Hebrews 4:1
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
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.

King James Bible
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

Darby Bible Translation
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left of entering into his rest, any one of you might seem to have failed of it.

World English Bible
Let us fear therefore, lest perhaps anyone of you should seem to have come short of a promise of entering into his rest.

Young's Literal Translation
We may fear, then, lest a promise being left of entering into His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short,

Hebrews 4:1 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Let us therefore fear - Let us be apprehensive that we may possibly fall of that rest. The kind of "fear" which is recommended here is what leads to caution and care. A man who is in danger of losing his life or health should be watchful; a seaman that is in danger of running on a lee-shore should be on his guard. So we who have the offer of heaven, and who yet are in danger of losing it, should take all possible precautions lest we fail of it.

Lest a promise being left us - Paul assumes here that there is such a promise. In the subsequent part of the chapter, he goes more into the subject, and proves from the Old Testament that there is such a promise made to us. It is to be remembered that Paul had not the New Testament then to appeal to, as we have, which is perfectly clear on the subject, but that he was obliged to appeal to the Old Testament. This he did not only because the New Testament was not then written, but because he was reasoning with those who had been Hebrews, and who regarded the authority of the Old Testament as decisive. If his reasoning to us appears somewhat obscure, we should put ourselves in his place, and should remember that the converts then had not the full light which we have now in the New Testament.

Of entering into his rest - The rest of God - the rest of the world where he dwells. It is called "his" rest, because it is what he enjoys, and which he alone can confer. There can be no doubt that Paul refers here to heaven, and means to say that there is a promise left to Christians of being admitted to the enjoyment of that blessed world where God dwells.

Any of you should seem to come short of it - The word "seem" here is used as a form of gentle and mild address, implying the possibility of thus coming short. The word here - δοκέω dokeō - is often used so as to appear to give no essential addition to the sense of a passage, though it is probable that it always gave a shading to the meaning. Thus, the phrase "esse videatur" is often used by Cicero at the end of a period, to denote merely that a thing "was" - though he expressed it as though it merely "seemed" to be. Such language is often used in argument or in conversation as a "modest" expression, as when we say a thing "seems" to be so and so, instead of saying "it is." In some such sense Paul probably used the phrase here - perhaps as expressing what we would by this language - "lest it should appear at last that any of you had come short of it." The phrase "come short of it" is probably used with reference to the journey to the promised land, where they who came out of Egypt "came short" of that land, and fell in the wilderness. They did not reach it. This verse teaches the important truth that, though heaven is offered to us, and that a "rest" is promised to us if we seek it, yet that there is reason to think that many may fail of reaching it who had expected to obtain it. Among those will be the following classes:

(1) Those who are professors of religion but who have never known anything of true piety.

(2) those who are expecting to be saved by their own works, and are looking forward to a world of rest on the ground of what their own hands can do.

(3) those who defer attention to the subject from time to time until it becomes too late. They expect to reach heaven, but they are not ready to give their hearts to God "now," and the subject is deferred from one period to another, until death arrests them unprepared.

(4) those who have been awakened to see their guilt and danger, and who have been almost but not quite ready to give up their hearts to God. Such were Agrippa, Felix, the young ruler Mark 10:21, and such are all those who are "almost" but not "quite" prepared to give up the world and to devote themselves to the Redeemer. To all these the promise of "rest" is made, if they will accept of salvation as it is offered in the gospel; all of them cherish a hope that they will be saved; and all of them are destined alike to be disappointed. With what earnestness, therefore, should we strive that we may not fail of the grace of God!

Hebrews 4:1 Parallel Commentaries

April 23. "An High Priest Touched with the Feeling of Our Infirmities" (Heb. Iv. 15).
"An high priest touched with the feeling of our infirmities" (Heb. iv. 15). Some time ago we were talking with a greatly suffering sister about healing, who was much burdened physically and desirous of being able to trust the Lord for deliverance. After a little conversation we prayed with her, committing her case to the Lord for absolute trust and deliverance as she was prepared to claim. As soon as we closed our prayer she grasped our hand, and asked us to unite with her in the burden that was
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Heavenly Rest
"My rest," says God: the rest of God! Something more wonderful than any other kind of rest. In my text it is (in the original) called the Sabbatism--not the Sabbath, but the rest of the Sabbath--not the outward ritual of the Sabbath, which was binding upon the Jew, but the inward spirit of the sabbath, which is the joy and delight of the Christian. "There remaineth therefore"--because others have not had it, because some are to have it--"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." Now,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857

The Power of God's Word to Convict Men of Sin.
In Hebrews 4:12 we have a Scripture which draws attention to this peculiar characteristic of the Bible--"For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, andis a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." The writings of men may sometimes stir the emotions, search the conscience, and influence the human will, but in a manner and degree possessed by no other book the Bible
Arthur W. Pink—The Divine Inspiration of the Bible

The Great High-Priest.
"Having then a great High-priest, Who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high-priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but One that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need. For every high-priest, being taken from among men, is appointed for
Thomas Charles Edwards—The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews

Cross References
Acts 3:19
"Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

2 Corinthians 6:1
And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain--

Galatians 5:4
You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

Hebrews 12:15
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

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