Statement of Fundamental Beliefs - GOD'S SABBATH
What Difference Does It Make?
Does it really make any difference which day you observe as the day of worship? Frankly, most professing Christians are not concerned by such a question, because they simply do not care. "The worship service is what is important," they are told, "not a specific day." Do you believe this? If you do, you are overlooking a matter of life and death! The real issue in this whole matter is divine authority. If God does not exist, then it makes absolutely no difference at all! Without God, His word and His promises all become null and void! Therefore, apart from the supreme authority of God Almighty, why would anyone care which day someone observes?
However, the truths of God's existence and His supremecy are undeniable! The Apostle Paul affirmed this in his letter to the Church at Rome: "For since the creation of the world His invisble attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20). One can also know with absolute certainty that God's word is the truth! In fact, we are challenged by Scripture to test all things and to "taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). So we are without an excuse to deny God's authority.
The great and powerful Creator God also holds the keys to eternal life. Therefore, we should be concerned about what He things! God said: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy....For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:8-11). Is obedience to the Fourth Commandment vital to receiving eternal life? Notice Jesus' answer in Matthew 19:17: "If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."
Therefore, it does make a big difference which day you acknowlege as holy time! In talking to the woman at the well in Samaria, Jesus explained, "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). The Samaritans had a running argument with the Jews about the proper place to worship the Creator. Christ explained that true worship was not simply a matter of geographic location. It was, He emphasized, something that demanded both a correct attitude (spirit) and a correct understanding (truth). In other words, we are to worship the Creator with our whole heart and are to do so according to the instructions that He has revealed! We cannot simply decide that we will worship God as we choose; rather, we are to follow the pattern that He has revealed in His word.
At Mount Sinai, God revealed to Moses the pattern of the tabernacle that was to be built, and told him to follow it exactly (Exodus 25:40). God also emphasized to the Israelites that they were not to copy the customs and practices of the nations around them and apply those ideas to their worship of the true God (Deuteronomy 12:30, 32). Rather, He instructed them: "According to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances. You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the Lord your God" (Leviticus 18:3-4). God always establishes the pattern that He wants us to use.
By the second and third centuries AD, the professing Christian church, led by the bishop of Rome, was increasingly accomodating itself to the surrounding society. As noted church historian Jesse Lyman Hurlbut acknowledges: "The forms and ceremonies of paganism gradually crept into the worship. Some of the old heathen feasts became church festivals with change of name and of worship" (Story of the Christian Church, p. 79). Neither Sunday worship, nor Christmas and Easter observances, are ever commanded in the pages of Scripture, nore is there any evidence whatsoever of the early Apostolic Church observing such days. These are customs adopted by later generations who wanted to retain popular non-Christian practices while still acknowledging Jesus as Savior.
But if worship of the Creator is not done in truth - according to God's commandments - then it is done in vain! That is what Jesus Himself stated in Mark 7:7-8: "And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men...." Unless you worship the Father and Jesus Christ according to divinely inspired instructions, you will not inherit eternal life!
If you would like to receive more information or have any questions please call our Canadian Regional Office toll free at 1-800-932-4264, or (905)814-1094 within Toronto, and ask to speak with a minister.