Introduction: Do you remember concepts you learned as
children that, when you became an adult, turned out to be
wrong? Take the word “rendevous.” I knew from childhood
reading what “rends-a-vus” meant and I knew from listening
what “rond-de-voo” meant. It was only much later in life
that I was astonished to find they were the same word!

This week my secretary sent me the following statement from
an unidentified child: “In the first book of the Bible,
Guinessis [sic], God got tired of creating the world, so he
took the Sabbath off.” Aside from spelling, do we still
have that same childhood concept about the Sabbath? Let’s
jump into the Scriptures and explore an “adult’s” view of
the Sabbath!

  1. TIME-OUT!

    1. Read Genesis 2:1-3. Why did God “take off” the
      seventh day? Was it because, as the child wrote,
      He was “tired” by all that creation work?

      1. Does God get tired? (Isaiah tells us in Isaiah
        40:28 that our Creator does not become
        physically weary. Instead, Isaiah 1:14
        reveals He only gets weary about the way we

      2. Since God was not yet tired of the way we act
        when He finished creating, and He does not
        grow physically weary, why would He rest?

        1. Genesis 2:3 tells us that God “blessed”
          the seventh day and “made it holy.” What
          do you think God’s “blessing” and “holy”
          stamp on the day have to do with rest?
          (The inescapable conclusion is that God
          is making the Sabbath a memorial to

        2. Does the Sabbath need a memorial? (We
          have discussed all quarter how the
          evolutionary theory drives a wedge
          between our connection with God. Not only
          do we lose the kinship with our Father,
          but lose the basis for our gratitude to

        3. Why didn’t God just create a huge
          monument on the earth as a memorial to
          Creation? Something, say, 5 miles high,
          solid obsidian, with huge engraved golden
          letters saying, “Remember I created the
          world!” (He made a place in time, a
          “time-out” instead.)

          1. Is this an unusual idea? To have a
            “time memorial” instead of some
            monument? (If you think this is
            strange, you have forgotten about
            your birthday!)

      3. If you believe that God is your Creator, what
        is your obligation towards this memorial to
        Creation? Or, how to do you feel when people
        forget your birthday or anniversary?

        1. Who has a vested interest in eradicating
          the memory of God as our Creator?

        2. If you believe that Satan is behind the
          attempt to erase the knowledge of God as
          the Creator, is the Sabbath a “line in
          the sand” for those who are God’s

          1. Assume you were kidnaped when you
            were five years old. Your kidnapers
            wanted to erase all knowledge of
            your parents from your mind, so they
            started celebrating the date of your
            kidnaping as your “birthday.” What
            would you say? What attitude would
            you have about your real birthday?

    2. Read Exodus 20:8-11 and 31:17. Is the Sabbath the
      oldest commandment? (It certainly is the first one
      mentioned in the Bible.)

      1. What is the significance of the Sabbath being
        given to man as a memorial to Creation long
        before the Ten Commandments were given on Mt.

      2. What is the significance of the Sabbath
        commandment ( Exodus 20:8) starting out with
        the word “remember?”

      3. Notice that Exodus 31:17 says that the Sabbath
        is a “sign between me and the Israelites
        forever.” Is it fair to call the Sabbath a
        “Jewish” institution?

        1. Of what does Exodus 31:17 say the Sabbath
          is a sign? (It says (again) it is a sign
          of the Creation. Since Creation took
          place a long time before any “Israelites”
          ever lived, it must be a sign for
          Israelites and all who believe in God the

      4. If the Ten Commandments were “nailed to the
        cross” (see, Colossians 2:14) would it be
        logical for the memorial to Creation (see
        Colossians 2:16) to also be nailed to the

        1. This is a “gut-check” time. If you
          believe that the Ten Commandments no
          longer have any relevance to a
          Christian’s behavior after the cross, how
          do you explain Colossians 3 (the very
          next chapter) which is filled with all
          sorts of commands?

        2. Does Colossians 3 suggest that it is “OK”
          to violate the Ten Commandments? (Chapter
          three is filled with a “to do” list of
          attitude and actions modifications for
          the Christian aspiring to walk closer
          with God!)

        3. If a Christian today believes that any of
          the commandments should still be kept,
          would there be a reason to leave the
          Sabbath off that list? (No! In light of
          fact that it is a memorial, and in light
          of its institution at the time of
          creation, it would logically be the last
          commandment to leave off the list. When
          we stop claiming that God is the Creator,
          we can stop keeping the Sabbath!)


