Archive | 5:17 pm

Stimulants Eventually Produce Evil Results, October 19

19 Oct

From the book  TO BE LIKE JESUS ELLEN G WHITE

 

No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13, NRSV.

As a people, with all our profession of health reform, we eat too much. Indulgence of appetite is the greatest cause of physical and mental debility, and lies at the foundation of the feebleness which is apparent everywhere.

Intemperance commences at our tables in the use of unhealthful food. After a time, through continued indulgence, the digestive organs become weakened, and the food taken does not satisfy the appetite. Unhealthy conditions are established, and there is a craving for more stimulating food. Tea, coffee, and flesh meats produce an immediate effect. Under the influence of these poisons the nervous system is excited, and, in some cases, for the time being, the intellect seems to be invigorated and the imagination to be more vivid. Because these stimulants produce for the time being such agreeable results, many conclude that they really need them and continue their use.

But there is always a reaction. The nervous system, having been unduly excited, borrowed power for present use from its future resources of strength. All this temporary invigoration of the system is followed by depression. In proportion as these stimulants temporarily invigorate the system will be the letting down of the power of the excited organs after the stimulus has lost its force. The appetite is educated to crave something stronger which will have a tendency to keep up and increase the agreeable excitement, until indulgence becomes habit, and there is a continual craving for stronger stimulus, as tobacco, wines, and liquors….

The great end for which Christ endured that long fast in the wilderness was to teach us the necessity of self-denial and temperance. This work should commence at our tables and should be strictly carried out in all the concerns of life. The Redeemer of the world came from heaven to help us in our weakness, that, in the power which Jesus came to bring us, we might become strong to overcome appetite and passion, and might be victor on every point.—Testimonies for the Church 3:487, 488.

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Daily Devotional

19 Oct

Daily Devotional.

Why God Said Remember by Joe Crews

19 Oct
What Could He Do?
Numerous surveys and questionnaires have confirmed that the most popular form of modern skepticism is to deny the creation story. Seventy-two percent of ministers interviewed expressed varying degrees of doubt that God actually spoke the world into existence according to the biblical account. This fundamental disbelief has led to the rejection of other foundational doctrines of Christendom such as the virgin birth and the atonement.It is interesting to note that God apparently anticipated a lot of controversy over the Genesis record of fiat creation. His claims of manufacturing all the staggering mass of matter by merely commanding it to exist—well, there would certainly be doubters and disbelievers of such an account. And even those who read about it and believed it would soon forget the miraculous fact under the confusing influence of a million false gods who would arise.

So God needed to do something unusual to preserve the knowledge of His mighty act of creation. That power to speak heaven and earth into existence would distinguish Him from all the counterfeit gods and their deceptive claims. What could He do that would constantly point mankind back to the focal week of creation when He forever established His divine authority?

Creation – The Mark of God’s Sovereignty
God chose to memorialize that convincing display of creative power by setting aside the seventh day of creation week as a holy day of rest and remembering. It would constitute a tremendous safeguard of God’s sovereignty—a mark of His right to rule as the only true God. It would, at the same time, stand as a devastating debunking of every god who had not created the heavens and earth.The writings of Old Testament prophets are saturated with reminders of God’s peculiar powers of creation. David wrote, “For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens” (Psalm 96:5). Jeremiah expressed it: “But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God. . . . The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish. . . . He hath made the earth by his power” (Jeremiah 10:10-12).

Did God Himself demonstrate an extreme urgency in keeping the truth of creation vividly before the eyes of the world? Yes. To such a degree that He wrote into the heart of His great moral law the binding obligation of every living soul to keep the Sabbath holy, and thus, to acknowledge His divine authority. Within those eternal principles forming the foundation of His government and reflecting His own perfect character, God wrote these words: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, 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. . . . For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is . . . wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11).

What an act to highlight the omnipotent work of creation! Once a week, as the earth rotated on its axis, the Sabbath reminder would travel around the earth reaching every man, woman, and child with the message of an instant creation. Why did God say remember? Because to forget the Sabbath is to forget the Creator also.

Conversion—Creative Power at Work
Parallel to the accounts of a physical creation we find the record of God’s power to recreate the human heart. Evidently, the two processes stem from the same omnipotent source. It requires just as much power to effect conversion or recreation as to call something into existence by creation. Said the apostle, “Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). Since the new birth is the most basic identifying mark of the justified believer, it is no wonder that the Bible writers constantly remind us of the creative power that distinguishes the true God from all counterfeits.Pointing beyond the mere fact of a physical creation, God spoke these words also, “Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them” (Ezekiel 20:12).

Please note that a sanctified Sabbath was to be the mark of a sanctified people. The word, “sanctify,” meaning to set aside for a holy use (a day which spoke of God’s creative power), served also as a reminder that God could set people apart for a holy use through regeneration or recreation.

In the light of these facts, it is easy to understand why the devil has waged a continuing, desperate battle against the seventh-day Sabbath. For almost six millenniums he has worked through pride of tradition, misinformation, and religious bigotry to destroy the sanctity of God’s special sign of authority—the Sabbath.

As a mark of God’s right to rule, the Sabbath challenged Satan’s boast that he would take God’s place. Said the adversary, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. . . . I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:13, 14). Satan actually wanted to be worshiped. To accomplish this, he had to nullify God’s claim as the rightful ruler. God’s authority rested on His claim to be the Creator, and the Sabbath was the mark of that authority. By destroying the Sabbath, Satan would prepare the way to set up a counterfeit government based on counterfeit claims of authority symbolized by a counterfeit day of worship.

The Battle Over Authority
It is fascinating to look back over the ages and see the outworking of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. The contest has always focused upon the issue of authority.The strategy of the evil one has been a two-pronged attack on God’s claim to be the Creator. First, by the theory of evolution with its humanistic doctrine of natural selection. Second, by an age-long effort to destroy the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the mark of creative power.

We can only say in passing that each of these hellish attempts to discredit God’s authority has produced a bitter success beyond all expectation. Millions have been turned into religious skeptics and agnostics because of Darwin’s doctrine of organic evolution. Denying any fall of man that would require a Savior from sin, evolution struck at the plan of redemption as well as the fact of creation.

In a similar vein, Satan’s attacks on the Sabbath have led millions to disobey the one commandment in the Decalogue that God had made the specific test of obedience to the entire law.

A successful plan to subvert the loyalty of millions who were devoted to the true God required a masterpiece of satanic strategy. It would take time. It would involve centuries of deceptive mind-bending. There would be no dramatic turn from serving God to serving Satan. The secret would be to win obedience through religious subterfuge. Satan understood the principle of Romans 6:16 long before Paul ever penned the words, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey?”

Obedience is the highest form of allegiance and worship. If Satan could create an issue that would cause people to disobey God, he had an even chance of winning their obedience to his cause. The decisive contest would take place over the law of God. It constituted the foundation of God’s government. How could Satan destroy confidence in the law and make people obey him instead? And which commandment should he attack? Obviously, the one that pointed to God’s creative power and His right to rule. As the identifying sign of the true God, the Sabbath has always been an object of satanic hate. God had chosen the Sabbath as a test of loyalty to His law in the Old Testament: “That I may prove them,” said the Lord, “whether they will walk in my law, or no” (Exodus 16:4).

The Test Point of the Law
Since God had made the Sabbath the test point of all the Ten Commandments, Satan determined to make it the giant issue of the ages. By destroying the Sabbath, Satan would be prepared to launch his super-plan to claim obedience to a counterfeit day of worship. Manipulating the weakness of a compromised Christianity that had slowly acceded to pagan influences, Satan set up his masterpiece—a worldwide church-state—that would ruthlessly enforce compliance with his counterfeit system of worship.For over a thousand years, beginning with the so-called conversion of the pagan Emperor Constantine, the dark history of apostasy unfolded. Almost the first act of the newly-professed Christian emperor was to make a law against Sabbath-keeping and to institute other laws requiring rest on the first day of the week, a wild solar holiday dedicated to pagan sun worship.

