Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.
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.
Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, "So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.' " And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world.
For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: "And on the seventh day God rested from all his work."
And again in the passage above he says, "They shall never enter my rest."
It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience.
Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts."
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;
for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.
Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.
This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.
No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was.
So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father. "
And he says in another place, "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."
During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered
and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him
and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn.
In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.
But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,
instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
And God permitting, we will do so.
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit,
who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age,
if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.
But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case--things that accompany salvation.
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure.
We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself,
saying, "I will surely bless you and give you many descendants."
And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument.
Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.
God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,
where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.