Focus on God's Word

Created For Something Better

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Charissa Fong


Series Code: FGW

Program Code: FGW000019

00:26 Our subject tonight: "Created for Something Better."
00:30 I hope we have something very exciting in store
00:33 and I... I already know what we do... but I hope you find it
00:35 exciting too. Let's open with a word of prayer.
00:38 Our Father in heaven, as we open the Word of God again tonight
00:42 we pray that Your Holy Spirit will be our silent teacher.
00:46 May He speak to our hearts and may we indeed find
00:49 more treasure and truth in Your Word tonight.
00:52 Please, may the teaching be clear because we ask it
00:55 in Jesus' name. Amen.
00:58 I think you would agree with me tonight
01:02 that today we are living in one of the fastest-paced societies
01:06 our world has ever known. Everything is instantaneous.
01:10 Everything happens at the push of a button or in the blink
01:13 of an eye. And if things don't happen fast enough for us
01:17 well we set about trying to make them happen faster.
01:20 We've got two-minute noodles. Instant mash.
01:23 Quick oats. Meals on Wheels.
01:26 When I'm hungry I can go down to the fast food store.
01:29 I can drive through and order my food
01:32 and the food is ready before I am.
01:35 Or if I want to talk to someone on the other side of the world
01:39 I pick up a device called a mobile phone
01:42 or an iPhone and I press a few buttons or a screen
01:46 and within a couple of seconds I can hear another person's
01:49 voice on the other side of the world.
01:52 Everything is instantaneous; everything is happening so fast.
01:56 But friends, it has had its consequences because
01:59 even though technology has advanced and we are going
02:03 much faster than we ever have before
02:05 it is also true that technology has increased our workload
02:10 and hence our stress load as well.
02:13 We're doing more because we can do more
02:15 and it's increased our stress load as well.
02:18 In fact, statistics tell us that the average father...
02:22 he spends roughly 37 seconds of quality time
02:27 with his children every single day.
02:30 That's not very much at all.
02:32 And we can imagine what this does to family life
02:36 and particularly to the children involved in homes like that.
02:39 And so it's no wonder that Margaret Fuller... she said:
02:48 And how true is that.
02:50 I think George Carlin, a comedian of the late 1970's,
02:56 he expressed our current situation the best
02:59 when he put it this way. He said:
03:37 And how true is that. We are just like Thomas Huxley
03:42 the biologist. He lived many years ago
03:44 and one day he was late one night for an appointment
03:47 and so he hailed a taxi. And in those days
03:50 a taxi was a horse-drawn buggy.
03:53 He hailed a taxi. The taxi stopped and he jumped on board
03:56 and he yelled at the driver: "Top speed!"
03:59 And so the driver took off.
04:01 And as Thomas Huxley sat down in the back of the cab
04:04 he realized he hadn't told the man where he was going.
04:07 So he stuck his head out the window and he said: "Hey,
04:10 do you know where I'm going?
04:11 Do you know where you're supposed to be taking me? "
04:13 And the man said: "Nope, but I'm going as fast as I can! "
04:16 Friends, we are going so fast today we don't even know
04:20 where we're going any more.
04:22 And I think that it's fair enough to say that we're
04:24 flat out, stressed out, and worn out. We need time out!
04:30 We need to take time for each other and time
04:34 to spend with God as well.
04:36 Because Jennifer Yane once said. She said:
04:44 And I think you and I can all feel a little bit like Jennifer
04:48 some days, don't you think?
04:49 Well friends, the good news tonight is that God never
04:52 intended for this to be the case for our lives.
04:55 He never intended for you and I to be stressed and suppressed
04:59 by the cares of this life. No friends,
05:02 we were created for something better than stress.
05:06 Can you say "Amen?" Amen.
05:08 And so well you say: "Charissa, if that's the case
05:11 then what is it that we're missing in our lives
05:14 if this isn't the way that God designed it to be? "
05:17 Well tonight we are going to probe God's very own strategy
05:21 for stress relief found in the Bible.
05:25 Friends, this strategy has been practiced by millions
05:28 of people ever since the creation of the world.
05:31 And you'll be pleased to note it doesn't cost a cent
05:35 and it doesn't involve meditation or yoga.
05:38 Friends, God's love has placed a limit on the demands of toil.
05:44 In fact, Jesus Himself... notice what He said:
06:03 Friends, Jesus is the God of rest.
06:05 He offers to you and I rest tonight.
06:08 How can we have the rest that Jesus offers? He said:
06:11 "Come to Me. Spend quality time with Me.
06:15 Learn of Me and make Me your highest priority in life. "
06:19 And sure, friends, the Bible says "take up your bed
06:22 and walk. "But friends, it also says: "Be still
06:26 and know that I am God. "
06:28 And God wants us to stop and revive and survive.
06:32 He wants us to learn how to get through this world
06:36 and not be so stressed about it. Amen?
06:39 Because by the way, not all stress is bad.
06:41 I don't know about you, but when I'm under a little bit of
06:44 pressure that's when I perform my best.
06:46 And so tonight, how can we find God's strategy
06:50 for stress relief? Well, we must go back to the very beginning
06:54 because that is a very good place to start.
