Loading...
Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "undefined".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    April 9, 1891

    “Can We Keep the Sabbath?” The Present Truth 7, 8.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    There are thousands throughout the United States and in Europe who are ready at once to answer this question in the affirmative, for they know by experience that it is possible. Indeed, the question really admits of only one answer, and that is, “Yes; we can if we want to.” But there are many persons who imagine that they cannot keep the Sabbath, and for their benefit I propose to consider some of the so-called reasons which they give. This article is not intended for those who, in order to avoid the acknowledgment that the seventh day is the Sabbath, plead that the world is round, that time has been lost, and other flimsy objections against the Sabbath. It is only for those who acknowledge the truth of the Bible, are fully convinced that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, and know that it is the duty of all men to keep it, but fancy that they are so situated that it would be impossible for them to do so. I say they fancy, for it is not so in fact. No individual was ever yet placed in such a position that he could not do what was certainly his duty to do. He might find it difficult, and perhaps unpleasant, but never impossible.PTUK April 9, 1891, page 121.1

    “I would like to keep the Sabbath,” says one, but my business will not let me.” Well, if this is really the case, then get some other business that will not hinder. If you saw that your present business was greatly injuring your health, and would cause your death in a few months, unless abandoned, you would lose no time in changing your occupation. But by disobeying God you lose His favour, and this will bring eternal death.PTUK April 9, 1891, page 121.2

    “But I could not live if I were to keep the Sabbath.” This is of the same stamp as the reason given above, and is offered alike by those who are in prosperous business, and those who labor for their daily bread. How do you know that you could not live? Are there not thousands who are keeping the Sabbath, and do not they live? Ask those who have tried it, and see what testimony they bear. It is true, you may not be able to amass quite so much property, but “what is a man profited if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”PTUK April 9, 1891, page 121.3

    But let us consider this matter further. You say you cannot live if you keep the Sabbath. Are you sure that you can if you do not keep it? Have you any guarantee that your life will be continued indefinitely? Do those who violate God’s law live any longer on an average than those who keep it? You certainly know of no one who is not subject to death. The psalmist says: “What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?” Psalm 89:48. “It is appointed unto men once to die,” and this without any distinction in regard to age or belief. Then why do you assume that you will be exempt if you do not keep the Sabbath.PTUK April 9, 1891, page 121.4

    “But,” our friend will doubtless reply, “I expect, of course, to die sometime in the natural course of events, whether I keep the Sabbath or not; what I mean is, that I shall not be able to earn a living for myself and family.” Well, you profess to believe the Bible; let us see what it says in regard to this matter. “Therefore take no [anxious] thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (for after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:31-33. Could any promise be plainer than this? If it does not mean just what it says, it does not mean anything. And God is fully able to fulfil this promise. Just consider what a vast estate He has. Here is a description of it: “For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains; and the wild beasts of the field are Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee; for the world is Mine, and the fulness thereof.” Psalm 50:10-12. Surely you need have no fear of starving, if you serve such a Master as that.PTUK April 9, 1891, page 121.5

    Listen to another promise: “Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” Psalm 37:3. There you have the promise; now listen to the testimony of one who had an opportunity to know, as to how this promise is fulfilled: “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” Verse 25. You can verify this in your own experience if you choose. Who are they that form the great army of tramps, that wander through the country begging bread? Are they Christians, as a class? Are they those who have sunk their property in the service of God? I think no one ever saw a tramp that was noted for his piety. An active worker in the Young Men’s Christian Association says that of the hundreds who have applied for charity to the institution with which he is connected, all are irreligious persons, and that he has never known a regular attendant of church to apply for alms. Truly, “the blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it.”PTUK April 9, 1891, page 121.6

    Again the Lord says: “But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God; for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth.” Deuteronomy 8:18. No one can doubt the truth of this statement. “He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.” We could not keep ourselves alive for a single moment. All men, good and bad alike, are equally dependent on God for life and its attendant blessings. Now, if God has prospered you in the past, when you were trampling on his law, unwittingly it may be, will He not be more likely to continue His blessing if you obey Him? Will He not have an especial care for His servants who cheerfully obey Him? Certainly no person who professes faith in God’s Word should ever fear to keep His commandments.PTUK April 9, 1891, page 121.7

    Do not, however, get the idea that abundant riches are promised to those who obey God. The psalmist saw that the wicked were “not in trouble as other men;” he saw that they had more than heart could wish; and he became envious when he saw the prosperity of the wicked. But when he went into the sanctuary of God, and understood their end (Psalm 73:17), then his envy ceased. He saw that God does not propose to reward either the good or the bad in this life. The wicked may well have riches in this life, for that is all the enjoyment they will ever have; and the righteous can well afford to have but little of this world’s goods, and even to suffer affliction and persecution, since for them God has reserved “an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away”-“an exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”PTUK April 9, 1891, page 121.8

    But there is this difference between the wealthy sinner and the poor servant of God: There is no promise made to the transgressor of God’s law. God allows the sun to shine, and the rain to fall, alike on the just and unjust. But the transgressor has no assurance that all his riches may not “take to themselves wings and fly away,” and he be left a beggar; while the righteous man who may have but a bare living, has the promise that that little will be continued to him. God often permits His servants to be brought into strait places, and, in order to try their faith, to be sometimes brought where they can see no opening whatever; still His promises are sure, and cannot fail. Food and clothing are promised, and though these may be scant, yet “a little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.” Psalm 37:16.PTUK April 9, 1891, page 121.9

    One thought more: If we keep the commandments of God, we are God’s servants. If we refuse to obey Him, whose servants are we?-We certainly must be the servants of Satan. There is no neutral ground. “To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey.” Now suppose you continue in sin, and sin is nothing else but the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4), what is your prospect for living? Here is it: “For the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23. “The soul that sinneth it shall die.” Ezekiel 18:20. You say you cannot live if you keep all God’s commandments; God says you cannot live if you do not keep them. If your statement were true, you would only lose this present life, and many men in times past have lost their lives for the truth of God, and we honour them for it; but if you disobey God, you will lose eternal life. Jesus says: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.” Matthew 16:25. Satan may promise well, but he has nothing but the treasures of this world to offer, and they are all forfeited, so that he has really nothing to offer you. How different is the service of God. The apostle says: “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8.PTUK April 9, 1891, page 121.10

    But the promises of God and happiness to those who fear God are almost innumerable. Not a tithe of them has been given. Surely those mentioned are sufficient to enable anyone to trust God. E. J. W.PTUK April 9, 1891, page 122.1

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents