In the very heart of the law of God, there is a commandment that has been neglected by the majority of professed Christians in the world today. It is the largest of the Ten, yet it is mentioned by the Christian world the least. While it begins with the word “remember” it is seemingly forgotten. Even though it was spoken directly by God, in many Christian pulpits today this topic receives nothing but silence. Although it was written directly by God Himself, many pastors are trying to erase it.
Yet God still declares “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:1, 8-11)
In Exodus 20, God spoke the Sabbath commandment Himself, He wrote it on tablets of stone and again God declares in the New Testament “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”(Matthew 24:35 NIV) Based on the words of Jesus His commandments still stand. But could it be that we have forgotten the only commandment from Jesus that begins with the word “remember”?
Is keeping the Sabbath important, for modern New Testament Christians such as ourselves? If so what is required by the Lord in order to keep the Sabbath holy? Which day is the Lord’s day? And if we intentionally neglect God’s commandment, could it keep us out of heaven? Friends these are vitally important questions, yet the Bible has clear life giving answers! Let us study the Bible today to find the answers to these questions, but before we do so let us ask for the Lord’s help in prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Today we have valid and important questions, but Lord we are so thankful that you have valid and clear answers. Guide us today Lord in the way we should go. Help us dear Lord, send your Holy Spirit to teach us your ways, and then empower us to follow your path wherever you lead us. Open our eyes dear Lord so that we may see wonderful things from your word today. Help us to follow you. May we have open hearts and open minds as we discover the answers to our important questions as we read directly fro your inspired word today. We thank you Lord for blessing us so much and hearing and answering our prayers. We pray all these things in the precious name of your son Jesus, amen.
Is keeping the Sabbath important for Christians today?
That is a very good question… Jesus gave us a good answer when He said
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” (John 14:21)
God has graciously given us His commandments as a law of love. He knew that no joy could be found while in transgression to His law. Those who worship idols and break the first and second commandments are miserable for they do not know Jesus. Also those who violate say the seventh commandment and break their marriage vows also find themselves in a depressing state, for sin separates us from the God who loves us. Worst of all, sin cost the very life of God’s own Son. All this pain, all this death, all the world’s troubles were brought about because mankind thought that their way was better than God’s.
The Bible says that our greatest delight will be found in following the plan of Jesus. It is written..
I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. ~ Psalm 40:8
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. ~ Psalm 1:1-2
If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words, Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken. ~ Isaiah 58:13-14
The Sabbath is about spending an entire day with Jesus. In each verse above, we are promised that we will delight ourselves in the LORD. But some claim the Sabbath was moved to the first day of the week (Sunday on most calendars), and yet others believe it should be kept as it was in the Bible, from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday (the seventh day of the week on most calendars). Does the specific day matter? Or can we choose any day?
Think about a time in the past when you setup a date to meet with a special person. Let’s say one day you setup a date to meet with that special someone, I’m sure it was exciting just waiting for the time to come. Yet what if that person showed up one whole day late? I think you would like everyone be disappointed, after all you setup a special day, cleared your schedule, and expected a wonderful time. Or what if in the near future you vote for the next president of the United States, and that person wins the election. Then one day the new president calls you up and says they would like to spend an entire day with you, to thank you for your kind vote. That would be a once in a lifetime opportunity! However when the day came, something happened and you forgot to go to that appointment with the president. A once in a lifetime opportunity lost. I’m sure that it would be rather disappointing to know that you missed out on a once in a lifetime opportunity with ,could we say the king of the United States?
Yet there is a King in heaven. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In Isaiah 58:13 He calls the Sabbath “my holy day”. Based on Isaiah 58, the seventh-day Sabbath is the Lord’s day. The Creator of the entire universe has set apart a day to spend with you. Shall we then miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity? Being one day late to that special meeting with the president wouldn’t work out, one day late would result in a missing out on that blessing. To miss out on that day with your future husband or wife, would also be even more disappointing. Yet the bridegroom is coming, but will we be ready? In fact, Jesus asked the question “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8) Genuine faith produces faithfulness. Loyalty and steadfastness to the commandments of God. “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:3-4) More important than spending a day with the president, more important than even spending a day with that special someone, the Sabbath is a whole day with the lovely Jesus. This is the true and only acceptable motivation behind obedience to every law of God’s government. That motivation is love. This is why Jesus said “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15) That is why we together in Christ should be passionate about the seventh day Sabbath.
