Pope's New Sunday-Keeping Appeal

Date: 08/14/2015 
Prior to his September visit to the United States, Pope Francis has laid bare his deep devotion and promotion of Sunday keeping. Pastor Doug Batchelor examines the pope's recent radio address and asks, "Could this be yet another step in the fulfillment of last-day prophecy?" Find out in this eye-opening video.

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Hello friends, it’s Pastor Doug Batchelor here. I want to welcome you to another Amazing Facts News Flash and this is going to be one for the books. Now we don’t do this because every time the Pope does something we’re supposed to flinch and say the sky is falling, but Jesus told us that if we’re to look at the sky and tell when the weather is changing that we should also be able to look at the panorama of prophecy and see the signs of the times.

During the Pope’s Wednesday morning August 12 radio address from the Vatican, he has totally come out of the closet regarding how he feels about Sunday keeping and how it plays in his agenda in the next couple of months.

In fact, the Pope said that Sunday keeping is so sacred it is the conduit for every grace of Christ. Keep in mind this comes on the heels of the Pope’s encyclical he delivered in June on saving the planet where he also said Sunday keeping is a way to preserve the environment.

The Pope’s comments during the radio address were not very long, so to be fair, we’re going to play the whole thing for you here on the screen. Be patient with me if I pause every now and then and interject a few thoughts.

“We begin now a series of catechesis.” A catechesis is Catholic teaching. It’s an official teaching when it comes from the pope that people understand whether children or adults prior to induction or baptism within the church.

“On three facets of family life; celebration, work and prayer.” These are the same three facets on family life that the pope will highlight during his meetings in Philadelphia in September. Celebration is sort of a code word that the Pope is using in this radio address to talk about Sunday. You’ll see for yourself as I read on.

“Let us turn first to celebration, which as we see from the story of creation, are the invention of God, who on the seventh day rested from his work.” All right, no question now he’s making an allusion to the seventh day Sabbath, but he’s not talking about Saturday. They’re talking about the Roman Sunday.

“It is God Himself who teaches us the importance of dedicating time to contemplating and enjoying the fruits of our labors.” Actually friends, there is really nowhere in the Bible we’re told the Sabbath is a time for us to contemplate our labors. It’s a time for us to contemplate God.

“Not only in our employment or profession, but through every action by which we as men and women cooperate in God’s creative, work even in times of difficulty. In the workplace, too, we celebrate; a birthday, a marriage, a new baby, a farewell or a welcome. True moments of celebration make us pause from our work because they remind us that we are made in the image and the likeness of God, who is not a slave to work, but the Lord of work.”

Actually, Jesus says that the Son of Man is also the lord of the Sabbath in Mark 2:28.

“So we must never be slaves to work, but rather its master. Yet we know that millions of men and women, even children, are slaves to work.” This is true. “The obsession with economic profit and technical efficiency puts the human rhythms of life at risk.”

I would agree with that as well. People get so busy with life and work we forget about the purpose of life. This is really what makes the Pope’s comments so insidious. He says a lot of good, true things.

“Moments of rest, especially on Sunday, are sacred.” Now I’ve underlined that, he says the time Sunday is sacred, but called Sunday sacredness. “Because in them we find God.” It’s in the sacred moments of Sunday we find God.

According to my Bible, it says that Saturday is the holy time. It’s the time that God has set aside as sacred. I’m reading on. “The Sunday Eucharist brings to our celebrations every grace of Jesus Christ.” Now, notice there he’s making a very clear connection between the words celebration and Sunday.

There’s no question about what this celebration emphasis is talking about when it comes to Philadelphia and this is when the Pope gives the catechesis, this is an official teaching of the Church.

“His presence, His love and His sacrifice, His forming us into a community and His way of being with us,” this is all coming to us through the conduit up the celebration of Sunday sacredness. That’s what he’s saying.

“Everything is transfigured by His grace; work, family, the joys and trials of each day, even our sufferings and death.” And then Pope Francis concludes with a prayer.

“May we always recognize the family as the privileged place to understand, guide and sustain the gifts which arise from our celebrations, especially the Sunday Eucharist.” This a very clear call to remember Sunday as sacred and I also think it’s interesting that three times he sets it up at the beginning, talks about the seventh day Sabbath and then he concludes by three times talking about Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. It almost is a mirror opposite of what happens there in Genesis 2 where God talks about the Sabbath and he says three times the seventh day, the seventh day, the seventh day.

Well, there you have it friends. The Pope now has announced, he’s making it very clear, that these three components are going to be a big part of his agenda when he meets regarding the family in Philadelphia this September, talking about celebration, work, work is related to the Sabbath, and prayer, prayer is related to the Sabbath. He’ll probably tie all these things together, but this is going to be a platform for pushing Sunday sacredness. We knew these things were going to happen.

Now just in case you think I’m overstating this, Vatican Radio also commented on the Pope’s catechesis and I want to read their comments. “Pope Francis concluded his reflection with a focus on the need to recover attunement to the rhythms of life, which are found most especially in the sense of the sacred that it once draws to and flows from Sunday, the day of rest.”

The Bible doesn’t say Sunday is the holy day, the day of rest. It says it’s the Sabbath day, the seventh day, commonly known as Saturday. This is monumental for Sabbath keeping Christians and Jews who have always believed the day is coming when a confederation of religious powers will enforce Sunday keeping. This is a very prominent step in that direction.

In fact friends, if I was going to write this myself as a Hollywood script, I couldn’t write it better than it’s playing out in reality right now.

They go on to say, “Moments of rest, especially on Sunday, are sacred because in them we find God.” So I ask you friends, if you’re the leader of the Catholic Church and you’re trying to build an international confederacy of Christians and many of them are in secular countries and present arguments that everybody could accept for Sunday keeping, what better arguments could you present than family unity, the environmental arguments, the financial arguments? It’s a masterpiece.

So at this stage, if there was some international catastrophe, if there’s some war that develops between radical Islam and Christianity, if there’s an economic meltdown or if there’s some natural disaster, to whom do you think the world is going to turn for spiritual leadership and who is going to be willing at this point to step into the spotlight as that leader? You only get two guesses.

Friends, in conclusion, I’d like to remind you that seeing the final prophecies unfold and even knowing what they mean is not going to save anybody. The devil knows that his time in short. It won’t save him. The only thing that is going to save us is a personal relationship with Jesus. And if these prophecies wake us up and it becomes a catalyst for us surrendering in our hearts to the Lord, well, that’s why we do these videos.

And in closing, I’d like to pray for you and with you. Father in Heaven, we see that these final events are unfolding. Things that we only dreamed about before are happening before our eyes. Help us to be awakened to the times in which we live and how important it is for us to lay aside every weight and the sin that does so easily beset us and to run with the diligence that race looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Bless these people help us get ready. We pray this all in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Now friends, as time permits and God allows, we hope you’ll continue to look to Amazing Facts and we’ll do our best to keep you informed as these important prophetic events unfold. God bless you!

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