“Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.” – Hebrews 4:1-3
Some time ago, I was meditating through the book of Hebrews and ran across this passage. Most of chapters 3 and 4 deal with the issue of entering God’s rest, recounting the story of the children of Israel who did not do so because of their unbelief (3:18). There is much to be learned from studying this topic, but what caught my attention was verse 3 of Chapter 4, especially the last part — “…although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.”
Several years before this, I felt the Lord had begun revealing some things about time that were really stretching my mind. Because God is eternal, He is outside of time as we know it. He has always, and will always, exist; He has no beginning or end. He views all of eternity as one continuum rather than past, present, and future, as we do. Therefore, everything He has purposed in His mind to do has already been done in eternity. Revelation 13:8 says, “All who dwell on the earth will worship him (anti-Christ), whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
When God decided to create the earth and humanity, knowing everything that would happen, He had a plan already in place to provide redemption for all who would surrender to His Lordship, love, and grace. In effect, everything He planned was already finished because it was in His heart to do it, and His Word spoke it all into being. This doesn’t mean, however, that we have no choices or that our lives are predetermined in advance. His sovereignty is able to work within the framework of our choices to make sure His ultimate purpose is accomplished – a spotless bride without blemish for His Son.
This is why we can rest in His ability to fully conform us into the image of His Son. We don’t have to strain or strive to earn His love and acceptance. We can rest in knowing that while we cannot change our hearts, He is fully capable if we are willing. We can rest in knowing His plans for our lives will be accomplished, maybe not in the way we think, but He will finish the good work He has begun in us. We can rest in His finished work and praise Him in advance for what He has yet to do!