When God Said Remember - Part 1

Scripture: Exodus 20:8-11, 1 Peter 3:15, Luke 4:16
One of the most perplexing questions facing the religious world today is the question of the Sabbath. It looms large since it is a part of the Ten Commandments which God wrote with His own finger. Though many have forgotten, this command begins with the word 'Remember.' What does the Bible tell us about the Sabbath?
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One of the most perplexing questions facing the religious world today is being deliberately stifled by many leading churchmen. The sincere inquiries of laymen and Bible students are being turned aside by those in authority. Yet the question demands attention and requires an answer. It is the question of the Sabbath. The reason it looms so large in the minds of so many is that it's a part of the Ten Commandments, which God wrote with His own hand and delivered to the world. It is found in the very heart of the Ten Commandments and is the longest and most detailed of them. Furthermore, God distinguished this commandment by urgent wording found nowhere else in the Decalogue. It is introduced by the command, "Remember." Yet I submit to you that the world has largely forgotten what God said to remember. Not even the latest memory pills will bring the human race to remember what God wrote in the middle of His great moral law.

Specifically, what did God command us to remember? Let's read the commandment itself in Exodus 20:8-11. "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." Now, this raises an interesting question, friends. Why do millions keep Sunday, the first day of the week, instead of Saturday, the seventh day as the commandment specifies? Why do they not keep the day God said to remember?

Right now, let's look at the Bible reasons for keeping the day God commanded. Everyone really should have a Bible reason for his religious practices. Listen to this text in 1 Peter 3:15: "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." There it is. The Bible forever settles it. Every Christian ought to have an answer from the scriptures for everything he believes. So you say to me, "Well, why DO you keep Saturday as the Sabbath when nearly everybody else keeps Sunday?" With God's Word in hand we are going to answer that question today. That's why I trust you will listen very, very carefully and prayerfully to this broadcast.

The first Bible reason for keeping the seventh day Sabbath is that Jesus kept the seventh day holy and asked all His followers to do the same. Here's the scripture to prove that Jesus kept the Sabbath. "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read." Luke 4:16. This verse of scripture is too plain for anyone to misunderstand or misconstrue. It plainly says that Jesus habitually kept the Sabbath. That was His custom.

Now let's read a scripture or two that tells us we should follow His example. We all believe it, but let's read it from the Bible so we can be sure. John 12:26: "If any man,", notice that expression, "If any man serve me, let him follow me." A great many people think they are serving the Lord who are not actually serving Him, because the Lord said if any man serve Me, then let him follow Me. It doesn't make any difference what a person's persuasion, color, or background may be, this statement refers to everybody. The Lord removed all doubt when He said "any man." That plainly means every individual who is listening to this broadcast, because the word "man" is a collective noun meaning mankind, everyone. If any man, woman, or child will serve Me, let him follow Me. Those are Christ's own words. To serve Him, we must follow Him. Now let's read the word of the apostle Peter in1 Peter 2:21. "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps." That again is a scripture too plain for anybody to misconstrue. The scripture simply makes it clear that if I'm going to be a Christian, I must follow Him. And if I'm going to follow Him, then I must keep the Sabbath, because Jesus kept the Sabbath. Right here a great many folks will say, "Now, wait a minute. I don't feel that the Sabbath is binding today. The Book of Revelation speaks of the Lord's Day. I worship on the Lord's Day. I have nothing at all to do with the Sabbath." Well, let's turn to that Book of Revelation and read this passage that's so often mentioned. It's found in Revelation 1:10. "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet." Now let's analyze this scripture a little bit. It's often used as a proof-text to prove that we ought to worship on the first day of the week. You've just heard that scripture read, friends. Does the verse say that the Lord's Day is the first day of the week? Of course not; absolutely not. Does the verse say that the Lord's Day is the Sabbath Day? No, it doesn't say that, either. Sabbath keepers couldn't use this verse to prove that the Lord's day is the Sabbath, neither could Sunday keepers use it to prove that the Lord's day is Sunday. All this verse states is that the Lord has a special day called the Lord's day. That's all Revelation 1:10 could ever prove.

Our last question is this: If He has a day, then which day is the Lord's day? Can we find the answer to this question from the Bible without seeking the theories of men? The answer is, Yes. We can find the answer right in the Book of God. Let's take a New Testament scripture first, and an Old Testament scripture along with it. The New Testament scripture is Matthew 12:8. "Therefore the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath day." Now, friends, if the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath day, then the Sabbath surely is the Lord's Day. That's the New Testament scripture. The Bible actually refers to the Sabbath as His day. God claims only one holy day, the Sabbath.

You may be reasoning like this: "How do we know that the ‘Sabbath' and the ‘Lord's day' are not simply other ways of saying ‘the first day of the week'? I bring this up because many people have actually made that claim. I've heard the argument quite recently. But let's see what God says. Turn now to the Old Testament text in Exodus 20, and I'm going to read beginning with verse 10. Listen carefully now, because God settles the matter right here once and for all. "But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God." Did you get that, friends? Now tell me, you folk who have calendars hanging right there on the wall, what day of the week is the seventh day? Why, Saturday, of course. You can't get away from it. It's right there witnessing from your calendar on the wall. The seventh day is the Sabbath. So, on the authority of God's eternal Word, the seventh day, the Sabbath, the Lord's Day, all mean the same thing and all refer to the day that we now call Saturday. So if we're going to follow Jesus, and He kept that day, then we must likewise observe Saturday as the holy Sabbath.

Now I want you to look again at Exodus 20 for a few moments, because this is the chapter where the Ten Commandments are recorded. I've been much amazed to discover that there are many people, church people even, who do not realize that one of the Ten Commandments has to do with the Sabbath. People learn the Ten Commandments and study them and yet some do not know that one of them has to do with the Sabbath we're talking about today. It's the fourth commandment of God's law. We read it at the beginning of this broadcast. "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God." Now, remember friends, this is a part of the Ten Commandments. Why is it that people the world over, who are the best of Christians, have lost sight of that? I call your attention to the fact that it's one of the Ten Commandments because God says that the Ten cannot be changed. I want to read two verses to prove this. The first is Psalm 89:34 where the Lord says, "I will not alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.'' And then in Exodus 20, the chapter containing the Ten Commandments, we read in verse 1, "And God spake all these words.'' So the Lord said it and He can't change it once it has been said. His words cannot be changed. That's what the Old Testament proves.

Here's the New Testament verse: Luke 16:17. "It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail." Now a tittle is a little tiny marking in the Hebrew alphabet likened to the crossing of a "t" or the dotting of an "i." God's law cannot be changed even as little as that; it's just impossible. That's another reason why I keep the seventh day Sabbath, God's unchangeable law commands it. It's the fourth commandment, and I hope every person listening will see that it's just as serious to break the commandment that says, "Remember the sabbath day" as it is to break the commandments that say "Thou shalt not steal" and "Thou shalt not kill." They are all in the same law, written by the same God. It's God's idea, friends, not mine or yours. Here's a question that has disturbed me for many years: How can any man, woman, or child feel free to ignore any commandment that the eternal God gives? That's a question we ought to study and analyze very seriously today, friends.

A certain Protestant Christian had a good job working in the office of a shipping firm. One day while he was out in the shipping department, one of the workmen there somehow suffered a minor accident as he went about his business. Holding the bruised finger, the man swore violently, taking the Lord's name in vain. This Christian felt badly about it and thought maybe he should do something, so he went over to him and said, ‘'Friend, we really ought to be careful about our speech, shouldn't we? When you talk like that you are breaking one of God's Ten Commandments, the one that says, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. That's commandment #3." The man, of course, was considerably taken aback. He put his head down sheepishly and said, "Yes, that's right. I'm awfully sorry I slipped. I want you to know that I appreciate your saying something to me about it, and I'll try to be more careful about it in the future."

So this Christian gentleman started back to his office feeling very good and patting himself on the back for teaching somebody that it was very important to keep the Ten Commandments. As he walked along, however, a voice seemed to say to him, "But you are breaking the fourth." That man stopped in his tracks as if frozen, and his heart began to pound. Perspiration broke out on his forehead. He stood there for one awful moment and then, heartbroken, he made his decision to follow God and keep the fourth commandment. You see, the Sabbath truth had come to him before. He had known about it, studied it, analyzed it and even believed it; but, he tried to get away from it. He thought of what his friends at church and at work might think, and he was afraid he might even lose his job if he decided never to work on Saturday again. But as he stood there for that long moment he thought, "Here I am, telling somebody else how awful it is to break the commandments and I'm breaking them myself." He turned, went into his office and shut the door. He got down on his knees and confessed his sins, and from that moment on he kept the Sabbath.

Now listen, friends. When the great God of heaven commands us to do something, what is there to do but obey? May the Lord burn that into every heart today. I know that you're wondering about the folks who don't know these truths. Perhaps you are thinking this is a hard, unreasonable message. And what about my grandmother, one of the greatest saints that ever lived? Certainly she will be saved, and yet she never knew about the Sabbath.

Well, she probably will be saved, friends. The scriptures teach that we are accountable only for the truth we understand. James 4:17 is a very important passage that every Christian should underline in his Bible. Listen: "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." When we know the truth but don't follow it, we sin. In John 9:41 Jesus said, "If ye were blind, ye should have no sin; but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth." Yes, friends, God judges us according to the light we have. Many dear people will be in the kingdom of God who never even heard of the Sabbath, but they lived up to all the light they knew, and God honors them for that. He will require of you all the truth that you understand, and now since this great truth of the Sabbath has come to you directly from God's Word, friends, what will you do about it? Tomorrow we will continue this study and give more Bible reasons for keeping the same Sabbath as Jesus kept and commanded us to keep.

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