Who Is Your Lord of the Sabbath?
By Pastor Lee Hemen
March 14, 2009
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:23-25)
I find it interesting and quite telling of a person’s actual closeness to the Lord by how they view their church attendance. Now I know there will be some of you who will want to protest that “My church attendance does not mean that I do not love God!” Well you know what? I learned a long time ago that what a person does speaks louder than what they say they believe. No matter how many times one tries to slice the pie there can only be one outcome.
The writer of Hebrews was concerned that those he was writing to were in danger of “drifting away,” (Hebrews 2:1) and so he begins a whole series of telling his readers “do not” do this, “do not” do that. And right smack dab in the middle of it all he writes this section whereby he tells them to “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess.” Why? Because those he was writing to were not being faithful. How? (I am glad you asked!) They were not spurring “one another on toward love and good deeds.” They were not encouraging, coaxing, and disciplining one another to keep on keeping on in the faith of Jesus Christ! Some of these folks had stop doing what they were supposed to be doing as brothers and sisters in the Lord. And in case in point they were not attending church regularly like they should have been because the writer of Hebrews bluntly states, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing!”
There were evidently those who thought they could get by with just maintaining their faith by not going to church. They thought that if they continued to think good thoughts about God, lived good lives, and spoke and acted “Christian” they were okay. But doggone it that writer of Hebrews now was picking on these poor helpless spiritual loafers in the Lord. He said that they were in danger of drifting away from the teachings of the Lord Jesus because of their lazy attitude toward church attendance, and he was correct!
It is going to be a huge surprise for the spiritually anorexic American Christian when the Day of the Lord comes and they have to stand in front of the throne of God to give an account as to why they were not in His body, serving and worshipping Him, on a regular basis. They will have to tell the Lord of all Sacrifice why they could not tithe, get up in the morning, or give their tee time to the Lord once in a while. Regularity is good for both your physical and spiritual health. God desires His people to be with others who claim Christ as well. Why? So that they will not “drift away!” It is easy for one by themselves to develop all kinds of odd and wrong ideas not only about God, Jesus, and the church, but also about themselves and their relationship with the Lord. An individual can become conceited and prideful thinking they do not need to be in church to prove their faith.
I find it humorous that I often find those who we would consider to be the worst of “sinners” willing to be in church, while those who claim personal holiness are found regularly playing games with the Lord’s Day? Could it be personal pride? Spiritual blindness? Wrong theology? Arrogance? How about simple spiritual laziness. While I know that those who are quick to quote “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath,” (Mark 2:27) are either being deliberately or ignorantly forgetting the context of Jesus’ words. That He was Lord of the Sabbath, and the writer of Hebrews also knew that those who love Him will honor Him by being in worship and service with fellow Christians because they know Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath as well. Jesus also demanded that if one wanted to be great in His kingdom, he would learn to be the servant of all, and that where two or more were gathered “in His name, there I am.” Jesus was speaking about His church, not three men in a boat fishing. Dear believer who will be your Lord of the Sabbath this coming Sunday morning?
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