Sabbath Questions

Even though the Sabbath command is one of the ten commandments (Exodus 20:8-11), and is mentioned many places in the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments, it is routinely neglected and ignored by most people.

It’s not unusual for people, when confronted with the idea that the Sabbath ought to be kept, to have objections or questions. This often includes even those who’ve thought of themselves as Christians for years or for a lifetime. This is not to be unexpected, given the confusion that has been sown concerning the Sabbath from various quarters, and the common disregard and outright contempt for the Sabbath that is commonplace.

Yet, there are some here and there who are willing to consider the proposition that perhaps the Sabbath ought to be taken seriously, but have questions they would like to have answers to. Perhaps you are one of those people. Or perhaps you already keep the Biblical Sabbath. If you are one of the latter, could you answer common questions that frequently come up about the matter?

In this message, we address questions that have been asked of us about the Sabbath. These are not the only questions concerning Sabbath keeping we are confronted with, but some of the most common. Perhaps they are questions that have occurred to you, or that you have been challenged by.

I hope you will find the answers given insightful and convincing. God promises, “Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant–Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer” (Isaiah 56:6-7).

If you are not currently a Sabbath keeper, perhaps you will find yourself asking another question, as some have, “Why not keep the Sabbath?”

“Sabbath Questions” by Rod Reynolds, COGMessenger is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Why Did God Choose Israel — Part 1?

According to Scripture, God chose the people of Israel, that is, the people descended from the patriarch Israel, as his chosen people. The people of Israel had a special and privileged relationship with God.

“O seed of Abraham His servant, You children of Jacob, His chosen ones” (Psalms 105:6).

To many in our modern culture, the fact that God would designate a particular people to be “chosen,” separate from other peoples of the earth, would seem grossly unfair, and would make God partial, and a respecter of persons.

Why did God choose Israel? Let’s explore what the Bible has to say about this question.

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Does God Lie?

Does God lie? Did Jesus Christ speak in parables to deceive people?

A reader asked for my comment, writing to me, “I know of someone who said that Christ deceived. He was referring to the… parable of the sower and the seed. [He inferred] that Christ used the parables to deceive people so they wouldn’t understand.” The reader went on to say that some who think of themselves as Christians justify lying if one’s motive is to achieve a “good end,” for example, “to get the abortion law altered” so there would be fewer abortions.”

Should we lie? Should we do evil that good may come?

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Does God Want People to be Deceived?

Question: I have read the article, “Are ‘Many’ or ‘Few’ Called in this Age?”. One part has me confused. It is Matthew 13:15: “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (KJV).

I realize they could have seen but their hearts were dull, callous, insensible, their ears hard of hearing, and their eyes closed so they couldn’t see. That part I do understand. The part I don’t understand is the last part: “…lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart and should be converted and I should heal them.” Doesn’t that mean that their ears and eyes could be opened, which would lead them to understand with their heart?

If they were converted, would that mean that they repented and applied God’s law and obeyed Him, and He would heal them? If it isn’t referring to that, then I don’t understand what he was referring to. It sounds like He didn’t want them to understand or change. Would that mean that at times God doesn’t want someone to understand?

I don’t understand. I hope you can explain it for me. Thanks so much. Continue reading