We will not dwell, at present, upon the well-documented history of the papal church councils that enforced the observance of the pagan Sunday on pain of death. The facts are well-known to those who have been willing to search the records with an open mind. During the fourth and fifth centuries, the first day of the week was exalted by papal decree to displace the true Sabbath of the Bible.

Unfortunately, prejudices and false information have led thousands of Christians to close their eyes to the overwhelming historical evidences of this substitution. The roots of their prejudice are not hard to identify. Satan has worked too long on his opposition system to allow it to be rejected easily. Through the ages he has perfected a series of subtle false arguments to bolster obedience to his counterfeit day of worship. He still hates the Sabbath that identifies the true God.

Only as we expose these attacks on the seventh-day Sabbath are we able to understand why millions continue to observe the first day of the week, a day for which there is not one supporting Bible text. No one disagrees with the meaning of God’s handwritten law, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord . . . in it thou shalt not do any work.” Yet millions do not obey it. No one can refute the overwhelming evidence of Sunday’s pagan origin, yet millions keep it instead of the plainly commanded Sabbath of the Ten Commandments. Why? I repeat, the reason is rooted in the clever arguments of Satan that have created a climate of prejudice against the holy Sabbath of the Lord. We shall now examine some major fallacies of those arguments.

Major Fallacy #1 – The Sabbath Was Made Only for the Jews
This falsehood has gained such strength that multitudes of Christians call this the “Jewish Sabbath.” But nowhere do we find such an expression in the Bible. It is called “the sabbath of the Lord,” but never “the sabbath of the Jew.” (Exodus 20:10). Luke was a Gentile writer of the New Testament and often referred to things that were peculiarly Jewish. He spoke of the “nation of the Jews,” “the people of the Jews,” “the land of the Jews,” and the “synagogue of the Jews” (Acts 10:22; 12:11; 10:39; 14:1). But please note that Luke never referred to the “sabbath of the Jews,” although he mentioned the Sabbath repeatedly.Christ clearly taught that “the sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27). The fact is that Adam was the only man in existence at the time God made the Sabbath. There were no Jews in the world for at least 2,000 years after creation. It could never have been made for them. Jesus used the term “man” in the generic sense, referring to mankind. The same word is used in connection with the institution of marriage that was also introduced at creation. Woman was made for man just as the Sabbath was made for man. Certainly no one believes that marriage was made only for the Jews.

The fact is that two beautiful, original institutions were set up by God Himself before sin ever came into the world—marriage and the Sabbath. Both were made for man, both received the special blessing of the Creator and both continue to be just as holy now as when they were sanctified in the Garden of Eden.

It is also interesting to note that Jesus was the One who made the Sabbath in the first week of time. There was a reason for His claim to be Lord of the Sabbath day (Mark 2:28). If He is the Lord of the Sabbath day, then the Sabbath must be the Lord’s day. John had a vision on “the Lord’s day,” according to Revelation 1:10. That day had to be the Sabbath. It is the only day so designated and claimed by God in the Bible. In writing the Ten Commandments, God called it “the sabbath of the Lord” (Exodus 20:10). In Isaiah He is quoted as saying, “The sabbath, my holy day” (Isaiah 58:13).

But we must not overlook the fact that this God who created the world and made the Sabbath was Jesus Christ Himself. John wrote: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. . . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth”( John 1:1-3, 14).

Paul clearly identified Jesus as the Creator, “. . . his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood. . . . For by him were all things created” (Colossians 1:13-16).

For Christians to separate Jesus from the Sabbath is a tragic mistake. For He is the Author, the Maker, the Sanctifier, and the Architect of the Sabbath. To discount the blessing that He placed on that day is to deny His authority.

This argument has led many to believe that the Sabbath existed only for a limited period of time following creation. But is this a fact? Actually, the Sabbath could never be just a type or shadow of anything, for the simple reason that it was made before sin entered the human family. Certain shadows and typical observances were instituted as a result of sin and pointed forward to the deliverance from sin. Such were the sacrifices employed to symbolize the death of Jesus, the Lamb of God. There would have been no animal sacrifices had there been no sin. These offerings were abolished when Christ died on the cross, because the types had met their fulfillment (Matthew 27:51). But no shadow existed before sin entered this world; therefore, the Sabbath could not be included in the ceremonial law of types and shadows.

Paul referred to the temporary system of ordinances in Colossians 2:14-16 as being “against us” and “contrary to us.” He tied it to the meat offerings, drink offerings, and yearly festivals of the law that was “blotted out.” It is true he referred to sabbaths also in the text, but take careful note that he called them “sabbath days which are a shadow of things to come.” Were some sabbath days blotted out at the cross? Yes, there were at least four yearly sabbaths that came on certain set days of the month, and they were nailed to the cross. They were shadows and required specified meat and drink offerings. These annual sabbaths are described in Leviticus 23:24-36, and then summarized in verses 37 and 38: “These are the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: beside the sabbaths of the Lord.”

The Scripture plainly differentiates between the annual, shadowy sabbaths and the weekly “sabbaths of the Lord.” The ceremonial sabbaths were blotted out at the cross; they had been added as a consequence of sin. But the Sabbath of the Ten- Commandment law had been hallowed before sin was introduced and was later incorporated into the great moral law written by the finger of God. It was eternal in its very nature.

Major Fallacy #2 – Just Keep Any Day in the Seven
By this argument Satan prepared the world to accept a substitute for the Sabbath God had commanded. Upon the tables of stone God wrote the great, unchanging law of the ages. Every word was serious and meaningful. Not one line was ambiguous or mysterious. Sinners and Christians, educated and uneducated, have no problem understanding the simple, clear words of the Ten Commandments. God meant what He said and He said what He meant. No one has tried to void that law as too complicated to comprehend.Most of the ten begin with the same words: ‘‘Thou shalt not,’’ but right in the heart of the law we find the fourth commandment that is introduced with the word “Remember.” Why is this one different? Because God was commanding them to call something to memory that already existed but had been forgotten. Genesis describes the origin of the Sabbath in these words, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made. . . . And 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 2:1-3).

Which day did God bless and sanctify? The seventh day. How was it to be kept holy? By resting. Could any of the other six be kept holy? No. Why? Because God commanded not to rest those days but to work. Does God’s blessing make a difference? Of course. This is why parents pray for God to bless their children. They believe it makes a difference. The seventh day is different from all the other six days, because it has God’s blessing.

Some more questions: Why did God bless the day? Because He had created the world in six days. It was the birthday of the world, a memorial of a mighty act. Can the Sabbath memorial be changed? Never. Because it points backward to an accomplished fact. July 4 is Independence Day. Can it be changed? No. Because the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. Your birthday cannot be changed, either. It is a memorial of your birth, which happened on a set day. History would have to run through again to change your birthday, to change Independence Day, or to change the Sabbath day. We can call another day Independence Day, and we can call another day the Sabbath, but that does not make it so.

Did God ever give man the privilege of choosing his own day of rest? He did not. In fact, God confirmed in the Bible that the Sabbath was settled and sealed by His own divine selection and should not be tampered with. Read Exodus 16 concerning the giving of manna. For 40 years God worked three miracles every week to show Israel which day was holy. (1) No manna fell on the seventh day. (2) They could not keep it overnight without spoilage, but (3) when they kept it over the Sabbath, it remained sweet and fresh.

But some Israelites had the same idea as many modern Christians. They felt that any day in seven would be all right to keep holy: “And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?” (Exodus 16:27, 28).

Get the picture? These people thought another day could be kept just as well as the seventh day. Perhaps they were planning to observe the first day of the week, or some other day which was more convenient. What happened? God met them and accused them of breaking His law by going forth to work on the seventh day. Would God say the same thing to those who break the Sabbath today? Yes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever—He changes not. God made it very clear that, regardless of their feelings, those who go forth to work on the Sabbath are guilty of breaking His law. James explains that it is a sin to break even one of the Ten Commandments: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law” (James 2:10, 11).

We Can’t Locate the True Seventh Day
This is a fallacy that has comforted many in their disobedience of the fourth commandment. It just is not true. Here are four positive proofs which identify the true Sabbath today:1. According to the Scriptures, Christ died on Friday and rose on Sunday, the first day of the week.

