Lord, I have been thinking about the Sabbath. Some people keep it; some say it isn’t important. Should I be concerned about it?
"One man esteemeth one day above another : Another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind" (Romans 14:5)
Then tell me about the Sabbath. Is every day alike or do you have a special day of rest for Your followers?
But which day is the Lord’s day? Which day should be esteemed above the others?
"The son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath day" (Matthew 12:8)
There are seven days in the week. Which day is the Sabbath day?
"The SEVENTH DAY is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work." (Exodus 20:10)
Which day, according to our reckoning is the seventh day – Saturday or Sunday?
"And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James ... very early in the morning the first day of the week ... came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun ... and entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man ... and hesaith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: He is risen" (Mark 16:1-6)
(Note: everybody knows that Sunday was the resurrection day. The Sabbath was past when it dawned. Thus it is evident that the Sabbath is Saturday, the day before Sunday.)
Do You mean, Lord, that the seventh day, Saturday, is a special day of rest above all the other days of the week?
"God BLESSED the seventh day, and SANCTIFIED it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." (Genesis 2:3)
How do You expect us to keep this day You have blessed and sanctified?
"Remember the Sabbath day to KEEP IT HOLY. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work." (Fourth Commandment – Exodus 20:8-10)
But Lord, didn’t You abolish the Law which contains the Sabbath Commandment?
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy , but to fulfil." (Matthew 5: 17)
Doesn’t faith set aside the Law?
"Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law." (Romans 3:31)
But aren’t we saved by grace?
"By grace are ye saved through faith." (Ephesians 2:8)
Then why should we any longer observe the Law?
"Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Romans 6:1,2)
I know Christians should not sin, but what does that have to do with the Law and the Sabbath?
"Sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4)
Which law do You mean Lord? Which law reveals sin?
"I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." (Romans 7:7) Note: the Law which reveals sin is the Ten Commandment Law.
Do you mean, Lord, that it would be a sin not to observe the seventh day Sabbath as the Fourth Commandment teaches?
"To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." (James 4:17)
But, Lord, didn’t You change one of the Commandments so that today we Christians may keep another day than the seventh without sinning?
"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." (Matthew 5:18)
But isn’t it sufficient that I love the Lord and live by the law of love?
"If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)
Does that mean all ten of them?
"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:10)
But isn’t the keeping of the commandments a grievous yoke of bondage?
"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous." (1 John 5:3)
Yes, Lord, of course I love You and it will be a pleasure to keep the Commandments; but I always had the idea that the Sabbath was made only for the Jews.
"The Sabbath was made for man." (Mark 2:27). (The Sabbath was made and given to man hundreds of years before the existence of a Jew. See Genesis 2:1-3)
If I could know for sure that Saturday is the Christian Sabbath, I would keep it. Did you leave an example in Sabbath keeping for us to follow?
"And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read." (Luke 4:16).
But Lord, that was over 1900 years ago. Wouldn’t You keep some other day than Saturday if You should come to earth today?
"I am the Lord, I change not." (Malachi 3:6). "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever." Hebrews 13:8)
Someone told me that after Your crucifixion, Lord, Your followers no longer kept the seventh-day Sabbath. Is this true?
"And that day was the preparation, (when Christ was crucified) and the Sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENT." (Luke 23:54-56)
But didn’t the Apostle Paul always meet with the early Christians on Sunday in honour of the resurrection? What was his manner in regard to a day of worship?
"And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures." (Acts 17:2)
Did he meet with the Gentile converts on the Sabbath too? Perhaps he met with the Jews on the Sabbath and the Greeks on Sunday. What about that?
"And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks." (Acts 18:4)
Is this, then, the instruction in regard to Sabbath keeping?
"For I have not shunned to declare unto you ALL THE COUNSEL OF GOD." (Acts 20:27). (If God had intended His people to observe Sunday in the place of the seventh day, Paul or one of the apostles surely would have told us so. In the New Testament there are no less than 59 references to the Sabbath. The book of Acts records 84 Sabbaths on which the Apostle Paul and his associates held religious services. Yet there is not one word in the entire Bible authorizing Sunday keeping. The observance of the seventh day is taught repeatedly and emphatically as a work of grace whereby the Christian shows his respect and love for God. He does not try to earn salvation by keeping the Commandments, but he keeps them because they are right.)
Lord, is the observance of the Sabbath important to my salvation?
"And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him." (Hebrews 5:9)
Then, by Thy grace, I will do what is right! I will obey the Commandments and keep the Sabbath as You desire.
"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." (Revelation 22:14)