Strive to Enter

Date:
October 12, 2014

Hebrews 4:11 11Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. ESV

Sin

  1. When man had fallen, he was broken. The image of God in him was marred beyond recognition. He went from being the jewel of God's creation into being a broken and ugly thing. All the war, all the death, all the tragedy that we see in the world has been brought about by man's sin. Billions and trillions die from sickness, war, accidents, even nature itself has being affected by man's fall kills many people every day. And it is all because of us, because man has brought sin into the world, suffering and death has entered into the world with our sin.
  2. In this state we were without hope and we were without God (Eph 2:12), Jesus says that it is impossible for a man to be saved out of this condition (Mat 19:26)
  3. But with God all things are possible, even this.
  4. Salvation is not an easy thing. It is not a light thing. It is an impossibility made possible by God.

Is salvation easy or hard for God?

  1. There is only one thing that was ever difficult for God
  2. He strove, he tried, he was tempted and hard put to it. For this end he sweat, and bled, and died. It was the trevail of his soul to purchase your salvation.
  3. If you want to see sin's effect on the world, then look to Jesus on the cross and see what it cost him to save you from it.

Is salvation easy or hard for us?

  1. All who take Christ seriously will agree with these things.
    1. Salvation is not possible outside of Christ, salvation is an altogether impossibility made possible by God alone.
    2. This salvation was accomplished at the highest cost to God himself.
  2. Given all of this, what is our part in salvation? Either:
    1. Salvation is an impossibility, made possible by Christ alone, such that he has made the impossible light and easy.
      1. Matthew 11:29–30 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” ESV
    2. Salvation is an impossibility, made possible by Christ alone, yet such that we must strive with all that is in us toward that salvation. Or,
      1. Philippians 2:12–13 12Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. ESV
  3. You must see this the second way. Biblically, there is no debate to be had between these two options. One is true, the other is a lie from the pit.

Strive!

  1. Examples
    1. Which of God's prophets found the way of salvation easy? Did Isaiah, or Jeremiah, or Daniel, or Hosea?
      1. Lamentations 3:1–2 1I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath; 2he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light; ESV
      2. Lamentations 3:4–9 4He has made my flesh and my skin waste away; he has broken my bones; 5he has besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation; 6he has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago. 7He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has made my chains heavy; 8though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer; 9he has blocked my ways with blocks of stones; he has made my paths crooked. ESV
      3. Hebrews 11:36–38 36Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. ESV
    2. Which of the Psalmists found the way of salvation easy? Did David, or Asaph, or Heman
      1. Psalm 10:1 1Why, O LORD, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? ESV
      2. Psalm 77:2–4 2In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. 3When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah 4You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. ESV
      3. Psalm 88:3–5 3For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. 4I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am a man who has no strength, 5like one set loose among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand. ESV
    3. Which of Christ's apostles found the way of salvation easy? Did Peter or Paul or James or John?
      1. Philippians 3:13–14 13Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ESV
  2. Verses
    1. Acts 14:22b through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. ESV
    2. Proverbs 13:4 4The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. ESV
    3. Proverbs 21:25 25The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. ESV
    4. Genesis 32:25–26 25When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” ESV
    5. Philippians 2:12–13 12Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. ESV
    6. Philippians 3:13–14 13Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ESV
    7. Matthew 7:14 14For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. ESV
    8. Matthew 11:12 12From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. ESV
    9. Matthew 11:29 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. ESV
    10. Luke 13:23–24 23And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24“Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. ESV
    11. John 6:27 27Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” ESV
    12. Romans 2:7 7to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; ESV
    13. 1 Corinthians 9:24 24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. ESV
    14. 1 Corinthians 15:58 58Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. ESV
    15. Galatians 6:7–9 7Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. ESV
    16. 2 Peter 1:5–10 5For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. ESV
  3. The 2 options are linked together by the Bible into being 1 option
    1. Philippians 3:13–14 13Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ESV
    2. 2 Peter 1:3–5 3His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, ESV
    3. As much as Jesus Christ is your only hope of salvation, strive for heaven with all that is in you.
    4. Biblically speaking, this argument of Christ's yoke being light and Jesus doing the hard work of salvation IS the reason why we must STRIVE with all that we have.
  4. Summarize
    1. Entrance into the rest of God is to be accomplished by labor and diligence. great oppositions will and do arise against men in the work of entering into God’s rest; that is, as unto gospel faith and obedience He that shall tell men that their entering into the rest of Christ is plain, easy, suited to nature as it is weak or corrupt, will but delude and deceive them. To mortify sin, subdue our bodies, and keep them in subjection,—to deny ourselves, not only in the crucifying of lusts that have the secretest tendency unto things unlawful, but also in the use of things lawful, and our affections to them, pulling out right eyes, cutting off right hands, taking up the cross in all sorts of afflictions and persecutions,—are required of us in this matter: and they are not at present joyous, but grievous; not easy and pleasant, but difficult, and attended with many hardships. To lull men asleep with hopes of a rest in Christ, and in their lusts, in the world, in their earthly accommodations, is to deceive them and ruin them.

Psalm 95

  1. vs 7: Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, but do the opposite ... STRIVE! With everything that is in you strive!
  2. vs 1: Strive to come, strive to sing
  3. vs 2: Strive to come into his presence, strive to give thanks, strive to be joyful and to make a joyful noise
    1. Isn't being joyful a light and easy thing. What a gentle master that requires of us joy, yet those who would have that joy must strive for it with everything they have.
    2. Everyone who is a seeker of this joy knows how difficult and impossible it is to have this joy at workplace, and at the divorce proceedings, and at the funeral, and in the home when everything seems to be falling apart.
  4. vs 6: Strive to come, strive to worship, strive to bow down and kneel before the LORD
  5. What is it that we are supposed to be striving for? For him! He is our promised land. He is our Sabbath rest.
    1. Some will say that Canaan used to be such and such a size but now in the New Covenant Canaan has grown to encompass all the earth.
      1. True as that may be, you can have all this world. I want Jesus.
    2. Other will highlight the fact that in the New Covenant, the Sabbath has switched from Saturday to Sunday. Sunday is now the day of our Sabbath rest.
      1. You can have Sunday as your Sabbath rest, I want Jesus for mine. He is my Sabbath. He is my Canaan. Strive to know him.

Applied to you

  1. Are you as an individual making every effort to go to heaven?
    1. Does the Bible say you have to make every effort to go to heaven?
    2. Do you believe the Bible is true when it says this
    3. Are you living accordingly
    4. Are you coasting
    5. Are you giving it a half effort
    6. Are you giving it your all?
  2. When you are in the application of it
    1. I would like to give a full effort but I am content in the knowledge that even if I don't, I am still safe.
    2. Is that what the Bible says, or does it say strive
    3. Does it say because of these things pay much more attention than we have