions that human beings have always asked through the ages. We can find ourselves parked there with great and full and complete satisfaction concerning the questions of where we have come from. Why do we exist? What is our future? What is our purpose in life? Where do we find true peace and happiness and joy? All of it is found in the person and the package of Jesus Christ, in the person of Christ.

When we come to Christ, we don't need to, we don't have to, we don't want to look anywhere else. I know some people that are very close to me, very near and dear through my life, and many of them have gone from one thing to another. They've gone from pyramid power, to channeling, to New Age meditation, to mind control. They've gone from one self-help guru and to another self-help guru. They've been searching years upon years upon years, always thirsty, but never satisfied. Always hungry, but never satisfied, never full. Why? Because they haven't found the person of Jesus Christ.

Rest, true rest can only be found in the person of Christ. As the old hymn goes, and it's old now. It's been around for about 30 years. Many of us have sung it. Many of us can sing it from our hearts and by personal experience: "You Are My All in All." Not only is it a song, it's a prayer. "You are my all in all." In Christ, He is our all in all. In Revelation chapter 3 and verse 20, we find that Jesus pictures Himself as one who knocks at the door of our heart, and He says, "Behold, I knock at the door of your heart. I stand at the door, and I knock, and if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come to him and he to Me."

We come back to the text in which we looked at last week in Matthew chapter 11, in verses 28 and 29, where Jesus says, "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you," He says, "for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls."

That is the great theme in which we continue to study, even as we've looked at this quarterly's lesson for those of us who have gone day by day through this last week as we looked at some very deep and interesting and very helpful chapters. They're not pleasant chapters. They're not happy chapters, for indeed, we find the gray as it reflects the actual quarterly lesson which is "Restless and Rebellious," and so we find they're not what we should be patterning ourselves after but what we should be avoiding. We find this sad story that shares with us how this large group of people that were the descendants of Abraham, that were led by the great prophet Moses, had chosen disobedience and disbelief, had chosen to be restless and rebellious rather than to find themselves in the rest of Christ that God had offered to them from the very moment that they left Egypt.

Now, it's important for us to know that this is not the first time that Christ has offered this rest. When we come to Jesus's life on earth in Matthew chapter 11, and Jesus says, "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest," this is not the first offer, no. God had offered it many times in the past. He had offered it to the Israelites through the generation of Moses. We can find that in Exodus chapter 33, and verse 14, God says, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you--" you guessed it: "rest." You see, God had offered rest to that generation. Jesus offered, again, when He was in this life on this planet, but He had offered at hundreds and hundreds of years beforehand through the prophet Moses and to the generation of Moses's day.

Now, what's interesting. In the New Testament book of Hebrews chapters 3 through 4, the Bible speaks more extensively on this God-given rest than anywhere else. If you're looking for the most comprehensive passage on the rest that can be found in Christ, it is in these two chapters, and so I'd like to spend some time reflecting on that. Why? Because the four chapters that we looked at in this last week's study, Numbers chapter 11, 12, 13, and 14, touches on this same rest that the ancient Israelites missed out on in Moses's day.

So, again, we find there what not to do. We find there how we can potentially miss out on that rest. I want to spend some time in the book of Hebrews, learning how and why they missed out on God's rest and salvation so far ago and how and why we can make sure that we have that rest. Many, if not all of you, that are here today have already found that rest in Christ. Many of you are that are here today are here because you have found that rest in Christ, and you want to continue to nurture and continue to hold onto and it continued to experience that rest that is found in Christ, but perhaps there's one or more that is here today, either in person in our Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church or watching online or on the different television networks that has never found that rest, that has never come to say, "Yes, I can say with confidence that I have a personal experience with Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and He has given me rest and peace in a measure that I'd never had before."

Perhaps this is a day in which Jesus is speaking to you, and you are responding, and you're hearing His voice, and you want to consider over the next few minutes that we have together to study what it means to have that rest and invite it into your life.

The generation of Israelites that escaped to Egypt with Moses had blown it. And Hebrews, that New Testament book that comes along in the days of Paul, tells us not to make the same mistake, and so let's spend some time there. Turn with me to Hebrews chapter 3, and we're going to start with verse 7. So we're going to that New Testament Gospel book in the New Testament called Hebrews.

