Skip Heitzig - The Sabbath Rest
Good morning. Good to see you. We are in the midst of a sermon series called Hustle and Grind, all about work and rest. Next week, we'll be starting with, I'll be doing a Christmas message. And then of course, we will launch into Christmas Eve services. And I can't wait for those.
But today, we are in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 5. So turn in your Bibles to the fifth book in your Bible, the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 5. So there was an Orthodox rabbi who went golfing on the Sabbath. which is a no-no. So he's out there golfing, he's on the golf course. And Gabriel in heaven sees that and goes to inform God, as if God needs to be informed.
And Gabriel says, Lord, we got a rabbi golfing on the Sabbath. You should strike him with lightning. And God said, I've got a better idea. So the rabbi got up to the tee box, took his driver, had a pretty good swing, and the ball flew from the tee 420 yards right toward the green, bounced, rolled onto the green, and into the cup for a hole in one on a par 4. Gabriel turns to God and said, I thought you were going to punish him? God smiled and said, I just did. Who's he going to tell?
Several years ago, after a stressful period in my own life, my wife and I took a vacation. We were at a quaint spot near a mountain lake. And I relaxed. And I got into something that up to that point I had only heard about but I had never done, they're called naps. I'm not really good at doing naps. I've really kind of been opposed to naps. I kind of like to just plow through the day and then crash at night.
But I found that I got really restful and relaxed. And I started taking a nap. And then I was taking two naps a day on that vacation. And I realized, I think I've been missing something here. I think I really needed to do this. I walked away after many days feeling differently, thinking differently, regaining my perspective. Everything just seemed clearer. Everything seemed better.
Now, I'm going to fast forward to what happened a couple of years ago almost, when I was walking into my garage. And I walked right into my bicycle that was hung up. And I hit my head very hard, had a subdural hematoma. I had to go to the hospital and get the blood drained. And then got released, and then the blood came back. And I had to go back to the hospital, have another surgery and get the blood drained again.
And as I was in the hospital the second time on my bed, my son Nate was there, came up to me, leaned in, and said, dad, what do you think the Lord may be saying to you in all this? And he was, it was just a genuine question. What do you think the Lord might be saying? And I'm thinking, what? Besides don't walk into stationary objects? He might be saying that.
But I did reflect and wrote down that I think I'm really needing to learn to consistently rest. And I'm going to share a little bit about that today. We started last time when we were together on the fourth commandment. We're looking at the Ten Commandments. And I said last time that the fourth commandment of the 10, think of it as the tender commandment. It is God's maintenance program for men and women that he created.
We laid the groundwork last week. We made a note of the fact that the Sabbath is a weekly celebration. It is an intermission every single week. It's a special day. It is Saturday, the Sabbath in the Bible. In Judaism, it begins sundown Friday evening to Saturday sundown. It's a 24 hour period, a day of rest.
But also, we looked at the idea that sometimes God puts Sabbath days attached to festival days. So there were festivals in the Old Testament through the calendar year. God made sure that there were sabbaths along with the weekly Sabbath. But then also we discovered that sometimes the Sabbath wasn't just a day. Sometimes, it was a whole year. That in the agricultural calendar of the nation of Israel, they were to work the field for six years.
The seventh year, the farmer was to let it go and not touch it. Let the land rest. And let it be replenished on its own. We also told you that the word "sabbath" is the Hebrew word "shabbat." And it means to put an end to something, to cease, to desist. We would have the idea to unplug from our work, to veg out, to use a modern parlance, to chill out, to relax.
And we also, last time, looked at why we should do it. We should do it, first of all, because God said do it. Enough said, but number two, because God himself did it. In creation, he worked six days. And on the seventh day, God rested. Not because he was pooped, not because he was tired, he just was done. He worked for six days and then took an entire day to rest.
Now what I want to do today is kind of go deeper and talk about why the Sabbath is good for us. What are the benefits of resting from work? And then toward the end of the message, I'd like to just touch on whatever happened to the Sabbath day? Did the Sabbath get changed to Sunday? Is the Sunday worship a fourth century AD conspiracy that was hatched to change the idea of the Sabbath day? That's what we're accused of doing in some circles. I at least want to cover that.
