Let us then be eager to know this rest for ourselves, and let us beware that no one misses it through falling into the same kind of unbelief as those we have mentioned. (Hebrews Phillips)
Those who failed to go in failed, it says, to enter into His rest. Those to whom the Gospel was afore preached failed to enter in. That is remarkable! The Gospel was preached to them. These are they to whom the Gospel was afore preached. What is the Gospel? To answer the inquiry in that connection, it is Christ as our Rest. That is the Gospel: and the Gospel of Christ as our Rest was preached to them in type, and they to whom the Gospel was afore preached failed to enter in. Then, says the Apostle, "Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, that no man fall after the same example of disobedience." They failed! God set forth another day, saying, "Today if ye shall hear His voice, harden not your hearts...." The Gospel is preached to believers to enter into His Rest. The Lord Jesus put this in the germ form of truth when He said: "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Christ in heaven is our spiritual Rest, heart rest.
What is the essence of rest? It is satisfaction and assurance. If you are satisfied, you are at rest, no matter how much work you have to do. And if you are quite sure that your work is going to be successful, you have assurance, and you are in rest. Everything for us is based upon Christ having entered as the Forerunner, and having become our Rest. We shall labor: we shall pour ourselves out; we shall spend; we shall be spent; but in it all there can be real heart rest. We shall be assailed: we shall be pressed on every side; we shall be cast down; we shall be tried; but Christ can still remain our Rest: for in the first place, we know that these things are not going to be to our destruction, since He has destroyed the power of destruction; and, in the second place, that our labors are not in vain, because He has swallowed up death victoriously. He is our Rest.
By T. Austin-Sparks