Why is it called Hebrews? Anybody want to venture a guess? Why is it called Hebrews? It's called Hebrews because it was written to Hebrews that had accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior that were in the Christian church, and so God had inspired the apostle Paul and said, "Listen, you need to address a very real challenge that is existing in the hearts and lives of more than one Jew or Hebrew that had accepted the Christian faith," and that is that they were tempted to backslide. They were tempted to let go of this great experience and rest that is found in Christ and go back to the traditional Judaism in which they were raised. And so they were written to that they might be able to hold on, hold fast to that which God had already delivered to them that Jesus is the true Messiah, that there is no rest outside of Christ, to remind them that the only rest that they have ever found in their life is in Christ. Don't let that rest go.

And so, when we come to Hebrews chapter 3, in verse 7, it says, "Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion--" friends, does that echo Revelation chapter 3, in verse 20, in which I quoted earlier in our study today? "Behold, I stand at the door, and I knock, and if anyone hears My voice and opens the door to your heart--" if you open the door, then Jesus comes in. Jesus never forces His way into our life. He never forces us because then it wouldn't be true rest. It is only true rest if we voluntarily open the door to our heart and let Jesus in. And so we have the same voice.

In this case, it's not the voice of Jesus as He was walking upon this earth and says, you know, or shortly after, I should say, through John the revelator, when He says, "If anyone hears my voice and opens the door--" in this case, it's King David as quoted in Psalm 95. In his generation, God is crying out through His prophet David, where He says, "Today, if you will hear His voice, don't harden your hearts as in the rebellion."

Now, as it turns out, that key word "rebellion" is reflecting the very chapters in which we studied this last week, which is Numbers chapter 11 through 14, where the Israelites had chosen, very sadly, very tragically, to rebel against God and against His offer of rest. And so, because of that, they ended up spending 40 days of restlessness, wandering in the wilderness until a new generation was to grow up and take their place. "Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion," it tells us, "in the days of the trial in the wilderness, where your fathers--" now there he doesn't mean your biological first fathers but your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great-grandfathers-- "where your fathers tested Me, and tried Me, and saw My works for 40 years." And so there's the sentence that we read about if you've read the Sabbath School Quarterly.

Now, of course, we just do not have time to go through and read, verse by verse, all of those four chapters or five chapters, but let's look at the punch line. Let's go to Numbers chapter 14, in verse 32. Numbers chapter 14. Numbers chapter 14 and verse 32. So we're going to pick it up with Numbers chapter 14, in verse 32. In verse 32, it says, "But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness." And so there's the sentence. He's saying, "Listen, you've chosen not to enter into the Promised Land. You've chosen disobedience and unbelief rather than obedience and belief, which is full trust in the promise that I gave to you that I will go before you, and I will help you conquer that land, and even though they may be twice your size, and even though they may have the highest, most fortified cities, and even though they may be much more acquainted and trained and experienced on the battlefield, you will still win."

Isn't that what Caleb said in the same chapters? Many of us have read it over the last week. Some of us have read it in the past. Caleb and Joshua stand up and say, "The Lord will deliver us. God has removed and departed from the protection of these people in the land of Canaan, in the Promised Land, and 'Therefore I will give you the victory over them.'" It reminds us again, "And it's not by might. It's not by strength. It's by the Spirit of the Living God," that we must not trust in chariots and swords, but we must trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

And so, when we come to verse 32, we come to the very punch line of the chapters in which we looked at. It says, "But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in the wilderness." "You've made your choice, and now you need to live with it." In verse 33, it says, "And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness 40 years and bear the brunt of your infidelity--" of your--what? "Of your infidelity." In other words, their unfaithfulness, their decision to refuse the rest and the victory and the peace that God was offering them that day. They chose a disobedience over obedience. They chose to not believe rather than to believe. They chose to distrust God rather than to trust God, and so, because of that, God says that "You and your generation that is coming after you will bear the brunt of your infidelity--" how tragic is the truth that is revealed here in the fact that there are many of us as parents that make decisions that cause our sins to be upon our children that they may bear the brunt of the consequences that sometimes haunt our families for years afterwards.

Now, the grace of Jesus and the mercy that is offered to us will help us to be able to still find that rest and relationship with Him. We can still be written in the Lamb's book of life, but it is reminding us again that the decisions we make is not in a vacuum. We are not in isolation when we make decisions concerning sin in our life but, rather, it affects and can affect those who come up after us, "and bear the brunt of your infidelity until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness."