I've asked you to tune turn to the book of Deuteronomy. Last time we were together, it was Exodus chapter 20. That was the first rendering and scripture of the Ten Commandments. But Deuteronomy chapter 5 is also a rendering of the Ten Commandments. Let me tell you what we're dealing with. Deuteronomy is a series of sermons preached by Moses to a different generation than the first generation. The first generation died in the desert. The second generation is now alive. They're on the plains of Moab and about to enter the promised land. Moses himself, after this book, is going to die. He's quite old. And so we have a recap of the law. It's not really a repetition. It is a recapitulation to a new generation.
By the way, Deuteronomy is a word that means the second law. It is the second statement or giving of the law to a new generation. So Moses takes this young group of people and reviews the Ten Commandments. By the way, from time to time, we need to review the Ten Commandments. You know why? If I were to give you a test right now and say list, without looking at your Bible, list the Ten Commandments. I wonder if you'd be able to do it.
According to Harper's Magazine, only 40% of Americans can name more than four commandments. We have, before us, what I told you last week was the two tables of the law, or the two tablets of the law. If you were to look down in verse 22, it says, "these words the Lord spoke to all your assembly," this is Moses talking in his sermon, "in the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud and the thick darkness with a loud voice, and he added no more. And he wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me."
It is believed that on one tablet were engraved the first four commandments. And on the second tablet were inscribed the second six commandments. The second tablet or table of the law had the rest of them. Now, the first tablet was all about the vertical relationship. It's all about our relating to God. The second six are horizontal. They're about mankind dealing with one another.
I could sum up the Ten Commandments this way. The Ten Commandments, in a nutshell, is that God expects two things from people, two things, supreme devotion to him and sincere affection for others. That sums them all up. Supreme devotion to him, that's the first four. Sincere affection for others, that's the rest of them.
But what I want to do is show you, really, something very simple. And that is three reasons why the Ten Commandments are good. They're good for you personally. They're good for you relationally. They're good for you spiritually. That'll take up our study this morning. The Sabbath is good for you personally. Let's read in chapter 5 of Deuteronomy, beginning in verse 12.
Moses tells this new generation, "observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 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 ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. That your male servant and your female servant may rest, as well as you.
"And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt. And the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm. Therefore, the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day." What struck me as I read this time around is the word "you" and "yours" in what we just read.
The word "you" appears six times, I counted. And the word "your" appears 15 times. Like all of the commandments, God is getting personal with them. This is God saying I am asking you, my people, to do these things. But with this commandment, because he says you, you, your, your, yours, it shows me how much God cares for you. God cares about you. Peter said, "casting all your care upon him because he cares for you." This is God caring about you. And that's what you need to understand about the Sabbath. The Sabbath is good for you personally. It's God's gift to you personally. It's his maintenance requirement for your benefit, for your longevity.
You remember in the New Testament, I love this story. Jesus is with his disciples, they're out in the grain fields. It's the Sabbath day. They're just walking along, disciples are picking heads of grain, rubbing the things in their hands, blowing the chaff, throwing it in their mouth like chewing gum. It was permitted to do. It was called the laws of gleaning. But it was the Sabbath day.
And the Bible tells us that the Pharisees, I guess they were following the disciples, sort of popped up from the grain fields. And said, hey, what's up? Why are your disciples doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath, which wasn't true, but that's a whole other Bible study. But that's the accusation, you're breaking the Sabbath.
And then Jesus confronted them and he said, have you never read your Bibles? Have you never read how David went into the House of the Lord and got the showbread from Abiathar the priest, and ate the showbread which is only lawful for the priest to eat? But he and his men ate of it.
And then he made an application. He said, "for the Sabbath" listen to his words, "for the Sabbath was made for man. Not man for the Sabbath. For the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath." But that phrase is something to listen to. Sabbath was made for man. God gave you a break for your benefit. Everybody who studies work and production understands this as a truth. Production analysts will tell us that work breaks increase productivity. And after 40 hours of work, concentration levels drop, mistakes increase, morale goes down. So God knew that. And so God gave a commandment. It's for you personally.
