One of the saddest verses in the Bible is Hebrews 4:2...
For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.
The writer of Hebrews is drawing on the example of the hard-hearted Israelites to teach followers of Jesus like you and me an important lesson about saving faith.
You see, all but two of the Israelites who escaped Egypt in the Exodus died in the desert simply because they refused to take God at his word. They didn't enter into the Promised Land "because of their unbelief."
They heard. The promise was there. All they had to do was enter. And yet what they heard was of no value to them.
And the truth is, there are many Christians today who do the same thing, stubbornly refusing to take God at his word.
The writer of Hebrews goes on to say that people like this risk missing out on the promise of entering God's rest—the 'Promised Land' for the believer today.
So, how do you and I make sure we don't miss out on entering God's rest? The key is taking God at his word, by fully trusting in Jesus' finished work on the cross.
Human effort, rules, regulations, rituals and religious do's and don'ts will never bring about the rest God promises. These are nothing but dead works that keep believers restless, weary and tired.
There are thousands of Christians who are weary and tired. They need to hear that true rest only comes through the work already done by Jesus!
These are people like Nicole, a Basic Gospel listener who recently shared this encouraging note:
While preparing a presentation for our annual ladies' retreat in January I felt this strong call to listen to your program. I realized I had an identity crisis, the battle was with the flesh and the power called sin.
The Lord revealed to me that His grace does not end with forgiveness; His salvation is so much more. He has given me new life and He is my life. As I learned the truths about who I am in Christ and His amazing promises in the New Covenant, I was amazed that the answers were right there all along.
He has given me true hope and assurance that I never had before. There is so much security in depending on Him completely.
Like Nicole, it is only those "who have believed" who enter God's rest and find perfect security and assurance.
It's not enough to simply hear the message. It's through faith in Jesus that God's grace makes its way into our lives. And when it does, we discover the real worth and value of Christ's death, burial and resurrection.
There's nothing more valuable or worthwhile than knowing and experiencing the love of Jesus Christ!
That's why I want to thank you for your vital partnership with us this month to help deliver the good news to even more people around the world through Basic Gospel... the news that saves, forgives and brings rest to the heart.
And to thank you for your gift, I'll send you a CD copy of Richard Peifer's faith-building message, The High Cost of Legalism. Richard helps you identify those things that hinder you from fully believing and trusting Jesus. And he offers practical help to ensure you let go and fully enter into God's rest.
Just request your copy of The High Cost of Legalism on the enclosed form when you send your gift.
As the writer of Hebrews wrote, "there remains, then, a Sabbath rest for the people of God" (Hebrews 4:9). So thank you for your partnership to help more people find God's rest through faith in Jesus Christ.
I'm truly grateful for your generosity to help more people hear, believe, and live the good news of Jesus Christ. Resting together in His love and grace,
The offer, The High Cost of Legalism, associated with this letter has expired, however you may purchase it online here or request it by phone at 800.727.2828.