This is a very sober sentence. Verse 34, it says, "According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, 40 days, for each day you shall bear your guilt--" your--what? "Your guilt for one year," again, God is making it very clear, listen, "You are guilty. This is the sentence. This is like a court scene that we're reading here as God is speaking to this nation, this new, potential nation that God was establishing and trying to establish through them. We're talking two, three million people. "You shall bear your guilt one year, namely 40 years, and you shall know My rejection."

And, of course, verse 34, is one of those key verses in which we apply in the prophetic time periods, those symbolic prophetic time periods that God had revealed through His prophet Daniel, in particular, and that of John the revelator, in which Isaac Newton and other great students of the Bible--before us as Seventh-day Adventists ever came along, one of the great reformers, Isaac Newton, had discovered, indeed, this verse and had applied it to that in which Daniel reveals when there's 1,260 symbolic days, God is talking about 1,260 literal years, calendar years. And this is where we pick it up, but God is giving the sentence in real life to a real generation in this real time.

In verse 35, it goes on and says, "and the Lord has spoken this--will surely do all this, do so to all this evil generation--" again, God has nothing good to say about this generation. We have to remember that the earlier chapters that we read in this week's quarterly study revealed that their heart is so hard that, when Caleb and Joshua stand up against the other ten spies that are negative and say, "No, we must choose disobedience. We must not trust in the Lord because we will never be able to take these people."

Caleb and Joshua stand up, as many of us have read, and they say, "No, the Lord will deliver us, and He will give us victory over these people." And the nation became so upset with Caleb and Joshua for being able to challenge their choice of rebelliousness and restlessness that they begin to pick up the biggest rocks they can possibly find that they might throw them at those two as well as Moses and Aaron and take their lives that very day. If it were not for the fact that God Himself intervened by a period in a glorious fashion at the meeting--at the tabernacle of meeting, to be able to bring a stop to that attempt on the lives of these four men, those men would've died that same day.

And so, when God calls this generation an evil generation, He really means it. They've made their choice. Don't feel sorry for them. God loves them. He didn't want it this way, but they have made their choice to do-- "this evil generation, this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me in this wilderness, and they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.

Now the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation complain against him by bringing a bad report of the land, those very men who brought the evil report about the land, died by the plague before the Lord." And so God's immediate judgment upon those who were the most guilty and led out in this rebellion and had helped influence and convince the rest of the nation to rebel against God, indeed, found themselves dying first, "But Joshua, the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive, of the men who went out to spy out the land."

And so Joshua and Caleb were the only 2 of the 12 original spies that lived. Not only did they live, but they outlived that entire generation that did die in the wilderness over the next 40 years, and then Joshua and Caleb, in great health, advanced years, yes, but in perfect health, entered into the Promised Land and set up their cities and their houses and their families. Why? Because God blesses faith. God blesses belief. Do you believe that? When you trust Him and you surrender to Him and you obey Him, God blesses you. He blesses you with strength and with health and with rest, true peace. After all, this is not the rest of it.

You know, last week, the first quarterly study, in the first week, we looked at was that concerning physical rest, emotional rest, mental rest. This is concerning, more than anything, mental and spiritual rest that is found in Christ. That's what God is talking about here. And so we return back to Hebrews chapter 3. Hebrews chapter 3. Where were we in Hebrews 3? We're back in Hebrews 3, and we were reading about the sentence. Oh, yeah, verse 9 is where we last left off: "Where your fathers tested Me and tried Me, and saw My works 40 years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, 'They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.' So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest.'"

You see, the rest that is found in Christ is conditional. The rest that is found in eternal life, written in the Lamb's book of life, the rest that is found in God and knowing that we are part of the eternal family of God comes with conditions. And those conditions are faith, which includes trust, as well as obedience, which is our surrender to God. And when we are willing to make that choice to meet those conditions, then God offers us rest in Christ. God offers us the Gospel. That is the Gospel.

Hebrews chapter 3, and we are now in verse 12. Verse 12, it says, "Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you any evil heart of unbelief." There it is. God had called the generation of Moses an evil generation, an evil congregation, and here we find that Paul, in reflection of that, is saying to the present Jewish believers that had found that rest in Christ, and he says, "Beware, brethren, lest in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God--" and so, friends, as we go through these passages and the highlights of chapter 3 and 4, we're going to find that unbelief and obedience or disobedience or disbelief are the key words.