Practically all churches acknowledge this fact by observing Easter Sunday and Good Friday. Here is the Bible evidence: “This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulcher that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on” (Luke 23:52-54).

Here is proof that Jesus died the day before the Sabbath. It was called “the preparation day” because it was the time to get ready for the Sabbath. Let us read the next verses: “And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment” (Verses 55, 56).

Please notice that the women rested over the Sabbath “according to the commandment.” The commandment says, “The seventh day is the Sabbath,” so we know they were observing Saturday. But the very next verse says, “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared. . . . And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher” (Luke 24:1, 2).

How clearly these three consecutive days are described for us. He died Friday, the preparation day, commonly called Good Friday. He rested in the tomb on the seventh day, Sabbath, “according to the commandment.” That was Saturday. Then on Sunday, the first day of the week, Easter Sunday to many, Jesus arose from the grave.

Anyone who can locate Good Friday or Easter Sunday will have absolutely no difficulty finding the true Sabbath.

2. The calendar has not been changed so as to confuse the days of the week.

We can be positive that our seventh day is the same day Jesus observed when He was here. Pope Gregory XIII did make a calendar change in 1582, but it did not interfere with the weekly cycle. Our present Gregorian calendar was named after him when he made that small change in 1582.

What did Pope Gregory do to the calendar? Before 1582 the Julian calendar had been in effect, instituted by Julius Caesar about 46 B.C. and named after him. But the Julian calendar had calculated the length of the year as 365 1/4 days, and the year is actually eleven minutes less than 365 1/4 days. Those eleven minutes accumulated, and by 1582 the numbering of the calendar was ten days out of harmony with the solar system. Gregory simply dropped those ten days out of the numbering of the calendar. It was Thursday, October 4, 1582, and the next day, Friday, should have been October 5. But Gregory made it October 15 instead, dropping exactly ten days to bring the calendar back into harmony with the heavenly bodies.

Were the days of the week confused? No. Friday still followed Thursday, and Saturday still followed Friday. The same seventh day remained, and the weekly cycle was not disturbed in the least. When we keep the seventh day on Saturday, we are observing the same day Jesus kept, and He did it every week according to Luke 4:16.

3. The third evidence for the true Sabbath is the most conclusive of all. The Jewish people have been observing the seventh day from the time of Abraham, and they still keep it today.

Here is a whole nation—millions of individuals—who have been counting off time meticulously, week after week, calendar or no calendar, for thousands of years. Could they have lost track?

Impossible. The only way they could have lost a day would have been for the entire nation to have slept over an extra 24 hours and for no one ever to tell them about it afterwards.

There has been no change or loss of the Sabbath since God made it in Genesis. The origin of the week is found in the creation story. There is no scientific or astronomical reason for measuring time in cycles of seven days. It is an arbitrary arrangement of God and has been miraculously preserved for one reason—because the holy Sabbath day points to the creative power of the only true God. It is a sign of His sovereignty over the world and over human life; a sign of creation and redemption.

Is this not the reason God will preserve Sabbath-keeping throughout eternity? We read in Isaiah 66:22, 23: “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.”

The Sabbath is so precious to God that He will have His people observe it throughout all time to come in the beautiful new earth. If it is so precious to Him, should it not be precious to us? If we are going to keep it then, should we not keep it now?

In an age of false gods, of atheistic evolution, and traditions of men, the world needs the Sabbath more than ever as a test of our loyalty to the great Creator-God and a sign of our sanctification through His power.

4. Proof number four lies in the fact that over one hundred languages of the earth use the word “Sabbath” for Saturday.

For example, the Spanish word for Saturday is “Sabado,” meaning Sabbath. What does this prove? It proves that when those hundred languages originated in the long, long ago, Saturday was recognized as the Sabbath day and was incorporated into the very name of the day.

Major Fallacy #4 – The Sabbath Was Only a Memorial of Deliverance Out of Egypt
This strange idea is drawn from a single text in the Old Testament and is distorted to contradict many clear statements about the true origin of the Sabbath. The text is found in Deuteronomy 5:14, 15: “But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.”Some people draw from this text that God gave the Sabbath as a memorial of the Exodus from Egypt. But the Genesis story of the making of the Sabbath (Genesis 2:1-3) and the wording of the fourth commandment by God Himself (Exodus 20:11) reveals the Sabbath as a memorial of creation.

The key to understanding these two verses rests in the word “servant.” God said, “Remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt.” And in the sentence before this one He reminds them “that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.” In other words, their experience in Egypt as servants would remind them to deal justly with their servants by giving them Sabbath rest.

In similar vein God had commanded, “And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him . . . for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:33, 34).

It was not unusual for God to hark back to the Egyptian deliverance as an incentive to obey other commandments. In Deuteronomy 24:17, 18, God said, “Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the fatherless; nor take a widow’s raiment to pledge. . . . Thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee thence: therefore I command thee to do this thing.”

Neither the command to be just nor to keep the Sabbath was given to memorialize the Exodus, but God told them that His goodness in bringing them out of captivity constituted a strong additional reason for their dealing kindly with their servants on the Sabbath and treating justly the strangers and widows.

In the same way, God spoke to them in Leviticus 11:45, “For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt . . . ye shall therefore be holy.” Surely no one would insist that holiness did not exist before the Exodus, or that it would be ever afterwards limited only to the Jews, to memorialize their deliverance.

Major Fallacy #5 – Keep Sunday in Honor of the Resurrection
It is true that Jesus rose on the first day of the week, but nowhere is there the slightest intimation in the Bible for anyone to keep that day holy. The basis for Sabbath-keeping is the direct handwritten command of God.
Many wonderful events occurred on certain days of the week, but we have no command to keep them holy. Jesus died for our sins on Friday. That is probably the most significant event in all of recorded history. It marks the moment my death sentence was commuted and my salvation assured. But not one Bible text hints that we should observe this day of such great significance.It was a dramatic moment when Jesus rose from the grave on that Sunday morning, but there is not a scintilla of biblical evidence that we should observe it in honor of the resurrection. Not one instance of Sunday observance has been found in the recorded Scriptures.

There is, of course, a memorial of the resurrection commanded in the Bible, but it is not Sunday-keeping. Paul wrote: “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

Baptism is the memorial of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Those who believe that Sunday observance honors His resurrection cite the upper room meeting of the disciples on the same day He arose from the grave. To them that gathering was to celebrate His resurrection. But when we read the Bible record of the event, we discover that the circumstances were quite different. Luke tells us that, even though the disciples were confronted with the eyewitness story of Mary Magdalene, they “believed not.” “After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen” (Mark 16:12-14).Obviously, none of those upper room disciples believed that He was raised, so they could not have been joyously celebrating the resurrection. John explains their reason for being together in these words: “The doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews” (John 20:19).

Thus, we have examined the major arguments used against the observance of God’s holy Sabbath day. Not one of the objections provides a trace of evidence that God ever changed His mind about the Sabbath. When He wrote the word “remember” into the fourth commandment, it was in reference to the same seventh day that appears on our wall calendar. Neither men nor demons can diminish the validity of that eternal moral law.

May God grant each one of us the courage to honor the Sabbath commandment as heaven’s special test of our love and loyalty. As we have discovered, when Jesus returns, we will keep that same Sabbath with Him, ages without end. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

 
 

Is Sunday Really Sacred?

19 Oct

 

A Wrong Turn

 

One of David’s most beautiful prayers is recorded in Psalm 43:3. “O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.”

This same earnest petition to understand God’s Word should be in the heart of every sincere seeker for truth. A willingness to learn and to obey must characterize all of those who expect to be enlightened by the Holy Spirit. To such, the beautiful promise of the beatitude will be fulfilled. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

But it does no good to pray for the truth if we have no intention to obey it when God answers our prayer. One of the greatest favors God can bestow upon us is to give knowledge of His Word. And the most presumptuous thing anybody can do is to pray for an understanding of God’s will and then refuse to obey, for any reason whatsoever, when the answer comes.

