To “Believe” is a commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 20:27, Jesus told His disciple, Thomas, “Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas had been doubtful and refusing to believe that the other disciples had seen the risen Lord (v.25).
Jesus’ commandment to “Believe” is important, because in Hebrews, we read where a whole generation of God’s people did not enter into the rest (the promise) that God had prepared for them, because of their unbelief (Hebrews 3:19). Unbelief keeps us from entering into the rest (the promise) that God has prepared for us.
Hebrews Chapter 4 talks about the rest.
v.1 “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.”
v.9 “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.”
v.11 “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, let anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.”
In order to enter the rest, we have to first believe that there is a rest, and believe that the rest has been prepared for us by God. Life comes with difficulties, opposition, and challenges; however, those things can never be allowed to cause us to become unbelieving of God’s promise in any way. Hebrews 4:16 says “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
In times where our faith is being challenged, we have to come boldly to God – demonstrating our belief in His promise, to receive mercy and find the grace that is necessary for us in that time.
Three times across Hebrews 3 (v.8 and 15) and 4 (v.7), the scripture says “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts (as in the rebellion).”
God swore that the rebellious and unbelieving would not enter His rest! (Heb. 3:11) They could not enter in because of unbelief. The instruction to hear God’s voice and not harden your heart is a commandment to “Believe”. Hebrews 3:12 says “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God”.
It is a tragedy for one to miss out on the promise of God because of a failure to believe. The Word of God has to be mixed with faith (believing), in order to profit the hearer. Hebrews 3:6 says “hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.” True faith produces corresponding action, based in confidence and hope of the promise of God. Hebrews 4:3 says “we who have believed do enter that rest”.
Today, the Spirit of God is saying “Hear My voice! Enter into the rest of the Lord. Do not be unbelieving, but believing!”