Introduction: Sunset to Sunset, God's Sabbath Rest

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Sunset to Sunset, God's Sabbath Rest

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Too many of us live at a frantic pace, trying desperately to stay on top of everything we need to get done. It's no wonder we feel out of touch with our spouses, our families and even our Creator. But did you know that God offers a little-understood remedy for our hurried and harried lives?

Society has undergone astonishing changes in recent decades. Everyone, it seems, lives at a breakneck pace, constantly rushing here and there to get everything done. Technological advances that once promised more leisure time now seem only to push us further behind, making it ever more difficult to catch up.

Why is there such controversy and confusion over the Sabbath commandment when most people, including religious leaders and their churches, have little quarrel with the other nine?

So we frantically scramble. We feel out of touch—out of touch with our spouse, out of touch with our families, out of touch with the world around us and, perhaps most of all, out of touch with God.

This very Being who created the universe, including every one of us, did not leave us to grope in the dark to understand His intent for our lives. Rather, through inspiration, He caused His instruction and truth to be written down for us (2 Timothy 3:15-17; John 17:17). His revelation, the Holy Bible, tells us what we need to know about life's purpose, why we are here and where we are headed. Most important, it tells us how to live.

It tells us that thousands of years ago God gave a people a set of laws, promising the recipients that they would be blessed if they obeyed them. "You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you," He told them (Deuteronomy 5:33, emphasis added throughout).

The law God revealed is summed up in the Ten Commandments. They are our basic guide for living, showing us how to have a proper relationship with our Creator and fellow man.

Among those commandments, the one most universally misunderstood and misapplied is God's instruction to "remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Exodus 20:8). Many people view the Sabbath as a quaint relic of history, perhaps a nice idea at some time in the past but altogether impractical in today's busy world. Some think the Sabbath is Sunday and that spending an hour or two at church on Sunday morning fulfills the intent of the Sabbath commandment.

Others think Jesus Christ did away with any specific day of rest, or the need to worship on a particular day, and that whatever time we choose to dedicate to God is holy.

The questions and opinions about this commandment, it seems, are endless. Did Jesus keep the Sabbath because He was Jewish, or did He actually break the Sabbath command to demonstrate our freedom from Old Testament law, leading the religious leaders of His day to want to kill Him? Did the apostle Paul, in writing more books of the New Testament than any other writer, show that the Sabbath is no longer necessary for Christians, or did he uphold it?

Was the Sabbath condemned and changed in the early New Testament Church, or was it confirmed? Did God sanctify the Sabbath at the time He created Adam and Eve, or did He first set it apart as holy time at the Exodus more than 2,000 years later? Was the Sabbath changed from the seventh day of the week to another day, and if so, when did this happen?

Why did God command a day of rest to begin with? Did He have a purpose for it, and if so, what is that purpose? Is the Sabbath at all relevant for humankind today? Does it make sense in today's world? The questions go on and on.

Why should there be such confusion about one of the 10 basic guiding principles and laws God gave mankind? Why is there such controversy and confusion over this one commandment when most people, including religious leaders and their churches, have little quarrel with the other nine?

You don't have to look far to discover the answers to these questions. They can be found in the pages of the Bible and history. And we address these basic questions in this booklet. Join us now for a journey through the Bible to discover God's Sabbath Rest.

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