Many people are guilty of pulling the Bible down to match their poor, weak experi­ence, instead of bringing their experience up to meet the requirements of the Word. There is only one great decisive test of truth, and that is the Bible. Every religious thought, every book we read, and every sermon we hear should be measured by the infallible rule of the inspired Scriptures. It does not matter what we were taught as children, or what the majority is following, or what our emotions lead us to think or believe. Those factors are invalid as a test of absolute truth. The ultimate question must be answered: What does the Word of God say on the subject?

Some people think that if they are sincere in what they believe, God will accept them and save them. However, sincerity alone is not enough. One can be sincere, and be sincerely wrong. I remember driving to West Palm Beach, Florida, several years ago. At least I thought I was going there. It was night, and I had not seen any road signs for quite awhile. Suddenly my car lights picked up a sign that read, “Belle Glade 14 miles.” Heartsick, I realized that I was traveling in the opposite direction from West Palm Beach. I was on the wrong road. No one could have been more sincere than I was that night, but I was sincerely wrong. Now, I could have continued down the road saying that somehow, somewhere up ahead I might find West Palm Beach. Instead, I turned the car around and went back to the place where I took the wrong turn and got on the right road leading to West Palm Beach. That was the only right thing to do.

 

Closed Minds and Majority Rule

 

God’s Word has a lot to say to those who are willing to be corrected. The people to be the most pitied are those who have closed minds. They will resist any information that varies from their personal views. Their minds are made up, and they don’t want to be bothered by the facts. This is especially true concerning the subject of the Sabbath.

Multitudes have inherited opinions about the day to be observed weekly, and they find it very difficult to look objectively at any other viewpoint. Many of them know that one of the Ten Commandments requires the keeping of the seventh day of the week. They also know that the seventh day is Saturday. Yet they tenaciously follow the tradition of observing a different day from the one God commanded. They worship on Sunday, the first day of the week, for which there is no biblical command.

Why do they do it? Most Sunday keepers have simply accepted the practice of the religious majority in the community where they were raised; assuming that it has to be right because so many are doing it. Is this a safe assumption? Has the majority usually been right in religious matters?

The Bible clearly answers these questions in the negative. Every available source of information reveals that in religious matters, at least, the majority has always been wrong. Jesus Himself said, “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man” (Luke 17:26). Only eight people went into the ark to be saved from the flood. Christ taught that only a comparable few would be saved at the end of the world. Said He, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13, 14).

It is very true that the great majority of Christians today, including many famous evangelists and theologians, are keeping Sunday instead of the seventh-day Sabbath. That fact alone should not over impress anyone.Taken by itself, in the light of Christ’s words, it should raise a flag of warning. Truth has never been popular with the masses. And those in the majority today, as in all past ages, are not really looking for truth as much as they are looking for a smooth, easy, comfortable religion that will allow them to live as they want to live.

What, then, should be the test of the Sabbath truth? Just one thing, and one thing only—the Word of God. Unfortunately, millions have never studied the Bible for themselves on this subject. I propose that we test the Sunday-keeping practice of this majority group and find out if it is correct. If it is biblical, then all of us should accept it and faithfully keep every Sunday. If the Scriptures do not support it, then we should diligently search the Word until we find the day that our Lord has endorsed for us to keep.

The most honest way I know to approach this subject is to take a look at absolutely everything that the Bible says about the first day of the week. There are only eight texts in the New Testament that refer to Sunday, and by carefully studying these verses we can be certain that all the evidence for consideration is before us. If there is any biblical authority for keeping the first day of the week, it will have to be found in one of these verses.

Are we willing to face the consequences of this kind of exhaustive study? Here is where our prejudice will be tested! Can we open our minds completely to whatever this objective search reveals? These are not trick questions. Personally, I do not care which day is found to be the Sabbath. If the Bible teaches it, I will gladly keep Monday, Thursday, Friday, or Sunday. Long ago, I decided to be a Christian and to follow the Word of God wherever it would lead, regardless of my feelings. It makes no difference to me which day I keep holy, as long as it is the one commanded in the Bible! I hope you feel the same way as we begin our examination of every single reference in the New Testament that mentions the first day of the week.

 

Resurrection on Sunday

 

Let’s begin with the first Gospel. Matthew writes, “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre” (Matthew 28:1). Here we have some very interesting proof that the Sabbath could not possibly be the first day of the week. According to this recordthe Sabbath was ending when the first day was beginning. They are two successive days. Based on Scripture no one could truthfully call Sunday the Sabbath. It would be both confusing and unbiblical.

The substance of Matthew’s testimony is simply that the women came at dawn on the day following the Sabbath and found that Jesus was already risen. This harmonizes perfectly with the next Gospel, which adds a few more details. Notice that Mark equates the dawn with “the rising of the sun.” He wrote, “And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepul­chre?” (Mark 16:1–3).

These parallel Gospel accounts clear up a common misconception that has arisen over the meaning of Matthew’s words “as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week.” Some have interpreted this to be just before sundown on Saturday evening. Since the Hebrew reckoning would establish the end of the Sabbath at sunset, they assume that the women came just before the first day was ushered in at sundown.

Here we see the value of comparing text with text. Mark’s words make it impossible to hold the view that the women came Saturday night and found the tomb empty. He lists the very same women as coming at sunrise Sunday morning, but they were asking the question, “Who shall roll us away the stone?” Obviously, if they had been there the night before and discovered an empty tomb, they would have known that the stone was already removed from the door. Thus, we can understand clearly that Matthew’s “dawn” is referring to the early morning visit at sunrise on Sunday morning.

The third New Testament reference to the first day is a simple narrative statement in Mark 16:9, “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.” Little comment is needed here, because the verse is only repeating the same story of the resurrection early on Sunday morning. The important thing to note is that nothing is said in any of these texts about the first day of the week being holy. There is no intimation of anyone observing the day in honor of the resurrection.

 
Locating the True Sabbath

One of the most complete word pictures of resurrection events is found in the Gospel of Luke, and here we read the fourth reference to the first day of the week. “This man (Joseph of Arimathaea) went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on” (Luke 23:52–54).

Before reading further, let us carefully examine the inspired description of this crucifixion day. The vast Christian majority agrees that these events transpired on the day we now call Good Friday. Here it is called the “preparation” day, because it was a time for making special arrangements for the approaching Sabbath. In fact, the text states very simply “the sabbath drew on.” This means that it was coming up next.

What else happened on that day Jesus died? “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” (Verses 55, 56).

During the rest of that fateful Friday, the devoted women bought the anointing materials and made further preparation for their Sunday morning visit to the tomb. Then, as the Sabbath was ushered in at sunset, they “rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.” This identifies that holy day as the specific weekly Sabbath of the Ten Commandments and not the Passover or some other feast-sabbath that could have fallen on any day of the week.

The next verse tells what the women did on the day following the Sabbath. “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre” (Luke 24:1, 2).

First, we notice that the women came to do their regular labor on the day of the resurrection. Modern churches refer to that particular first day of the week as Easter Sunday. There can be no doubt that Jesus was raised sometime during the dark hours of that early morning. In none of the Gospel recitals do we have any evidence that the women, or anyone else, attached any sacredness to the day on which the resurrection took place.

Luke’s account of that eventful weekend proves beyond any question that the true seventh-day Sabbath can still be precisely located. He describes the sequence of events over three successive days—Friday, Saturday, and Sun­day. Jesus died on the preparation day, and the Sabbath was approaching. Christians now refer to it as Good Friday. The next day was the Sabbath “according to the commandment.” Since the commandment plainly designates that “the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord,” that Sabbath had to be Saturday.

It is very interesting to note that Jesus rested in the tomb on the Sabbath from His work of redemption, just as He had rested from His work of creation on the Sabbath.

On the day following the Sabbath, Jesus rose. Today it is referred to as Easter Sunday, but the Bible designates it “the first day of the week.” In the light of these indisputable, historical facts to which all Christianity subscribes, no one can plead ignorance of the true Sabbath. It is the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Luke’s record is such a perfect chronological account of those three days that even the most simple and uneducated can locate the biblical seventh day on our modern calendar.

