1. Hello, listening friends.
2. It is our prayer that this broadcast has been a blessing to you;
3. and I hope that you would write to us and tell us.
4. Whether you get in touch with us through the Internet or through mail, we love to hear from you.
5. Time is a rare commodity;
6. and, when you try to grab onto it, it runs away from you.
7. Scientists are telling us that we do a lot more in a week than our ancestors probably did in a month or a year.
8. We think that modern luxuries of cell phones and faxes and emails would make our lives easier;
9. but, instead, they often cause us more stress.
10. Many of us would say that we are exhausted most of the time,
11. because we have a natural tendency to forget to place importance on rest.
12. God gives us the Fourth Commandment out of love for us.
13. It is out of His loving heart that He said, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
14. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath unto the Lord.
15. On it, you shall do no work,
16. neither you, nor your son, nor daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals and the alien within your gates.”
17. The Sabbath should be a day that belongs to the Lord alone.
18. It should be also a day for you to rest from your labor.
19. If you have discovered this broadcast for the first time,
20. we are in the middle of a series on the Ten Commandments;
21. and the Fourth Commandment is probably the most misunderstood Commandment.
22. I want to explain to you why.
23. The reason it is misunderstood is because our human nature, being what it is, we think in extremes.
24. We either fall into the extreme, legalistic interpretation of this Commandment,
25. or, we reject it and ignore it altogether.
26. Another reason for misinterpretation is this:
27. because the Fourth Commandment is the one Commandment which is mentioned in all three laws that God gave His people,
28. it has become an open door to exotic and foreign interpretation.
29. Some of you may be saying, “What are these three laws?”
30. Those of you who have heard the very first message in this series, you will remember that God gave His people three laws in the Old Testament.
31. He gave them the ceremonial law, which is fulfilled in Christ.
32. He gave them the civil law, which was ended with the Old Testament;
33. and, then, He gave them the moral law, the Ten Commandments, which are for all people all the time;
34. and, so, because this Commandment belongs to all three laws, it has become a target for misinterpretation.
35. Some people thought they’d be helping God out by creating their own interpretation of the Fourth Commandment;
36. so, some of the rabbis came up with 39 clarifications of this one Commandment;
37. and those 39 clarifications were divided into categories and subcategories,
38. so that there was a specific clarification for every area of life.
39. Let me give you an example.
40. One category forbade the carrying of any load whatsoever on the Sabbath;
41. then, they qualified this prohibition with another prohibition,
42. and so on and so on, until nothing was left out;
43. so they said
44. anything that is heavier than a dried fig constitutes a load that cannot be carried on the Sabbath.
45. That is why the Lord Jesus Christ tried over and over again to correct all these misconceptions regarding the Sabbath.
46. The Lord Jesus Christ pointed out the error of this perception of the Sabbath.
47. The Lord Jesus Christ made it clear that the Sabbath was created for man and not man for the Sabbath;
48. but there is something you must understand here about the Ten Commandments.
49. The Ten Commandments are God’s gift to humanity—not for punishment.
50. The Ten Commandments are the expression of God’s love to humanity—not His anger;
51. and it is out of His love and mercy and grace that God gave us the Commandments;
52. and that is why He gave us the Fourth Commandment, saying, “One day a week, you must stop running around and focus on Me as you rest.
53. One day a week, you must forget about your work and remember My work of creating you and redeeming you.
54. One day a week, you must mentally, physically, and psychologically cease your normal activities in order that you may do the work of remembering Me.”
55. In fact, the Fourth Commandment was truly God’s mercy to His people.
56. Until they came into the wilderness and heard the command of God, they had no Sabbath.
57. They worked seven days a week.
58. They had no rest from day to night;
59. and that is why God said, “I do not create man to live for work, but work for man...”
60. and it is out of love for us that He wanted us to take one day a week and dedicate it to Him, as we rest from our labor.
61. Please listen very carefully, my listening friend.
62. There is one thing that believers in Christ often forget --
63. that, when you are obedient to God,
64. God can bless six days far more than seven;
65. but, sadly, in the Old Testament, God’s people kept on breaking the Sabbath.
66. They were wondering if they would miss out on some business deal,
67. so they worked on the Sabbath.
68. They were wondering if they would miss out on some opportunity to make more money,
69. so they worked on the Sabbath;
70. and God kept on saying to them, through the Prophets, again and again, “Please obey the Sabbath.
71. This is what I created you to do.
72. I want you to focus on Me one day a week…”
73. and, finally, when they would not heed His Command,
74. God permitted them to be taken into exile and slavery
75. until they learnt that lesson;
76. but there is something else that I want to tell you. Please listen carefully.
77. God is giving us three important words.
78. “Remember the Sabbath day.”
79. Remembering involves preparation.
80. You prepare your heart, your mind, your spirit, to have an encounter with the living God.
81. “Remembering the Sabbath day” means that you prepare for it mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
82. If you approach the Sabbath with great expectations, you will have an encounter with the living God.
83. In the Old Testament, the Sabbath was the seventh day of the week;
84. but, in the New Testament, the Sabbath became the first day of the week.
86. Because the disciples of Jesus Christ saw that Jesus rose from the dead on the Sunday;
87. then, Jesus appeared to Thomas on Sunday;
88. then, Jesus appeared to the disciples of Emmaus on Sunday;
89. then, the Holy Spirit, on the Day of Pentecost, came on a Sunday;
90. and the Book of Acts, Chapter 20, verse 7, tells us
91. that the early church was worshipping on the first day of the week;
92. and, therefore, the early church saw that Sunday preceded Saturday as the Lord’s Day.
93. Paul tells the Corinthians, in 1 Corinthians 16:2,
94. to take the Lord’s money and to set it aside on the Lord’s Day—the first day of the week;
95. and, now, Sunday has become the Lord’s Day,
96. a day which we set aside for focusing on God,
97. focusing on the work of God.
98. Some of you probably thought that I was going to give you a list of “dos” and “don’ts” on the Lord’s Day;
99. but I will not do that,
100. because there are people who have to work on Sunday.
101. They cannot help that.
102. This Command of God is to everyone who has a choice to spend the Sabbath resting from normal activities and focusing on God.
103. For those of us who have that choice, it is a Command to every one of us;
104. but, for those who cannot observe it,
105. another day of rest and focusing on the work of God is vitally important;
106. but, my listening friend, as I conclude, let me tell you this.
107. Here is the truth.
108. When Jesus is the Lord of your life,
109. He will be the Lord of Sunday.
110. If Jesus is the Lord of your life,
111. He will be the Lord of the Lord’s Day;
112. and, if you want to honor Him, then you obey His Command,
113. for just as God wants to be the recipient of the first fruit of your labor with your tithe,
114. He wants to be the recipient of the first fruit of the week;
115. but Jesus gave us a whole new meaning to the Sabbath.
116. He came into the world to finish the work of His Father:
117. and, thus, He was able to give rest to all souls that come to Him.
118. We do not need to strive for our salvation.
119. He gives it to us when we ask Him
120. and He gives our souls rest.
121. God is honored when His children focus on Him on the Lord’s Day;
122. so the question to you, my listening friend, is this:
123. do you want to honor God?
124. That’s the question that you need to ask yourself.
125. It is my prayer that your answer would be “yes,”
126. and then write to us and tell us.
127. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.