06:56 Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 says:
07:05 Friends, here we find the Godhead:
07:07 the three great dignitaries of heaven.
07:10 The Bible tells us they are at work creating our planet.
07:13 And when they started how was the planet?
07:16 What did it look like?
07:17 The Bible tells us that it was "without form and void
07:22 and darkness covered the face of the earth. "
07:25 So what was the first thing that God in His creation process?
07:29 Well, He turned the light on. Notice what happens
07:32 in Genesis chapter 1 verses 3 to 5.
07:36 The Bible says:
07:57 Now we thought Benjamin Franklin was great when he
08:01 invented the electric light bulb.
08:02 Friends, this is God! He turned the light on for the planet.
08:06 And friends, God continued to work His creative power
08:10 for the next five days.
08:12 Six days God is creating this world.
08:15 And by the way, it says: "And evening and morning
08:18 were the first day. " So when did the day begin
08:21 according to the Bible? In the evening.
08:23 In the evening. So we could say that a Biblical day
08:26 really operates from sunset to sunset.
08:29 Because they didn't have watches back then
08:32 and so they kept time by the movements of the sun.
08:36 And so for the next five days God is creating.
08:39 He speaks and dry land appears and the stars come in the sky
08:44 and there's the moon and the sun and vegetation
08:47 and land animals.
08:48 And then of course having saved His best for last
08:51 He made woman. Amen? No Amens? All right.
08:56 I'm just teasing you tonight.
08:58 But yes, God made everything.
09:00 He made man and then when He had made man
09:02 the Bible tells us that God stood back and He looked
09:05 at everything that He had made
09:07 and in Genesis 1 and verse 31 He said:
09:13 God had done a good thing.
09:14 And now friends, there are many people in our world today
09:17 who find this fact: that God created the heavens and
09:21 the earth... that very first verse of the Bible...
09:24 they just find it so hard to believe.
09:27 And they call themselves atheists or evolutionists.
09:32 And thanks to two men - Darwin and Karl Marx -
09:36 who bequeathed to human society two Creatorless theories
09:40 for the reason why we are here -
09:42 there are now millions of people in our world today
09:45 who believe that you and I are just the result of billions
09:49 of years of evolutionary luck.
09:51 You and I are just "over event spongi" they say.
09:54 We are just hurtling through cold and meaningless space.
09:58 That's what they say.
10:00 But friends, if there was no God there would be no atheists.
10:04 The Bible tells us that you and I were created by
10:07 and in the image of a divine triune of almighty power
10:10 that said: "Let Us make man in Our image. "
10:14 You could say an "Amen" to that. There was one Amen.
10:16 God said: "Let Us make man in Our image. "
10:19 Amen? Amen. We are made in the image of God.
10:22 Now there are some parents and children
10:26 and you look at them and you just know that... you can
10:29 tell they're related, can't you? You can almost play snap.
10:32 You look at that one and look at that one and say:
10:33 "Yes, they are definitely from the same family. "
10:38 But friends, in my case I haven't always been able
10:40 to say that. Because, you see, I have brown hair;
10:44 my sister has brown hair. But my mum has auburn hair
10:47 and my dad has black hair.
10:50 This was very puzzling to my sister and I growing up.
10:53 And so we discussed this fascinating "thing"
10:58 of our lives. Can't think of a better word than that.
11:01 We discussed this; we couldn't quite understand it.
11:03 And so after much discussion we concluded one day
11:06 many years ago that we must have been adopted
11:09 because we didn't look like our parents.
11:11 And you can't help this kind of confusion when you have a dad
11:15 who when you ask him: "Dad, where did I come from? "
11:17 he says: "I found you on special in Grace Brothers. "
11:21 But friends, you and I... the Bible tells us
11:24 we are made in God's image!
11:27 That is something to be excited about
11:29 because it tells us where we came from.
11:30 And we... when it says we are made in His image
11:33 it doesn't mean we have deity. It means we have dignity
11:38 and there's a very big difference.
11:39 We are made in the image of God. We are the children of God.
11:43 And friends, the great artist Leonardo da Vinci...
11:46 he is known for his famous art works. But not only that
11:50 for his detailed drawings of the human body.
11:53 And Leonardo da Vinci... he said an incredible thing.
11:57 This is what he said:
12:06 That's amazing what he said.
12:09 "If the only evidence of God was the thumb alone,"
12:12 he said, "I would believe."
12:14 And so friends, I don't know about you
12:15 but I believe that God created this world.
12:18 I believe He is big enough and powerful enough to do it.
12:21 "With God all things are possible. "
12:24 And I believe that you really can't call yourself a Christian
12:27 if you don't believe in creation.
12:30 But creation week wasn't yet over.
12:32 Six days? Yes, they passed but creation week wasn't yet over
12:37 because watch what happens next:
13:04 This is amazing, friends.
13:06 After a busy week of exercising His creative power
13:10 the Bible tells us that God rested on the seventh day.
13:14 But not only that, it tells us He did two other things
13:18 as well. He blessed it and He sanctified it.
13:23 That's a big word. What does the word sanctified mean?
13:26 It means to set apart for a holy purpose.