Now we are prepared to examine the fifth New Testament statement concerning Sunday. “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre” (John 20:1). There is very little new information in John’s description of the resurrection. Like all the other writers he gives no indication whatsoever that the first day of the week was ever counted holy or kept holy by anyone. So far, the significant common thread in all the Gospel stories has been a total absence of such evidence

 
For Fear of the Jews

John mentions the “first day” again in the same chapter, and this has often been misin­terpreted as a reference to Sunday worship. “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you” (John 20:19).

Even though this gathering behind locked doors took place on the same day as the resurrection, was it a special commemoration of that event? The circumstances make it impossible for such to be the case. The text plainly states that they were gathered there “for fear of the Jews.” The frightened disciples had already learned that the tomb was empty, and they expected shortly to be charged with stealing away the body of Jesus. They huddled together in the locked room for protection and reassurance.

The fact is that they did not believe Christ had been resurrected from the dead. Mark’s account reveals that they totally rejected the testimony of Mary and the other disciples who brought word of actually seeing the resurrected Lord. “And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen” (Mark 16:10–14).

Based on these words, we must quietly pass over that embarrassing Sunday afternoon meeting in the closed room. It was not an occasion of unrestrained joy over the resurrection, as some have portrayed it. In fact, there was not even any recognition on the part of the disciples that a miracle had taken place. They were fearful, depressed, and unbelieving. When Jesus appeared to them He spoke words of strong rebuke because of their lack of faith and because they had rejected the testimony of their own companions. How misleading it is to make this a happy memorial service honoring the resurrection!

Thus far, we have carefully studied six of the eight New Testament references without finding a single instance of Sunday observance. In fact, every one of them reveals a consistent, total ignorance of any recognition of the first day of the week for worship, prayer, rest, or honoring the resurrection. The Gospels were written several years after the events transpired, giving many opportunities to the Holy Spirit to inspire the authors with the full facts. Jesus told His disciples that the work of that Spirit was to “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). If first-day observance had been any part of truth, then the Holy Spirit would have been divinely obligated to reveal it to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. So said our Lord.

Now we turn to the two remaining references. If we find no evidence in these texts, we will have to abandon the search, for there is nowhere else to look. Paul and Luke are the final witnesses who mention the first day of the week, and both of them have been grossly misrepresented in what they said.

No Sunday-keeping in Corinth

In 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2, Paul wrote: “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come … whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.”

Please carefully notice what the apostle said, and what he did not say. Many have assumed that a religious meeting was held and a collection plate passed. This is not the case. Paul was writing special appeals to the churches in Asia Minor, because many of the Christians in Jerusalem were suffering greatly for lack of food and daily necessities. Paul asked the church at Corinth to gather food, clothing, etc., and store it up at home until he could send men to transport it to Jerusalem. The expression “lay by him in store” in the original Greek gives the clear connotation of putting aside at home. Even Sunday advocates agree to this.

There was no service held on the first day of the week. The gathering up and storing was to be done on that day. Why did Paul suggest that this work be done on Sunday, and what was involved in getting it done?

First, the letter would have been shared with the church on the Sabbath when they were all gathered for worship. The first opportunity to do the work would be the next day—the first day of the week. Keep in mind that there was an apparent food shortage in Jerusalem, and the need was not primarily for money. Such famine conditions were not unusual in areas of the Middle East, as Luke reminds us in Acts 11:28–30.

The church in Rome gives a clue as to the special needs of those suffering Christians. “But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain” (Romans 15:25–28).

Here the apostle touches a tender spot in his eloquent appeal. The Roman Christians owed a great debt of gratitude to the mother church in Jerusalem that had sent teachers to evangelize them. Paul urges them to return carnal, or material, gifts in appreciation of the spiritual truths received from them. What kind of gifts did Paul have in mind? It is very interesting that he describes it as sealing to them “this fruit.” The Greek word used here is “karpos,” which is the universal term used for literal fruit. It can also have the connotation of “fruits of one’s labor.”

This throws light on Paul’s counsel to the Corinthian Christians to do their work on the first day of the week, “so that there be no gatherings when I come.” Such work as gathering and storing up produce from garden and field would certainly not be appropriate on Sabbath. In these verses, Sunday is identified once again as a day for secular activities and gives no indication of religious observance.

 
Paul’s Longest Sermon

This brings us to the final reference that could provide any support for Sunday sacredness. In Luke’s history of the early church, he describes the dramatic farewell meeting, which Paul had with the believers in Troas. Those who grasp for any tiny excuse to justify their disobedience of God’s commandments have grievously distorted this account in the book of Acts. Because it is the only record in the New Testament of a religious meeting being held on the first day of the week, we should examine it with special care and interest.

The full context reveals that it was a night meeting. “And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days. In addition, upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: … and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted. And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul: for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot” (Acts 20:6–13).

There are some very unusual things about this all-night meeting in Troas. First, it had to be a solemn, poignant occasion for the speaker and congregation, as well. In verse 25 Paul declared, “And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.”

It is obvious that this farewell meeting was held on the dark part of the first day of the week. There were lights in the room, and Paul preached until midnight. It is important to understand the Jewish way of reckoning time. Days were not counted according to the pagan Roman method, from midnight to midnight. In the Bible, the day begins at evening.

Genesis describes all the days of creation week in the same way—“The evening and the morning were the first day … the evening and the morning were the second day,” etc. In other words, the evening always comes first in the day.

This explains why the Sabbath is described in these words, “It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, … from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath” (Leviticus 23:32). But when does the evening begin according to the Bible? “And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils” (Mark 1:32). Since the Pharisees taught that it was wrong to heal on the Sabbath, the people waited until the Sabbath was over before bringing their sick to Jesus. Therefore, they brought them “at even, when the sun did set.” Moses wrote, “Thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun” (Deuteronomy 16:6).

In Nehemiah, we are given another description of the beginning of Sabbath. “And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath” (Nehemiah 13:19). This definitely places the first moments of the Sabbath at sunset, when it is beginning to be dark.

Now we are ready to apply this sound Bible principle to the first-day meeting of Paul in Troas. The night setting would require that it be held on Saturday night. The Sabbath ended at sundown, and the first day of the week began. Paul, who had stayed a full seven days so that he could be with the people over the Sabbath, decided not to leave with the ship on Saturday night. Instead, he fellowshipped all night long with the believers and then walked twenty miles across the peninsula on Sunday morning to join the boat at Assos.

Incidentally, Paul’s missionary companions, including Luke, who chronicled the highlights of the carefully scheduled voyage, manned this boat. It is very significant that they would not go out to sea until the Sabbath was over on Saturday night. Toiling at the oars and sails would have been no more proper for a holy day than Paul’s twenty-mile walk across the isthmus on Sunday morning. Neither Paul nor his fellow travelers would have indulged in those secular activities on God’s holy Sabbath.

Why Eutychus Dropped Out of Church

The New English Bible actually states that the meeting was held on Saturday night. The chief focus of the story seems to be upon the raising of Eutychus from the dead after he fell out the window. The dauntless Paul, after ministering on Sabbath and all night Saturday night, walked twenty miles on Sunday morning to join his companions in Assos. They had stayed with the ship as it sailed around the peninsula on Saturday night, after the Sabbath was over. That long journey on foot by Paul the next day would have been very inappropriate on any kind of holy day.

Some have equated the breaking of bread with the communion service, but such a view cannot be supported from the Scriptures. Luke assures us that those early Christians broke bread daily. “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart” (Acts 2:46).

The Bible cannot confirm the contention that Paul celebrated the Lord’s Supper with the believers in the upper room. The wording seems to indicate that it was a common meal they shared together. “When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten…” (Acts 20:11). Here we find that eating was associated with the breaking of bread. It is unlikely that the communion meal would be referred to in this manner.

