Sabbath Rest Remains

The Bible is not very specific about heaven. God is there, but he is everywhere. Jesus is there, as are angels. So those of us who follow Jesus into heaven will somehow fellowship with him, God the Father, the angels, and Noah, Abraham, David, Mary, Peter, Paul, etc. Incredible! There will be worship, song, and praise, but beyond these, no one knows exactly what the faithful will be doing.

Scripture discusses heaven in spatial terms with figures of speech; mansions, a glorious city of gold and precious stones immediately come to mind. Heaven’s inhabitants will have glorified bodies-somehow perfect, not given to illness, aging, death, or any of the physical imperfections that consume this life. Their spirits will know no sadness, hurt, longing, or any of the emotional and mental imperfections that debilitate this life. Indeed, eternal life will lack all the defects of the here and now.

The writer of Hebrews uses a metaphor that expresses well what we hope for in heaven-“rest” (3:7 - 4:13). He likens it to the Sabbath rest of God when he ceased from his creative labors. We too have the hope of ceasing from life’s labors. Hebrews draws upon the experience of the exodus Israelites who failed to enter God’s earthly rest, the land of Canaan, which typified the eternal heavenly rest also jeopardized by unbelief and disobedience. Hebrews warns the people of God not to abandon faith and so forfeit God’s Sabbath rest.

To Canaan’s land I’m on my way, Where the soul never dies.No sad farewells, No tear-dimmed eyes,Where all is love, And the soul never dies.