God Sets A Time Limit For Each Person

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God Sets A Time Limit For Each Person

God Sets A Time Limit For Each Person

Hebrews 4:6  Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
7  Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
8  For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

The Bible was written as one complete record of God’s Word to man. It was written over a span of some 1600 years by 40 different writers. However, it has One author, God. Many people have pulled the Bible apart and lost sight of the bigger picture. That is why God directed Paul to write II Timothy 2:15:

II Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

That is also why Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for being ignorant of the Scripture. The Pharisees were famous for taking the parts of the Scriptures they liked and then embellishing them to make a doctrine they could use to whip people into submission to their false ideas. There is a danger in trying to take advantage of people who do not read the Bible, but are gullible and willing to believe smooth talkers. Sadly, there are many Bible “teachers” who are “good snake oil salesmen.” Having said that, we need to understand that not all Bible teachers are looking to deceive. The apostle Paul was a faithful servant of God as were the rest of the 12 apostles. In every generation, God has faithful men who can be trusted to teach His Word faithfully. The apostles were infallible in their writing. They wrote exactly what God told them to write. No evangelist, pastor or teacher can claim to be infallible. We will err at times. However, a godly evangelist, pastor or teacher is not seeking to deceive. His desire is to serve God faithfully and to glorify Him in his ministry.
Paul also wrote of the right response of the listeners when the Word of God is preached. Notice God’s Word in Acts 17:11

Acts 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

It is very important to have an open Bible whenever you are listening to a preacher or teacher. Don’t assume that everything they say will be correct. Take notes as well and then you can examine what the man said. A godly preacher/teacher will never be offended by the listener who listens to his preaching and then studies it further and may have some questions regarding what was said. Critical thinking is important. Critical thinking is not looking to criticize. It is examining all that is said in the light of God’s Word.
Having said all of that, as we look at verse 6 of our passage we need to understand this and other verses like this in the light of all Scripture. Verse 6 states that “some must enter therein”. That in no way supports the heresy of Calvinism. The Bible teaches that those who are saved must enter heaven. That is a promise made by God. It is also true as our text states that God chose Abraham to build the nation of Israel. God promised to bless Abraham. The sad reality is that many of Abraham’s descendants did not want what God was offering them. They could not enter into God’s rest because of unbelief. That unbelief would not prevent God from continuing to declare His truth to others. The apostle Paul was saved in Acts 9 and told that he would be directed to preach the Gospel primarily to the Gentiles.

Luke 14:23  And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

In that account Jesus taught that the lord was not content to have any empty spaces in his house. The Gospel is for all people. There will be much more room in heaven for people than there will be people. Heaven will not be overcrowded. Sadly, many will not be there because they reject the truth. Those who do believe the truth must enter into Heaven. That is God’s design for the saved. Verse 6 makes that clear. God says that those who would not enter into His rest were kept out because of unbelief. It was not because God pre-determined that they could not enter in.
In verse 7 we are again reminded of the urgency of the matter. I know that I missed out on many blessings during the years that I fought against the truth. Salvation is not just about going to heaven. It is about being forgiven and knowing God’s peace now. It is also about being able to invest our time serving God and helping others to know His peace and forgiveness as well.
Thus the writer tells us that to day is the day to respond to God’s call to salvation. The Israelites resisted until death and missed out on life now and into eternity. Hardening the heart is a very dangerous matter. The more a person resists the truth, the harder they become against the truth.
In verse 8 God makes it clear that entrance into the land of Canaan was not equal to entering into heaven. We noted earlier that Israel needed to kill the Canaanites as they entered the land. They were not to make a league with them. The Bible tells us that the cup of God’s wrath was full against the inhabitants of the land. They had their time to respond to Him. They were not interested.
Those who are saved will not be chasing ungodly people out of heaven. No sin can enter heaven. Those who enter heaven will be those who are saved. At the judgment seat of Christ they will be examined and that is where the rewards or loss of rewards will be dealt with. That will all be taken care of prior to entering heaven. Jesus Christ will be the judge. He will not need the assistance of anyone else. All those who are saved have their names written in the Lamb’s book of life. Only Jesus Christ can write a person’s name in that book.
Yesterday, I downloaded a new app and needed to set up an account for it. It needed a name for me. I gave several different names before it finally accepted one. It claimed other people had used the other names already. There will likely be others with the same name as mine written in the Lamb’s book of life. However, that will not confuse Jesus Christ. He knows everyone of His sheep by name. His sheep also hear His voice and they follow Him. It is great to be known by the eternal Son of God. It is necessary to be known by Him. If you do not know Him, there is no better time than today to turn to God and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone to save you. You will never regret doing that. You will regret putting that off and dying in your sin. Don’t harden yourself against God’s truth.
Pastor Bartel

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