Sabbath


12/05/2006
I have a question regarding Mark 2:27 where it says, “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.” And if you read the story, it’s about when Jesus was going through the grain fields and the disciples were walking along and they ate some of the heads of the grain. And the Pharisees criticized them and said, “Look, why are you doing this on the Sabbath day because this is unlawful.” Even though they were hungry, it was like Jesus was pointing out that the Sabbath day was made for man because it was for the needs of men and the Pharisees were trying to put the burden on the disciples at that time and were caring more about the rules of the Sabbath day. And I want to know where the balance is between that context with respect to going to church on Sunday and also worshiping the Lord on Sunday. There’s a balance there.

Well, there are two subjects that you’re bringing up. One is the consistent habit of attending church, which is not a legalistic thing. It’s something that we need because it’s like what Jesus said, “Man is not for the Sabbath, but that the Sabbath is for man.” The fact is that church is for man. Going to church is to help us grow in our relationship with God.

The context that Jesus is speaking in is that they were saying work shouldn’t be done on this day. They were saying that you shouldn’t be picking grain on this day. They were making a mountain out of a molehill. They were making the actual ritual of the Sabbath day that there was absolutely no work at all taking place. They were making that more important than meeting the needs of the people who were hungry, namely Jesus and His disciples. Jesus is pointing out the legalism of the Pharisees. Going to church to be fed and to grow and to be ministered to is not legalism. It’s really how we grow as Christians. It’s really one of the ways God gives us to be strong.

What is the balance between those things? Well, they’re two different subjects. The balance that you’re looking for is that God’s not going to judge you if you miss church. God’s not going to be mad at you if you don’t go to church. But, He has provided church to serve us as believers so that we can grow, be encouraged, be fed and fulfill the calling of God that is upon our lives by serving one another.

It’s just like going to dinner. You don’t go to dinner once in a while. You go to dinner every night. It’s a habit in your family. A church family should have the habit of coming together and worshiping God together. When someone has to miss church for some reason, they shouldn’t be under bondage or legalism or fear that they’re going to miss the will of God. If you make a habit of it, the Bible says that’s when problems occur. Remember that Jesus made it his custom to go to church every Sabbath day. He was at church every week and read the Scriptures and studied the Scriptures.

Again, it doesn’t mean that if you ever go to work or if you ever watch a movie or do something on Sunday that somehow you’re forsaking the kingdom of God. You should not miss church because you’re lazy or you just want to sleep or because you don’t feel like going. What we can’t do is twist the Scriptures for our convenience. We need to make sure that we’re reading the Scriptures the way that they were meant to be read.

Really, the Sabbath day was a Saturday anyway and most of us go to church on Sunday. Whatever church you go to, you should go there regularly; you should go there faithfully. If for some reason you’re sick or you can’t make it on a particular day, there is a real legitimate reason that you can’t make it, there’s no judgment against you. You’re not going to lose your salvation or God’s not going to be mad at you but you should be consistent at going to church.

Jesus Christ is the Sabbath. The Sabbath means rest. Hebrews chapter 3 and chapter 4 talk about how the Children of Israel could not enter into rest because of their unbelief. They could not enter into rest because they did not believe in the Word of God and they did not believe in the Messiah that was to come. We need to understand that we enter into rest by putting our faith in Jesus Christ. That’s how we enter into rest; that’s how we enter into salvation. And that’s where real rest comes from. Jesus said, “Come unto Me and I will give you rest.” In other words, He was saying, “I am the Sabbath. Come to me and you will find rest.” Taking a day off doesn’t necessarily give you rest. So, it’s not about fulfilling the legal requirements of the Old Testament law, it’s about finding fulfillment in Jesus Christ and faith in Him.


Sabbath


12/05/2006
I believe that the true Sabbath starts from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset and that this is a time for worship and rest. Can you please give more detail on what is true Sabbath rest and what things are not allowed to do on the Sabbath.

I refer you to Hebrews 3 and 4, which gives a more clear biblical definition of New Testament Sabbath rest. Really we don’t come into rest by taking a day off; we come into rest by putting our faith in Jesus Christ. That faith in Jesus is what causes us to enter into the rest. He is our rest and our Sabbath.

Should we devote a day where we give ourselves to the Lord? We should devote our life to the Lord and give ourselves to Him. We should take a day and go to church and be in the house of God. Why is it on Sunday rather than Saturday? Because it was the day that represented Jesus’ resurrection and the day the New Testament disciples began to celebrate His resurrection; they gathered together on Sunday. The Sabbath was fulfilled and completed in Jesus Christ and now we can have rest every day. Not that you shouldn’t take a day off. You should have a day off to recuperate your body.


Sabbath


12/05/2006
If the 10 commandments are a guide to life, why do so many people break the fourth commandment each week on Sunday?

The commandment she is referring to is to honor the Sabbath day and keep it holy. Let’s talk about that folks. Really, no one is breaking the commandment of God by going to church on Sunday. God would rather have you come to church on Sunday than not come at all. The fact is that there was a transition between the Old Testament and the New Testament when the day that the disciples gathered together in the book of Acts became the first day of the week.

I believe in commemoration of the fact that that was the day Jesus rose from the dead was on a Sunday. Therefore they began to gather on Sunday and they began to praise and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. So that is not a sin to gather for church on Sunday. Many churches have service on Saturdays and Sundays so it is really not about being legalistic and saying that this day is more important than that day.

Every day is holy to God. In Hebrews chapter 4, the Scripture teaches us that Jesus became the Sabbath for us. So the Sabbath represents rest; it’s the day of rest. The day you receive Jesus Christ into your life as your Lord and Savior, the day you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, is the day that you truly, truly enter into God’s rest. That is when you really honor the Sabbath.

You can not honor the Sabbath until you honor Jesus Christ; He is the Sabbath. That is the rest we are all called to enter into according to Hebrews chapter 4. It is not that Jesus destroyed the law but He fulfilled it. He became the Sabbath so our faith in Him satisfies the law to keep the Sabbath day.