Sabbath Commandment meant to be Observed

by: Wayne A. Schatzle

      Ever since man left the Garden of Eden we have been separated from God. What is it that continues to separate us from God?

      We learn in the Bible sin separates us from God. To repair this breach we must first learn exactly what sin is. The Bible tells us: "Sin is the transgression of the law." Studying the Bible we find God's Ten Commandments. Okay, now we have the first step accomplished in repairing the relationship with our creator. God doesn't want other gods before him, nor images or taking his name in vain. We must honor our parents and no lying, stealing, murder, coveting, or adultery. We must keep the Sabbath day holy. Most people don't have a problem with nine of these commands, but how about keeping the Sabbath holy? Is that one of the most ignored of all God's commandments?

      It may not be important to some of us but look how important it is to God. The God who never changes said to keep his Sabbath. They are a sign between us throughout the generations. Anyone who profanes it shall be put to death! This is one of the few commandments that carries a death penalty for breaking it! The Sabbath day identifies him as creator and those who observe it as his people (Exodus 31, 14). But how about Christians? We wouldn't have to keep some Jewish law, would we? A casual reading of the Bible shows us that Jesus was none other than the God of the Old Testament - the creator! (Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:2, 1 Corinthians 10:1-4, John 1:1).

      But we want to follow Jesus Christ and keep whatever day he kept, don't we? Luke 4:16: "And as his custom was, he went into the synagogue (church) on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read." Well, maybe the apostles kept another day. No, in fact there are eight references to Paul preaching on the Sabbath day in the, book of Acts, even to Gentiles.

      But didn't Jesus, who spoke of so many things to happen in the future, mention something about changing that old Sabbath day to Sunday? Not a word. Hebrews 4 shows just the opposite, that the Sabbath was created on the seventh day of creation and will endure even into the kingdom of God to come on this earth (Isaiah 56 and 66).

      The study of the Sabbath day is probably the most controversial topic in all of religion. To say the least it is a most divisive doctrine as well. History documents the gradual change from Saturday to Sunday.

      The Bible record is full of accounts where God tests people, and for good reason too. He wants to grant immortality to man, does it not make sense that he makes sure a man or woman is worthy of such a gift by the test of obedience? We could argue the Sabbath question but that would be pointless. Obedience to God is a very personal issue. The apostle Paul made it clear, any doctrine is to be studied, proven to one's self, acted upon, and others not judged based on what you believe.

      For me and my house the Sabbath continues to be a breath of fresh air in an ever-growing hectic world. A time to enjoy the fast fading beauty of nature, and especially a time to draw a little closer to the creator, my father.

Written by Wayne Schatzle, 
director, Freedom Biblical Information Center, 
PO Box 1806, West Chester OH 45071

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