I am glad for the nighttime--for the opportunity to unwind and rewind, free from the pressures of deadlines and work. A good night's sleep is a satisfying ending for a day's work.
Occasionally, however, I have had to keep right on going.
Perhaps it has happened to you too. The workday is ended and you are ready to lay aside the responsibilities of the day, but something comes up, and you need to keep going--and there's no rest in sight. Your body aches for rest-- but there is no choice, you must keep working. It is a miserable feeling, and your bed feels pretty wonderful when you do finally get there.
In many respects, our lives can be compared to a day's work.
Although no one knows what his future will bring, or even if he has a future beyond the moment, many expect to live their full 70 or 80 years. We generally expect our life's "day" to go something like this: In life's morning, we are wide awake and carefree. We have lots of energy and optimism about the day. We begin the day's work with freshness and vigor. The later part of the morning and on into life's afternoon are the most productive years. In the afternoon and evening we begin to feel the need for rest. Quitting time is like retirement age.
But what then? Night--death--is surely coming. Will it bring the desired rest? And the multitudes who do not live out their full "day"--who die young or middle-aged--will they find rest?
The Bible speaks clearly: "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God" (Hebrews 4:9). There is a rest at the end of life's day--but it is only for those who are prepared.
And those who are not prepared? Again the Bible speaks clearly: "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night" (Revelation 14:11).
Try to realize the meaning of "no rest." Think about a time when you were bone-weary and yet had to continue working. Now think of eternity. Never a moment's rest--but only a horrible torment, and restlessness--on and on, and no end in sight.
Are you prepared? Only those who have repented of their sins and have taken Jesus Christ as Lord will enter into God's rest at the end of life's day. Jesus' promise is, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden . . . and ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matthew 11:28, 29).
If You Have Already Received Jesus
You have received Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Are you experiencing rest? Do you know the "peace of God, which passeth all understanding" (Philippians 4:7) that only Jesus gives? Do you know what it means to rest in Jesus? And you claim Him as Saviour--is He also your Lord?
The Bible tells about some who started out right but did not continue. God said of them, "I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest" (Hebrews 3:11). The Biblical writer then adds a warning for Christians: "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God" (Hebrews 3:12).
Not the one who starts out will be saved, but, as Jesus taught, "He that endureth to the end shall be saved" (Matthew 10:22). Are you continuing to live in obedience to God?
Jesus foretold that many would come to Him on the judgment day saying, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" (Matthew 7:22). These will be professing Christians who had worked in Jesus' name. Jesus' reply to them will be, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:23).
What a disappointment! What agony--to believe you were saved and working for the Lord, but to learn--too late--that you were deceived.
Christian friend, are you sure of your entrance into eternal rest? Let's "give diligence to make [our] calling and election sure" (2 Peter 1:10). Let's take seriously the command given in 2 Corinthians 13:5: "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves," so that we do not miss that promised rest.
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).REPENT with genuine sorrow and confess your sin.
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
"Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3).RECEIVE the Son, Jesus Christ, by confessing belief in Him.
"Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning" (Joel 2:12).
"If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9).REJOICE in the salvation work of Christ in your heart.
"Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37).
"And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me" (Isaiah 12:1).REST in the Lord.
"Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee" (Psalm 116:7).
"And ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matthew 11:29).
© Copyright, Christian Light Publications
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