The weekly Saturday Sabbath is a sign ...

A Sign for Our Time

Leslie A. Turvey: Recently our congregation shared God's Sabbath day with a member confined to a hospital. After the worship service an elderly man said, "Saturday isn't the day to worship. Sunday is."

More than a billion Christians would agree with him, but do such numbers mean anything to God?

Jesus hung on an unmerciful cross, not so we could presumptuously continue in our sins, but so you and I do not have to suffer the eternal penalty of our sins. Do the numbers mean anything to him?

When the one we know as Jesus Christ created the Sabbath we're told, "And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made" (Genesis 2:3). God made the seventh day holy.

Many years later our Creator told the people of Israel, "Truly my Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations that you may know that 1 am the Lord that sanctifies you (Exodus 31:13)." Did you catch that? God's Sabbath is a sign, but of what? It's a sign that He is the Lord who gives the gift of holiness.

People hang signs in front of their stores so you and I know where to shop. It would be ridiculous to go to a store advertising hardware and ask to buy a diamond ring. You'd look for a sign that said Jewelry.


When the eternal God created man He gave him a wonderful faculty called memory, and in Exodus 20:8 He commanded that we use that memory. You know the words: "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." He reiterated His command in Deuteronomy 5:12.

But what do a billion Christians do? They forget the Sabbath day gift in favor of a man-made counterfeit. They reject the sign God gave to show the ones He has made holy.

Modern Christians use myriad mental gyrations to justify their observance of Sunday as their day of rest. But God didn't rest on the first day; He worked (Genesis 1:3-5). He didn't say, Remember the first day to keep it holy; and He didn't say the first day was His sign.

But Christianity knows better than God, right? Christianity knows the first day is a better day to rest on - to say nothing about watching football on TV. Christianity knows God made a mistake; that a day commanded by the mortal Emperor Constantine [321 A.D.] is the day the immortal God really intended to be holy. And Christianity knows Jesus Christ died without mercy on the most torturous death instrument ever contrived so we can presumptuously deny the day He set aside for rest.

There are a few, however, who have returned to the Sabbath day of rest in confession of the Creator and His creation. Far from being the burden Sunday-worshippers make it out to be, the Sabbath is a day of joy, a day we look forward to with enthusiasm knowing we can forget the cares of the world, a day we can peacefully share with our brethren the gift God set aside for our rest. We choose to accept the wonderful, genuine gift from our God, rather than a cheap counterfeit offered by the human agents of one who masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).

I urge you to search the Scriptures for the truth, and invite you to join us in keeping holy God's gift of the seventh day Sabbath. The blessings will be all yours.

To comment on this article or request more information, please contact James McBride by e-mail at the comment form below.

For PDF or mailed copy, see CGOM. Excerpt from New Horizons Volume 5 Issue 4, July/August 2001. Edited by James McBride of the Churches of God, United Kingdom.

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