Those Who Long For Heaven Love Sabbaths

“The happiness of heaven is the constant keeping of the Sabbath. Heaven is called a Sabbath, to make those who have Sabbaths long for heaven, and those who long for heaven love Sabbaths.”

~ Philip Henry



There Remaineth, Therefore, A Sabbath

“Fourthly, the weekly Sabbath has also its eschatological significance. It not only points forward to a future state of blessing, but is itself the pledge that there is to be such a state for man, and perhaps for the earth which he inhabits. It remains in time as God’s visible claim upon the order below, as the earnest of His coming reign, and the pledge that there shall be a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.

That the fullness of that promise of rest and restoration is exhausted by the redemptive rest that is ours here and now in Christ we cannot agree. Much of this so-called realised eschatology is based on what seems an unsound exegesis of Hebrews 4. The writer in that chapter undoubtedly deals with the rest into which the believer enters by faith. He uses two exalted illustrations of it: the rest that God entered into on the completion of His work of creation, and the rest of Christ on the completion of the work of redemption. These two he brings together in one verse: ‘He’, referring to Christ, ‘that is entered into His rest, He also has ceased from His works as God did from His’. This is clearly a reference to the Redeemer’s rest and the Creator’s rest, and on this two-fold analogy there is based the announcement that ‘there remaineth, therefore, a Sabbath unto the people of God’. In this context we have here a reference, not to heaven as the eternal rest of the believer, but to the rest here below, described as a Sabbatism, a Sabbath of rest. Nor is it specifically a clear reference to the rest of faith into which the believing people of God enter here and now; rather does it seem to point to the continuance of the weekly rest day as a present possession and an earnest of a rest that is to come. There remains the keeping of a Sabbath to the people of God, having its roots in the two great facts, that Christ rests from His work of redemption as God rested from His work of creation.

Whether this particular context actually refers, as we think it may, to the Christian Sabbath as we now have it, or to the gospel Sabbath following on Christ’s finished work, or to the Sabbath of the eternal state, we have evidence elsewhere that the Sabbath of the Old Testament and the Christian Sabbath of the New have a typical significance as pointing to the day when the Sabbath of grace is transformed to the Sabbath of glory, and the Lord’s Day of earth becomes the Day of the Lord in all its fullness of light and life and blessedness. And as man on his primeval Sabbath was called into the fellowship of God and the contemplation of His character in His works, so there is a Sabbath to come when God shall be worshipped in His spiritual temple and the light of an accomplished redemption shall shed its illuminating radiance on all the works of God. In that day God shall be advanced in His saints and glorified in all them that believe.”

~The Theology of the Lord’s Day -The Christian Sabbath by R. A. Finlayson

The Way To This Rest Is Opened In The Gospel Only

The Geneva Bible on Hebrews 4:3:

Lest any man should object, that those words were meant of the Land of Canaan, and of Moses’ doctrine, and therefore cannot well be drawn to Christ, and to eternal life, the Apostle showeth that there are two manner of rests spoken of in the Scriptures: the one, of the seventh day, wherein God is said to have rested from all his works: the other is said to be that same, whereinto Joshua led the people: but this rest is not the last rest whereto we are called and that he proveth by two reasons. For seeing that David so long time after, speaking to the people which were then placed in the land of Canaan, useth these words, Today, and threateneth them still that they shall not enter into the rest of God, which refuseth then the voice of God that sounded in their ears, we must needs say that he meant another time than the time of Moses, and another rest than the rest of the land of Canaan: And that is, that everlasting rest, wherein we begin to live to God, after that the race of this life ceaseth: as God resteth the seventh day from those his works, that is to say, from making the world. Moreover, the Apostle therewithal signifieth that the way to this rest, which Moses and the land of Canaan and all that order of the Law did shadow, is opened in the Gospel only.

You May Work on the Sabbath if you Work for God

Heavenly Rest

A Sermon
(No. 133)
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, May 24, 1857, by the
REV. C. H. Spurgeon
at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.


