The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Heb 4:1 a salvation deadline?

Hebrews 4:1 (ESV)
Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.

Assuming the “rest” here = soteriological salvation, then this seems to teach that there’s a deadline for getting saved. Thoughts?

Like other blunt sounding verses it always s/b considering in the context of Paul’s audience (in this case) & Paul is expressing his fervent desire that his Jewish brothers do not fall away so he is emphasizing the urgency.

As a pantelist the deadline within the context of audience relevance is self evident… Christ’s promised parousia, as per AD70.

I think that the word rest here is speaking of something other than soteriological salvation. God rested from his works on the seventh day, and he promises a similar rest for those who believe. However, a day has a definite beginning and end. God rested on the seventh day, but the seventh day has surely passed. It’s just a hunch, but could the rest being spoken of be the millenial kingdom?

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Unbelievers cannot enter into God’s “rest” which is found in Christ Jesus:

Mt.11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Rest = God’s postmortem blessedness in Christ? Either eternal or millennial?

Failing to enter (due to unbelief) before one dies = a spell in “hell”?

The deadline = death?

Perhaps we could think more generally about the verse without reading too much into it. I’m sure it was a meaningful verse to Jews, who were aware that the hard-heartedness (which is a type of unbelief) of their ancestors kept those people from enjoying God’s blessing fully. That may have been all the verse was pointing to; we can certainly read our concerns back into the verse but I think it was not meant to bear the weight of all our other questions, such as hell, eternity etc. $.02

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