These past weeks, I’ve attempted to lay out for you a sound and biblical understanding of God’s great gift of Sabbath.
Not a day, a ceremony, or a doctrine, but the gift that defines for us the foundation of a biblical lifestyle.
Beginning in Genesis and following through the great dispensations from the garden to grace, the Sabbath has been the great gift of God to His people.
Hebrews 4:9-11 “So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.“
vs. 9 – There remains today, now…Sabbath rest for the people
vs. 10 – For those who receive and embrace this lifestyle, life is
lived trusting God and relying on His provision.
There are two biblical reminders in the fabric of Sabbath:
1. Freedom from slavery…He whom the Son has set free is free indeed. Sabbath is the visible reminder that I am no longer a slave to sin.
2. The provision of God…it was manna for the Jews in the wilderness and it is the fulfillment of Jesus’ words for us.
Matt. 6:31-33 “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Do not worry saying, “What shall we eat or drink or wear?” Your Father knows your needs in all things. God’s provision is real. It is abundant, and it is conditional to those who choose a lifestyle of Sabbath over a lifestyle of self-sufficiency.
Discussion: What are some situations where it has been hard for you to trust that God would provide what you need? How does this lack of trust in God’s provision make it difficult for you to rest in the Lord?
Hebrews 4:11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.
Sabbath is not just sitting around being happy. Sabbath takes “diligence,” hard work, meticulousness, rigor, persistence, and perseverance.
And this is what we are called to as the church of Jesus Christ.
We will close this series with an Appeal, a Warning, and a Challenge.
The days are increasingly evil…and the father of lies is constantly seeking to dull the message of…
– the Gospel to the lost.
– the message of transforming grace to the church.
My Appeal is simple –
– Don’t assume this is just another sermon.
– At the least, hear it from a concerned citizen of the kingdom.
– If you can, hear it as a word from the Lord to you first and ultimately to the church of Jesus Christ.
The Warning –
Luke 21:25-28 “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Jesus is saying that in the last days and those proceeding that such dramatic terror will develop for all mankind that multitudes of people are literally going to die of stress, fear, anxiety and the cares of this world.
There are two types of people who fit into this scripture in the church today:
– those who fret and worry over what the Bible says must take place.
– those who have their heads in a bucket of sand and are clueless to the intensity of conflict and prophetic signs taking place today.
Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
Instead of walking in the ancient path of Sabbath rest, “rest for your souls,” the people of God said –
– We’ve got a better way.
– You don’t know what you are talking about.
– You don’t understand my life.
– I will…but later.
Discussion: What cares of the world are hindering us from a lifestyle of rest? Do we take it seriously enough, realizing and recognizing that the Bible is saying people will die from fret, anxiety and stress?
And then the prophet continues…
vs. 17 “And I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
The watchmen refuse to listen! They refuse to blow the trumpet!
What’s different about you?
What’s different about this church?
Discussion: What does a different lifestyle/church look like? Why does it matter?
Those on the wall, the pastors and prophets will not speak the truth either!
Challenge: Are we going to follow the path of least resistance or are we going to be Gideon’s group of 300 men?
Paul said it best –
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires…
They will turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to every spoken myth!
– The genocide of Christians has begun.
– The persecution of the church is now entrenched in our nation.
– Israel is being abandoned by her allies.
– Ishmael has arisen and is determined to kill the child of promise.
And only those who place their hope in the author and giver of Sabbath rest will prosper in the coming days.
The Challenge –
2 Chronicles 14-16 tells the story of one of the good guys of the Old Testament, King Asa.
– King Asa restored order to the Kingdom of Judah.
– The Word says, “He did good and right in the sight of the Lord his God” and that is a great legacy!
– God honored his trust by defeating the largest army ever assembled with less than half of the 1 million men that came against them.
The land had rest because Asa trusted and humbly submitted to God.
But a man, a prophet of God, came to Asa at the height of his victories and gave him a word from God that changed his life from that point on.
His name was Azariah and he appeared and then disappeared from the scene after he gives the king these words:
2 Chronicles 15:2 And he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the Lord is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.
– The message was brief but weighty.
– It represents God as unchanging.
– All apparent changes are really changes in man’s attitude toward God – not visa-versa.
– Man with God, finds God with him.
– Man forsaking God, finds that he is forsaken.
These are the extremes of the truth, but between them is the promise – not contradicting but complementing them and completing them, and it is this:
– If a man seeks God, he will be found!
– If you do not turn from His call, He will provide!
– If you do not refuse the ancient path, no matter what the turmoil, He will give you rest!
My conclusion is simple; it is the place we began.
Reread Hebrews 4:9-11
There remains today…now…a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
Trust God and live out your time here on earth relying on His provision.
Be diligent…hard working, persistent, persevering…to enter that rest.
Don’t follow the examples of disobedience.