God's promise of entering his place of rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to get there.
For this Good News -- that God has prepared a place of rest -- has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn't believe what God told them.
References for Hebrews 4:2
For only we who believe can enter his place of rest. As for those who didn't believe, God said, "In my anger I made a vow: 'They will never enter my place of rest,'" even though his place of rest has been ready since he made the world.
References for Hebrews 4:3
We know it is ready because the Scriptures mention the seventh day, saying, "On the seventh day God rested from all his work."
References for Hebrews 4:4
But in the other passage God said, "They will never enter my place of rest."
References for Hebrews 4:5
So God's rest is there for people to enter. But those who formerly heard the Good News failed to enter because they disobeyed God.
So God set another time for entering his place of rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David a long time later in the words already quoted: "Today you must listen to his voice. Don't harden your hearts against him."
References for Hebrews 4:7
This new place of rest was not the land of Canaan, where Joshua led them. If it had been, God would not have spoken later about another day of rest.
So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God.
References for Hebrews 4:9
For all who enter into God's rest will find rest from their labors, just as God rested after creating the world.
Let us do our best to enter that place of rest. For anyone who disobeys God, as the people of Israel did, will fall.
For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.
Nothing in all creation can hide from him. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes. This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done.
That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him.
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin.
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.