1001 Excuse Avenue
Dear God Up In Heaven,
I wanted to write you and let you know why we don’t attend the services of the church faithfully.
You have chosen for Your day, a day that comes at the end of a hard week when we are all tired out. Also, it comes just after Saturday night and that is the night we feel we should enjoy ourselves and take in a movie or a ball game, or a party; and it is usually after midnight when we get to sleep. You have chosen the very day on which we need to sleep late. Then, too, my family demands a big Sunday dinner; and when I get up so late, I can’t get all this prepared and make it to Bible study and for preaching. John likes to read the Sunday sports page thoroughly, and the kids want to read all the funnies. I mean no disrespect, but it seems to me that You picked the wrong day.
Then, too, we must think of John. John works hard all week, and Sunday is about the only day he has to catch up on odd jobs around the house. I also feel like he should have one day a week to sleep, fish, golf, or visit the folks he doesn’t see during the week.
Please try to understand and don’t hold this against us.
Last Sunday we meant to go to church but had company. The Sunday before, we meant to go, but it was raining. The Sunday before that you know how cold it was. I was telling John last night that we just had to get back to church or people would thin we had quit. You know how people like to talk.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1.
It is a gloomy, dark, rainy Sunday morning. There is not a parking space left in the parking lot of the church. As the thunder booms above it cannot be heard by the worshipers inside. Inside the building it is dry and warm, filled with souls singing to their Lord. They are singing songs that give Him praise, that glorify Him and that thank Him for His salvation, grace and love. The offering plates passed are overflowing with gifts and offerings, benefits of the blessings of God. These brothers and sisters are united in purpose, prayer and praise, listening intently to the personal message that God has for each hearer. When the time of decision comes, the altar is full of praying, confessing, repenting sinners. Here the business meetings are calm and orderly, conducted with kingdom expansion in mind. The members are gracious, long-suffering, gentle, good and faith-filled. This is the picture of a unified group of believers in the local body of Christ.
Unity is good and proper and promotes happiness in the body as a whole and in each believer. It is pleasant and sweet, refreshing and soothing to the malicious wounds of the world. You may think that this is an impossible task, but it is not. It does require a lot of self-denial in favor of promoting Jesus. It is putting brothers and sisters in Christ first.
Now I beseech you, brethren, . . . be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment (1 Cor. 1:10).
Colossians 2:14-17 – “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us,
and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made
a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink,
or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to
come; but the body is of Christ.
The idea that the seventh day Sabbath is still binding today is promoted by “works for salvation” folks and their rejection of the Bible teaching that all the Law of Moses was “blotted out” by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for those saved or born again. When I have time, I will delve into this further so that clarity is applied about the Law and what it’s relationship to the lost and the saved. For now we are looking at the Sabbath.
I. THE OLD TESTAMENT SABBATH.
A. It was instituted by God before the giving of the Law. (Gen. 2:2,3)
B. It is clear that God gave the Sabbath to Israel as a law. (Exo. 20:8)
C. In the Law of Moses this commandment is put on an equality with all other commandments. (James 2:10)
II. THE SABBATH WAS DONE AWAY WITH THE REST OF THE LAW.
It was written in the hand writing of ordinances.
III. THE SABBATH WAS A COVENANT OR SIGN BETWEEN ISRAEL AND GOD.
IV. SOME MODERN OBJECTIONS TO THE LORD’S DAY INSTEAD OF THE SABBATH.
A. It is objected that a Catholic Pope changed the Sabbath to the first day of the week. There is no history to prove this, and if it did it would not change the facts simply because a Catholic Pope issued a decree. (Jesus actually did away with it. he did not change it.)
B. It is objected that Jesus kept the Sabbath, so should we. He FULFILLED the law. he observed it in its highest sense, then He did away with it. (Galatians 4:4,5; Matt. 5:17)
C. It is objected that Paul observed the Sabbath. So should we (Acts 18:4). Paul preached to the Jews who were gathered on the Sabbath, but he preache that the law was done away (Col. 2:14-17).
D. It is objected that the Sabbath was instituted by God before the Law of Moses was given, therefore we should observe the Sabbath. it is also true that animal sacrifices were made before the giving of the law but all of this was done away by Jesus. if we must observe the Sabbath for this reason, then we must also have the animal sacrifices for the same reason.
V. WHY THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK IS OBSERVED BY BAPTIST.
A. Jesus arose from the dead on the first day of the week (John 20:19).
B. Jesus appeared to the ten disciples on the first day of the week (John 20:19).
C. The day of Pentecost and the baptism of the holy Spirit came on the first day of the week (Acts 2; Lev. 23:16).
D. Peter preached and 3,000 converts were added to the church on the first day of the week (Acts 2:41).
E. The converts were baptized on the first day of the week (Acts 2:41).
F. The church in Troas assembled for worship on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
G. The church took the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
H. Paul preached to the church in Troas on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
I. Paul instructed the Corinthian church to make contributions on the first day of the week (I Cor. 16:2).
J. John was worshipping on the first day of the week when Jesus appeared to him and gave the Revelation (Rev. 1:10).
K. The Great Commission was given on the first day of the week (matt. 28:19,20; Mark 16:9-15).
VI. WE HONOR THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD EACH FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK BY ASSEMBLING FOR WORSHIP.
A. He is the firstfruits from the dead (I Cor. 15:20).
B. The great harvest from the grave, in the resurrection, is guaranteed by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (I Thess. 4:14-17).
C. There is no scriptural proof that we wear the mark of beast by keeping the first day of the week.
D. If the law is still in force then we are bound to keep all of it (James 2:10). We must have animal sacrifices, earthly priests, must not eat hog meat, must not eat catfish, a man must marry his brother’s widow, disobedient sons must be stoned to death, sabbath breakers must be killed, and many other like ordinances.
E. The keeping of the Sabbath law is impossible on a world-wide scale – it was given to a particular people in a particular region.
F. Sabbath keeping cannot give life (Gal. 3:19-21).
G. CHRIST IS THE END OF THE LAW OF RIGHTEOUSNESS TO EVERYONE THAT BELIEVETH (Rom. 10:4).
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