Preparing to Enter Rest

Big-Dipper-Littel-DipperIn the Book of Genesis when God created the heavens and the earth in six days, He rested on the seventh day and called it a Sabbath. But many have thought that God stopped working and that is not true, He just rested from the Creation. Jesus said this to the Pharisees when they accused Him about healing on the Sabbath.

“So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”– John 5:16, 17 (NIV)

What is God working at? To establish and perform His word. He has said, “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isa. 55:11).

Do you remember the story of Jehu? God raised him up to fulfill His word to Ahab given through Elijah that none of Ahab’s house or those who followed him would remain alive on the earth. After Jehu had Ahab’s 70 sons killed, he spoke these words –

“Know, then, that not a word the LORD has spoken against the house of Ahab will fail. The LORD has done what he announced through his servant Elijah.” – 2 Kings 10:10

Jehu then proceeded to capture and kill all the priests and prophets of Baal in the land! Now this may seem to be bloody and radical to you but remember the word of the Lord, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). Scripture says that on the Day Jesus comes back, the sword of His mouth will slay all the wicked and burn them up. The sword of His mouth is His word! 

“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” – 1 Thes. 1:7-10

Notice when the Lord Jesus returns (is openly revealed to the world), He will do two things: 1) He will give rest to those alive and to those who have died and 2) He will punish with everlasting destruction those that rejected the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the verse before  this, Paul is speaking about those who are suffering from persecutions and tribulation in patience and he declares, “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you”. Paul is speaking about the great tribulation they will go through. He is saying God will give rest to those who are alive and to those who have died in the Lord Jesus. This is exactly what Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians –

“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain (Strong’s: to survive) unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” – 1 Thes. 4:15-18

Worshiping_the_golden_calfYes, God is going to honor His word, all of it. He has promised us rest. But remember those who escaped the trials of Egypt could not enter that rest because of unbelief –

“So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” – Heb. 4:1, 2. 

So, don’t give up, persevere, the Lord is not done working to fulfill His word, all of it. God has also said –

“For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns. The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the LORD will name.” – Isa. 62:1, 2

God has brought Israel back, He has brought them back to Jerusalem but her “righteousness” has yet to be “brightness” and “salvation as a lamp that burns” but, God is working by His Holy Spirit to bring it to pass. The ‘times of the Gentiles’ is nearly full. 

And there is another word that God is yet working on –

“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” – Eph. 1:17-23

The Church, which is His body, is to be filled with Jesus. God has “raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” and “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2). The true Church is seated with Jesus far above all principality and power and might and dominion of Satan. We are to live as those who have overcome Satan. As Satan seeks to destroy America’s Christian witness, we are to stand and in faith and resist the devil and his false philosophies. We are to pray for and against those who are trying to subvert America’s Christian heritage and history. And we are to evangelize America once again! 

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” – Rev. 12:11

How do we prepare to enter the rest of God? By doing the word of God and praying always.

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” – Eph. 4:30-32

This would be a good start.