Introduction: Why do you want Jesus to come again? Why do you look
forward to His Second Coming? If it is because you are tired of a
world of sin, if you long to live in a perfect place where your family
and friends are safe and secure, then the Sabbath has much to teach us
about God’s future promise. Let’s dive into our study!


    1. Read Genesis 2:1-3. What is special about the Sabbath?

      1. When the text says that God made the seventh day holy,
        what does that mean?

      2. Do you think God actually needed to rest? If not,
        then why did He rest? (Have you ever built something
        well? After you get done, you take the time to look
        at it and admire your work. I think that is what is
        reflected in these three verses.)

    2. Read Exodus 20:8-11. Does this clarify why God rested on
      the Sabbath? (Yes! While God may not have needed the rest,
      He knew that we would. This clearly commands us to refrain
      from work on the Sabbath.)

      1. This text (v.11) also tells us (as did Genesis 2:3)
        that God made the Sabbath holy. Why does this text
        tell us the Sabbath is “holy?” (Link verses 8 and 11
        of Exodus 20. The Sabbath is holy because it
        memorializes God’s power and work in creation.)

    3. Read Ezekiel 20:10-12. More about being holy! What does this
      say the Sabbath has to do with holiness? And whose holiness
      are we talking about? (The Sabbath is also a sign that God
      makes us holy! Now that takes work!)

    4. If I asked you what you should think about at Thanksgiving,
      Easter and Christmas, would you have an answer?

        1. What do you think you should be thinking about on
          the Sabbath? (Our relationship to our Creator!)

          1. What could you conclude from meditating on
            the fact that God created us and we did not
            evolve from simple organisms? (This shows
            God’s power to create us and to recreate us
            spiritually. By the way, I noticed a news
            article in the secular press recently that
            confirmed, based on DNA testing, that
            Neanderthal was not our ancestor!)

    5. Read Isaiah 66:22-24. Will we have the Sabbath in heaven?

      1. Does the Sabbath have anything to teach us about the
        Second Coming? (Yes! The fact that we now contemplate
        God’s power to create us and the world the first time,
        gives us confidence that He can do it the second time
        as He promises in Isaiah 66:22)

      2. What are we going to be contemplating on Sabbath in

        1. Should we be enjoying our Sabbaths now because we
          are going to be thinking about dead bodies, worms
          and fire in heaven?

        2. Is verse 24 heaven’s equivalent of the horror
          film of today?

        3. What is going on here? How is this kind of
          viewing consistent with the Sabbath?

          1. How is this uplifting? (The Sabbath is not
            only a time to celebrate the creation, this
            text suggests that we will celebrate God’s
            victory over sin. God is responsible for
            creation, the recapture of creation and the
            final recreation. Rebellion will never
            arise again because we can contemplate this
            victory. This is a tremendously important
            aspect of heaven. The idea that our family,
            our friends are safe from the dangers of

          2. Do you think we will actually be viewing
            bodies? (I doubt it. Verse 24 has much to
            indicate it is symbolic. The bodies are
            dead, yet the worms that eat them do not
            die and neither does the fire that burns
            them. Obviously, that does not make any
            literal sense unless the message is that
            the death is permanent. We have a permanent
            solution to the sin problem.)

    1. Paint a picture for me, based on these texts, about the
      purpose of the Sabbath? (The Sabbath should be a reminder
      that God made us, that He saved us and made us holy, that He
      will defeat sin and not only have a recreated people, but a
      recreated world. The Sabbath is a reminder of all the great
      things about God!)


    1. Some of the texts we have looked at form the basis for
      current arguments against the Sabbath. Let’s look again at
      Genesis 2:1-3. Critics say that this text does not tell us
      to keep the Sabbath. Does this text contain a command to
      keep the Sabbath? (Not explicitly. It says God kept it.)

      1. What makes you think this text tells you to keep the
        Sabbath? (Verse 3 tells us God made the Sabbath holy.
        He was not making the world for Himself, he was making
        it for man. Obviously, His decree that the Sabbath was
        to be considered holy was for us — not Him.)

      2. Critics say that Sabbath keeping is nowhere mentioned
        from the time of Creation until the time of the giving
        of the Ten Commandments to the Jews on Sinai. This
        shows it was a “new deal” for the Israelites. Is that
        true? (No! Read Exodus 16:23-26. Once God’s people
        were rescued from Egypt, God provided food in accord
        with His Sabbath command.)

        1. What do you say about the fact that the Sabbath
          is not mentioned from Genesis 2 to Exodus 16?
          (None of the intervening history deals with
          Sabbath issues. Exodus 20:10-11 explicitly links
          Sabbath worship to the Creation. God’s purpose
          is clear. We see the Commandment on Sabbath-keeping is not something new — based on the pre-Sinia instruction to the people not to expect to
          collect manna on Sabbath.)

    2. Read Hebrews 4:3-9. We have references to the Sabbath rest
      and those who do not enter God’s rest. What “rest” are we
      talking about here?

      1. What does verse 8 mean when it talks about Joshua not
        giving the people rest? (The discussion about
        “entering in” and the mention of Joshua is an obvious
        reference to God’s people entering the promised land.)

    3. Let’s read on. Hebrews 4:9-11. What do you think is meant by
      entering into the Sabbath rest here?

      1. Is this referring to a literal Sabbath or is it
        referring to a state of salvation?

        1. When verse 10 tells us that we “rest” from our
          work, is that the weekly rest on Sabbath or is it
          the rest from trying to be saved by our own
          works? (At a minimum, this text is talking about

      2. This text is at the center of the argument that
        keeping the Sabbath today simply means entering into
        God’s salvation and not keeping a day holy. How would
        you answer that? (Sabbath has always stood as a
        memorial for what God has done for us. Little wonder
        the writer of Hebrews made this (true) analogy between
        salvation and Sabbath-keeping. Instead of this
        extinguishing the need for Sabbath-keeping, I think
        this text provides another very strong argument for
        keeping a literal Sabbath as a weekly reminder of our

    4. If you regularly read my lessons, you know I am always
      concerned about the practical aspect of a Bible teaching. My
      question about the Sabbath is this: what should we do each
      week? How then shall we live? Should we ignore God’s crystal
      clear command, going back to Creation, because we have made
      the executive decision that our salvation spiritualizes the
      Sabbath command? Or shall we, in accord with God’s command,
      keep the Sabbath holy as a reminder of what God He has done
      and is doing for us? (If you review these verses in Hebrews,
      the problem with the people is disobedience and rebellion.
      I cannot help but conclude that rejecting the Sabbath is
      simple disobedience and rebellion.)

    1. Read Revelation 14:6-7, 12. What does this text say is the
      “eternal gospel” for those living in the end times? (Worship
      the Creator!)

      1. How does that fit into the purpose of a literal,
        weekly, holy Sabbath? (It is the precise purpose for
        giving us the Sabbath.)

      2. Will those who are taken to heaven when Jesus comes
        again be people who are concerned about obeying God’s
        commands? (That is the message of verse 12.)

    2. Read Mark 2:27-28. Can you explain this text based on what
      we have studied so far? In what way is the Sabbath made for
      man? (The Sabbath is for our benefit. So that we can have a
      special time to reconnect with our Creator. To contemplate
      all He has done, is doing and will do for us to recreate a
      perfect world and a perfect us.)

    3. Friend, God calls on us to keep His Sabbath holy. He calls
      on us to make the seventh day a memorial, a special time, to
      put away the world and recharge our spiritual batteries and
      show that we recognize His power as Creator and Savior.
      Will you be counted among the saints that obey?

  1. NEXT WEEK: “The First Coming Prepares for the Second Coming.”