In today’s post, I want to share some highlights taken from the inspiring testimony of a Christian Pastor named Dan Jarrard.
The title of his talk is “Why I became a Sabbath-keeping Christian”.
While many such talks can be found all over the place on Youtube and other online sites, what I found particularly refreshing about Dan’s testimony is the nice concise and logical way he presents his points or as he puts it “I have been impressed to keep it, as we say in the South, short and sweet“.
Well, what I’ve attempted to do is trim the fat even more from his already “short and sweet” presentation and just leave you with the filet mignon.
Here are the four powerful reasons why Dan decided to become a Sabbath-keeping Christian.
REASON 1-BECAUSE THE SABBATH WAS KEPT IN THE BEGINNING
“Thousands of years before the first “Jewish person” the Sabbath was already instituted – AND it was instituted in the beginning. It was NOT instituted as part of the covenant God made with Abraham and his offspring – it was instituted as God’s signature, as it were, to “all His work”.
God instituted the Sabbath, in the beginning, for at least three reasons:
(+) As a way of reminding man how blessed we are.
(+) As a way of affording man a time for rest and refreshment.
(+) As a way of helping man stay in touch with the Creator.
Jesus voiced this with immense authority in Mark 2: 28. “Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.”
REASON 2-BECAUSE JESUS KEPT IT.
What I learned about Christ’s relationship to the law was what had been expressed by the prophet in Isaiah 42: 21. “The Lord . . . will magnify the law, and make it honorable.”
I came to believe, on the basis of what the Bible says (and not other books, my family, professors, or preachers), that Christ not only confirmed Saturday to be the Seventh-day Sabbath with His words, He also confirmed it with His actions.
It became plain that Saturday, the Seventh-day Sabbath, had been observed as a part of His relationship with His Father all the years of His growth and preparation in Nazareth. Now that He was beginning His public ministry, He continued to practice Sabbath observance so as to teach the disciples, by practice, their moral privilege and responsibility to follow His pattern.
How exciting it was for me to understand that Jesus did not violate the Seventh-day Sabbath, even in His death. Why? Because His rest in the tomb on the Sabbath was His signature of the finished requirement for whosoever will to be saved.
REASON 3-BECAUSE IT WAS KEPT BY THE APOSTLES
And there is, as we have already discovered, nothing in the Gospels to remotely indicate Jesus taught His disciples that they were to cease observing the Seventh-day Sabbath as the Lord’s Day.
It soon becomes apparent that to establish a “Sunday-keeping” principle on the basis of the gathering on the Resurrection Day is one that will not pass the acid test of responding to the area of their daily meetings.
Since the book of Acts traces the history of the church from the Ascension of Jesus, in A.D. 31, to the approximate date of A.D. 62, it was interesting for me to walk through those early years of Christianity and see the apostles continuing to follow in the steps of Jesus relative to all things, even the keeping of Saturday, the Seventh-day Sabbath.
Both Jew and Gentile Christians, 20 YEARS AFTER THE RESURRECTION, were walking in the steps of Jesus, as far as their observance of the Seventh-day Sabbath was concerned.
In approximately A.D. 53, 22 YEARS AFTER THE RESURRECTION, Paul’s path was still that of following the example of Jesus – even in regard to Seventh-day Sabbath observance.
REASON 4-BECAUSE IT WAS KEPT BY THE EARLY CHURCH
I do know that God informed in His Word there would be a movement intent on changing what was the practice of the early apostles and Christian church. This movement would “speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws . . .” (Daniel 7: 25). Did you notice the words, “THINK TO CHANGE TIMES AND LAWS?” Can it be that the “times” was referring to the “change” of the Seventh-day Sabbath observance to First-day Sunday observance?
I do know that a change took place somewhere along the way in the minds and hearts of the majority of the Christian church relative to a lot of issues, among which is the Scriptural verification for being a “Sabbath-keeping” Christian. The time of this change and the entities involved in this change can be debated (and have been in heated tones), BUT that a change did take place cannot be debated – IT IS A FACT.
I do know that even though a change took place somewhere along the way in the minds and hearts of the majority of the Christian church relative to the importance of being a “Sabbath-keeping” Christian, there were also other Christians, down through the centuries, who chose to remain committed to adhering to what the Scriptures, and not other influences, said or say on this subject.
(The above quotes were taken from Jarrard, Dan (2012-11-21). Why I Am A “Sabbath-keeping” Christian (Kindle Location 101). Dan Jarrard. Kindle Edition.)
One final point I wanted to add before closing is that it should be evident by now that Biblically speaking, there is no such thing as a “Sunday sabbath”.
It doesn’t exist.
There’s a reason why God gave us His Word.
Let’s obey it.