    1. Read Ezekiel 20:12 and Exodus 31:12-13. Here is a
      new idea. So far, we have read that God made the
      Sabbath holy. Now, we read that the Sabbath is a
      sign that God makes us holy.

      1. What does it mean for God to make us holy?

      2. If we believe that God had the power to create
        us in the first place, does that bolster our
        belief that He has the power to recreate us?

      3. Is it possible the Sabbath is also a memorial
        to our salvation? Let’s explore that
        intriguing idea!

    2. Read Hebrews 3:7-11. Who are we talking about
      here? (The Israelites in the Exodus.)

      1. What would be “rest” for them? (Entering the
        promised land.)

      2. Why didn’t they enter God’s rest? (They were
        rebellious and disobedient.)

    3. Let’s read on: Hebrews 3:12-15. In light of the
      Exodus example, what does God call on us to do
      today? (To turn to God and not rebel or harden our

    4. Let’s read on: Hebrews 4:4, 7-11. What rest are
      we offered today? (It is best to read this entire
      chapter which makes clear that the “rest” that God
      offers us is salvation and ultimately heaven. The
      “rest” “from our own work” offered by Christ is
      our acceptance of the sacrifice of His life — the
      perfect “Lamb of God.” We are not saved by our
      works but by His works!)

      1. Why does Hebrews refer to the Sabbath when
        talking about the rest of our salvation? (This
        strongly suggests that the Sabbath is a
        memorial to our salvation.)

    5. Why would we refuse to keep His Sabbath as a
      memorial, not simply to Creation, but our personal
      “re-creation?” (For the same reason the Israelites
      died in the desert – hard-hearted rebellion.)

    6. If you agree that the Sabbath is a memorial to
      both Creation and our salvation, what do you make
      of the sequence of the crucifixion weekend? (See
      Mark 15:42-16:6: Friday crucifixion, Saturday
      resting in the grave, Sunday resurrection. This
      sequence strongly suggests that Jesus is observing
      both the memorial to Creation and the memorial to
      His victory over sin.)

    7. How important is it to keep the Sabbath?

      1. Read Revelation 14:6-7. Is the “eternal
        gospel” important?

        1. What is the “eternal gospel?” (Fear God
          because judgment is at hand and worship
          the Creator.)

        2. What does it mean to “worship” the
          Creator? (Based on what we have studied
          so far, this obviously refers to Sabbath
          observance – the memorial to Creation!
          Notice something else. If you believe
          that the Sabbath is also a memorial to
          our salvation, wouldn’t it be an
          important part of “fearing God” because
          judgment is at hand?)


    1. In light of the fact that the Sabbath is a
      memorial to Creation and our salvation, and is a
      central part of the “eternal gospel,” what should
      we do during this “time-out?” How do you think we
      should keep it?

      1. Should we be out in nature every Sabbath
        because, after all, it is a memorial to

      2. Should we contemplate Jesus’ life, death and
        resurrection every Sabbath because the Sabbath
        is a memorial to our salvation?

    2. Let’s try to figure this out by reading a few
      texts on the Sabbath.

      1. Read Luke 6:5-6 (read the context because
        these two verses are not naturally linked) and
        Acts 17:2. What do these texts suggest we
        should do on the Sabbath? (We see that both
        Jesus and Paul attended “church” on the
        Sabbath. That is consistent with the
        Revelation 14:7 command to “worship” our
        Creator. So church attendance is an important
        part of the Sabbath.)

      2. Read Mark 2:27-28. What does this text mean
        when it says, “The Sabbath was made for man
        and not man for the Sabbath?”

        1. If we are to worship God on Sabbath,
          doesn’t that indicate that man was made
          for the Sabbath? (No! Jesus clearly tells
          us that the Sabbath was made to benefit
          us. It is not some dry, useless
          regulation for us to keep. Anyone who has
          truly entered into a worship experience
          realizes that it is certainly a benefit
          to mankind. More than that, it seems
          Jesus is telling us that the Sabbath is a
          time to recharge our batteries! The
          Sabbath is meant to benefit us.)

      3. Read Isaiah 58:13-14. Should the Sabbath be
        just like any other day? (No. Clearly, our
        normal routine should not be followed on
        Sabbath. If you treat it as any other work
        day, doing the tasks that you do all week, it
        is no longer a memorial in time. It is just
        another day. God calls us to a delightful
        Sabbath, where we turn away from our normal,
        everyday activities.)

    3. Friend, the Sabbath is a test of your allegiance
      to Jesus. Will you honor Him as the Creator of
      the universe and the Author of your salvation?