But even if that farewell meeting had included the celebration of Christ’s suffering and death, it would not lend any credence to Sunday observance. We have seen from Acts 2 that bread was broken daily, and nowhere is the Lord’s Supper linked to any particular day. It is surely obvious to anyone that the Troas meeting was not a regular weekly worship service. The importance of that all-night session appears in the miraculous raising of the young man Eutychus, and in the fact that Paul would never see them again before his death. The particular time frame—all Saturday night—has no spiritual significance whatsoever. Luke, the careful historian, does not even record any of the content of Paul’s marathon sermon, although he faithfully documents the miracle of the resurrected youth. Apparently, it was the way Eutychus dropped out of church, and not the day on which it happened that Luke is seeking to establish.

We have now completed an intensive examination of each one of the eight New Tes­tament references to the first day of the week. Not one of them has offered the slightest evidence that Sunday was ever sanctified by God or celebrated by man. God’s great infallible test-Book has revealed that the majority is following tradition instead of truth. Millions have been deceived into blind adherence to an empty pagan symbol.

I am reminded of the story of a Russian czar who took a walk one morning in the border area of his extensive palace grounds. There he saw a soldier with a gun on his shoulder marching up and down near a deserted corner of the courtyard wall. He asked the soldier, who was apparently on sentry duty, what he was guarding. The man replied that he was only following orders and did not know why he was assigned to that particular spot. The czar asked the captain of the guard what the soldier was doing, but he had no idea either. The general in charge of the palace security was consulted, but he could give no reason for the assignment. Finally, the king ordered a search of the dusty military records, and the mystery was unfolded. Years and years before, the queen mother had planted some rose bushes in that corner ofthe courtyard, and a soldier had been sent to protect the tender plants from being trampled. Later, someone had forgotten to cancel the order, and the daily sentry ritual had continued through the years—soldiers with their guns, guarding nothing but an empty rose plot.

Today there are millions of sincere Christians who are religiously trying to protect the sanctity of Sunday. They don’t realize that there is really nothing to guard. The first day of the week is just as devoid of holiness as the deserted courtyard of roses. Jesus said, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matthew 15:13).

The Day They Kept

Now that we have exhausted all possible sources for Sunday keeping without finding the smallest favorable evidence, let us turn to the inspired history of that early church. If they did not keep the first day of the week, which day did they observe? The book of Acts establishes a consistent pattern of seventh-day Sabbathkeeping. On one occasion, Paul was petitioned by the Gentiles to hold an exclusive service for them on the Sabbath. “And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath … And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God” (Acts 13:42, 44).

There are some very interesting points in these dynamic verses that validate the Sabbath practices of Paul and his fellow Christians. After preaching in the synagogue, where the Gentiles were not permitted to enter, Paul was besieged by the Gentiles with an appeal to preach to them “the next Sabbath.” Many have charged that Paul only preached in the synagogues on the Sabbath because he had a ready-made crowd of Jews to work on. This is a false claim. In this instance, Paul made an appointment to minister to the Gentiles on the following Sabbath, and according to verse 43, many of those who heard him that day were “proselytes” to the faith. This means they were converts to Christianity, and Paul and Barnabas “persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.”

How interesting it is that their Sabbath worship is spoken of in the context of continuing in God’s grace! Modern critics of the Sabbath try to label Sabbathkeepers as legalists who are aliens to the grace of the gospel. Not so the writers of the Bible, who constantly associate obedience with true salvation by faith.

In Acts 16:13 we have positive proof that Paul kept the Sabbath even when there was no synagogue and no Jews. He was ministering in Greece, where there were only a few scattered Jews and no synagogue at all. What did he do on the Sabbath? “And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spoke unto the women which resorted thither.”

Even with no church to attend, the apostle sought out a spot where religious worship was carried on—a place of prayer by the river—and preached to those who went there. Surely, no one can fail to discern Paul’s deep commitment to the Sabbath as we follow him in this unusual outdoor mission. Just suppose this Macedonian experience had taken place on the first day of the week instead of the Sabbath. Without question, it would be cited as absolute evidence for Sunday worship, and we would have to concur. But what possible arguments can one present against this example of Paul in true Sabbathkeeping?

Again, we read about Paul’s customary practice in these words, “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures” (Acts 17:2). “And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks” (Acts 18:4).

Finally, we cite the great apostle’s per­sonal testimony that he never kept one Sunday holy in his whole life. Just before his death, Paul made this emphatic statement to the Jewish leaders, “Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans” (Acts 28:17).

Think for a moment! If Paul had ever deliberately broken the Sabbath, or kept another day than the seventh, he could not have declared truthfully that he had done nothing against Jewish custom. On the strength of this unqualified declaration by a man of unimpeachable integrity, we close the search for Sunday keeping authority in the Bible. It just is not there.

Had we been able to find it, our religious obligation would, without doubt, be much easier to fulfill. We would have the support and example of most of the great religious institutions of the land, both Protestant and Catholic.

But we are not looking for the most popular way or the most convenient way; we are looking for the Bible way. And we have found it. In all honesty, we must declare that the prevailing custom of keeping a different day from the one commanded in the great handwritten law of God is contrary to the Word which will finally judge us. No amount of popular, majority opinion can annul the weighty testimony of a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” We must stand upon the Bible and the Bible alone for our doctrine on this subject.

The Word of God declares, “The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work” (Exodus 20:10). Until we find some indication in the Bible that God retracted that moral law which He introduced to the world with such a fanfare of power and grandeur, we will accept the Ten Commandments as still relevant and binding today. God said what He meant, and He meant what He said.

Some argue that God exempts us from the fourth commandment because it is impossible to keep the seventh day in the competitive, industrialized society in which we have to earn a living. It is undoubtedly true that Satan has manipulated the economic world to the distinct disadvantage of the Sabbathkeeper, but Godhas never required the impossible. It is never necessary to break one of God’s commandments for any reason.

You may say, “But my employer requires that I work on Saturday, and I can’t let my family starve.” The answer to that dilemma was given by our Lord long ago in the Sermon on the Mount. He said “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). The preceding verse defines “these things” as food, clothes, and job. Jesus is simply telling us that if there is ever a conflict between obeying Him and obeying our employer, we should put Him first. Material considerations should never be made more important than doing God’s will.

In every case, God honors the faith of a Christian who decides to keep the Sabbath regardless of what happens to his job. Many times God works miracles by making special arrangements for the Sabbathkeeper. In some cases, He allows His children to be tested by losing their jobs, and then opens up better ones in response to their faith. Nevertheless, the “things” are always added when we trust Him and obey, regardless of the circumstances.

The real secret of keeping the Sabbath of the Lord is to have the Lord of the Sabbath in our hearts! It is love that leads God’s chil­dren to choose death rather than disobedience to one of His commandments. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). The apostle John defined love in these words, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (1 John 5:3).

Thus, it is not so much the question of a day as it is of a way—the way of obedience through love, or of disobedience through lack of love. Mark it down and never forget it! Keeping the Sabbath, even the true seventh-day Sabbath, is an operation in futility if it does not proceed from a heart full of love and devotion to God. Without love, all law keeping becomes mechanical and miserable, but with love, every commandment becomes a joy and delight. Make this kind of personal love relationship the basis of your Sabbathkeeping, and it will be the happiest day of your week, for the rest of your life!

 

The Sabbath

19 Oct
Did you know there is a very important day that almost everyone has forgotten about? It’s astounding that only a few people are aware of it, because it’s one of the most significant days in all of human history! It’s not only a day in the past, but the present and future. Furthermore, what happened on this neglected day can have a profound effect on your life. Want to know more amazing facts about this lost day of history? Then read over this Study Guide carefully.
When Jesus was here on earth, He worshiped on the Sabbath.

When Jesus was here on earth, He worshiped on the Sabbath.

 

1. On what day did Jesus customarily worship?

“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.

Answer:   Jesus’ custom was to worship on the Sabbath.

 

The seventh day of the week (Saturday) is the Sabbath.

The seventh day of the week (Saturday) is the Sabbath.

 

2. But which day of the week is the Sabbath?

“The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Exodus 20:10. “And when the sabbath was past, …very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre.” Mark 16:1, 2.