So we have obedience and faith or disobedience and unbelief. Those are the key words that keep repeating itself. In verse 13, it says, "But exhort one another daily, while it is called 'Today,' lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ--" now, we want to pick that up again.

Now, maybe I sound like a broken record, but I think it's too easy for us to forget that the Christian religion is based not on a theory and philosophy first. It is based on a person. It is based on the person, the eternal, living Jesus Christ, and that's why Paul says over and over in different ways, "I've been crucified with Christ," "I am in Christ." In this case, he says, "We have become partakers of Christ," of the person, "if we hold from the beginning our confidence steadfast to the end--" that's why Paul says in other places in his letters, "listen, we need to fight the good fight. We need to run the race as if we are out to win that race. We need to finish the race." That's why, when he came to the end of his life, he said, "I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, and now there is laid up for a prize, a crown on that day, and not only for me only, but for all who have loved His appearing."

And so there's great encouragement as well as warning that is found in this chapter concerning the rest that God so much wants us to be able to have. We skip down now to verses 18 and 19 of the same chapter in Hebrews. In Hebrews 3, in verse 18, it says, "To whom did he swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not--" what? "To those who did not obey?"

So there's the other key word. Remember I said again and again, we find those key words "unbelief" and "disobedience." "So they could not enter in," speaking of that rest in Christ, "because of unbelief." And then we come to chapter 4. Chapter 4, verse 1, he goes on and says, "Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it." And so, very clear, even as we stop here and reflect on these verses that we looked at so far, very clearly it was unbelief and disobedience that were the two factors that kept that generation of Moses from entering into the rest of Christ.

So we want to be aware of those two great enemies because these are the greatest enemies of rest and peace and joy and eternal life that could be found in our lives if we only agree, if we only surrender to Jesus. In verse 2, it says, "For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them." I've always been intrigued ever since I first came to this verse, and I stopped, and I paused, "Wait a minute, I thought the Gospel was only preached from Pentecost on." I thought the Gospel was only preached from the life of Jesus, perhaps on, if you want to back up to the life and ministry and Christ. No, it tells us that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been preached to every generation of every human beings, and indeed, we find it even in Moses's day. And I started to ask myself, "Where in the Bible does it say that the Gospel was preached to that generation?"

Well, we find it in the sacrificial system, for sure. That's the Gospel in 3D. We find the sanctuary, the holy place, the most holy place, the symbolic throne of God, the government of which his government is ruled, and the Ten Commandments. We have the mercy seat. We have the cherubim that are worshiping, these exalted angels. We have the Shekinah glory of God, hovering above that ark in the most holy place. We have the altar of sacrifice which is proclaiming that only through the shedding of blood is the remission and complete erasement of our sins. We find all of that great symbolism that was given to the Israelites.

Now, do they have to put two and two together? Yes, they did, but did they have the writings of Moses? Yes, they had the person and the writings and teachings of Moses. We have to remember, as I took my mind back to Genesis chapter 3, in verse 15, in that 3rd chapter of Genesis in which Moses not only wrote in the Bible but surely had preached to his generation that God had promised to mankind, right from the beginning, from the moment and the same day that they had sinned, that there would come a seed of the woman, and that singular seed was a man, and that man was none other than Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, and He would crush the head of the serpent one day.

And then that same chapter in--no, Genesis chapter 3, as we find that God then clothed them with skins of animals in which only can come from a sacrifice and the death of an animal, and then when we come to Genesis chapter 4, which Moses wrote and surely preached to his generation that, indeed, God had instructed Adam and Eve, who then instructed Cain and Abel that they must bring to the altar a sacrificial animal that they sacrificed after they confessed their sins, teaching them right from the very beginning of mankind that, indeed, only by the shedding of blood will there be the remission of sins.

And so the Gospel of Jesus Christ was written about and preached about and talked about by the very prophet and person Moses, to his generation, and, yet they refused to believe. And that's why Paul can confidently write under the inspiration, in verse 2, he says, "For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them, but the word which they heard did not profit them--" what word is that, friends? The Word of God. In this case, it is the word of Moses, the prophet of God that is giving direct, divine messages of truth to that generation, starting with Genesis chapter 3, in verse 15.

