Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.…
I. GOD HAS LEFT US A PROMISE OF ENTERING INTO HIS REST; a promise enough to satisfy all our desires, and to engage our heartiest endeavours after it.
1. The greatness of that reward which God has promised to us in the gospel.
2. Of this rest we should most certainly be made partakers, if we live so as we ought to do.
II. IT IS AS CERTAIN THAT WE MAY BY OUR OWN FAULT COME SHOAT OF IT. For the promise of this rest is not absolute, but conditional It depends upon a covenant in which there are duties to be fulfilled on our part, as well as a reward to he made good on God's. And if we fail in the one, there is no reason to expect that He should perform the other.
III. Let us take the advice of the text, and FEAR LEST WE SHOULD CHANCE SO TO DO. One might justly think that instead of arguing with men upon this subject, we ought rather to apologise for the absurdity of making that an exhortation which all men desire, and therefore must needs endeavour to attain unto. What is this but as if one should go about to argue with a covetous wretch not to neglect a fair opportunity of growing rich.
IV. THE BEST WHY TO SECURE TO OURSELVES THE PROMISE OF THIS REST, is to live in a continual fear of coming short of it.
1. This will be the most likely to engage our own care.
2. It will also be the best means to entitle us to God's favour.
(1) This will above anything qualify us for the gracious assistance of His Holy Spirit, to enable us to discharge that duty which is required of us.
(2) It will the best dispose us for the pardon of those sins which, when we have done all that we can, we shall still continue more or less to commit. Because he who thus fears will either never willingly fall into any sins, and then there can be no doubt that he shall find a very ready pardon of his involuntary offences. Or if he should be at any time led away by the deceitfulness of sin, yet this fear will soon awaken him, and bring him both to a sense and a deep abhorrence of it.
Parallel VersesKJV: Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.