"Salvation" & "Rest" In Hebrews

It's no secret that scholars have long debated the notion of "God's rest" in the biblical text known as Hebrews. Similarly, there has been much ink spilt on discussions concerning the concept of salvation in Hebrews (e.g. is it past, present or future oriented or is it all of those?). When taken together, these two concepts (salvation & rest) seem to make Hebrews all the more confusing. For example, in Hebrews 3, in the warning section (7-19), we encounter both concepts but we encounter them in a most peculiar way.

Instead of quoting those verses here, I will just summarize what seems to be a major point of them: These words are an exhortation to first-century believers not to harden their hearts against God as the Sinai / Kadesh-Barnea communities did. But here's the thing, some scholars such as H. Bateman have argued (unconvincingly in my view!) that the only reason that 1st century believers were offered salvation and rest is merely because their predecessors, the Israelites, failed. Put more simply: If the Israelites had not failed, there would have been no room for others in God's salvation plan or Sabbath feast! Personally, I don't agree with this conclusion but on one hand, it does sound like a point the author of Hebrews might be making.

For me, to suggest that resting with God and partaking of salvation depend on how much space God has, seems absurd! Cannot God create more space? Has God limited the number of those who can partake of His rest & salvation? This sounds terribly JW-ish to me! So, I would like to hear some of your thoughts on this matter, what say ye?

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