Indeed, we find here some great and deep truth that says to them, "but the word," the Word of God, "which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it." You see, we can hear the truth of God. Many of us have heard it more than once, but there's more than one of us--I know, as a pastor and evangelist, there's more than one of us that hear the Word of God, but we continue to choose against it even as Moses's generation did. And so faith, yes, as it says in Romans, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."

We have the potential to grow in faith when we hear the Word of God, but we also have the potential to harden our hearts against the Word of God. That's why this great, deep passage on the rest of Christ is telling us that we must respond with faith. We must respond with belief. I believe the Word of God, and I surrender to it by giving my obedience to Jesus Christ. In verse 3, it goes on and says, "For we who have believed do enter that rest--" and, again, there's a direct equation. If we choose belief, which is faith, then we enter into the rest. If we choose disbelief, then we are rejected from that rest. We are exempt from that rest, that peace and the joy that is found in Christ. And so in verse 3, it says, "For we who have believed do enter that rest, 'So I swore in My wrath, "They shall not enter My rest,"'" as He again reflects upon those who had rejected Him, "although the works were finished from the foundation of the world."

Now, where is Paul going with this? "Although the works were finished from the foundation of the world," he's talking about justification. He's reflecting upon the fact that God worked, worked, worked, worked, worked, worked, worked, worked, worked, worked for six days. As He came to the end of the sixth day, as the sun set, He says, "Now I'm entering into the seventh day of the week, the Holy Sabbath. I'm going to rest on it. I'm going to bless it," which He actively did, and then He declared it a holy day. Now He's using that first week of this earth's history to be able to demonstrate the justification that is found in the person and the work of Christ. "Although the works were finished from the foundation of the world," friends, that's why Paul could also say in other places, Ephesians chapter 2, in verses 8 and 9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. It is not of yourselves. It is a gift of God." It is not of your works--" why? "Lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created for good works in Christ Jesus."

And so Paul, he is reflecting on the great truth and rest that is found in the justification that comes from Christ, in the person and work of Christ, when we give our obedience and surrender to Him and we choose to believe. In verse 4, he says, "For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: 'And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.'" He's reflecting upon the completed works, even as Christ calls us to reflect upon the completed works of Christ that covers our imperfect life, that we might be justified before our Holy God. "And again in this place: 'They shall not enter My rest.'"

God is contrasting what they refused. In verse 6, it goes on. It says, "Since therefore it remains that some must enter in," that is, to the rest, "and those to whom it was first preached did not enter it because of disobedience." There it is. You see the pattern there. Again, He designates a certain day, same in David, "today." So now he's saying, "Listen, now we go from Genesis, and we come some 2,500 years or even more. We come some 3,000 years into the future, and we find the generation of David as David cries out, "Today, today if you'll hear His voice, do not harden your hearts."

And then, in verse 8, "For if Joshua had given them rest, then they would not have afterward have spoken of another day," reflecting, again, that so many generations of God's people have rejected the rest that is offered in Christ. In verse 9, it says, "Therefore there remains a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His."

Again, it is reflecting justification. We are to reflect and rest in the works of Christ, to know that we are acquitted before a holy God, not because of anything that we can do in of ourselves in concern to doing good. Even though God has called us to be His workmanship and to do good, that good is not what saves us or justifies or acquits us before a holy God. Only through the person and the work of Christ are we acquitted before a holy God. Verse 11, it goes there that "Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone should fall according to the same example of disobedience."

And so here we have some very powerful verses, two of the most powerful chapters concerning that spiritual and then an extension of that mental and emotional rest that we could be found in Christ. We discovered that the Israelites of Moses chose disbelief and disobedience, and that was expressed, and it was demonstrated in some very ugly ways as we made our way through those four chapters or five chapters. The opposite is to choose belief and obedience. That's what God is trying to tell us here as Hebrews has reflected upon the numbers--chapters.

And so, when we choose the second option of belief and obedience, then what takes place? Well, there's two aspects of this rest, this peace that God offers to each and every one of us if we have not already found Him, and the first one is called justification. We started to reflect upon that in the actual last text that we read in Hebrews chapter 4.

