Sunday, January 17, 2010

Keep Christ's Sabbath!

Please Read The Book of Hebrews Chapters 3-4

You may ask how do we keep Christ’s Sabbath? Do we observe a certain day of the week? Do we refrain from eating certain kinds of foods, or doing certain things? If you follow the Old Covenant stipulations God gave to the Israelites then, yes indeed Sabbath observance under the Law required a great deal from the Israelites. Not the least of which was refraining from work. More than any other aspect, that is at the heart of Sabbath; the refraining from work (Ex. 20:8-11; 31:12-17). “...That you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.” Ex. 21:13 Now this theme of refraining from work is carried through into the New Testament. In the Book of Hebrews we read that the day of rest that Moses commanded the Israelites, and Joshua observed when he entered the Promised Land, was not the final day of rest God intended for His creation. “For if Joshua had given them rest, then He (the Holy Spirit; see Heb. 3:7) would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.” Hebrews 4:8-10

Therefore we see that the works that we are commanded to cease from here by the Holy Spirit are our own works done for salvation. Whether these are done by our trying to keep the Law to be saved by it, (Acts 15:24-28) or by some other rational. For when we place or have our confidence in our own works, we put ourselves in a perilous place of potentially not having entered God’s commanded rest; a commanded Sabbath rest which is observed by putting our whole faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Not in our observances of days, or fasts, or foods etc., or any other stipulation or preference of man; but in the Lord Jesus Christ who is Lord of Sabbath. Not Moses; Not Joshua. But Christ Jesus the Lord who is every believers Sabbath Rest before God (Luke 6:1-5).

7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness,
9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
And saw My works forty years.
10 Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they have not known My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ” Heb. 3:7-11

Where is your hope? Where is your rejoicing? In other words where is your faith? Is it in Christ Jesus crucified and Risen from the dead for your sins forgiveness? Or is it in your own works or righteousness? That is the deciding factor, of a person’s acceptance or rejection by God (Gal. 2:21). Will you then enter His rest by faith In Jesus Christ; or will you disobey God as those O.T. Israelites did who in their sins and unbelief perished in the wilderness because they refused to obey God’s command to enter the Promise Land, and thus partake of God’s promised rest. “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.” Heb. 4:11

Friend, today is the day of Salvation; today is the day to enter God’s commanded rest. For the Lord Jesus Christ is not commanding religious observances as the way into a personal relationship with God, but a simple repentance towards God, and faith in Himself (Matt. 9:9-13). For Jesus invites us all to enter into His rest to be saved by Him alone. 28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30

That is what the Lord Jesus Christ offers everyone; not judgment; not shame; but life. Liberated from sin; freed from death; shielded from God’s judgment to come (John 11:25; Rom. 5:1, 6:14; 8:1). Jesus Christ through His death on the cross for our sins forgiveness offers everyone life; new and everlasting the moment they believe, as well as life abundant here and now (John 10:10). All because of God’s love freely given to us all. 16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17

If you have not made a decision to trust in Jesus Christ why not do that now? All it takes is for you to open your heart to God through Him. Jesus says: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." Rev. 3:20

By faith then you can say a simple prayer inviting the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart and life. Why not pray something like this: Dear Lord Jesus I know that I have sinned and I am sorry for my sins. I want to repent of my sins and begin a new life with You. I now invite You into my heart and life, to be my Lord and Savior, in Your Precious Name Lord Jesus, amen.

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