Every now and then, I'll meet a well-meaning but overachieving brother or sister who will say things, because they want to justify the fact that they work harder than everybody else. And they will say stuff like this, I'd rather burn out than rust out. Have you ever heard anybody say that? I'd rather burn out than rust out. In other words, my overwork is good, as long as I just don't sit around and veg out like everybody else. I'd rather burn out than rust out.
That's a stupid thing to say. It's stupid, because whether you burn out or rust out, either way, you're out. You're out. God doesn't want you out. God wants you in, hence the commandment. I want you in, take a break. It is good for you personally. Even Jesus took a rest. Mark chapter 6, he sends his men out. They come back from a short term mission trip after preaching. Jesus said, come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest. That's Jesus talking. So rest and relaxation aren't luxuries. They're necessities. It's not carnal to take a rest. It's Christlike to take a rest.
I read an article that I found interesting. I'm certainly not an expert at all in the Chinese language. But the article said that the Chinese letter or pictograph for the word "busy" is comprised of two different pictographs put together. And you'll notice in the diagram, the word "heart" and the word "death" or "killing," as some translations put it. So that the word "busy," "mang," comes from two words that mean heart killing. Isn't that fascinating?
It's pretty fitting. It's like the Chinese knew. If you are too busy, you're going to kill your heart. Now, I don't know how this works in like daily conversation in Chinese. How are you doing? Oh you know, I'm killing my heart a lot lately. But it is very appropriate in terms of meaning.
Jesus came to lift your burden, not give you a burden. He said my yoke is easy. My burden is light. The Sabbath was made for man. It's good for you personally, which brings up a good question. How does the human body respond to rest? How does your physiology respond to rest? Well turns out, it responds very positively.
I got on WebMD this week and looked this up. And said when you relax, your heart rate slows, your breathing slows down, your blood pressure goes down, your digestion gets better, your muscles relax, if you have pain, you hurt less, because relaxed muscles hurt less than tense muscles. Also your brain releases endorphins, which are natural painkillers. And your immune system works better, all from rest.
Also studies show that you become more creative when you rest. When you step away from a project, you fill up your reserves. You allow your brain to think pass creative barriers that you couldn't get past when you were on the job. You find solutions to problems. According to Forbes magazine, I'll put this up, "the human body is built to thrive in a series of short sprints. This is why taking a break, if only for a few minutes, can offer you the refresh you need to persevere through your day."
Also, taking a rest helps with decision making. We know that as a culture. We tell somebody who's making a decision, can't quite figure it out, we'll say, go home, sleep on it, sleep on it. In other words, maybe if you walk away from the situation and spend a night just thinking about it casually, you'll come up with a solution, which turns out to be true. You make better choices. And by the way, this is the reason why Monday mornings in many businesses are the mornings that are filled with high importance tasks, meetings, technical assignments. Because the previous days of rest has sharpened the mind.
Now, I'm going to throw something out at you that I want you to at least consider. You all know Psalm 23, right? It's the most famous Psalm. Unbelievers know the Psalm. Believers certainly know it. We usually know it by heart. You could say it if I were to start it. "The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name sake. Yea, though I walk through the Valley". You know it. You know it. You're so good. You know it.
Listen to it this way though. The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down. Now, when I read it that way, it sounds like it's enforced. It doesn't say he lets me lie down in green pastures. It doesn't say, he just shows me green pastures and it's up to you. He makes me lie down in green pastures. Why on Earth would a shepherd make a sheep lie down? Answer, to restore your soul.
Now, here's a thought. I wonder if God has to force some of his sheep to lie down because they won't do it on their own. But he wants their soul to be restored. But that sheep is so achievement oriented and goal oriented, I've got to put it on its back. I got to make it lie down. That would have been me a couple of times in my life. I would admit to that.
You see, our culture, and probably the way I was raised by my dad, our culture applauds anyone who can cram 80 hours into 20. We give you a raise for that. We applaud you. You're awesome. You work harder than anybody. You just need to know God gives not applaud that. God says walk away from that. Take a break from that. I want you to lie down and restore your soul.
You might say, oh, I'd rather burn out than rust out. I don't want you out. I want you to stay in. So the Sabbath is good for you personally. Here's the second benefit. The Sabbath is good for you relationally, relationally. Back to verse 14, but the seventh day is the Sabbath day to the Lord your God. In it, you shall do no work. Now watch this.