What is justification? Well, I started to give a hint. It's being acquitted before a holy and perfect God as we come to Him as very imperfect people. But justification ultimately can be summarized in the fact that it is the perfect and complete works of Christ that covers our imperfect lives. That's why Paul can also write in the same book of Hebrews, in which we have been looking at in chapter 10, and verse 14, when he says, "For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified." Through that one offering and the work that God applies through His Son Jesus Christ in the most holy place or now and before that, in the holy place, in the holy heavenly sanctuary, that work of priestly intercession that Jesus does for us, because of all of that, we have been perfected forever.

Now, what are the benefits of knowing and experiencing and accepting and having justification as a real part of our life experience? Well, there's a long list. I'm sure it's not exhaustive as I reflected upon myself, but one is for certain that we have found forgiveness of the most vile and shameful sins in which we have ever committed.

Friends, it doesn't matter what you've done. There's too many people that are walking around the devil has convinced and continues to convince that the sins or sin that you have committed in the past is one that is beyond God's forgiveness, and I'm here to tell you that God has made it very clear through the works and the teachings of Christ, as well as His apostles, that there is no sin in which God cannot forgive except the sin in which we refuse the voice of God. And so we can experience the forgiveness of our most vile and shameful sins that we have ever committed.

And then, finally, God offers us a clean slate. We come to 1 John chapter 1, verse 9. Many of us know by memory. Many of us have come to memorize it and write it upon our hearts and our minds and our life experience: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from--" how many of those sins? "From all of our unrighteousness." Now, friends, that's pretty comprehensive. "But, Pastor, you don't know what I've done. You have no idea the shame. I'm embarrassed, and I'm fearful to even share it with you the things that I have done in the past." Jesus says, Through My blood, My sacrifice is sufficient. I will cleanse you of all your sins."

Because of the perfect life and death of Jesus that covers us, the other benefit that comes in experiencing justification, that part of that rest that God offers to us is that we have room to grow in His grace through the years that we give our faith and our surrender and our willing obedience to Him, because, friends, I don't know about you, but one thing I've learned is that, even though I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, and I give him my sincere belief each and every single day, and I give him my willing obedience and say, "Lord, write your law upon my heart," there are times throughout the days in which I find myself still falling short of God.

There are times when I have to come to Christ at the end of my day or throughout the day and say, "Lord, please forgive me for which I have fallen short of Your holiness and Your great standard in which You have set before me." That's why Jesus says, "When you pray on a regular basis, 'Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, our trespasses, our debts, even as we forgive those who sinned against us--"

Jesus knew that you would need to pray that on a regular basis because He knew you would be to grow under the umbrella of the justification that God offers to you, that Christ covers you with a perfect light, so now, when God looks down upon you, He only sees a perfect child, a perfect daughter, a person son, not because you are perfect. No, He knows all about you, but because His Son covers you and is in between you and the Father. Because He sees you through Christ, He sees a perfect life. That's justification so-- [deep breath] --ahhh, I don't know about you, but I just--not so I can have a license to sin.

Paul went on extensively in inspiration to be able to tell us "Don't run with it in the wrong direction," but nonetheless, don't be robbed about that experience either and tippy-toeing through each day, hoping that you've been perfect enough to be accepted by a holy God. No, Christ accepts you even as you are growing and you're failing and you disappointed Himself and yourself in different ways. So you have room to grow and just be able to take a deep breath and say, "Lord, thank You for taking that burden off my heart that I can know that Christ has done it for me, and now I can grow and learn what it is to be like Christ." That's justification.

Well, what about sanctification, in the last few moments together? Sanctification is the other part of the rest that God gives to us through Christ, the person and work of Christ, and that sanctification is found in our obedience and in the fruits of the Spirit, our character. And so there's a two part to sanctification. Yes, obedience to His law, yes, the Ten Commandments, the other commandments and councils and statutes that He gives to us, directives, yes.

But the second one is just as important, and that is the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, kindness, long-suffering, self-control, mercy. Sometimes we call that our character. God forms our character so that we're not only obeying the moral law of God, but our character is developing with these fruits of the Spirit.

What are the benefits that lead to rest and peace through sanctification? Well, one of the first ones is that Christ works in us with His goodness when we are to surrender to Him. When we surrender to Him, it is His goodness that works in us. Isn't it good to know that we aren't called to obey and form our character in our own strength?

