For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
The one want of our nature is rest. We want it in each part of our nature. The body wants rest. Toil, toil of hand and foot and brain, demands alternations of rest, if it is not to kill. The mind wants rest. The thinking, understanding, reasoning, reflecting mind. And certainly the soul wants it. That wonderful, that immortal thing within each of us — which we can distinguish not only from the material body, but even from the thinking mind — that soul which comes straight to each man from his God, and (strange to add) must return straight out of this life to the God who gave it — the soul has its toils and its journeyings and its wearinesses — distinguishable easily from a mere earthly solicitude on the one side, and from a mere intellectual unrest on the other. The soul is worn and weary for want of some rest of its own in a strong, delightful, imperishable heart of Love! In their different ways all are seeking rest. Oh, it is a sorrowful thought, when you are thrown into the midst of a multitude, gathered for business, for amusement, even for worship, how few, how very few, of all these have yet found their rest! One is heaping up riches, ignorant who shall gather, knowing only this, that he can carry nothing away with him when he dieth! But he wants rest, and partly he puts out of sight the sordidness and the shortlivedness of this particular rest; and partly, with his eyes open, he says, Twenty years, or twenty hours, or even so base a rest, are better than none! And so he goes after this. Another, far higher and nobler in his aspiration, cannot live without affection. That, he sees, is rest, could he but have it — could he but know indeed what it is! And then, eluded and baffled, at last desperate, in this pursuit of his rest, he falls into evil courses, and would fain fill himself with such husks of love as swine scarcely eat! Rest in the rest of God. "My rest," God says in the 95th Psalm, and speaks of man entering it. This rest, the context tells us, is partly present, partly future.
1. There is a present rest in the rest of God. That can only be found in an entire, absolute trust in the atonement, made once for all upon the cross of Jesus. Once apprehend that, and then there will enter your soul a peace and a rest indeed passing all understanding. You will work afterwards as never before, because you will work from, not for acceptance, because in working you will be resting. You will count all your work as needing, yet having, forgiveness.
2. From this soul's rest there is but one step into the saint's rest — into that calm, that reposeful existence which lies beyond death for such as shall be counted worthy. Not entirely separate, as some would represent, from the life that is now, and from the stage of present action; for if we rest not now, in God's sense of resting, from sin, from self, from vanity, from feverish haste, from human praise, in the sense of our littleness and of God's might, of our sinfulness and of Christ's atonement, we shall never rest then where God is all in all: not entirely separate from earth — for, after all, heaven is but the Spirit's presence, is bur the consciousness of God as our God, is but the love of Christ filling and constraining; and where these are below, there is heaven begun — not entirely separate, yet severed from the life that now is, even for the chief of saints, by two definite differences — by the removal of this body of earth now enchaining the soul, and by the experience of that nearer, more direct communion, of which it is written that there they shall see God.
Parallel VersesKJV: For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.