But how are we to keep the Sabbath?
In the exact way that Jesus did. In the exact way that Jesus told us to. Isaiah 58:13-14 gives us some of the words of Jesus for the last sentence says “The mouth of the LORD has spoken.” In that passage we can find some helpful tips.
Imagine you make that appointment with the future president, but when that day came, instead of the new president sitting down at that table with you, Jesus came instead. Now that would be exciting!
What would you ask Him? What would you talk about? Would you excuse yourself and go shopping, or say thank you Jesus for your time but now I’m going to go watch a football game? No way! Not in a million years would we want to do so! Sports, shopping, facebook, text messaging and all these other distractions are normal on other days, but not on this special day! That is why Jesus said
“If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day…
Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words, Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD;”
It’s not that the Sabbath becomes a burden, it’s not that taking pleasure in normal routine activities is evil in themselves but rather as the verse says this special Sabbath day shall be a delight. What makes it so special? Because Jesus is right there with you. Because Jesus is right there, excusing our self and spending our time in secular work, shopping that can be done on another day, or other activities that distract our time with Jesus would be inappropriate. It’s hard if not nearly impossible to concentrate on God in a movie theater, in front of a television, or even in a busy market. Can you imagine Jesus sitting at a table and instead of someone talking to him, they are just watching a tv?
We definitely know what we wouldn’t do on that special day with Jesus. But what should we do? Various people have different opinions, but we are not to look to man for our doctrines, instead we are to look to Jesus. In Luke 4:14-16 it says “Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. So 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 to read.”
You never found Jesus in the carpenter shop on the Sabbath, but you did find Him in the church. As was His custom the verse says, every Saturday Jesus attended church. But Jesus desired more than just to attend church, His mission was to save souls. If we continue reading the Bible says
“And He (Jesus) was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
“ The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD” ~ Luke 4:17-19
On the Sabbath we found Jesus reading and preaching the word of God. As He was reading from the book of Isaiah He was “preaching the gospel to the poor”. Also Jesus healed people on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:9-14). Medical missionary work and acts of charity are something that glorifies God and can win people to Him and is in perfect harmony with the Sabbath. “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4) These are just a handful of things that can be done on the Sabbath. Everything centers around worship. God is glorified when we help others, when we share the gospel, when we worship at church, when we study the Bible and when we spend time with others in a good Christian environment. These are just some of the things we can do on the Sabbath.
But how important is the Sabbath?
The Bible says… “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.” ~ Hebrews 10:26-27
The book of Hebrews says if we know better and continue to live in rebellion, then we are living in willful rebellion towards God. By willfully and knowingly rejecting the commandment we reject its Author. Satan is well pleased when we attempt to justify and explain away our sins, for in doing so we show that our allegiance is with the leader of the rebellion. Friends the only sin God cannot forgive us of is the one we knowingly and willingly do not repent of. So surrendering our will to the Lord in all areas of our life is of critical importance to our salvation. Keeping the Sabbath is just as important as not worshiping idols, or stealing, or committing adultery, or lying or coveting, for the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments. Just as the Israelite people were tested with the Sabbath right before they were to enter the promised land (Exodus 16:22-30), likewise God’s people in these last days will face that same test before entering the heavenly promised land. The Sabbath is the great test for this time. “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent”. (Acts 17:30 NIV)
Perhaps we may say that it was better to never know! But with more knowledge it is not a curse, but rather a blessing to live in accordance with the will of God. Jesus said “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”(John 15:10-11) God gives us His commandments not to be a burden but so that we may have joy. “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it; Who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.” ~ Revelation 22:14, Isaiah 56:2
Speaking of what is soon to come, in the book of Revelation chapters 13 & 14, there described only two classes of people. One large class in the majority, worships the beast and his image. The other smaller class worships the true Creator. The entire world is polarized into two classes and each claims to worship God….but one does it man’s way, and the other does it God’s way. In Revelation 14:6-12 is found God’s last day message of hope to the world. It begins stating…
“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” (Revelation 14:6-7)
The first angel’s message is a call to worship Him who made the heaven and the earth, the sea and all that is in them. In the very heart of the Sabbath commandment is found “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:11). The Sabbath commandment is the only one out of the ten which focuses on God as creator. In essence, God’s last day message begins with a call back to the Sabbath. A call back to the very law of God.
