Sermon & Small Group Resources
This is the third sermon in our Winter Warmers series on rest. This sermon is on ‘Rest + Eternity’ Preacher: The Rev’d Dr Daniel Rouhead. Bible Reading: Hebrews 4:1-13
Next Steps this Week
BIBLE READING: Hebrews 4:1-13
Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
“So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”
And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.” And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”
Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
CONNECT: What is your regular pattern of rest? How can it reflect God’s desire for rest more?
Discuss the concept of eternity.
What does humanity’s fascination with living forever say about the human condition? How is that revealed in different cultures?
READ Hebrews 4:1-3
Discuss the “rest” that God offered the people of Israel when they were rescued out of Egypt.
What do the words, “the promise of entering his rest still stands”, mean to you? (v.1)
What is the “good news” which has been proclaimed to us? How does it compare with the good news that was proclaimed to Israel? (v.2)
How do we enter this promised rest? (v.3)
READ Hebrews 4:3-8 and Psalm 95
Why is Psalm 95 so joyful? What warning does Psalm 95 contain?
Why is it important to “drop everything and listen”? Who are we listening to? (v.7, also 3.7, 3.15)
What is the importance of listening and responding to God “today”? (v.7)
How does the Sabbath which originated in Genesis and the Exodus story foreshadow the eternal rest we have in Christ? (v.4)
How do we experience rest as wait for Christ’s return?
READ Hebrews 4:9-13 and Numbers 14:1-4
Why was Israel’s disobedience in Numbers 14 so serious? What was the consequence of their disobedience?
How is obedience and rest linked? Can we be tempted to earn God’s rest?
How can we make “every effort” to ensure that no-one perishes through disobedience? (v.11)
How does God’s word help us to remain faithful and obedient? How does Jesus help us to be obedient (vv.12-13, see also Hebrews 4:14-16)
APPLY: How are you “entering God’s rest” on a daily basis?
Gracious Lord, we thank-you for your promise of rest which still stands today. Help us to drop everything and listen to you, give us faith to trust in your promise and, by your Holy Spirit, help us to remain obedient so that we might experience your rest in our lives, now and forever. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
On Your Frontline This Week: When people look at how you rest, can they see that God is all sufficient and all satisfying?
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