There's too many religious people, including those who call themselves "Christian," that are trying to make their way through the day, and they're gritting their teeth, and they're saying, "Lord, I'm going to be a good person whether I like it or not." But that's not the experience that God wants us to have. He wants us to come before Christ in the morning and say, "Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner," again. "I die to myself," even as Paul died daily, "and I accept You into my heart, and I say, 'Lord, please write Your law upon my heart that I might not sin against You."

We become a blessing to many other people. We become appreciated and trusted by others, and best of all, as I've come to experience, coming from a very sinful background at 20 years of age, we have a clear conscience. In justification and the rest of Christ, I know that, my conscience is clear because I am obeying Him to the very best of my ability as He works in me.

And so, friends, that's our study for this week, and I want to invite you to please take advantage of our free offer, which is "Why God Said Remember," which is written by Joe Crews, the founder of Amazing Facts Ministries. Please take advantage of that and dial in for that because this will give you more study.

Now, of course, this particular booklet is reflecting upon the rest that is found in the seventh day of the Sabbath in Genesis chapter 1 and Genesis chapter 2, and so, please, if you want to study more about the Sabbath, please take advantage of this. Go ahead and dial 1-866-788-3966, and that's 1-866-Study-More, and ask for Offer 185. And if you're in the U.S., you can also text "SH129," and you want to text that and dial it to the number 40544. For those who are outside of North America and would like to receive either of these free gifts, you can--well, actually, the digital gift, you can go ahead and go to study.aftv.org/SH129, and you can find that in the Internet, a free download of this same free gift offer.

So continue to study, continue to grow, and, again, if you haven't accepted the rest that is found in Christ, I want to invite you to do that even now. Thank you for joining us, and we look forward to seeing you next week.

Announcer: Don't forget to request today's life-changing free resource. Not only can you receive this free gift in the mail, you can download a digital copy straight to your computer or mobile device. To get your digital copy of today's free gift, simply text the key word on your screen to 40544, or visit the web address shown on your screen, and be sure to select the digital download option on the request page. It's now easier than ever for you to study God's Word with "Amazing Facts," wherever and whenever you want and, most important, to share it with others.

Announcer: Amazing Facts changed lives.

Scarlet Varley: I'm Scarlet Varley. I grew up in a military home. Both my parents were in the Navy, and my mom left fairly early, and then my dad stayed for 15 years, and so he was deployed a lot. We would read the Bible every night together as a family, and, I mean, I knew, like, that God was there, and, like, I knew that He, like, died for me, but it wasn't something that, like, you know, stuck in my head. Any time I went to church, I never got enough information. You know, you're there for just like an hour. I was super, super hungry for knowledge, and I wasn't being given it.

Even though I accepted Christ, my faith, like, really wasn't all that strong. I mean, I lost my first friend in high school, you know, my first boyfriend, to suicide, and that was really hard, and I didn't understand it, and I was just really, really depressed. I was also, like, abused, and so I was just really confused, and I was like, "Lord, why was I put in that situation where I had no control over anything?" I was suicidal. I was developing an eating disorder, so, like, all these things were just coming into play. You know, I don't feel loved. I knew that's not something that would happen if I was loved, or that's not something that happened if--maybe I must've done something wrong if I went through that, and I just blamed myself for everything.

On the outside, I was sort of, like, super-happy and outgoing, and I'd give everyone a hug and compliment them and try to put the attention on other people, and so people didn't know what I was going through. I was just super-confused about life and "Why am I here? Like, I don't think I have a reason to even be alive."

And I was really confused with God. Like, why would You let this happen? Like, why wouldn't You intervene?" I just wanted to change it. I wanted to change it so bad, and there was nothing I could do. I quit choir because I was around too many people. Choir was a big thing. I just isolated myself because I couldn't stand being around people, and I was like, "Oh, well, if I don't have any friends and something happens to them, well, then it won't affect me because I'm not part of their lives."

And so I was just really scared of just losing people, and so I thought if the more I pushed them away, the easier it would be to just go through life. The problem was I didn't turn to God, and that's when I needed Him most.

My sophomore year in high school, we went on this thing called Fall Weekend, we went on a retreat for, like, the weekend, and they showed this clip of Jesus Christ on the cross, and that broke me. I mean, I was crying, crying so much, and after they showed the clip, you know, everyone's just super-quiet, and they're like, "All right, go out on the campus, and we're going to do this thing called 'Twenty Minutes.'" And so I'm sitting out there, and I'm just, like, praying. I gave my life to Christ, and it was just such, like, a beautiful moment.

