The keeping of the Sabbath comes as a Christian obligation by divine example and command. God rested after creation, and in the fourth commandment He instructed us to keep the Sabbath.
Its importance can be seen in its priority. It was first mentioned in Genesis and in the wilderness before the law was given on Sinai. Notice also its perpetuity, lasting from Genesis through life on earth to heaven [Hebrews 4:9]. As to its position, it is the keystone in the arch of the law, spanning man’s duty to God, and to his fellow man. It’s primacy among the holy convocations of Leviticus 23 is evident, as it is the only moral command, the rest being ceremonial.
Christians observe the first-day Sabbath. It is the day of rejoicing and gladness, commemorating the resurrection of Christ [Psalm 118:22-24]. By contrast, the seventh-day Sabbath was a day of intense sorrow and sadness when Christ was in the grave.
The Christian Sabbath, or Lord’s Day, was observed by the disciples. They met together for the preaching of the Word, sat together in remembrance at the Lord’s Table, and collected offerings for the support of God’s work. It was also the day when the apostle John had his revelatory vision of the risen and exalted Christ on the Isle of Patmos.
Observation of the Lord’s Day is an intelligent practice. We must have rest from toil, perhaps all the more with the pressures of twenty-first century life. We must stop and worship God.
There should be solemn preparation for the Lord’s Day. We should take time to meditate upon the Lord and His goodness by way of soul preparation. We should pray the Lord to impart some special blessing from His Word as we meet for worship. The Sabbath then will not be a drudgery, but a delight to the soul.
WHAT GOD SAYS
“If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour Him, not doing thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then thou shalt delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” [Isaiah 58:13].
A VERY CONTAGIOUS DISEASE
Morbus Sabbaticus, or Sunday sickness, is a disease peculiar to church members. The symptoms vary but these are characteristic:
It never interferes with the appetite.
It never lasts more than 24 hours.
No physician is ever called.
It is fatal – to the soul.
It is becoming more prevalent.
It comes on every Sunday although no symptoms are felt on Saturday night. The patient sleeps well and wakes feeling well, eats a hearty breakfast, but about church time the attack comes on and continues until the morning services are over. Then the patient feels better and eats a hearty lunch.
In the afternoon he feels much improved and can take a walk and read the Sunday papers. Then he eats a hearty supper, but about supper time he has another attack and stays at home. He wakes up Monday morning refreshed and able to go to work. He does not have any further symptoms of the disease until the following Sunday. [Author Unknown].
Remedy: See previous Bible quote and remember, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” [Galatians 6:7].
PREACHING THE GOSPEL FROM ACTS 20
Who to tell? All of the People. [v21]
When to tell? All of the Time. [v18]
How to tell? All of the Means. [v19-20[
What to tell? All of the Word. [v27[
THE OLD EXCUSE – HYPOCRITES
The man who says he is kept away from the Church by hypocrites is not influenced by them to stay away from anywhere else. Business is full of them, but if he sees a chance to make some money, he does not stop because of that. Society is crowded with them, and yet he never thinks of becoming a hermit. Married life is full of them, but that doesn’t make him remain a bachelor. Hell is full of them, and yet he isn’t doing a thing to keep from going there.
He wants to have you think that he is trying to avoid the society of hypocrites, and yet he takes not a single step toward the only place no hypocrite can go – HEAVEN! [The Orthodox Baptist.]