Let us labor therefore - The word σπουδασωμεν implies every exertion of body and mind which can be made in reference to the subject. Rebus aliis omissis, hoc agamus; All things else omitted, this one thing let us do. We receive grace, improve grace, retain grace, that we may obtain eternal glory.
Lest any man fall - Lest he fall off from the grace of God, from the Gospel and its blessings, and perish everlastingly. This is the meaning of the apostle, who never supposed that a man might not make final shipwreck of faith and of a good conscience, as long as he was in a state of probation.
Let us therefore labour - Let us earnestly strive. Since there is a rest whose attainment is worth all our efforts; since so many have failed of reaching it by their unbelief, and since there is so much danger that we may fail of it also, let us give all diligence that we may enter into it. Heaven is never obtained but by diligence; and no one enters there who does not earnestly desire it, and who does not make a sincere effort to reach it.
Of unbelief - Margin, “disobedience.” The word “unbelief” best expresses the sense, as the apostle was showing that this was the principal thing that prevented people from entering into heaven; see the notes at Hebrews 3:12.
12 (ch. 11:6). No Encouragement Given for Unbelief—There is no encouragement given for unbelief. The Lord manifests His grace and His power over and over again, and this should teach us that it is always profitable under all circumstances to cherish faith, to talk faith, to act faith. We are not to have our hearts and hands weakened by allowing the suggestions of suspicious minds to plant in our hearts the seeds of doubt and distrust [Hebrews 3:12 quoted] (Letter 97, 1898). 7BC 928.3Read in context »
Because they cannot fathom all its mysteries, the skeptic and the infidel reject God's word; and not all who profess to believe the Bible are secure from temptation on this point. Says the apostle: “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” Minds that have been educated to criticize, to doubt and cavil because they cannot search into the purposes of God, will “fall after the same example of unbelief.” It is right to study closely the teaching of the Bible, and to search into “the deep things of God,” so far as they are revealed in Scripture. While “the secret things belong unto the Lord our God,” “those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children.” But it is Satan's work to pervert the investigative powers of the mind. A certain pride is mingled with the consideration of Bible truth, so that men feel defeated and impatient if they cannot explain every portion of Scripture to their satisfaction. It is too humiliating to them to acknowledge that they do not understand the inspired words. They are unwilling to wait patiently until God shall see fit to reveal the truth to them. They feel that their unaided human wisdom is sufficient to enable them to comprehend the Scripture; and failing to do this, they virtually deny its authority. It is true that many theories and doctrines popularly supposed to be the teaching of the Bible have no foundation in Scripture and, indeed, are contrary to the whole tenor of inspiration. These things have been a cause of doubt and perplexity to many minds. They are not, however, chargeable to God's word, but to man's perversion of it. But the difficulties in the Bible do not reflect upon the wisdom of God; they will not cause the ruin of any who would not have been destroyed if no such difficulties had existed. Had there been no mysteries in the Bible for them to question, the same minds would, through their own lack of spiritual discernment, have found cause of stumbling in the plainest utterances of God. 5T 701.1Read in context »
The land to which we are traveling is in every sense far more attractive than was the land of Canaan to the children of Israel.... What stayed their progress just in sight of the goodly land?.... It was their own willful unbelief that turned them back. They were unwilling to risk anything upon the promises of God.... The history of the children of Israel is written as a warning to us “upon whom the ends of the world are come.” We are standing, as it were, upon the very borders of the heavenly Canaan. We may, if we will, look over on the other side and behold the attractions of the goodly land. If we have faith in the promises of God we shall show in conversation and in deportment that we are not living for this world, but are making it our first business to prepare for that holy land.18 TMK 169.4Read in context »