Have you ever wondered, what exactly is the Sabbath? Does God still require that we do this?
Many Christians ask this question today, but few actually look into it and see what God thinks and says about His Sabbath. So you know, God does still think a Sabbath day exists for the Christian. After speaking of this Sabbath rest from 4:1 – 4:8, Hebrews 4:9 says, “Therefore there still remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” There you have it. The Sabbath is still around and will be until the end of the world. But what is this Sabbath? Hear the Westminster Confession:
As it is the law of nature, that, in general a due proportion of time set apart for the worship of God; so, in His Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment binding all men in all ages, He hath particularly appointed one day in seven, for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto Him: which from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week; and from the resurrection of Christ, was changed to the first day of the week, which in Scripture, is called the Lord’s Day, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath. (21.8)
So you see, this is a very helpful definition because it makes it clear that God has set apart one day in seven to be “kept holy unto Him.” This not only binds Christians, but binds all men in all ages. Why is it for everyone? Because God has made His Sabbath clear from the creation of the world. Remember, God created all that is in six days and rested on the seventh; afterwards telling us to model our lives after Him, by working for six days and resting on our seventh day? Before the resurrection the Sabbath was on Saturday, and after the resurrection it is now on Sunday. Did you know that this is why our country has two day weekends? The founders of our nation couldn’t decide which Sabbath to honor, so they put both into our weekly calendar, thus we have two days for our weekend. For the Christian, this day of rest is the Christian Sabbath, the Lord’s Day – Sunday – and I’m convinced that if you are not resting now on the Sabbath, God will, through His providence, cause you to rest in one way or another.
But how is this Sabbath to be kept? True, some Christians are very strict here, more strict (I think) than Jesus was about the Sabbath. So what are we to do and not to do on the Lord’s Day? Stay tuned!