Letter to the Editor:
From God's Perspective -
If you have been following my previous posts on the 10 Commandments, I have said that God cannot bless any society which will not keep His commandments. They are His will for all men in all generations. "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people".
These commandments were written on two tablets of stone, but the only way that they can be written on your heart is if you believe in Jesus Christ. Jesus, alone, kept them perfectly. God will accept His righteousness, done in the place of your very imperfect obedience, when you believe in Him. Now, we must ask ourselves why the 4th commandment, "Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy", is found in the midst of the 10 commandments?
It is found there because all of these commandments are moral in their nature and reference. The fourth commandment is placed there by God so that you will know that you should give to God one day in seven, in order to rest from your labor, and so that you might come to church and worship Him. God gave the Sabbath after He created the world. He gave it to man so that man would have rest and that man would take time to worship His Creator.
This commandment was observed by Israel, it says in Exodus 16: 25 before the formal giving of the law on Mt. Sinai in Exodus 20. Israel was to observe the Sabbath on the 7th day of the week, even as it had been since its establishment in the beginning of the world.
But when Christ came into the world, He fulfilled the Law. He died for our sins, and He brought in a New Creation; a New Dispensation, with a New Covenant. This meant, not that the Sabbath was not to be observed, but that it would be observed on a New Day of the week, even on Sunday, the Day that Christ rose from the dead. Now, in thinking about this, you can see why this is an intrinsically moral command which should be obeyed by all men.
If no one observes the Sabbath, or what Christians call the Lord's Day, then God will not be formally worshipped by people coming to church at all. People will think that it is permissible in God's sight to work seven days a week and they won't rest. Let us understand, then, that it is sinful in God's sight to neglect church, or to do your six-day work on His day, when He has commanded that it cease.
This does not mean that works of mercy and necessity, such as caring for people in hospitals, or feeding your cattle, or doing good works, are wrong on this day. But God would have you to rest from your normal work and come worship Him.
Ask yourself whether you do this? Are you remembering the Sabbath to keep it holy?
Pastor Paul Rendall
Reformed Baptist Church