Answer:   The Sabbath is not the first day of the week (Sunday), as many believe, but the seventh day (Saturday). Notice from the above Scripture that the Sabbath is the day that comes just before the first day of the week.

 

God made the Sabbath at the time of Creation.

God made the Sabbath at the time of Creation.

 

3. Who made the Sabbath and when?

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.” Genesis 1:1; 2:2, 3.

Answer:   God made the Sabbath at the time of Creation, when He made the world. He rested on the Sabbath and blessed and sanctified it (set it apart for a holy use).

 

God wrote the Sabbath commandment with His own finger.

God wrote the Sabbath commandment with His own finger.

 

4. What does God say about Sabbath-keeping in the Ten Commandments, which He wrote with His own finger?

“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, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11. “And the Lord delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God.” Deuteronomy 9:10.

Answer:   In the fourth commandment of the 10, God commands us to observe the seventh-day Sabbath as His holy day. God knew people would forget His Sabbath, so He began this commandment with the word “remember.” He has never commanded anyone anywhere to keep any other day as a weekly holy day.

 

Jesus says it is easier for heaven to pass away than for God's law to change.

Jesus says it is easier for heaven to pass away than for God’s law to change.

 

5. But haven’t the Ten Commandments been changed?

Jesus says: “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17. God says: “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” Psalms 89:34. Notice, the Ten Commandments came from His lips. Exodus 20:1 says, “And God spake all these words, saying … [the Ten Commandments follow in verses 2-17].”

Answer:   No, indeed! It is utterly impossible for any of God’s moral law ever to change. All Ten Commandments are binding today.

 

Paul and the other apostles kept God's seventh-day Sabbath holy.

Paul and the other apostles kept God’s seventh-day Sabbath holy.

 

6. Did the apostles keep the Sabbath?

“And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures.” Acts 17:2. “Paul and his company … went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.” Acts 13:13, 14. “And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.” Acts 16:13. “And he [Paul] reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” Acts 18:4.

Answer:   Yes, the book of Acts makes it clear that Paul and the early church kept the Sabbath.

 

The apostles taught the Gentiles to keep the Sabbath holy.

The apostles taught the Gentiles to keep the Sabbath holy.

 

7. Did the Gentiles also worship on Sabbath?

God commanded it:
“Blessed is the man … that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it.” “Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, … every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer … for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” Isaiah 56:2, 6, 7, emphasis added.

Apostles taught it:
“And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.” “And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.” Acts 13:42, 44, emphasis added. “And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” Acts 18:4.

Answer:   The apostles in the early New Testament church not only obeyed God’s Sabbath command, but they also taught the converted Gentiles to worship on Sabbath. Never once do they refer to Sunday as a holy day.

 

The Sabbath was not changed to Sunday at the time of Jesus' resurrection.

The Sabbath was not changed to Sunday at the time of Jesus’ resurrection.

 

8. But wasn’t the Sabbath changed to Sunday at Christ’s death or resurrection?

Answer:   No, there is not the remotest hint that the Sabbath was changed at Christ’s death or resurrection. The Bible teaches just the opposite. Please carefully review the following evidence:

A. God blessed the Sabbath.
“The Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:11. “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.” Genesis 2:3.

B. Christ expected His people to be still keeping the Sabbath in A.D. 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed.
Knowing full well that Jerusalem would be destroyed by Rome in A.D. 70, Jesus warned His followers of that time, saying, “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day.” Matthew 24:20, emphasis added. Jesus made it clear that He intended for the Sabbath to be kept even 40 years after His resurrection. In fact, there is no intimation anywhere in the Scriptures that Jesus, His Father, or the apostles ever (at any time, under any circumstances) changed the holy seventh-day Sabbath to any other day.

C. The women who came to anoint Christ’s dead body kept the Sabbath. Jesus died on “the day before the sabbath” (Mark 15:37, 42), which is now called Good Friday.
The women prepared spices and ointments to anoint His body, then “rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.” Luke 23:56. Only “when the sabbath was past” (Mark 16:1) did the women come “the first day of the week” (Mark 16:2) to continue their sad work. They found “Jesus was risen early the first day of the week” (verse 9), commonly called Easter Sunday. Please note that the Sabbath “according to the commandment” was the day preceding Easter Sunday, which we now call Saturday.

D. Christ’s follower, Luke, wrote two books of the Bible, Luke and Acts.
He says that in the book of Luke he wrote about “all” of Jesus’ teachings (Acts 1:1-3). But he never wrote about Sunday-keeping or a change of the Sabbath.

 

Everybody in God's eternal kingdom will keep the Sabbath holy.

Everybody in God’s eternal kingdom will keep the Sabbath holy.

 

9. Some people say the Sabbath will be kept in God’s new earth. Is this correct?

“For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 66:22, 23.

Answer:   Yes, the Bible says the saved people of all ages will keep the Sabbath in the new earth.

 

The Lord's day is Sabbath, not Sunday.

The Lord’s day is Sabbath, not Sunday.

 

10. But isn’t Sunday the Lord’s day?

“Call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord.” Isaiah 58:13. “For the son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.” Matthew 12:8.

Answer:   The Bible speaks of the “Lord’s day” in Revelation 1:10, so the Lord does have a special day. But no verse of Scripture refers to Sunday as the Lord’s day. Rather, the Bible plainly identifies Sabbath as the Lord’s day. The only day ever blessed by the Lord or claimed by Him as His holy day is the seventh-day Sabbath.

 

Jesus instituted baptism--not Sunday keeping--in honor of His resurrection.

Jesus instituted baptism–not Sunday keeping–in honor of His resurrection.

 

11. Shouldn’t I keep Sunday in honor of Christ’s resurrection?

“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Romans 6:3-6.

Answer:   No! No more than you would keep Friday in honor of the crucifixion. Christ gave the ordinance of baptism in honor of His death, burial, and resurrection. The Bible never suggests Sunday-keeping in honor of the resurrection (or for any other reason, for that matter). We honor Christ by obeying Him (John 14:15)–not by substituting man-made requirements in place of His.

 

Misguided men had the audacity to substitute Sunday for the Sabbath of God's law.

Misguided men had the audacity to substitute Sunday for the Sabbath of God’s law.

 

12. Well, if Sunday-keeping isn’t in the Bible, whose idea was it anyway?

“And he shall think to change the times and the law.” Daniel 7:25, RSV.* “Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” “In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:6, 9. “Her priests have violated my law.” “And her prophets have daubed them with untempered mortar, … saying, Thus saith the Lord God, when the Lord hath not spoken.” Ezekiel 22:26, 28.

Answer:   Misguided men of long years past announced that God’s holy day was changed from Sabbath to Sunday. God predicted it would happen, and it did. This error was passed on to our unsuspecting generation as gospel fact. Sunday-keeping is a tradition of uninspired men and breaks God’s law, which commands Sabbath-keeping. Only God can make a day holy. God blessed the Sabbath, and when God blesses, no man can “reverse it.” Numbers 23:20.

*The Revised Standard Version of the Bible, (C) 1946, 1952, 1971 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission.

 

Changing Sabbath to Sunday is an insult to God because it attempts to alter His divine law.

Changing Sabbath to Sunday is an insult to God because it attempts to alter His divine law.

 

13. But isn’t it very dangerous to tamper with God’s law?

“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 4:2. “Every word of God is pure. … Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” Proverbs 30:5, 6.

Answer:   God has specifically and positively forbidden men to change His law by deletions or additions. To tamper with God’s holy law in any way is one of the most fearful and dangerous things a person can do.

 

The Sabbath is a sign of God's power to create and redeem.

The Sabbath is a sign of God’s power to create and redeem.

 

14. Why did God make the Sabbath anyway?

A. Sign of Creation.
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8, 11.

B. Sign of redemption and sanctification.
“Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.” Ezekiel 20:12.

Answer:   God gave the Sabbath as a twofold sign: (1) It is a sign that He created the world in six literal 24-hour days, and (2) it is also a sign of God’s mighty power to redeem and sanctify men. Surely every Christian will love the Sabbath as God’s precious sign of Creation and redemption (Exodus 31:13, 17; Ezekiel 20:12, 20). It is a great insult to God for people to trample upon His Sabbath. In Isaiah 58:13, 14, God says all who would be blessed must first get their feet off His Sabbath.

