Officially, the season of thanks has completed and the season of spending has commenced. For many the season carries a hurried and frantic pace moving from store to store searching for that perfect gift. Fascinatingly, that search for the perfect gift often neglects the perfect gift, of which we are supposed to be celebrating. If there is something to be considered with giving this Christmas, it is the gift of life through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The results of this gift are so immense while the consequences are so severe that such a gift is deserving of attention and not neglect. Many points in Scripture exalt Jesus Christ and put a right emphasis on him as the object of our faith. However, the author of Hebrews continuously exalts Jesus Christ throughout, and when we come to chapter four, in particular, we can see several points that make the message and work of Jesus Christ the most magnificent gift of all. Exhorting believers to not neglect the promise of God as Israel has previously done, the author compels believers to look to the rest that comes when united by faith (verse 4). In doing these, we see that the message that comes from Christ has four characteristics:
- It Is Good News (v. 2): The very word from which we get the name gospel, literally means good news because that is what this message is, good news.
- It Is Available (v. 1, 8-9): The Lord has not withdrawn his promise, but instead, it continues, which means that it is available now and because the opportunity exists, Hebrews warns against neglecting this precious gift.
- It Brings Rest (v. 1-10): The emphasis is on the rest that God provides. Through Christ, we can rest from our works righteousness, we can rest from our search of vain philosophies and empty religions that leave us unsatisfied, and we can rest in firm confidence in a God who does not change.
- It Has Eternal Consequences (v.1-3, 6-7): Finally, this gift has eternal consequences. For those who believe it brings eternal sanctification with God, but for those who ignore it brings eternal separation from God. Never have two options been so extreme.
Looking at the stakes, the question becomes, “Why would we neglect such a perfect gift?”
There exists no other gift that has the ability to bring godly rest. There exists no other gift that has the disposition to impact one’s eternity. There exists no other gift that has the propensity to save one’s soul. Therefore, there is no other gift worth giving.
By: Robert E. Zink, BMW Missionary to Argentina