You, comma, nor your son, nor your daughter. So this extends from you to your children, nor your male servant, or your female servant, that would be your employees, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, that would be your farm equipment, in those days, nor your stranger who is within your gates, resident aliens who have come into the nation. That your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.
So the Sabbath wasn't for certain people, for religious people, for people who felt like it. It was, according to the Ten Commandments, for all people. The entire nation took a rest, because they were one nation under God. And the under God part was proved on the day they said, we're not doing anything today, because the Lord God commanded that we take a break. We're going to do it as a nation.
Now, let me fast forward. Children of Israel blew that commandment and all the others, got kicked out of the land for 70 years in Babylonian captivity. Then they got brought back into the land. And the guy who was the project manager for the building of the city of Jerusalem, what was his name again? It was Nehemiah, right. It was Nehemiah.
So Nehemiah comes back. And he notices that all the people in Jerusalem are hard workers. He writes their names. Says this is what they're doing. This is where they're working. They're awesome. They put their hand to the task to build up the work of the Lord. But he noticed something else as well. They were also doing that on the Sabbath.
And we are told that he noticed the people in Judah were treading the wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in the sheaves, and loading donkeys with wine, and grapes, and figs, and all kinds of burdens which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. So what did Nehemiah do when he saw them working that hard? Did he go, you guys are so cool, I'm giving you a raise? You know what he did? He became unglued.
He said, are you nuts? No, I'm paraphrasing a little bit. This is the NSV, the New Skip Version, are you nuts? Are you crazy? Don't you know that the whole reason we went into captivity is because we had been doing that for years? We didn't honor God on the Sabbath day. We didn't honor God on the Sabbath year. He took us into captivity. What, you want to do it all over again? They broke the Sabbath day.
By the way, did you know that there was a time not too long ago in our country when all the stores in this country were closed on Sunday. They were closed. They were called the blue laws. Retail was not allowed to be open. It wasn't like Sunday, stores are open. They were shut down.
By the way, there's a country in the world where everything still is closed on Sunday. You know what the country is? People say Israel. But they're open Sunday. Sunday is the first day of the week. They're closed Saturday. I'll get to that in a minute. There's one other country in the world they're shut down on Sunday, it's a ghost town. It's the island nation of Tonga.
And the reason I know this, and it's just a little FYI, is the reason it's shut down on Sunday is the King of Tonga was converted to Christ and was baptized. And I know this, because the one who led him to Christ and baptized him was my pastor Chuck Smith. He listened to Chuck's messages, came to Christ, asked Chuck to fly over to Tonga and baptize him. He got baptized. And he decided, you know what? On Sunday, I want my nation to shut down and go to church. He's the King. He can kind of do what he wants.
So he did it. And to this day, that is what happens in Tonga. Now, somebody shouted out Israel, let me just talk about Israel. Since that is the subject that we're dealing with. If you go to Israel today, in modern Israel, they keep the Sabbath day. Retail stores, Jewish stores, are closed on Shabbat, the Sabbath day. There is no public transportation in the land. That is shut down. Shops and restaurants are closed.
If you go on a tour to Israel and you are in a hotel on the Sabbath, you get on the elevator and is called, on that day, Sabbath elevator. If you've ever been on a Sabbath elevator, you know it's a long trip. Let's say you're on the 20th floor of the hotel and you just were eating breakfast down in the lobby, and you've got to go up 20 floors, you can't just push 20 and go up to 20. The Sabbath automatically, on the Sabbath, elevator automatically opens and closes on every floor. You can't override it.
So you get in an elevator and doors shut. They open up. And then close. 20 stinking floors. And as Americans, were trying to push buttons, come on, I just want to go to my room. I got to get my Bible. I gotta go on this tour. But you can't just go. It's a long wait. And it's designed to be a long wait, because it's Shabbat. And they don't care.
In fact, if you are a business in Israel and you decide to stay open, you will pay to the government 50% more tax on all the profit you make on the Sabbath. Goes up that high. So they still take it fairly seriously, not like in Nehemiah's day. But it still goes on.
But here's the thought, because everybody was taking a rest, the nation, the whole nation, it's like they could take a collective sigh. Everybody's like... OK, now we can relate to each other not on a professional level, but a personal one. See, the Sabbath was the great leveler. Everybody has it off. Nobody is trying to get ahead of somebody else.
