Saturday, October 8, 2011

Open Door Policy

Hebrews 4:1-11
Rest is a word that is not frequently used these days, spoken of but not acted on. The world says we need rest, but do we truly know what it means? True rest comes only from God, and the work of the Cross of Jesus Christ. As I was reading this morning, the word rest popped out at me. The writer of Hebrews writes, “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.” (verse 1) He goes on to explain that some have not entered the rest because of unbelief, and have hardened their hearts. But the promise of God’s rest still remains for anyone who wants it, who desires it. It’s an open door policy in regards to rest.
Rest is not a sleeping or sitting in your recliner “ceasing” from the day’s work. Not in this context, it isn’t. Rest is a “perpetual Sabbath, to be enjoyed uninterrupted by believers in their fellowship with the Father and the Son.” (Vines Expository Dictionary). Entering into the rest the Lord has promised us is to enter into a continual fellowship with Him.
Picture a house- the door is open for anyone to enter. But after you enter a house, the door is closed. For a short time, the door to fellowship with God will be opened to anyone who enters. But there is coming a day when the Lord will shut the door. Are you in the house, or are you still walking by the open door not sure about entering yet?
The fellowship we have with Jesus Christ when we believe in faith that He died for us, is the open door. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” Whosoever means anyone, anyone who would believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to take away your sins by His death on the Cross. Believe that and walk through the door- you will have the rest you desire and seek.  But don’t wait; the door may be shut very soon.
Luke 13:22-25-“And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying towards Jerusalem. Then one said to Him, “Lord are there few to be saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the House has risen and shut the door, and you begin to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord open for us.’ And He will answer and say, “I do not know you, where you are from.”  
Perhaps you are waiting to enter the house, you have thought about it, but thought you had time- the time is now.  God says to you, “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” Don’t wait any longer. Today is the day, today is all you are given, tomorrow may be too late.
The world we live in is weary and lost, tired and harassed. Jesus was moved with compassion for the multitudes then, and He is now, today. You may be floundering out there, not finding peace or rest in anything or anyone. I am here to tell you today that you never will. The peace and rest you seek comes only from God, from Jesus Christ. There are many who will tell you to work harder, acquire more things, and have lots of friends. Those things will never give you the satisfaction in life that you are seeking. There will always be emptiness, a void in the depths of your soul that nothing can fill. Only Jesus Christ can satisfy the emptiness and fill the void that is within. But the door is closing, so you have to make a choice- today. You can walk through the door to find that rest and peace you seek, or you can walk by and continue living the way you are living. It’s your choice. God is not forcing you to walk through the door- but He is calling out to you Today- if you would only hear His voice. He is waiting for you inside the house of His mercy, His grace, His love and His forgiveness. He wants and desires a personal relationship with you- one that brings you peace, and rest and forgiveness and great blessings. It’s your choice. What do you choose today? 

If you have read this and you want to choose Jesus now, you can. Pray- Lord Jesus, forgive my for my sins, I desire to enter into the rest that You have promised to me. Lord Jesus come into my heart that I may have a relationship with you. Jesus, I beleive that You died on the cross for my sins, and that You were raised from the dead on the third day. Come into my life, and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Jesus tells us that if we beleive in our hearts and confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, than we will be saved. If you beleive in your heart that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Lord of your life, and you confessed it out loud to Him- then you are saved! 

Two things you will need from this point forward- 1) A Bible, if you do not have one, you can go online and find one to download, or you can go to your local church and ask for one. Start reading in the gospel of John. 2) Find a Church. Being with other believers will help you stay "in the house" with God. God never intended for us to be alone, He desires for you to have fellowship with others.
 Welcome to the Family of God!