Why Keep a Christian Sabbath Today?

Why Keep a Christian Sabbath Today

Rev. Ian Goligher

November 26, 2006

Nehemiah 13

Listen to the sermon here: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=11280613851

Notes:

  • In Nehemiah’s time, the Sabbath was being openly and flagrantly profaned – the very thing that brought the wrath of God upon the city beforehand and the reason why the Israelites were spending their entire lifetime rebuilding the city

  • What would Nehemiah think of our society today???

1. The Sabbath day still needs defending:

-Against the greed of the ungodly

  • today’s focus is on profit, profit, profit, which is now consuming the Lord’s Day
  • we will never win the argument from economy because people can make more money opening their businesses for 7 rather than 6 days a week

-Equality

  • Another argument we will never win, ie. That everyone should be free to follow their own convictions, way of life, culture, and desires
  • this practice has ruined the church and Canada for many generations, although greed is now taking over as the primary reason given for not keeping a Sabbath
  • note, though, that Nehemiah’s rule was the rule of God and not what unbelievers did

2. We need to contend against false doctrine on the Sabbath:

-It is a “holy” day, not a holiday:

  • Genesis 2 – God sanctified the day, set it apart and made it His day
  • to be used for God’s pleasure, not ours

-Permanency has to be contended for:

  • Dispensationalism teaches no Sabbath any more and has influenced many
  • teaching has only taken root in North America since the 1920’s

  • teaches that you can go to church in the morning and do whatever you want the rest of the day

-10 Commandments still the rule of life for the Christian:

  • Jesus did not cancel any of them out

-Change from the 7th day to the 1st day has to be contended for:

  • Apostles practice was to meet on the 1st day
  • founded on the principle of the resurrection
  • from earliest times, Christians met on the 1st day of the week
  • no controversy about the change in the New Testament
  • church historically has always accepted that we meet on the 1st day of the week
  • change to giving up the whole day is due to liberalism and modernism that has unravelled the inspiration and foundation of the Bible

-Must contend against the dishonor of God’s name

  • Sabbath reminds society of God’s name and glory

  • A society that turns away from the Sabbath also turns away from God

  • the more secular the day is treated, the less people think about God’s name and worship

-Sabbath was to put a difference between the Israelites and the other nations

  • Exodus 31:13 – a sign, a special covenant arrangement

  • remains as a sign for believers today in multifaith societies

-Must contend against the misuse of the Sabbath’s benefits

  • is a place for physical rest but not for sports and recreation

  • benefit of spiritual exercise – to be used to grow in the Lord

  • benefit to congregate in the church – no Sabbath would make churches into drop-in centres; no Sabbath means there be no witness in society; No Sabbath = no church = no witness

  • harm when day is desecrated – no time for Sabbath means no time for God

We have to use our influence where we can to “close the gates” for the Sabbath.

There is a blessing in taking a stand for the Lord’s day even if there is a price to pay for it.

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