Sunday—A Tradition of Man

It seems more than coincidental that Jesus spelled out "traditions of men" as the false doctrine that would lead into vain worship. The chief tradition today which has turned multitudes from keeping the Ten Commandments is the doctrine of Sunday-keeping. Almost any Christian of any persuasion can defend and extol nine of the Ten Commandments. It is only the Sabbath which has stirred deep hatred and prejudice against the holy law of God.

Who inspired that attitude of contempt for the only part of the Bible which God wrote with His own hand? How have so many millions been led to equate obedience with legalism? The tragedy is that ministers have largely been responsible for turning people away from obedience. Repeatedly in my evangelistic crusades people tell me of angry tirades made by their own pastors against the Sabbath. Unable to give any Bible reason for Sunday observance, and frustrated by the insistent questions of their flock, many pastors turn to emotional attacks upon the validity of the law. I have found that these attacks generally follow two lines of argument. The fundamentalist group of preachers emphasizes the "spirit of the law" while insisting that the letter is not binding. This allows for the specific seventh day to be set aside for Sunday. The other group of more liberal theologians contends that no special day of worship is necessary and the believer is entirely free from all claims of the law

Since sin is defined in the Bible as "the transgression of the law," and Paul affirms that "Where no law is, there is no transgression," any attack on the law serves only to weaken man's convictions about sin (1 John 3:4; Romans 4:15). James tells us that the breaking of even one commandment is a violation of all ten, and constitutes transgression or sin Games 2:10-12).

Is it a serious matter to tear down confidence in this great hand-written moral code of God? Do men take sin more lightly when they lose faith in the authority of the Ten Commandments? Without question they do. The strange circumstance of ministers teaching people to sin is not easy to comprehend. It is only when we study the great lines of prophecy concerning these last days that we can begin to understand the phenomenon.

Apparently, God had to deal with unfaithful pastors in both Old and New Testament times. Some strong judgments had to be pronounced against the shepherds who misled the flock. Watchmen who would not tell the truth about approaching dangers were held accountable for the deaths which resulted. Such preachers are actually turned into agents of the evil one. Paul wrote, "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness" (2 Corinthians 11:14,15).

Only the inspired Book would label these ministers in such a blunt manner. Apparently, God looks upon such men as actual ministers of Satan because they fear to tell the truth and, instead, give their own ideas. It is time to understand the great conspiracy of Satan to lead men of the cloth—high-placed religious leaders—to teach perverse doctrines in the name of Christ. Paul predicted that "the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine .. .And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (2 Timothy 4:3, 4).

It is interesting to note that these last-day teachers are described as turning their ears away from the truth. This means that they saw it, understood it, but did not want to acknowledge it. God made exactly the same charge against His priests in the Old Testament. "Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them" (Ezekiel 22:26).

The priests of the Old Testament hid their eyes from the Sabbath and the ministers of the last days would turn their ears from the truth. How tragic! In other words, they would see it but would try to get away from it by refusing to keep looking. I have often talked to ministers of various persuasions on the subject of the Sabbath. Some have honestly admitted that Saturday is the true Lord's day of the Bible. Others reject it for various reasons. A few just could not believe that God was so particular about which day to observe. They reasoned that God would be understanding with those who found it more convenient to keep a different day than the seventh day. Some ministers that I talked with do not really accept the Bible as the inspired Word of God.

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