13:29 And so friends, these 3 things - blessed, rest, sanctified -
13:34 God did not do on any other day of the week.
13:37 He did not rest on the seventh day,
13:39 bless the sixth day, and sanctify the third day.
13:43 He did it all on the seventh day of the week.
13:46 And by the way, have you ever wondered where we get our
13:49 seven-day week from?
13:51 From creation!
13:52 You get the month from the moon.
13:54 You get the year from our movement around the sun.
13:57 But people can't really explain where we get a 7-day week from.
14:01 It's an odd number. We have to go back to Genesis.
14:04 That's where it comes from.
14:06 And friends, the word here that God uses
14:09 in the Bible - the word here where it says He rested -
14:12 that in Hebrew really says "He Sabbath."
14:15 It comes from the Hebrew word Shabbat
14:17 and elsewhere in the Bible it simply appears as the word
14:22 Sabbath. And friends, the Sabbath will forever be
14:25 a sign and celebration of God's creative, redemptive,
14:31 sanctifying power.
14:32 And friends, it points to God as the source of all knowledge
14:36 and power and creative power as well.
14:38 And in the Bible notice what else it says.
14:41 In Mark chapter 2 verses 27 and 28 it says:
14:56 Friends, the Sabbath was God's gift to mankind
14:59 and He gave it to mankind 2,300 years before the Jewish
15:04 race even existed as a memorial of creation.
15:09 Now, was the Sabbath - God's strategy for stress relief -
15:13 meant only for the Jews?
15:15 Clearly no, because they're not the only ones who need rest.
15:18 Amen? We all need rest.
15:21 And so God... He gave it to everybody.
15:24 The Sabbath was made for man.
15:25 Ezekiel chapter 20 verse 12 says:
15:42 Friends, God didn't make the Sabbath and then look around
15:45 and say: "OK, now we have the Sabbath.
15:47 We may as well make some humans to accompany it. "
15:50 Friends, it's just the opposite because you see
15:53 we serve a wonderful God who actually wants
15:58 to know you intimately.
16:01 He wants to get on a personal level with you.
16:04 He wants to have a personal relationship with you.
16:08 I think of the story... I love this story
16:10 of an elderly couple. They were sitting on their back porch
16:14 in their rocking chairs watching the sun go down.
16:16 And as they were sitting there the husband... he looked over
16:20 at his wife, and they'd been married for 60 years.
16:22 They'd weathered life's storms together. He looked over
16:25 at his wife and he remembered all the happy days that
16:29 they had shared together.
16:31 And so he said to his wife... he said: "Honey,"
16:33 he said, "I'm proud of you."
16:35 And she was kind of hard of hearing so she said:
16:38 "What did you say, dear?"
16:39 He said a bit louder, he said: "Honey, I said I was
16:42 proud of you. " She still couldn't hear him
16:45 so she said: "What did you say, dear? "
16:47 So finally he raised his voice kind of loud and he said:
16:51 "Honey, I said I was proud of you. "
16:53 And she stopped and she said:
16:55 "Yes, well I'm kind of tired of you too. "
16:59 Friends, praise God He's not tired of us. Amen?
17:03 He actually wants to spend time with us...
17:06 and spend time with us on a weekly basis.
17:10 He wants to get to know you.
17:11 And anybody who has ever been in a relationship before
17:15 if you have a friendship with somebody
17:17 all good friendships, all good relationships...
17:21 they are developed within the crucible of time.
17:24 You want to get to know somebody?
17:26 You want to grow close to somebody?
17:27 You spend time with that person. And so friends,
17:30 God... He has set aside a weekly date with you.
17:35 Now... rest. OK. God says "I want you to rest
17:39 on the Sabbath day. "
17:40 I have to tell you that rest hasn't always been attractive
17:43 to me. When I was a kid I couldn't sleep very well.
17:47 I never wanted to go to sleep.
17:49 Life was too exciting. In fact, my nickname growing up
17:52 was Robot... because dad said I never went to sleep.
17:56 I just couldn't stop. I was like a robot... I just kept going.
17:59 But friends, when I've grown up a little bit more
18:01 if there is one thing that I look forward to it is
18:05 a good night's sleep.
18:07 Because life is so much sweeter when you've had a good rest.
18:11 And friends, we live in a world today where people spend
18:14 billions of dollars on stress-relieving drugs
18:17 when all they really need to do
18:19 is just stop, revive, and survive.
18:22 They just need to stop and:
18:29 Friends, God is so serious... so serious about this strategy
18:33 for stress relief that He has gone ahead and He has placed it
18:37 in the very heart of His Ten Commandment law.
18:41 Because the fourth commandment begins... this is how it begins:
18:48 Now they say that everybody has a photographic memory
18:52 just some people don't have film.
18:54 And when I was growing up and going to school
18:57 I prided myself in having an impeccable memory.
19:01 I had no detention. No homework warnings.
19:04 No uniform warnings. I was try- ing to be the perfect student.
19:09 Until one day in my third year in high school
19:12 I forgot to do my homework.
19:15 The next year the same thing happened.
19:17 And then the third last year of my life in high school
19:20 something terrible happened. The classes ended
19:23 and the bell went and I thought it was lunch time.