“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.”—Hebrews 4:9.

THE Apostle proved, in the former part of this and the latter part of the preceding chapter, that there was a rest promised in Scripture called the rest of God. He proved that Israel did not attain that rest for God sware in his wrath, saying, “They shall not enter into my rest.” He proved that this did not merely refer to the rest of the land of Canaan; for he says that after they were in Canaan, David himself speaks again in after ages concerning the rest of God, as a thing which was yet to come. Again he proves, that “seeing those to whom it was promised did not enter in, because of unbelief, and it remaineth that some must enter in, therefore,” saith he, “there remaineth a rest to the people of God.”
 “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, this rest, I believe, is partly enjoyed on earth. “We that have believed do enter into rest,” for we have ceased from our own works, as God did from his. But the full fruition and rich enjoyment of it remains in the future and eternal state of the beatified on the other side the stream of death. Of that it shall be our delightful work to talk a little this morning. And oh! if God should help me to raise but one of his feeble saints on the wings of love to look within the veil, and see the joys of the future, I shall be well contented to have made the joy-bells ring in one heart at least, to have set one eye flashing with joy, and to have made one spirit light with gladness. The rest of heaven! I shall try first to exhibit it and then to extol it...
 II. And now, yet more briefly, and then we shall have done. I am to endeavor to EXTOL this rest, as I have tried to EXHIBIT it. I would extol this rest for many reasons; and oh! that I were eloquent, that I might extol it as it deserves! Oh! for the lip of angel, and the burning tongue of cherub, to talk now of the bliss of the sanctified and of the rest of God’s people!
 It is, first, a perfect rest. They are wholly at rest in heaven. Here rest is but partial. I hope in a little time to cease from every-day labors for a season, but then the head will think, and the mind may be looking forward to prospective labor, and whilst the body is still, the brain will yet be in motion. Here, on Sabbath days a vast multitude of you sit in God’s house, but many of you are obliged to stand, and rest but little except in your mind, and even when the mind is at rest the body is wearied with the toil of standing. You have a weary mile perhaps, many miles, to go to your homes on the Sabbath day. And let the Sabbatarian say what he will, you may work on the Sabbath day, if you work for God; and this Sabbath day’s work of going to the house of God is work for God, and God accepts it. For yourselves you may not labor, God commands you to rest, but if you have to toil these three, these four, these five, these six miles, as many of you have done, I will not and I must not blame you. “The priests in the sanctuary profane the Sabbath, and are blameless.” It is toil and labor, it is true but it is for a good cause—for your Master. But there, my friends, the rest is perfect; the body there rests perpetually, the mind too always rests; though the inhabitants are always busy, always serving God, yet they are never weary, never toil-worn, never fagged; they never fling themselves upon their couches at the end of the day, and cry, “Oh! when shall I be away from this land of oil?” They I never stand up in the burning sunlight, and wipe the hot sweat from their brow; they never rise from their bed in the morning, half refreshed, to go to laborious study. No, they are perfectly at rest, stretched on the couch of eternal joy. They know not the semblance of a tear; they have done with sin, and care, and woe, and, with their Saviour rest…

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To Teach Men To Walk Into An Eternal Sabbath Of Rest

Hugh Binning, Works, p. 91:

But why, then, did he take six days for his work? Might he not with one word of his power have commanded this world to issue out of his omnipotent virtue thus perfect as it is? What needed all this compass? Why took he six days, who in a moment could have done it all with as much facility? Indeed, herein the Lord would have us to adore his wisdom as well as his power. He proceeds from more imperfect things to more perfect, – from a confused chaos to a beautiful world, – from motion to rest, – to teach man to walk through this wilderness and valley of tears, this shapeless world, into a more beautiful habitation; through the tossings of time, into an eternal Sabbath of rest, whither their works shall follow them, and they shall rest from their labours.

Source:, Comment #1