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Coming to Find Rest

Coming to Find Rest

This are some extracts from chapter 3 of Whosoever Will, by Herman Hoeksema, published by the RFPA.

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“In order to be saved, we must come to God. And since we as sinners cannot possibly come to God as we are, guilty and defiled with sin, we must come to Jesus in order that through Him we may come to God. For Jesus is the revelation of the God of our salvation, and He is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God through Him. And all that will to come unto Him may surely come and have the assurance that they shall not be cast out.”  Page 19.

“Rest is not the same as idleness or mere inactivity. On the one hand, it is quite possible to stretch one’s limbs on the bed of indolence without finding rest, and a state of strict inactivity is impossible for man: his spirit is ever busy. On the other hand, a state of full and highest activity is quite compatible with perfect rest. God is pure activity, yet He is always in the state of perfect rest. In that beautiful and highly symbolic picture of the state of glory presented in Revelation 4:8, we read of the four living creatures that stand around the throne of God and of the Lamb that ‘they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.’ Yet who does not understand that in this incessant glorification of the Most High, they enjoy the perfect Rest? Even the rest of our weekly sabbath does not consist in mere cessation from all work, but rather in filling the day to capacity with the activity of seeking the kingdom of God. And a man who loafs his time away on the first day of the week may be a worse desecrater of the sabbath than he who spends the whole day in the shop or on his farm.”  Page 23.

“That rest is in Christ. We could never accomplish the task of atoning for our sins, nor could we ever deliver ourselves from the bondage of corruption and the dominion of death. Heavy laden are we, and even if we would toil to atone for our sins, we would but labor in vain. The work is God’s. The rest is His. He accomplished the work in and through Christ, His only begotten Son. Christ is the Rest in His very Person, for He is Immanuel, God with us; the divine and human nature are forever united in His blessed Person. He merited the rest, for He took all our sins upon His mighty shoulders and bore the whole burden of them upon the accursed tree. He accomplished the task, for he cried out, ‘It is finished.’ He took all our guilt away, overcame the power of death, and issued forth into the glory of His Resurrection-life. And He went into the highest heavens and received the promise of the Spirit so that He is the quickening Spirit, able to deliver us from sin unto righteousness, from death into eternal life. And from there He calls: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’ (Matt. 11:28).”  Page 25.

“But the natural man of himself has not this will. He is weary, to be sure, but not of sin. He is weary of unrest, of war, of destruction, of bloodshed, of sickness, of sorrow, of death. And he labors and toils to improve his condition, to establish peace and happiness, to make a better world. But he does not acknowledge that his burden is his sin and that all his unrest finds its cause in the fact that he has forsaken God. He does not want to cease from sin. He does not seek after God. He seeks rest in the sphere of sin. Speaking beautiful words of peace, he makes war; boasting of righteousness, he hates the righteousness of God; claiming to labor for a better world, he destroys it. And he does not will to enter into the rest of God and to come to Christ.

But Christ speaks: ‘Come!’ And when He speaks, who can still resist? Ah, when I speak, when mere man speaks, when a preacher begs and calls and persuades, it is of no avail. You hear with the natural ear, you see with your natural eye, you understand the meaning of the gospel, but you refuse to come, you reject the Christ, you only prove that you are blind and deaf and very corrupt, and you aggravate your guilt. But Christ speaks! He speaks who once stood at the open grave of Lazarus calling, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ He speaks by His Spirit and Word. And through the power of His almighty Word you receive eyes to see, ears to hear, an enlightened understanding to know your misery, the longing to be delivered and to enter into the rest of God, the will to come to Christ! And whosoever will may come! The promise is yours, and it shall never fail: ‘Come, . . . and I will give you rest!’”  Page 26.

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