19:26 So I went outside and I went to my bag
19:29 and I got my lunch out and I went and I sat down
19:32 in the courtyard where we always went and ate lunch.
19:35 And I noticed that all the other kids just kept going
19:37 to their classes. So I thought: "Oh, it's not lunch time."
19:40 So I went back, grabbed my bag, looked at my diary
19:42 and realized I was meant to be in another class.
19:45 Ran to class, got there, opened the door and the
19:48 teacher said: "Ah-ha, why are you late? "
19:50 I said: "I thought it was lunch time. "
19:51 And of course you can imagine that didn't go down so well.
19:54 But friends, God knew we would have a tendency
19:58 to forget things. And so friend, this is why
20:02 this is the only commandment that begins with the word
20:06 remember.
20:07 And it is a haunting confirmation of the Word of God
20:10 today to realize that only 0.29%
20:15 of the whole world's population...
20:18 Only 0.29% of the world's population
20:21 are keeping the Sabbath today.
20:24 The Sabbath is THE MOST forgotten commandment
20:27 in our world today. The fourth commandment...
20:30 it begins with the word remember because if you remember
20:33 back in Genesis that was when God actually established
20:36 the commandment. He was writing the Ten Commandments
20:39 there in Exodus 20, giving them to the children of Israel.
20:42 But He said remember because He had already established
20:45 it back in Eden. We only read that a moment ago.
20:47 Do you remember? Good... just checking.
20:50 Furthermore, the Ten Command- ments were written not on paper
20:54 which could burn or on parchment
20:57 which might rot, but friends they were written with the
21:00 finger of God and they were inscribed in stone.
21:05 That was symbolic of their permanent nature.
21:08 And by the way, there are only three recorded instances
21:12 in all the Bible where God writes with His finger
21:15 and this was one of them.
21:17 Now the Bible tells us also in Exodus 20
21:21 that we are to keep the Sabbath holy.
21:24 So what does it mean to keep the Sabbath holy?
21:28 The Bibles says... Exodus 20 verse 10:
21:48 Now, for all the students in the room tonight
21:51 how would you like it if Kevin Rudd instituted a law
21:55 which said you didn't have to do any homework.
21:58 Ah, look at the smiles on your faces.
22:01 It's be pretty good, wouldn't it?
22:02 Well friends, this is sort of what God is doing here
22:05 in the Ten Commandments. God is saying to all
22:07 of humanity - not just students...
22:09 He wants us to lay aside a 24-hour period every week
22:15 where we leave aside the cares of our weekly life.
22:18 We don't go to work. We just...
22:20 We don't do school work or house work. We just stop
22:24 and spend time with God.
22:27 Now I recognize that God wants us to spend time with Him
22:30 24/7. That is, every single day of the week.
22:33 But friends, God specifically asks that on the seventh day
22:38 we lay aside an entire day for Him.
22:42 Why? Because lest we forget where we came from.
22:46 And I don't know about you but when I was growing up
22:49 we used to sing a song. One, two, three, four, five,
22:52 six for us. One, two, three, four, five, six for us.
22:56 One, two, three, four, five, six for us...
22:58 the seventh is for Jesus.
23:02 Did you know that one?
23:03 Ah, you just let me sing it by myself.
23:06 That's OK. I know... we can all sing together.
23:09 And so friends, God doesn't want us to keep every day holy.
23:15 He doesn't want you to keep seven days holy.
23:17 He says: "Work six days and rest the seventh. "
23:19 Because if you keep seven days holy that's not being holy
23:23 that's being lazy... 'cause God wants you to work and then rest.
23:27 And you know, a lot of people say: "Well how can you keep
23:30 the Sabbath? I mean, surely that would be boring just stopping
23:33 and giving God time. I mean, what can you do if you can't
23:36 work on the Sabbath day? "
23:38 I remember seeing a show on a current affair...
23:41 an episode, a story... about some young people
23:44 who dropped out of school. They started living on benefits
23:47 and you know what they did all day long?
23:49 They played on their X- Box and Play Station.
23:52 They just played computer games all day long.
23:55 But friends, there's a lot more to life than computer games.
23:58 And friends, notice what Jesus did.
24:00 We should always ask "What should we do on the Sabbath?
24:03 What did Jesus do? " Let's see what He did.
24:06 Luke chapter 4 and verse 16 the Bible says:
24:26 Friends, Jesus went to church on the Sabbath.
24:30 And what a wonderful way to spend the Sabbath:
24:32 to come together and meet with like-minded people
24:35 who love Jesus and fellowship with them
24:38 and sing songs of praise to Him.
24:41 Moreover Jesus did more on the Sabbath.
24:43 What else did Jesus do on the Sabbath?
24:45 Matthew chapter 12 and verse 12 says:
24:56 And friends, Jesus went about doing good on the Sabbath.
25:00 The Bible tells us that He healed the sick
25:03 and He showed kindness to all who He encountered.
25:07 The Sabbath was a blessing to humanity when it was shared
25:11 with Jesus Christ. And friends, kindness is the oil
25:14 that takes the friction out of life,
25:17 and Jesus showed kindness to people on the Sabbath day.
25:20 The Sabbath is a wonderful time to help people.
25:23 It's a time to stop and smell the roses along the way.
25:27 Well let's return back to Exodus 20 for just a moment.
25:33 You know, few Christians really understand what this means.
25:36 Many Christians believe that when we keep the Sabbath holy
25:40 it means we go to church for three or four hours...
25:43 have a potluck maybe. And then after that
25:45 they're off to the football or they're off to the shopping
25:49 center and off to clean the house.
25:51 But friends listen and listen very carefully:
25:53 the Sabbath is not a holiday
25:56 it's a holy day.
25:59 It's not just free time... it's God's time as well.
26:04 Isaiah chapter 58 verses 13-14 puts it this way:
26:39 The story is told of a Christian man
26:42 who was once urged by his employee to work on the Sabbath.
26:46 And the employer said... sorry, about his employer...
26:49 the employer said to him: "Doesn't your Bible say
26:52 that if your ox falls into a ditch you can pull him up
26:54 on the Sabbath day? " The Christian thought about it
26:57 and he said: "Yes, that's what the Bible says.
26:59 But if my ox had a habit of falling into the ditch
27:02 every Sabbath I'd either fill up the ditch or sell the ox. "
27:05 We need to put God first.
27:07 We need to keep His Sabbath holy by making Him the priority
27:11 in our lives. Amen? Amen.
27:13 And for me personally, the Sabbath was always something
27:16 extra special growing up.
27:19 When my mum took me to church and she'd come home
27:22 she had a lovely meal for the family.
27:24 And I loved Sabbath when I was young for the food.
27:28 But friends, as I've grown up
27:30 I love it for much more than that. I love it for the
27:32 family time, for the time we can share talking about Jesus,
27:37 spending time with fellow believers.
27:39 And so well, we need to ask the next most logical question:
27:44 "If this Sabbath delight is so special,
27:47 so exciting, Charissa, well then which day of the week
27:51 is the Sabbath day and should it really matter?
27:55 Isn't one day just as good as another? "
27:58 Well for one thing, one day is not just as good as another.
28:01 Because of all the days God could have blessed, rested,
28:04 and sanctified He only did it on the seventh day.
28:08 And so perhaps I should put it this way:
28:10 imagine for a moment that your birthday was on the 7th
28:14 of September... because mine is.
28:17 And supposing that your best friend decided to celebrate
28:22 your birthday on the 8th of September.
28:25 Would that go down well with you?
28:28 I can tell you, it would not go down well with me.
28:31 And friends, those of you who are married...
28:33 if you have every forgotten your anniversary
28:36 and your spouse... were they happy when you did that?
28:40 Oh, there's a whole lot of shaking heads in this audience
28:42 tonight. No... because another day is not just as good
28:46 as another. It's a bit like this.
28:47 Supposing you were getting married, OK?
28:50 And your spouse was one of... had six other siblings, OK?
28:55 But you're going to marry just one of them.
28:57 Your wife, ah... or your husband, OK?
28:59 So you get married but after you get married
29:03 one of your sisters-in-law says: "Look, why don't I go
29:06 and be your wife? " Is that OK?
29:09 No! I hope not. Come on... NO!
29:13 Say no!
29:15 Because when you are married you are set apart.
29:18 You became one. That's another illustration.
29:21 And so friends, the Sabbath is much more important than
29:24 any birthday, yes?
29:25 Because it's not just any day it is God's day.
29:30 It is not just a matter of days
29:34 it is a matter of masters.
29:37 So OK... the day is important but which day is the Sabbath?
29:41 Well to find out, I think one of the clearest ways
29:43 for us to see it is back at the cross.
29:46 Because you see the Bible tells us that Jesus
29:49 died on Good Friday, didn't He?
29:51 And when He did, the Bible says in Luke 23:54. It says:
30:01 Very, very interesting.
30:04 Not only that, it goes on further to tell us
30:06 that when the women were preparing spices
30:11 to come and embalm the body of Jesus -
30:13 watch this, this is fascinating -
30:15 they stopped. Why? Because they:
30:35 Friends, they were so conscious of the importance of the Sabbath
30:40 that they weren't even willing to embalm the body of Jesus
30:45 Christ on the Sabbath day.
30:47 That is powerful... very powerful stuff.
30:50 The Bible then goes on in Luke 24:1... it says:
31:10 And so friends, after resting on the Sabbath
31:12 we know that Jesus rises on Easter Sunday.
31:16 Now this fact is something which virtually the whole of the
31:21 Christian world is united on.
31:23 Everybody believes that Jesus died on Good Friday,
31:26 He rested on the Sabbath, and then He rose
31:29 on Easter Sunday or which the Bible describes
31:33 as the first day of the week.
31:36 That is powerful evidence to tell us that really
31:40 the Sabbath day falls on our Saturday.
31:44 Is that clear to you tonight?
31:46 Good. Furthermore, the Bible tells us
31:49 that Paul and all the disciples... guess what?
31:53 They were Sabbath keepers as well.
31:56 Notice what the Bible says in Acts chapter 18 and verse 4.
32:00 It says:
32:07 Friends, Paul was a Sabbath keeper.
32:10 And by the way, there are countless other verses...
32:13 There are some other verses here in the book of Acts:
32:15 Acts 13:14; Acts 16:13; Acts 17:2.
32:20 All of these tell us that Paul and the disciples...
32:23 they kept the Sabbath as well.
32:25 But if that's not good enough evidence for you tonight
32:28 then there's more evidence as well.
32:30 Because not only do these verses clearly point
32:34 to Saturday as being the seventh day of the week
32:37 but you take Saturday in the various languages of the world
32:41 and watch what you have.
32:56 Friend, this is the same thing in all of these languages.
33:00 The Sabbath is the seventh day.
33:02 And friends, there's absolutely no question about it.
33:05 In fact, you follow these languages and you do some more
33:08 research and you discover that in over 140 languages
33:13 around the world today the word for the seventh day
33:17 which we call Saturday translates as the word Sabbath.
33:22 Can you say "Amen" to that? I think that's wonderful.
33:25 Furthermore, the leading astronomers in our world today
33:28 they testify to the fact that the weekly cycle...
33:32 it has never been changed.
33:34 You can go to the Royal Naval Observatory in the US
33:37 or the Royal Greenwich Observatory in England
33:40 and they will tell you that.
33:41 But there are a good many people out there that say:
33:43 "Look, Charissa, I don't know about this. How can we truly
33:47 be sure that the weekly cycle hasn't changed?
33:50 How can you truly know that the seventh-day Sabbath
33:54 which you celebrate as God's day is truly the same seventh day
33:59 that God made years ago? "
34:00 Well friends, we forget that the Jews have been keeping
34:05 the Sabbath faithfully for over 4,000 years.
34:10 And it's highly unlikely that one Sabbath morning
34:14 the whole Jewish nation woke up and forgot it was the 7th day.
34:18 So friends, let's summarize what we have said so far.
34:22 The Sabbath is placed in the heart of God's eternal law
34:26 of love and it was created by God for us to be a blessing.
34:32 Can you say "Amen" to that? Amen.
34:34 It is all about a love relationship with Jesus Christ.
34:38 It is all about God wanting to get down and personal
34:42 with His people.
34:43 And friends, many Christian leaders from many denominations
34:48 they know this to be the case.
34:51 I'd like to share some fascinating quotes with you.
34:53 They know that the Sabbath day is Saturday.
34:56 Watch what the Congregationalist says.
35:15 Fascinating.
35:17 The Church of England... this is what it says:
35:42 That was the Anglican church. The Catholic church:
36:11 What about the Baptists?
36:45 Fascinating, isn't it?
36:47 And one last one from the St. Catherine Catholic Church
36:51 Sentinel, May 21, 1995:
37:23 Friends, "Is Sabbath keeping really all that important? "
37:27 you may ask. "I mean, OK. So Saturday is the seventh day. "
37:31 But friends, let me answer that this way.
37:33 The way in which you value the Sabbath will depend on
37:37 the way in which you value your relationship with Jesus Christ.
37:40 He is the Lord of the Sabbath. If you love Jesus,
37:45 you will love the Sabbath as well.
37:47 How do I know that? Because the Bible says:
38:13 Why then do so many people keep Sunday when God has
38:18 asked us to keep the seventh-day Sabbath, Saturday, holy?
38:23 Well I wonder myself sometimes because it seems to me
38:27 to be so clear from scripture.
38:29 And friends, by the way... You can search your Bibles
38:32 through from Genesis to Revelation... I know because
38:35 I was talking with a friend and I challenged her to find...
38:38 find a single verse that says that Saturday is no longer
38:42 the seventh day and that Sunday is the day that God wants us
38:45 to worship on. I said: "Find me that verse
38:47 and I will give up Sabbath keeping all together. "
38:49 Well I gave her that challenge and she could not bring me
38:52 a verse because there is none.
38:54 There's a website... I don't know where it is and what
38:56 the website is, but it is offering a million dollars
38:58 to anybody who can find that verse.
39:01 But friends, it's not in the Bible and they still have
39:03 their million dollars.
39:05 So friends, where did Sunday worship originate?
39:08 Well, the change from Saturday to Sunday was one that came
39:13 very gradually. You see, up until the second century
39:16 after Christ there was really no mention...
39:20 there is really no record of Sunday observance.
39:23 However, over the next three centuries the church in Rome
39:28 slowly began to favor Sunday over the Sabbath day
39:33 as a worship day. And they did this
39:36 for two primary reasons. The first reason was
39:39 the Roman church was attempting to separate itself
39:43 from the Jews who crucified Christ.
39:46 And because the Jews were Sabbath keepers
39:49 well, Sunday wasn't their day.
39:51 So they thought: "Well that's a good idea...
39:52 we should keep Sunday. "
39:54 The second reason why the church
39:59 slowly began to favor Sunday instead of Saturday
40:02 is because Sunday fitted in really well with the secular
40:06 Romans whose culture was steeped in sun worship.
40:10 And today you can go to their temples and to their churches
40:14 and you can see evidences of sun worship in sculptures
40:17 and in paintings and in the architecture
40:20 of these Roman churches.
40:22 And so by the time the Roman emperor Constantine...
40:26 he came upon the scene
40:28 he saw the trend in Christendom
40:31 that was moving toward Sunday and so he decided
40:35 to take advantage of it.
40:37 He thought to himself: "Well, if we make Sunday
40:40 a holiday and also double it as a worship day
40:44 then it would be politically advantageous to himself. "
40:48 And so friends, on the 7th of March, 321 AD,
40:52 this is what he did... he made this law. He said:
41:14 And friends tonight, since... from that time to this
41:19 tonight there are over 1 billion people
41:23 who keep Sunday holy.
41:26 "Holy... " Supposedly.
41:28 Not because of any scriptural evidence they find in the Bible
41:33 because there's not a shred of scriptural evidence
41:35 for that in the Bible but because like we read earlier
41:38 the Roman Catholic church... it transferred the solemnity
41:42 of Sabbath to Sunday and it's just become a tradition.
41:46 And by the way, friends, do you think Satan is happy about this?
41:50 He is. He... For every truth of God there is a counterfeit
41:55 that he has. But can man change God's law?
41:58 Can man take a holy day and make it not a holy day
42:01 and put a holiday somewhere else?
42:03 Friends, no they can't.
42:05 The Bible says that God... He says:
42:09 Jesus says He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
42:13 And this verse right here - Ecclesiastes 3:14- says:
42:34 So friends, can the Sabbath memorial be changed?
42:37 No... because it points back to an established fact.
42:40 July 4 was Independence Day. Why?
42:43 Because the Declaration of Independence was signed on
42:45 July 4 in 1776.
42:48 Can they change? Can they celebrate Independence Day
42:51 on another day? Well, they could... but
42:53 it really won't mean anything
42:55 because the declaration was signed on the 4th of July.
42:59 People can celebrate your birthday on another day
43:02 but it doesn't really change the fact that you were born
43:05 on the particular day that you were born on!
43:07 And so friend, if we were to change the day
43:10 it would mean we would have to rewind history
43:13 to rewrite it so it would read a certain way.
43:15 Does that make sense?
43:17 And friends, as long as the facts are facts
43:19 you can't change a fact. And that's a fact
43:21 because the facts don't change.
43:24 Now to illustrate my point a little bit more...
43:26 Supposing I had here tonight
43:29 three pieces of cloth.
43:32 I had a white piece of cloth, and I held it up to you all
43:36 tonight and then I dropped it on the ground
43:38 and I started putting my shoes all over it
43:41 and stamping on it and rubbing my shoes on it.
43:43 And you think: "Oh, she doesn't like white. "
43:46 You'd think it's a bit strange but you probably wouldn't
43:48 get too upset. And I took a red piece of cloth
43:52 and a blue piece of cloth and I dropped them on the ground
43:55 and I started walking all over them. Maybe put them
43:57 in the dirt and made them all dirty.
44:00 And then perhaps I picked them up and took a match
44:03 and lighted it and burnt those pieces of cloth.
44:06 Would that upset you?
44:07 No. You'd think I had a problem but it wouldn't upset you.
44:11 But friends, if I took those three pieces of cloth
44:14 and I put them together to make something that looked like this
44:18 and I took this on the ground
44:21 and I put it on the ground and I began to walk all over it
44:23 and then I lifted it up and took a match and lighted it,
44:27 I probably wouldn't still be standing here because somebody
44:30 would have grabbed me and taken me down.
44:31 Why?
44:34 Because this stands for something.
44:38 And friends, the Sabbath stands for something.
44:42 It is a memorial of creation.
44:44 It is a reminder to humanity who can't remember
44:47 where they came from that God made them.
44:49 That God loved them enough that He is going to come back
44:52 for them. He redeemed them. It is a reminder from God to us
44:55 that He loves us.
44:58 There are some people tonight that say: "OK, well...
45:01 we are now under... We are not under the law any more,
45:03 Charissa, we're under grace.
45:05 Don't you remember we are saved by grace? "
45:07 Yes, I'm so glad that we are.
45:10 The Bible tells us in Ephesians 2 and verse 8:
45:19 But does this mean that you and I can go ahead
45:22 and break God's law? No.
45:25 Friends, the purpose of God's law is like a mirror.
45:28 It shows us... As we look into the law of God
45:31 it shows us where sin is in our lives.
45:34 That's what the law of God is.
45:36 And friends, as we look into God's law and we see the defects
45:39 on our lives and the sins in our lives
45:42 it is then that we turn to Jesus and say: "Lord, I need
45:45 Your forgiveness. " We confess our sins.
45:48 God forgives us of our sin.
45:50 He cleanses us and frees us from it
45:53 because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
45:56 And friends, without the law we wouldn't know where sin is
45:59 in our lives. And for that reason Jesus says... He says:
46:06 He didn't say: "If you love Me, change them. "
46:09 Said: "If you love Me, keep them...
46:11 keep My commandments. "
46:13 Friends, the God of heaven... He will not force anyone to keep
46:16 the Sabbath. He doesn't force anyone to keep His commandments
46:20 because it's out of love that we follow them
46:23 and that we keep them.
46:24 And like I said earlier, the Sabbath is not a matter
46:26 of days... it is a matter of masters.
46:30 And the devil, Satan, the arch enemy of God...
46:33 he hates everyone who keeps the seventh-day Sabbath holy.
46:38 Because listen, if he can get humanity to forget
46:43 where they came from, if he can keep you stressed
46:46 and searching for answers in this life and you forget God,
46:49 then he has caused you to lose your eternal life.
46:53 And he doesn't want you to go to heaven.
46:55 He doesn't want you to call heaven home.
46:57 You know why? Because he's been there.
46:59 He knows how wonderful it is
47:01 and he doesn't want you to get where he can never go.
47:05 And so friends, tonight he will do anything to stop you
47:08 from keeping the Sabbath.
47:10 He will provide for you all kinds of excuses.
47:14 "Your spouse won't like it. They'll leave. "
47:17 Or "You'll lose your job."
47:18 Or "How could the majority possibly be wrong? "
47:22 But friends, the Sabbath is like a link in the chain to God.
47:26 It is like a link in our relationship to God.
47:29 And when one link in the chain is broken
47:31 the relationship... it is broken as well.
47:34 Friend, you think to yourself: "Will God keep me out of heaven
47:39 for neglecting to obey one commandment? "
47:42 Well... the Bible says this:
47:55 Friends, tonight you and I have a choice to make.
47:58 We can choose two roads.
48:02 One is the road of truth and the other is the road of error.
48:06 One is the road of the Bible.
48:08 The other is the road of tradition.
48:10 One is the road of the true Sabbath.
48:12 The other is the road of the false Sabbath.
48:14 One is the road of Satan...
48:17 the other is the road of Jesus Christ.
48:19 And tonight you can choose the road which you will travel.
48:23 I pray that tonight you choose God's road
48:26 because listen: if you get to heaven
48:28 and God comes up to you and He says:
48:30 "Why did you keep the seventh-day Sabbath holy? "
48:33 well you can look Him straight in the eye and you can say
48:35 "Well Lord, I kept the Sabbath holy because way back in Genesis
48:39 You rested on the seventh day. Then, Lord,
48:42 Noah and Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Joseph...
48:46 they all kept the Sabbath holy as well.
48:49 Then when You were leading Your children out of Egypt
48:52 You gave them the Sabbath. And it's in the Ten Commandment
48:55 law that You gave them. Nehemiah... he kept it.
48:59 And God, You kept the Sabbath day as well.
49:03 Jesus... You kept it! Peter and Paul and all Your
49:05 disciples... they kept the Sabbath as well.
49:08 And then not only that, in Isaiah - Isaiah chapter 66-
49:11 You told us that we would be keeping the Sabbath up here
49:14 as well. The Jews have kept it, and Lord,
49:17 all I can see right throughout the Bible is that we were to
49:20 keep the Sabbath holy because that is what the followers
49:22 of God did. "That's what you could say to God.
49:26 But supposing God asks you this question:
49:29 "Why did you go to church on Sunday? "
49:32 Who in the Bible can we look to as an example
49:37 that we followed? Friends, there is none.
49:40 And so tonight I ask you: are we going to wait
49:43 for the truth to become popular
49:45 or will we follow the Lamb wherever He goes?
49:48 Will we do what's right? Because, friends, what's popular
49:51 is not always right.
49:53 Sometimes the majority just means that all the fools
49:56 are on the one side. And friends tonight, God has
49:58 shown you this truth... not because He wants to burden you
50:02 but because He truly loves you.
50:06 He wants you to know that you were created
50:09 for something better.
50:11 He doesn't want you to be stressed and suppressed
50:13 by the cares of this life
50:15 and He pleads with you tonight: "Remember My Sabbath.
50:19 Keep it holy. Enter into a love relationship with Me
50:23 and I will bless you.
50:25 You will have the right to the Tree of Life. "
50:28 Oh friends, I plead with you tonight to make your decision
50:31 not based on what others have said or how you feel.
50:34 I recognize it is a confronting truth tonight,
50:37 but I earnestly, sincerely beg of you tonight
50:41 to make your decision based on the Word of God...
50:44 on the Bible and the Bible only.
50:46 Search it out; see the whole story;
50:49 and then make your decision for Jesus Christ.
50:53 Would you bow your heads with me as we close with prayer?
50:57 Oh Lord God in heaven,
50:59 thank you tonight for the Sabbath.
51:02 You who are the Lord of the Sabbath, we come before You
51:05 in these, the Sabbath hours
51:07 and we ask you, Lord, to help us to keep it holy.
51:10 Lord tonight for some of us here tonight
51:12 this has been a fresh, confronting truth.
51:15 But Lord I pray that You would strengthen us to follow Jesus.
51:19 It is so hard to follow You in a world that is going
51:22 a different way, but Lord, help us to follow Your way
51:26 because You are the only way.
51:27 Lord, I thank you that Your Holy Spirit is here tonight.
51:30 For those who are battling and wrestling, please Lord,
51:32 give them courage to make the stand and to choose Jesus.
51:36 Thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayer tonight.
51:39 In Jesus' wonderful name, Amen.


Revised 2014-12-17