So rest, the Shabbat, the Sabbath, was designed to make you a better person and to help you have better families, because you do it with your son, and your daughter, and everyone else in your family. For years, I have noted the contribution of an author by the name of Urie Bronfenbrenner. Urie Bronfenbrenner was an Russian-American psychologist who explored families in two countries, Soviet Union and America. He wrote a book called The Two Worlds of Childhood.
He noticed something about our country. I want to throw it up on the screen. He said, "in today's world, parents find themselves at the mercy of a society which imposes pressures and priorities that allow neither time nor place for meaningful activities and relations between children and adults, which downgrade the role of parents and the functions of parenthood, and which prevent the parent from doing things he wants to do as a guide, friend, and companion to his children." You see, the Sabbath day, the day of rest, allows for intentional relating with people intentional relating, to give attention and affection to people around you.
If everybody is doing the rest, it makes that possible. So the Sabbath is good for you personally. The Sabbath is good for you relationally. Third, and finally, we'll close on this note, the Sabbath is good for you spiritually. It's good for you spiritually. Notice something in verse 14, it says but the seventh day is the Sabbath. Now, it says something else that I didn't read. We're about to read.
God didn't say the seventh day is just the Sabbath day. Notice what the Sabbath is called. Here's the full title. It is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. It is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. When you take a Sabbath, a Shabbat, you are acknowledging that he is your God. And that you trust him. And you trust him enough to let your work go. That he will provide.
You are you are saying, Lord, you are my provider. I have what I have not because I'm awesome, not because of my great skill and my great ability, or my awesome work ethic. I have what I have, because you allowed me to have it. You gave me the skill. You gave me these resources. It comes from you. Moreover, look at verse 15. "And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt. And the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm."
What is that? That's the Exodus he's referring to. You guys used to be slaves. And just want you to remember that slaves had no days off until I released you. So every week, you celebrate a day when you are released from the slavery of work. Because I delivered you from Egypt. Therefore, look, let's finish it up, "therefore, the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day."
Now, I found a little piece by Wayne Mueller, called The Sabbath, Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest. I want you to see this. He says, "Sabbath is more than just a day to catch up on television and errands." I'm going to read that again. We need to hear that again. "Sabbath is more than just a day to catch up on Netflix, or television, and errands. Rather, it is a time when we take our hand from the plow and let God and the Earth he created care for things while we drink, if only for a few moments, from the fountain of rest and delight."
So good. Just for a minute, drink from the fountain of rest and delight. So the Sabbath is good for you personally. It's good for you relationally. It's good for you spiritually. We have enough time to just touch on this subject. OK, if all that's true, when did the Sabbath change from Saturday to Sunday? You want the answer? Ready?
Never. Never happened. Didn't happen, never changed. Sabbath is still the seventh day of the week. Sabbath is still Saturday. So when I say that, people say, OK, well then why do Christians meet on Sunday? And people who are Saturday worshippers, Sabbatarians, will say Christians that worship on Sunday are honoring the worship of the pagan sun god, because Sunday. Which is true, it was named after a worship of the sun god.
To which I quickly respond, well, when you worship on Saturday, Saturday was the day that they worshipped Saturn. And Saturday was Saturn's day. Saturnus was the deity that was honored on that day, on the seventh day. So it also has pagan roots, as do all the days of the week.
Well, then the Sabbatarians get all up in arms. Well, actually, Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday by Constantine in 321 AD, in the 4th century. It was a conspiracy to change the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. Well, you're right. Christians were meeting on Sunday, but long before the 4th century AD. In fact, in the New Testament, they were doing that. And the reason they were doing wasn't because it was a conspiracy, but it was a very simple basic fact.
Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week. And the Resurrection, for us, is everything. It's everything. It's when every promise Jesus made, we believe, because that happened. That's why Peter said we have a living hope because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
So it wasn't the 4th century. It wasn't Constantine in 321. I want to briefly share with you some sayings of different people earlier than Constantine. For instance, Justin Martyr, in AD 140, said "Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in darkness, made the world. And Jesus, our Savior, on the same day, rose from the dead."
