(13) And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
The eternal rest of God’s people is in view…. “that they may rest from their labors”. What type of rest will God’s people experience throughout eternity? this text answers that question using the term “labors”. The Greek word translated “labors” carries with it the ideas of “fatigue, grief, sorrow, or pain”.
When we enter into our eternal rest, we will no longer face the trials, struggles, oppostions, weaknesses, and hurts of this fallen world. We will be able to enter into a peaceful rest with our Lord!
The first stage of our eternal rest begins at our physical death…
Job 3:13-19 KJV “For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest, … There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest. There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor. The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master.”
The final stage of our eternal rest is a rest for our entire being (spirit and body). This begins at the second coming of Christ. At that time we will receive our resurrected, glorified bodies…
2Th 1:6-7 KJV “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,”
Knowledge and appreciation for this eternal rest should be a great motivational force in our service to Christ and need for self-examination…
Heb 4:9-11 KJV “here remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
(Please note the phrase “Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest”, does not teach us that our labors on earth will gain us this rest. It is simply instructing us to labor to be certain that we have been saved by God’s grace. This same principle is found in 2 Peter 1:10 – “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”)
May we all take this exhortation very seriously and take great pains to make certain that the Lord has intervened in our life and brought us to a saving knowledge of Him! May we use this wonderful promise of our eternal rest motivate us to search our hearts immediately, seriously, and honestly.
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation: