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What Sunday Should Mean To You Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
July 14, 2020 1:00 am

What Sunday Should Mean To You Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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July 14, 2020 1:00 am

A century ago, British Olympian Eric Liddell shocked the world by refusing to run on Sunday. Eric was made famous in the movie “Chariots of Fire,” holding fast to his conviction that the Lord’s Day was sacred, and not to be used for sport. These days, many of us use Sunday for watching football, running errands, or even working extra hours. Have we gone off track?

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A century ago Google used on Sunday, made famous in the movie.

Chariots of fire he held to a conviction that the Lord's day was sacred these days, people look forward to Sunday football game.

Have we gone off track. Stay with from the Moody Church in Chicago this morning when with Sir, whose clear teaching sauce make it across the finish line.

Estimates are at what point did God change the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday date in your introduction you touched on a number of different topics.

I believe first of all that God change the date in the New Testament era. It is the first day of the week where the disciples mapped and it is often been pointed out that in the Old Testament under law. You worked for six days and then you rested in the New Testament, you rest the first day under grace. And then you work but to your other point regarding the way in which Sunday is oftentimes celebrated. We have indeed lost our way in this message. I think you will understand that I believe very deeply that they should be a time of rest and a time of worship.

I've written a book entitled why holiness matters. The 10 Commandments Jesus and you and for gift of any amount. This book can be yours and I feel deeply about it because of the fact that we are living in a time when holiness is scarcely discussed, we hear lots about grace but not much about holiness without which the Bible says we will not see the Lord. Here's what you can do for gift of any amount good RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 once again we go to Sinai were God personally spoke to Moses, but he speaks also to us as saw the film chariots of fire know that the focal point of the story is a young man by the name of Eric Lindell and what may chariots of fire. So appealing was that this young man.

A great athlete from the University of was going to join the Olympics and everyone knew that if he did with his tremendous running speed. He would win and probably break all records but the problem is that the trial runs the trial heat to get into the Olympics was on a Sunday and he would not run on Sunday.

No way the Prince of Wales actually tried to convince him to run on Sunday and told him why don't you just simply set aside this particular little conviction you have and just run a race that will take only a few minutes Eric wouldn't be stuck to his convictions and interestingly I think if I remember the story, someone else ran in his place and then eventually he was able to get into the Olympics and that he won but the question is, should Eric have run on Sunday. Would that have been all right. Would you have run on Sunday. Let me ask that question today.

We have baseball players who play on Sunday who are Christians and the football players that played on Sunday, and many of them evidently are born-again Christians and so what should our response be we find in the Bible, God said very clearly in that famous controversial fourth commandment. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy men. God goes on to give the details do not do any work. Don't let your oxen do any work. Don't let your servants do any work, and if anyone does any work, let him be put to death. What I commandment what a controversy that it has generated a people don't know quite what to do about Sunday, you know, the Puritans believed that Sunday should really inherit all the regulations of the Old Testament Sabbath and so they had certain restrictions that you could, for example, comb your hair. On Sunday, but you couldn't shave on Sunday. In fact, I remember my own father would shave on Saturday night when we were growing up and he would not shave on Sunday.

I don't know how many of you have that kind of an up but those kinds of ideas are very prevalent back in the eastern United States. When these issues were discussed with the emphasis of Puritanism. There was a young pastor who lived in an area where there was a lot of ice and snow and that one day he skated to church on Sunday and the elders didn't know what to do. I mean, is it right that a pastor should skated church on Sunday and so they met together to discuss this big huge problem and that the final conclusion was yes they told him you can skated church on Sunday. Just as long as you don't enjoy it. That's the conclusion of thinking. So the question is what do we do about Sunday in order for us to understand this.

Let's first of all recognize that in the Old Testament, the Sabbath day was a very holy day were talking about Saturday, the Sabbath was a very holy day and I'd like to suggest that that day had certain characteristics and the first characteristic was rest was a day of rest and take your Bibles and turn to Genesis chapter 2 we can see this clearly spelled out. It says in Genesis chapter 2 where the Lord had created the heavens and the earth is thus the heavens and the earth. I'm reading verse one of the second chapter the heavens and the earth were completed and all their hosts and by the seventh day God completed his work which he had done and he rested on the seventh day from all the work which he had done and he blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it he rested from all of the work which he had created in which he had made. That's a startling statement. God is creating and he rests now. Have you ever created one single thing. No scientist has ever created anything out of nothing and here God is creating billions of tons of material by just simply speaking the word. Obviously, we would think anybody would be tired by the time he got to the seventh day Whitney handed the text says that God rested.

You'll notice in the passage we read from Exodus. It says that God was refreshed on the seventh day, you know, we read that and the theologians tell us, well of course God wasn't weary, and I guess we'd agree with that. I mean it's heresy to think that God needed a break because he had been working so hard all those days and yet I might just in the interest of promoting a little heresy. Ask how do we know that God was entire maybe he was, but very probably the real reason why he rested is not because he was tired but rather because God was emphasizing right from creation that there is a principle of one day in the seven that ought to be observed and God was so anxious to build this principle into the very fabric of the universe that he himself laid his own reputation on the line and his own example on the line and said I myself rested on the seventh day after working six. Now what we learn from this passage is not just that God rested, but also the God worked, you know, there is another side to that fourth commandment it says, of course. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. But the rest of the commandment says six days thou shalt labor work is a gift of God, you say well you don't like all the gifts that God may have in mind for you, but work is a gift of God. I feel sorry for people who can't work you say well it came about because of the fall of man know you read in Genesis chapter 2 verse 15. Well, since your Bibles open their look at verse 15 then the Lord God took the man and put them into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and to keep it and that was prior to the fall of chapter 3. So God expects people to work.

Blessed is the person who can work work keeps us out of a lot of trouble. You know I feel sorry for people who are so wealthy that their children inherit millions of dollars or even thousands of dollars and the children don't have to work that is one of the greatest curses you could possibly put upon children is to make sure that they are well taken care of and they never have to work work is built into the fabric of life.

God says I worked you work, but the other side of the coin is God says I rested you rest you know the fourth commandment is a tremendous blessing because God is being generous with his people. He saying I am taking into account your human need rest is a blessing of God. We always think that people are lazy and they try to get out of work. That's often true, but the other side is that there are so many people who will work themselves to death if given a chance, so God says six days you work and you rest one day did you know that that is best for our bodies during the French Revolution, the idea arose that they wanted to take France and to cut out of its social life. Every single vestige of religious influence, and so the social planners of the date realized that this idea of one day in the seven is a Judeo-Christian idea until the ACLU but anyway these folks recognized that it was so, do you know what France did in those days they decided to go on a different schedule of one day of rest in 10 but it did not work. People became a weary they found out that they became unproductive on the job. Their body was not able to handle it. And one of the French social scientists finally said these words, he said, let us observe Sunday in the name of a high gene if not in the name of religion. So you see, your body was built in such a way that it needs one day of rest in seven that is the very best way that you can take care of your body.

It is one of the most interesting pieces of social legislation. Forgot to say six days thou shalt labor and one shall be arrest so you have Marxist countries.

The talk about the good of the working man and the need to take a day off. One in seven and those Marxists don't tell them, but they don't know it, the ideal of one day in seven not one day and 10. But one day in seven is a biblical Judeo-Christian idea that is woven right into the fabric of all civilizations whether you are in China or Thailand or wherever there is one day a week that is set aside and is special. God says number one, it should be a day of rest and if you're working seven days a week, you are violating what God has laid down you are rebelling against God's intention for man, there's a second characteristic, it should be a day of reflection, a day of reflection. Turn to Deuteronomy, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy chapter 5, notice what the Lord says here in verse 12 he is reiterating the 10 Commandments and he gets to the fourth again. Deuteronomy chapter 5 verse 12 where the text says observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy is the Lord your God commanded you six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God in it you shall not do any work you or your son or your daughter or your male servant, or your female servant, or your rocks or your donkey or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you or us so that your mail and your female servant may rest as well as you. By the way, don't you get the impression that God didn't want them to do anything on that day. At least that's what seems to be coming through to me as I read that verse and you shall remember that you are a slave in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God brought you up out of there by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm there for the Lord your God commanded you to observe the Sabbath day rooted in creation, yes, but also wanted in redemption of the people of Israel out of Egypt. What God is saying is, is that you want to keep that day is a day to reflect upon your life in Egypt and the redemption that God is brought about what a beautiful day in which to recite Psalm 103. Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not of his benefits. It's a time of remembrance. It's a time of reflection.

It's a time of evaluation. It's a time when we think about God and our relationship to him. So first of all, it was of course a time of rest, but also a time of reflection when you are resting. You were thinking about your relationship with God now.

Have you ever been in love I have and still am, but you know when you love somebody you like to be with them every day. You know, couples like to call each other on the telephone every night as if such great momentous events took place during the day that they can't wait until the weekend. You know how that is all know some of you apparently don't. But anyway, when you're in love. You like to speak to that person as often as possible, but then you like to have extended times of fellowship when you say I'd like to be able to spend the whole day with you and get caught up. That's what God says the Sabbath is all about your in fellowship with me every single day. But then there are there is one day that is set aside. It is sanctified and it is holy. It is set apart for God and it's a time of rest and reflection at physical necessity.

It is rest as spiritual necessity is a time of reflection.

That's what the Lord is asking us to observe were asking Israel to observe. Now we come to the $64 question. What about Jesus Christ's relationship to the Sabbath Jesus six times in the New Testament is specifically accused of having broken the Sabbath Pharisees were constantly getting on him. For example, one day he and his disciples were walking through the fields of grain, and they took some of the heads of wheat and they rub them in their hands and they ate that grain and everybody said the Old Testament said you're not supposed to thrash on the Sabbath day and they are thrashing their harvesting hand that Jesus said to them now wait a moment the Sabbath was made for man's benefit and if we have to eat on the Sabbath day we eat.

If your ox falls into a pit on the Sabbath day you pull them out. There are these necessities of servant hood that you have to do on the Sunday or rather on Saturday that are perfectly legitimate. If you're a nurse and you have to work on Sunday and you have to help people. What better way to commemorate God's rest in God's interest in the human race than to have deeds of kindness on the Sabbath day. And then Jesus healed people and your member they said wait a moment there is nothing in the Old Testament that says that you can healed a person on the Sabbath day. And Jesus once looked around the glaring in anger because of all of the plaque that he was getting for healing people on the Sabbath and Jesus. It will what is it better to do. Shall I do evil on the Sabbath day is it wrong for me to do good on the Sabbath day they called him a Sabbath breaker.

In fact, they called him a continuous Sabbath breaker. We don't have time here to look into all the passages but I just want to say that I don't think Jesus broke the Old Testament Sabbath because he came to fulfill the law and the Jesus Christ being under the law of the Old Testament. It is unlikely that Jesus broke the Old Testament Sabbath, even though he said he was Lord of the Sabbath. What's more likely is that all kinds of little laws and traditions grew up to protect bad day and Jesus was someone who loathed the tradition he constantly was speaking against. He was saying to the people you nullify the word of God through your traditions. You are always adding all kinds of little regulations to what God has said and you are making it more stringent and more in explainable than God's word and so that's what happened in 1954. Time magazine reported that in Tel Aviv there are some elevators in hotels that go constantly all day there set to go all day and they stop at every single floor because the Orthodox Jews do not want to press a button on the Sabbath day they see what really happens is, there are laws that grow up in regarding the Sabbath and people begin to so emphasize those meticulous laws when God says you're missing the point. I had intended that you have a day of rest and worship and reflection.

And here it hasn't been reduced to a time when you are nitpicking regarding all kinds of small little regulations. Well, that's one question we come to another question and that is why does the Christian church not observe the Sabbath and this of course is a tremendous controversy as you well know, some of our Seventh-day Adventist friends will tell us we are breaking the law of God, and in response.

Of course all that we can do is show them the New Testament held that the early church began to meet on the first day of the week and they took this time of rest and reflection and they changed it into a time of rejoicing.

Now just to give you an idea. For example, if you're taking notes John chapter 20 verse 19 it says that they gather together on the first day of the week. Then maybe we should take time to look at the book of acts chapter 20 acts chapter 20 where you have the early church again. Meeting on the first day of the week. Acts chapter 20 verse seven it says, and on the first day of the week when we were gathered together to break bread pole began talking to them, intending to depart the next day the breaking of bread refers to communion and you'll notice that it was on the first day of the week will my friend, this is pastor Luther no matter how we understand the Sabbath. One thing is absolutely clear and that is God demands holiness and you and I don't have the holiness that God demands it is supplied to us through Jesus Christ. But this is very important. God also calls us to a holy living.

I've written a book entitled why holiness matters. The 10 Commandments Jesus and you for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Remember this, that the God of Sinai is also the God of Calvary, and God is not changed his mind about the nature of sin. He deals with us differently, but holiness is still required 1-888-218-9337 it's time now for another chance for you to ask pastor Luther a question about the Bible or the Christian life. All signs seem to indicate dark is coming from the United States for those without jobs, perhaps facing foreclosure.

Those days have already come and no doubt the moral climate is sinking fast, very concerned listener of ours is emailed this question.

Pastor Luther's America under God's judgment. Now, I believe that America is under God's judgment today.

Yes, you know. Oftentimes, when we talk about a nation being under judgment. Today people think that that means that we see judgment only in a terrorist attack or add a time such as Katrina.

The tremendous natural disaster which devastated so many, but actually a nation is under judgment when it begins to feel the effects of its sin. Judgment is nothing more than the accumulated effects of sin. All sin has some judgments but when you have a nation that has so turned away from God. As we have so consciously turned away from God. We see the effects of sin and the judgment of God. Everywhere we see it in the breakup of our families. For example, the fact that 20 million children will go to bed tonight in America with a single parent in the household fatherlessness because of immorality because of the breakup of the family because of selfishness because we have ignored God's laws. All of this, the effects are clearly seen, and we need to understand that we also see it in the political world where God is excluded from government from law from education and this has its consequences to we look at the moral and the spiritual breakdown we see today that our leaders appear to be absolutely blind to what is happening around them that to his judgment. You know, when Israel was taken into Babylon. They were under judgment, but in the midst of that you have people like Daniel and others who are faithful to the Lord.

So we are called to be faithful at a time when our nation is experiencing the consequences of its sin. And that's a long story. What faithfulness really means. But yes, God does not wink at sin and we have dethroned God in our culture and the consequences are apparent.

Thank you, Dr. Luther, the Lord have mercy of the United States of America. If you'd like to hear your question answered.

Go to our and click on ask pastor Luther or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us have run into when 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 God made it clear all of us need a day of rest. The concept is so important that he made it into one of the 10 Commandments.

Nowadays, Sunday is just another day to shop work will be on the move. Not a day for reflection, meditation where next time I'm going to win tuned in to learn more about God's commandment that we observe the Sabbath day and why. Sunday is that day. For believers in Christ morning to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. This is Dave Hollister running to win is sponsored by the Moody church

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