Going back a little further, Barnabas in 120 AD wrote, "we keep the eighth day." the eighth day means the first day, because there's only seven days in a week. So that's an ancient way of saying Sunday, first day. "We keep the eighth day with joyfulness. It is the day in which Jesus rose again."
Ignatius, going back a little further, 110 AD, said of Christian believers, "they no longer are observing the Sabbath, but living according to the Lord's day by which our life sprung from him and by his death." Going back a little further to 80 or 90 AD, that's when we believe this document called the Didache was written. The Didache is a book called The writings of the Twelve Apostles. That book says, "and on the day of our Lord's Resurrection, which is the Lord's day, we meet more diligently."
Now, all of the things I just read to you, all of those statements predate Constantine by between 180 to 240 years. But the real reason we meet on Sunday isn't because Ignatius did it, or because Justin Martyr said so, or because somebody else said so. We do it because the New Testament said so.
All the way back to Acts chapter 20, this is Acts 20, verse 7. It says now on the first day of the week, that's Sunday, when the disciples came together to break bread, so we understand they gathered together on the first day of the week. It says, "Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight." Now, I just want to say something to you, if you get a little bent out of shape that I go 45 minutes in a Sunday sermon, feel yourself, count yourself lucky that I'm not Paul the apostle, because we'd be here till midnight.
I appreciate that. But really, really, you don't want that. You don't want that. 1 Corinthians 16, verse 2, Paul said, "on the first day of the week, each one should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income." Why the first day of the week? Because that's when they got together. Why did they get together? Because of the Resurrection.
So think of it this way. The seventh day, Saturday, celebrates a finished creation. The first day, Sunday celebrates a finished redemption. The seventh day, Saturday, celebrated Israel's rescue from the bondage of Egyptian slavery. The first day of the week celebrates our bondage from the slavery of sin, because of the Resurrection of Christ, the victory of him over death.
I want to close on this question. If all this is true, and it is, by the way, if all this is true, then is the Sabbath for Christians? Should Christians keep the Sabbath? Well, yes and no. The concept is New Testament. Certainly, we need a break. Humans haven't changed. People need rest. That concept is New Testament. But the Saturday Sabbath as a rule from God is not New Testament.
For three reasons, real quickly, number one, we actually don't know when Saturday is. Calendars have so changed over the years that whatever the original Saturday was that celebrated God's ending of his creation for him to rest is lost to us. Could be Wednesday, we don't know. So we really don't know when Saturday is, first of all.
That aside, the Sabbath commandment, as we just read the last two weeks is the only commandment that is a nonmoral and purely ceremonial commandment. Of the 10 Commandments, it is the only one that is non-moral and purely ceremonial. So every other commandment is restated, or reiterated, or reintroduced into the New Testament, except for this one.
We're told not to kill people in the New Testament. We're told not to steal from people in the New Testament. We're told not to commit adultery in the New Testament. But the Sabbath is never mentioned for us to keep in the New Testament. There is no New Testament command to keep the Sabbath.
You never find Jesus, check it, read all the red letters in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. See if Jesus ever said, oh, and by the way, I want you, Peter, James, John, and the rest of you guys, and everybody who believes to keep the Saturday Sabbath. Never find it. Never find it in the words of Paul the Apostle. Never find it in the writings of Peter. Never find it in the writings of John. Never hear it at the Council of Jerusalem in Acts chapter 15.
In fact, there's plenty of scripture that says, really doesn't matter when you meet, or what day you honor, or what day you pick. It's not a big issue. One of those texts is Romans 14. Paul said, "one person esteems one day above another. Another person esteems every day alike." Listen to what Paul says, "let each one be fully convinced in his own mind." So it's up to you.
So here's my conviction. Sunday is the day to worship. And so is Monday. And so is Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. To me, every single day, every day, to me is alike. One man esteems one day above the rest. One man esteems all the days alike. That would be Skip. Let each one be convinced in his own mind.
OK, I'm pretty convinced. Next, we can move on. You see, the Saturday Shabbat is a shadow. It's a picture of the rest we have in Christ. Galatians chapter 2, verse 16. I promise this is the last scripture. I will not go to midnight. Galatians 2:16, "so don't let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths."
