What does it mean to be “welcome”? To be welcome is to have the presence of something accepted. This typically plays out in a way that communicates acceptance of a person. When you arrive at a place there is a greeting that communicates that you are welcome. We are told of the greeting we all long to hear in that final day: “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your Master” (Matthew 25.23).
Well done. Enter in. Close your eyes and breathe that thought in for a moment. We will all stand before God, all deeds laid bare and sins being tallied by the myriads. Then the Savior speaks up- ‘this one is Mine. My blood covers their sins.’ Then we are welcomed into our eternal abode.
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. 2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’” (Hebrews 4.1-3a)
We will get in, but some won’t. On a positive note, this passage discusses who is who. Uniting by faith with those who listened to the Good News. Verse 6 says those who failed to enter did so because they refused to obey. Isn’t that always the way? How many verses tell man to obey God? How many verses tell of man refusing to obey and God punishing them? How many tell of God being faithful and just to forgive those who turn to Him? Even later in Hebrews 4 the message is repeated “today, if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts”.
God is standing by to welcome you home. While obedient faith is necessary, we are supposed to know we are saved. Know it, feel it, so we can live it. Why would anyone listen to a message of “good news”, as it is called in this passage, from someone who is not absolutely sure how “good” it is. In death, Isaiah says the righteous “rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness”. I am going to Heaven. When I arrive, my Lord will welcome me there.