The Bible tells us that in the world we live in now there are only two classes of people. “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.” (Romans 6:16, Matthew 6:24) In the last days, the Bible tells us that whom you obey is whom you worship. Despite the almost universal breaking of God’s law there is good news. Speaking of God’s last day people it says “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” (Revelation 14:12) In the last days, God’s people will keep the commandments of God, including all of the Ten Commandments. This will be done “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts.”(Zechariah 4:6) It will be done by the grace and power of God alone, we must only choose to follow Him.
You see friend, God’s greatest desire is not just to forgive us of our sins, but to transform us into what we ought to be. His desire is to transform our characters into the lovely image of Jesus. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”(2 Corinthians 5:17) God has called you to be one of those people. Today, it is not I alone who am calling you to keep the Sabbath; God is calling you to keep the Sabbath. He is saying “My son, my daughter, I have been waiting for such a long time to spend that day I set apart for you. The Sabbath was made for man, I made it for you. If you choose to keep the Sabbath, men may forsake you, but “I will never leave you nor forsake you. Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” (Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 4:19, Revelation 22:14, 3:21 NKJV)
I invite you today friend, to beginning keeping the seventh day Sabbath, the only Sabbath that God sanctified and made holy. Today Jesus is saying to you “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). If you love someone you would naturally spend time with them. And if you set an appointment to meet with someone you love, and they show up one day late, would it matter? God has sanctified the Sabbath day to spend time with us! How can we miss such an appointment!
The reality is God would never force someone to spend eternity with Him, if they refused to spend one day out of the week with Him. My friend I write this with the earnest prayer that by following the Lord’s commandments you draw closer to Jesus and enter His kingdom when He returns. Keeping the Sabbath requires bearing a cross. But Jesus has promised…“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:29-30
God’s last day people will “follow the Lamb wherever he goes”. (Revelation 14:4) That Lamb is Jesus. Now is the time to “choose this day whom ye will serve”. May you choose today to love the Lord with all your heart and mind and soul and strength by keeping His holy Sabbath. The Lord has promised to bless you if you do. Is that your prayer today? To follow Jesus, to keep His commandments of love and to spend that blessed Sabbath day with Him each week. If so I invite you to pray with me as we ask the Lord to help us.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I’m so thankful Lord that you love us so much. What great love is this that you the King of the universe, Creator and sustainer of all life would set apart a whole day to spend with us? What is man that you are mindful of him? We are overwhelmed Lord, by your compassion for us. Lord we praise you for opening our eyes so that we have seen new and wonderful truths from your word today. Help us to stand for your truth no matter what the world may say. Lord you gave everything for us at the cross may we give our time and strength and mind and heart to you today. May we choose to keep your Sabbath, the day that you set apart. Help us to find the right church, grant us the strength to stand for your commandments. Send your Holy Spirit to be with us each day, and Lord I just pray for a special blessing on each soul that is reading these words right now. Help us to keep your blessed Sabbath day and may we enter that heavenly promised land. Come soon Lord Jesus, we humbly ask and pray in Jesus name, amen.
Friend, I’m so thankful that you have chosen to follow Jesus. To find a Sabbath keeping church in your area you can use the following link…
If you are unable to find a local Sabbath keeping church you can always contact us and we will try our best to help you out.
Do you have additional Sabbath questions? You can find Biblical answers at
May God bless you as you choose to follow Him!