So people get in your grill, you don't meet on Saturday. Paul said, don't even listen to them. Don't even worry about it. And here's why, verse 17, "for these rules were only shadows of the real thing, Christ himself." That's the real thing. That's the real thing.
You come to Christ, take a Sabbath, by all means, for me, it's Monday. Take a day, unplug, veg out. The concept is there. The day is unimportant. You're under a different covenant. You're under a covenant, not of law, a covenant of grace. And by the way, you may be the most rested person physiologically. In fact, after COVID, I think a lot of us are.
The whole world is, like two years of rest for a lot of people, maybe not everyone. But you may be the most rested person physically, and yet one of the most restless people spiritually. And I may be talking to somebody who's restless, in your soul, you're restless. You need to come to Christ. You haven't given Jesus your life.
You may be all religious, and you go to church, and you do certain things. But you haven't rested in him. Today's the day to change that. Father, thank you for the last couple of weeks in being able to sort of drill down and look at what the real regulations say, and don't say, and where we are in the economy of time and history, from the Old Testament, to the New Testament, to our modern era.
Thank you for the covenant that Jesus secured with his own blood. So we belong to you, because you bought us. And all that happened in the Old Testament, including that day of the week, the Sabbath, was a shadow, a picture, a portending, a foretelling of Jesus Christ, who would be our rest. I pray that some would rest in him who never have yet.
I pray that people who have wandered away from Jesus would come back to him this morning. I pray that those who have never really fully turned from their past and turned to Christ would do so this morning in Jesus's name. Amen. Let's all stand to our feet. We're going to close with a song. And I'm going to give you a simple invitation. I'm going to throw out the net.
If you have never given your life to Christ, but you will admit, right now, in your own mind, you're pretty restless, you're pretty unsatisfied with life, I'm glad you are. I'm so glad you are unsatisfied with life. You should be. Nothing this life has to offer will ever fully satiate and satisfy you. God made you that way. God brought you to this point for you to admit that and to ask Jesus to be your Savior, your Lord. And he will do that if you ask him.
I'm going to ask you if you are willing to do that, as we sing this final song, get up from where you're standing. Find the nearest aisle. Come walk right up here to the front. When you get up here, in a moment, I'm going to lead you in a prayer to make Jesus the King of your Life, where you finally dock and rest in him.
As we sing, you get up and come. And we'll be here to meet you. Yeah, you come, and we'll encourage you to come. And stand right up here. Come stand right in here. God bless you. I'm going to see your victory. If you're in the family room, come through those doors.
For the battle belongs to you, Lord. Yes, I'm going to see your victory. I'm going to see your victory. When the battle belongs to you, Lord. Oh, I'm going to see your victory. I'm going to see your victory. Yes, this battle belongs to you, Lord.
God bless you. The battle belongs to you, Lord. Come all the way and stand right up here in the front. Come on out. I'm going to see your victory. For the battle belongs to you, Lord.
Gonna wait just another brief moment. For some of you, it might mean walking a little bit further, if you're on the outskirts, if you're outside, or in the family room, or on the balcony. Some others of you may have to swallow a little bit of pride, never been in front of people. It's OK, you can hear the encouragement. We're not trying to embarrass you. We're here to encourage you and cheer you on.
God loves you. This is for you. He made you. He loves you. He knows what's best for you. This, what these folks have done, are coming to do, this is best for you. Coming to Christ is best for you. Anybody else, come. And we'll pray with you when you get here.
The battle belongs to you, Lord. I'm going to see your victory. I'm going to see your victory. The battle belongs to you, Lord. I'm going to see your victory. I'm going to see your victory. Yeah. For the battle belongs to you, Lord. I'm going to see your victory. I'm going to see your victory, yeah. For the battle belongs to you, Lord.
All right, I'm so glad that you have all joined me here. I'm going to lead you in a prayer. For some of you, this is the first time maybe you've prayed this. Maybe you've done something like this before. I don't know. But I'm going to pray out loud. I'm going to ask you to pray out loud after me. Say these words from your heart to the Lord. Say:
Lord, I give you my life. I know I'm a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe in Jesus. I believe he died for me. That he shed his blood for me. That he rose again from the dead. I turn from my sin. I repent. I turn to Jesus as Savior. I want to follow Him as Lord. Help me. It's in his name, I pray. Amen.