Right around that time, my dad found Doug Batchelor on the TV, and so he's like, "Scarlet, come watch this." And I'm like, "All right, like, I watch it." And so we started watching it, like, all the time, and he's like, "You know, this is like the Bible truth." I was like, "It definitely is." He's like, "Scarlet, you should go to AFCOE." And I was like, "That's not really my cup of tea." I was a very spirited person, and AFCOE was structured, and I knew, as a person, I wasn't too structured.

But, you know, the more I thought about AFCOE, the happier I got, and it was like a two weeks' notice before AFCOE started. She's like, "You got accepted." Like, we e-mailed you your letter," and all this stuff. And I was like, "Oh, no, oh, no, I have to pack up my entire life." And so I'm, like, frantically packing up everything, and me and my dad, like drive cross-country. And AFCOE was not what I expected at all. They've definitely loved me and helped me and talked to me and taught me and, just, loved me and accepted me as who I was and just helped me grow as a person. It showed me different ways of life and just how to live like a better life in all sorts of areas.

Without the help of the Lord and without, like, people who love the Lord and love me, I wouldn't be where I am today. Even when I didn't want him, you know, I kind of shoved Him away, He didn't let go, and so I'm super-grateful.

Announcer: Amazing Facts changed lives.

Male: I met my ex-wife, and her family were real big into drugs, and it started out with them wanting me to go to the doctor to help get them drugs, and, you know, I'm noticing they're going to the doctor. They're coming back with, like, 60 pills, and they're selling these pills for, like, a thousand bucks, and I'm thinking, "Wow, this is a lot of money I'm giving these people, so I'm just going to start selling it myself."

My problem with that was that we had all this money, but we was absolutely miserable as she would go out and sleep with other guys to get drugs, and that ended my marriage.

But during this time, I have to get a job to build back up to where I was at, to open my shop again, so I get a job at Food City, and when I get this job at Food City, there's my wife now, Rebecca. She's a cashier there, and when I walk in, she's the most beautiful girl I've ever seen in my life. I was like, "Man, I could never have a girl like that. Wow, she's so beautiful," but as I'm workin' with her, she's actually kind of mean to me, and she's saying, "I don't want anything to do with you. Get away from me," stuff like that.

But, you know, I just keep being nice to her and keep trying to give her my phone number. And it's around Christmas Eve. We've just been dating for a little while and moved in together. My ex-wife shows up with my three children that I had by her, and she's like, "Here's your kids. Here's their birth certificates. Here's their social security cards. I'm done." And we were starting a family. We have--already have three kids.

During this time, we spent the next year watching nothing but "Amazing Facts" on YouTube. I didn't even know they even had a website at this time. I just knew that this little guy on YouTube was super-smart, was teaching Bible, and I wanted to follow him. I wanted to be a Christian. I gave my life to God now because of these truths that I'm learning from Doug Batchelor.

Just because Doug taught it didn't make me real sure about going to this church, and I really didn't want anything to do with it, but I called the guy, and I'm telling him--and I'm not very nice about it, actually. I'm telling him, "Look, we was thinking about coming to your church." And he's really nice. He's like, "Well, you're more than welcome to. We'd like to have you come." And I'm like, "Well, hold on. I'm going to lay down some ground rules." I'm telling him, I said, "Look here, I'm covered in tattoos, and I'm a tattoo artist." And he don't say, "Well, you know, wow, I didn't know all that. Don't come to my church." He says, "You're more than welcome. We would love to have you. Please come."

He asked me what I want to do, and I said, "Well, I want to preach." I said, "I have all these truths. I have all this knowledge that I've never known before, stuff that, if I'd have had when I was younger, that would've been life-changing to me." I said, "I've got to share this with the world." I said, "I want to preach. I want to teach." He gives me the book, says, "Study that."

Well, now that I'm a Bible worker, I'm able to go reach people that most of the normal churches wouldn't even bother to even speak to. I'm able to go out and reach the people who have lived the life that I've lived. I'm able to let them know that "I am like you. I've been there. I've done that. I want to show you what my life is like now. I want to teach you this Bible. I want to show you what Jesus can do for you. It's not too late."

Name:

Email:

Prayer Request:


Share a Prayer Request
Name:

Email:

Bible Question:


Ask a Bible Question

Back To Top