Exodus 20:8-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
10 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.
11 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.
This Fourth Command tells of a special time and day.
--God says, "Remember the Sabbath day, keep it holy."
--That is, more "holy" than jolly. Honor the Lord.
--We see the importance of the Sabbath, for us all.
--"God rested the seventh day" completing Creation!
The First Commandment says to worship God, and "have no other gods before Me" (Exodus 20:3). Why so?
--God is the One, True, Living God, of the world.
--The Second says worship God directly, not images.
--The Third tells us "not take the name of the Lord your God in vain," but reverently, not in profanity nor hypocrisy, or vanity. Worship in truth.
--The Fourth, "Remember the Sabbath, keep it holy."
In infinite wisdom God knows we need such a day and place set aside for us to worship the Lord God.
--It was God, not man, declaring such a day "holy."
--Notice, God did this before any Ten Commandments.
--God did this at Creation! "In the beginning!"
Look at Genesis 1 and 2, how we, the world, began.
--In Chapter 1, God made the world, Adam and Eve.
--"God saw everything he had made.. it was good."
--"On the seventh day God ended His work and rested on the seventh day from all His work.. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it " 2:2f).
-—The Hebrew shabath is a day of rest and worship.
--God is still at work, in redemption of humanity.
--His greatest work was in Jesus' cross for sin and in His empty tomb and resurrection, for us.
--When we believe in Him as Savior, we enter in to His "rest" or "sabbath," as we. read in Hebrews 4.
The word "sabbath" means rest, worship, contemplate.
--It does not just mean a particular day. Any time.
--But any day, so kept holy, could be a Sabbath.
--Until Christ's resurrection, it was a seventh day.
--Jesus brought the first day as our Sabbath. Why?
--The day Jesus arose! Revealed Himself, alive!
--The Lord's Day, when believers followed Him!
--Any day, designated holy, could be a sabbath.
--So certain feast-days in mid-week, called a Sabbath.
Interesting, the Bible and ancient peoples, all had a seven-day week. Why this historical fact?
--From the Biblical accounts! Of God's creation.
--Of Noah sending doves after the flood at 7-day intervals .. and God providing manna in the wilderness double on the sixth day, so have manna on Sabbath.
God not only commanded it, set the day aside, but God also "blessed and hallowed the sabbath," and keepers.
--In fact, God says, "keep it .. keep it holy." —I wonder, have many of us overlooked His command?
--Do we "keep it?" And, do we "keep it holy"?
Edinburgh, Scotland, is one of my favorite cities.
--Some great history, there. Great pastors, people.
--A friend from there says, "In Scotland, we Scotch, keep the Sabbath," smiles and adds, "and all else, that we can." Yet, Scots are generous, good folks.
For several thousand years Jews have kept Sabbath, as for them it began at sundown Friday, all of. Saturday.
--When on earth Jesus attended synagogue, "As His custom was," Jesus went on the Sabbath.
--Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made tor man, and not man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27).
--Again He said, "The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath" (Matt. 12:8). "Do good on the Sabbath."
With all the Bible says of the Sabbath worship, is it on Saturday? Can it be Sunday - the "Lord's Day"?
--This is an important question, It can be any day!
--Since Jesus came, died and arose, His followers began to gather for worship on the Lord's day, Sunday.
--Actually, the Bible states any day may be Sabbath.
--The Lord's Day is the first day of the week!
The first day was the day God made light (Gen 1:3f).
--The first day of the week was when Jesus arose!
--The risen Savior made five recorded appearances all on the first day of the week.
--The Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost as believers were meeting on the first day of the week.
--The Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos, said he was "in the spirit on the Lord's Day" (Rev. 1:10).
--"On the first day of the week .. the disciples came together to break bread" (communion), Acts 20:7.
--Paul asks them "On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside (offering)., that there be no collections when I come" (Cor 16:2).
It is a fact that the first day of the week universally was the day Christians worship after Jesus arose.
The first day of the work has been observed by majority of Christian churches for nearly 2000 years.
--Sunday is our Sabbath, for most Christians.
--The Jewish Sabbath was a covenant, with Israel, basically; and Judaism has kept Saturday worship.
--Some Christian groups do also, and that is fine.
Jesus brought the world a new covenant, of His grace.
--More than the day is the Who, and how, we worship.
--That "God so loved the wprld that He gave His Son."
--And, it is "by grace we are saved, not of works."
On the first days - the Lord's Day - millions hear the Gospel's good news, and are being converted to Jesus.
--When weary hearts find God's House and His peace.
--When broken-hearted folk come to get His comfort.
--When those who sin come to repent; be forgiven.
--What would we do without Sunday Church, many say.
As a child, I longed for Sunday - best day of all.
Friend, find your Sabbath place of worship, and rest.
--If a man has no day or place, how can God bless?
--But if we never get more than six days from God, we can easily hear His voice, calling us back to God.
--I visited a home, and the lady said, "I used to never miss church. Then lost the habit. The longer I stay away, the harder it is to get back."
John Bunyan who wrote Pilgrim's Progress said, "Shall God give us six days, and we not give Him one?"
Come, each Lord's Day you can, to worship, grow in God.
--There may come a time we are unable to attend.
--Come .. know Jesus as your Savior and Lord of life.
--God says, "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some" (Heb 10:25).
--To "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."
Forgetting the day, we will soon forget about God.
--Instead of a "holy day," we may make it a holiday.
--Often Sunday is when big athletic events are held.
--When so many things may crowd out God, and church.
--So you and I must choose what's best for our life.
--For our family. The nation. And our world.
--We each have that choice. Make each day holy.
Dewitt Talmadge (1832-1902), a great preacher, filled Brooklyn Tabernacle, NY, he built for the crowds.
--Back then his sermons appeared in over 3000 papers!
--He said, "Our bodies are like seven-day clocks, and need to be wound up. If they are not wound up they run down into the grave. No one can continually be breaking the Sabbath and keep his physical and mental health." The Scripture and doctors, agree.
When atheism was at its height in the French Revolution, they tried to abolish the Lord's Day, there.
--Sunday was to be just like any other week day.
--It didn't work. Why? It was unwise, every way.
--And was surely not God's plan, when He was left out!
There is a place of worship, a church with a door open for you and your family, where you can meet Jesus and worship the Living God, our Loving Father.
--The Lord says, "I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it" (Rev. 3:8). Come!
--Trusting the Risen Christ, gives us eternal life of great possibilities and joys, in the Lord.
Have you entered into Christ's fellowship and church?
--Followed Him in baptism, commitment, membership?
--There's nothing more joyous and meaningful, more important, and more lasting, than being "born again."
--What a wonderful world this would be if more would!
--Would accept God's way to heaven and day of worship.
--Have you or will you?
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 564