“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Do you find yourself tired of striving for peace and satisfaction in this world of violence and hatred? We would do well to heed the words of the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews. He here presents a solemn warning to those who reject Christ to go back to following the Law. They will never enter into the rest of the Lord. Now this rest is often considered to be a reference to our eternal reward, yet the writer refers to it as a present reality. What he is telling us is that we attain this rest not by working at it, but by accepting the grace of God given through faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross. We can’t work at it so we have to rest in it. We cease from our labors as the Lord did on the 7th day of creation. Those who will not cease from their works, who think they can earn their way into heaven by good works, charitable deeds, donations of money, or religious rituals will never attain that rest because they never cease striving.

This warning applies to modern Christians, indeed any human being who thinks that doing good deeds and following spiritual (or superstitious) rituals to make himself acceptable to God. These deeds may have a form of godliness but they cannot fool the Lord. He knows those who have truly submitted to His will. His word exposes the innermost intents and true motives of the human heart. The word judges and condemns every unrepentant sinner, every pretentious believer who is not serious about serving God or whose profession of faith is made from a desire for selfish gain or social acceptance. The same word reaches out to sincere believers who struggle to remain faithful in the midst of suffering and persecution to remind us that we can go to the Lord without fear. Jesus is our advocate who intercedes for us and gives us the strength to do His will and persevere.

These words from Hebrews should humble us. They reveal to us not only the omniscience of Almighty God but also the keen insight of His word. Nothing that human beings do is hidden from God. Try as we humans might to cover up sin or redefine it or call it good, God always knows the truth and the right. Those who sin will give an account, perhaps here in this life, but definitely when they come before the judgment seat of Christ in eternity. Those who have faith in Jesus are covered by His atoning blood and so receive forgiveness. Their account has been satisfied. Those who do not have such faith, who trusted in their good works, or disregarded the Lord and His Word altogether will face judgment without such a savior.