The book of Hebrews holds out the promise of “entering God’s rest.” What does this mean? Today, Derek Thomas engages with this wording found in Hebrews 3 and 4.
NATHAN W. BINGHAM: We're here at Ligonier's 2021 National Conference and I'm joined by Ligonier Teaching Fellow Dr. Derek Thomas. Dr. Thomas, what does "enter His rest" mean in Hebrews chapters 3 and 4?
DR. DEREK THOMAS: This would require a dissertation for sure, and I think that the entering into rest has more than one possible meaning. So, when I come to Jesus, I'm justified, I'm set apart as holy, as Paul says, and declared to be a son of God. There's a sense in which I've rested from works. So, there's the rest of justification by faith.
But there's also a sense in which that rest is future. Future in the sense of what happens when I die. When I depart this world to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. And there's a sense in which, and Christians often say, "He's entered into His rest."
And there's a sense in which it is even more than that, not just what happens after I die, but what happens after Jesus returns and establishes the new heavens and new earth. There's a sense in which, I think, in Hebrews 3 and 4, entering into one's rest is the eschatological dimension of what that rest entails.
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