One of the most distressing things about my recent episode with tooth pain (which I wrote about here) was finding that the place of rest had become the place of pain. There were a couple of days when I was pretty fine whilst going about my normal business, but when I lay down I could feel the pain develop in my mouth.
When we are tired we look forward to the place of rest. We look forward to the refreshment that that affords. But suddenly I was deprived of that, even worse I was given pain instead of pleasure.
We need rest as human beings. The Sabbath principle is a principle which means that rest is granted to us for our benefit. When we are deprived of rest, we do not function well. This experience somewhat mangled my mind. The place of rest becoming a place of pain was a sobering experience.
I am left wondering about this. It is common place to say of someone when they have died that they are “at rest” or they should “rest in peace.”. But what do these phrases, which are used so casually, mean. The alarming thing is that for so many that hoped for rest in eternity may well find it not to be so. The Word says that there is no rest to the wicked. Isaiah observes ‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’ (Is. 57:21). That means no rest! And for those who die as “the wicked”, there is eternally no rest. This statement necessitates defining who the wicked are. The wicked are those who are outside of Christ. In Christ we are constituted righteous by the free grace of our God. Outside of Christ we are still in our sins; we are wicked.
In Matthew 7:21 -23 we read the following words of our Lord Jesus:
‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”
Here we have those presuming they will enter the place of rest, but it is not so. They are declared to be evildoers – the wicked. The place they thought would be for rest becomes rather the place of pain and that forever. I tremble to write such things; but it is true. Which leads me to ask of you if you are reading this; how is it with you?
For all those who are still “wicked” I urge you to flee from the wrath to come. Come to the One who offered and still offers rest (see Matt. 11:2*); eternal rest. Oh to have the blessing of being cleansed from all sin, free of all guilt; accepted in Jesus Christ. How wonderful it is to be no longer wicked because of Christ. So I urge you again; Come to Him.