 

Breaking any commandment of God's law is sin.

Breaking any commandment of God’s law is sin.

 

15. How important is Sabbath-keeping?

“Sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4. “The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23. “Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10. “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.” 1 Peter 2:21. “He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” Hebrews 5:9.

Answer:   It is a matter of life and death. Sabbath-keeping is enjoined in the fourth commandment of God’s law. The deliberate breaking of any one of the Ten Commandments is a sin. Christians will gladly follow Christ’s example of Sabbath-keeping. Our only safety is to diligently study the Bible, “rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. We must have positive Scripture support for every Christian practice we follow.

 

God will pour out His indignation upon religious leaders who knowingly ignore His Sabbath.

God will pour out His indignation upon religious leaders who knowingly ignore His Sabbath.

 

16. How does God feel about religious leaders who ignore the Sabbath?

“Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane … and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.” “Therefore have I poured out my indignation upon them.” Ezekiel 22:26, 31.

Answer:   In hiding their eyes from God’s true Sabbath, religious leaders offend the God of heaven. God promises punishment for such false shepherds. Millions have been misled on this matter. God cannot treat it lightly. Jesus condemned the Pharisees for pretending to love God while making void one of the Ten Commandments by their tradition (Mark 7:7-13).

 

Everyone who enters heaven and eats from the tree of life will keep God's Sabbath holy.

Everyone who enters heaven and eats from the tree of life will keep God’s Sabbath holy.

 

17. Does Sabbath-keeping really affect me personally?

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15. “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:12. “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17. “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. “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God.” Revelation 14:12.

Answer:   Yes, by all means, the Sabbath is your Sabbath. God made it for you, and if you love Him you will keep it, because it is one of His commandments. Love without commandment-keeping is no love at all (1 John 2:4). You must make a decision. You cannot avoid it.

Get to Know Jesus

19 Oct

God Loves Me

The Bible tells us, “God is Love!” (1 John 4:8). The Lord is our Creator and cares a great deal about us. “See how much the Father has loved us? His love is so great that we are called God’s children” (1 John 3:1 TEV).
God wants you to have a happy life. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Read Less –

Perhaps you’ve had moments in your life when you wondered, “Is this all there is?” Maybe you’ve felt there was something missing and felt a longing to understand the purpose of life—your life! Some people feel emptiness in their heart that nothing seems to fill. Others wonder, “Where did I come from?” or “Why is there so much hatred and evil in the world?”
The Bible tells us there is a loving and compassionate God who created our world in order to have a meaningful and joyful relationship with us. Our planet was originally created perfectly. There was no death or pain; no tears were shed over broken relationships. Everything functioned harmoniously.

My Sin Separates Me from God

Sin has broken our connection with God. “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). Everyone has broken God’s perfect law of love. “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Unless something happens, we are all doomed to die. “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23).

An enemy named Satan came to our world and tempted the first couple, Adam and Eve, to believe a lie. The enemy convinced them to think God was not kind. They chose to turn away from God and believe Satan. It was a serious mistake because they cut themselves off from the source of all light and life. Their choice destined our planet and all people to be under a new ruler, Satan, who would eventually destroy all people. Unless someone interceded.

Jesus Connects Me Back to God

Because of God’s great love for you, Jesus willingly took the wages of sin upon Himself. Christ died so people could live eternally and not have to die. Jesus’ life without sin covers my life of sin so that I can have eternal life—salvation.
Christ’s death was accepted by God as full payment for all my past sins. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Jesus Connects Me Back to GodSomeone did intercede for us. Even though our first parents turned away from God and believed a lie, the Lord provided a way out, a plan to save people from destruction and eternal death. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, chose to take the penalty of breaking away from God. Sin is turning from God’s law of love and life and the result of sin is death. Jesus, who was equal with God, willingly laid down His life, dying for the sins of the whole world. He provides His perfect life and sacrifice for our sinful and broken lives.
Jesus offers the gift of salvation freely. It is not something we can buy but only accept. We deserve death since all of us have sinned and turned from God. Jesus extends eternal life to us. People do not have to live meaningless lives that end in hopelessness and death. God desires to restore mankind into a life-giving relationship and give people new hearts that desire the Lord and turn toward the way of life.
This free gift of salvation can be ours if only we will accept it.
 How Do I Accept Jesus Into My Life?

How Do I Accept Jesus Into My Life?

When I accept Christ’s death, as a gift, I become a child of God. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
What does Jesus death on the cross mean in my life? “To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God” (John 1: 12 RSV). If you would like to receive Christ into your life right now, follow these simple steps:

  1. Recognize you must die. “The wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23).
  2. Realize you cannot save yourself. “Without Me (God) you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
  3. Repent and confess to God that you are a sinner. “All have sinned…” (Romans 3:23).
  4. Believe Jesus died for your sins. “For God so loved the world that He gave…” (John 3:16).
  5. Believe that Jesus forgives you of sin. “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)
  6. Believe that you have eternal life. “He who believes in Me has everlasting life” (John 6:47).

Now live in faith everyday in your new way of life. “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” (Colossians 2:6).

Gift of SalvationIf someone gives you a gift, it is not yours until you receive it. Jesus holds out before you the gift of salvation, but how do you take it? The Bible tells us that we must first sense our need of Christ. This comes as the Holy Spirit speaks to our conscience and we realize our sins have separated us from God. Then we are led to repent of our sins, which means we acknowledge in our hearts that our wrong choices have been put on Christ and destroyed His life on the cross.
Repenting means to be so disgusted with our old way of life that we turn away from it and seek a new way in Jesus. We confess our sinfulness to God in prayer and tell the Lord we are very sorry. When we come before God, broken in heart because of our sinful choices, and confess our sinfulness, we may claim the Lord’s promise to forgive us and make our hearts clean. We may be restored back into a right relationship with God, a friendship that brings us life and love and joy.
You can know you have received this gift of salvation when you accept it by faith.

New Life in Christ

New Life in Christ

When I join God’s family, how does God’s love change my life? “When anyone is joined to Christ, he is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17, TEV). When a person accepts Christ, the old sinful nature is destroyed.
Jesus gives the new Christian a new spiritual life. Then the Christian hates the old life of sin. The new Christian begins to experience freedom from guilt and realizes how empty his life was without Christ. In one minute God proves more happiness than a whole lifetime of serving the Devil. Why did I wait so long to accept God’s love?

After we genuinely confess our sins to God and ask the Lord to wash our hearts clean, we must choose to believe this truly has happened. We must have faith and say, “God promised to take away my sin. I believe that has taken place and I now thank Jesus for the work He is doing in my heart.” Even if our faith in God is weak or tiny, the Lord wants us to exercise our belief in the gift of salvation. As we walk in this new belief, it will grow stronger each day.
Like any earthly relationship that stays strong, we must maintain our connection to God. This happens by studying the Bible, the primary way the Lord has been revealed to us. We may also talk with God in prayer and reflect on the way Jesus leads in our life. Meeting with other Christians and sharing how God is working in our lives with other people also will keep our belief in the Lord strong.
So, if you have not yet given your heart to the Lord and feel ready to take that step, you may kneel down in front of your computer and pray this prayer from your heart:
“Dear Lord, I realize that you love me and want to have a relationship with me. But I have learned that I am a sinner and my evil choices and actions lead to death. I confess my sinfulness to You. Please come into my heart and remove all sin and fill me with Your love. Because Jesus Christ took my sins upon Himself and suffered for me, I freely accept His offer of eternal life. Thank you for what you have done and what you are doing in my life right now! I accept Your gift of salvation! I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!”
Now, go and tell someone what you have done!
Please accept Jesus in your heart today he will come in your heart if you open it to him

New Page

19 Oct

I added a new page titled daily devotionals.

This page will inspire you it is the writings by E.G White

Please tell me what you think of it

may God bless you

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