CCXLIII. The Heavenly Rest.

Heb. iv. 11. “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest,
lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”

THESE words illustrate the truth that the whole history of
the Jewish Church was one long prophecy and type of the
Christian Church in every age. The rest of Canaan typi-
fied the higher and nobler “rest of heaven,” and we are
warned in the text that unbelief will surely exclude from
that rest.
I. The Gospel revelation meets all the deepest needs of
man.
It holds out to him, weary with the conflict of life, the
hope of an eternal rest In the fulness of early vigour the
promise of rest may be passed by as a thing little cared
for; but as the years go by we welcome the thought of
perfect rest, as the weary traveller welcomes the sight of
home.
II. The Gospel revelation promises a “rest” compatible
with the noblest and highest activity of all the powers he
possesses.
After a time of perfect rest, our natures would begin to
yearn for a “renewal of youth” for fresh endeavours and
attainments. The hope is held out to us of exchanging
a frail body for one “raised in glory” and “in power,”
with capacities of exertion and endurance unimaginable
here; and the soul, for ever freed from its limitations of
knowledge, and from its sin, shall rise to unknown heights
of intellectual and spiritual elevation. To be possessors of
“eternal life,” when all the powers of our nature are being
exerted to their full capacity of energy in achievement
and service, and yet to have all the peace and repose that
“rest” means, this is a heaven which alone fully satisfies
man, and this is the future the Gospel reveals.
Heaven is often carnalized into a place of sensuous ease
and selfish enjoyment; but the Gospel is not responsible
for our perversions of its revelation.
III. Faith is the necessary condition of this spiritual
life.
Life in God on this side of the grave is the condition of
life in God on the other. That life is “hid with Christ in
God,” and we can only live it as we live “by faith, not by
sight.” The warning from the exclusion of Israel from the
land of promise through unbelief, comes to us: “Let us
labour to enter into rest, lest any man fall after the same
example of unbelief.”
G. S. Barrett, B.A.

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