Over the past 2000 or so years religious man’s attitude toward obedience to the Lord’s Instruction Manual has changed considerably. For example, the opinions of Bible owners concerning the correct day to celebrate God’s weekly Sabbath now range from “There is no certain day to observe the Sabbath” to “The Sabbath must be observed on the 7th day of the week (Saturday).” The evolution of God’s will has been slow but steady throughout the centuries. For those who reject His 7th day command and embrace Satan’s 1st day command a popular explanation is that, “They changed it.” Which is true. The questions are: who were “they” and why did “they” change it? Another question is: does it matter?
Another popular reason given for the change is that we don’t really know which day is the 7th day. Therefore we do not know the day on which the Biblical week begins and on which day it ends. But the Jews know, and for good reason. For 40 years the nation of Israel kept the 7th day Sabbath while wandering in the Wilderness of Sin. For 2080 weeks they observed the Lord’s Sabbath on the correct day because God punished those who failed to do so. That experience thoroughly grounded them in the knowledge of the days of the week. Since that time the Jews (tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi) have faithfully kept the Biblical Sabbath on the Biblical 7th day of the week which the world calls “Saturday.” The prophets, apostles and Jesus Himself taught that one must keep THE true Sabbath in order to qualify for salvation. Recall that Jesus told the woman at the well that “Salvation is of the Jews” (Jn. 4:22). Jesus told her she worshiped a false god, and that the God of the Jews was the true God. That same God had written the Ten Commandments in stone with His finger. The fourth of those commandments dictated that man observe the Sabbath on the 7th day of the week and exactly how to observe it. Nowhere do we find options of those rules mentioned in God’s Word.
Another popular explanation for the change (evolution) in Sabbath observance is that, “God doesn’t care which day we call the Sabbath; any day of the week is okay.” Tell that to the wandering Israelites. Tell that to the rich man who asked Jesus what he must do to be saved. The Lord’s reply was: “Obey the commandments” (Mk. 10), which included #4. When a lawyer asked Him the same question, Jesus asked him: “What does it say in the Law?” When the lawyer answered Him correctly, Jesus said: “Do that and you shall be saved” (Lk. 10). Again, He did not mention an option for the fourth commandment or any other commandment. Those encounters offered excellent opportunities for Him to suggest options for #4, which He did not. It can be noted that Jesus was not known for missing chances to proclaim God’s Truth.
Apparently God did not stop with changing the day of His Sabbath, He also changed the rules for observing that day. His Sabbath instructions have evolved from a no-work, no-play, all-eyes-on-Me format to the current let-it-all-hang-out, what-time-does-the-game-start mentality. A pastor I knew was careful to dismiss Sunday services during the fall in time for his male parishioners to catch the kickoff of the football game. If his message happened to run a little long he would allow the males to go to the church’s t.v. so that they would not miss an important part of the game.
Such attitudes toward God’s Sabbath permeate the church community as well as the nation. As the evolution of God’s will and way have evolved, golf, football, recreation and work have replaced Bible study, prayer and meditation as Sabbath priorities. While refusing to observe God’s commanded Sabbath, religious man desecrates His true Sabbath (Saturday) by treating it like any other day. Therefore, OBSERVING THE WRONG SABBATH IS A DOUBLE SIN.
The Almighty tells us time and again that sin separates salvation-seeking man from Him. In James 2:10 He warns us that to break one commandment (#4 for example) is to break the entire Law, making one guilty of “iniquity” (Lawlessness). To break the Law is sin (1 Jn. 3:4). The penalty for sin is death (Rom. 6:23). This is God speaking. Is anyone listening to Him? Does anyone believe Him? L.J.