02 Jun How Does the Sabbath Prepare Us for Heaven?
Hebrews 4:4 – For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.”
A few years ago, when our family was gearing up to plant The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, we prayed a lot with the kids that God would provide a building. God supernaturally provided a historic, midcentury modern church named one of the coolest in our Valley. The original design of the building was incredible. Sadly, over the years, various tenants had departed from the original design plan and made a mess. It needed a lot of work but I’m happy to report that we’ve made incredible progress on the building, and it’s returning to its former glory.
This world is a lot like that building. God was the Designer, and His plan was perfect. We, however, have deviated from His plan through sin and made a mess. God, however, is committed to His original plan to bring everything back to His original design. His finished product is what we call Heaven.
When God created the world, He worked for six days and then rested on Saturday, the seventh day (Genesis 2:2). God was so serious about this design plan that He etched it in stone as the fourth commandment for slaves who had not had a day off in many years but were set free to be His people (Exodus 20:8-11). In creation, and in Heaven, the plan was for us to work six days a week and rest one day a week.
In defiance of God, some atheistic nations have tried in vain to establish anything other than a seven-day week. This includes the days of the French Revolution in the late eighteenth century, as well as the Russians in the early twentieth century.
Originally, the Sabbath day was Saturday. Once Jesus rose from death on the “first day of the week” which was Sunday (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1-2; Luke 24:1; John 20:19), Christians started meeting on that same day (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2), also called “the Lord’s Day” (Revelation 1:10). When the United States was founded, there was a disagreement as to whether Saturday or Sunday should be our Sabbath. We chose both, and now have a five-day work week and two-day weekend as a result.
Which day off should you choose? Romans 14:5-6 says, “One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord.” Religious people tend to care a lot more about what day you take off than God does. What God cares about is you getting a day off as practice for Heaven. On the cross, when Jesus said “it is finished” the work was done for you to be saved. By faith, you now rest in the finished work of Jesus. When you take a day off, you also are acting in faith that God will take care of you even when you are sleeping and resting. The reason God told former slaves who knew nothing of a day off to take one in the fourth commandment was because, if you don’t ever stop working, your job is your god, and God is not your God. The real God tells you to stop acting like a slave and start acting like a son by taking a day off.
Since Heaven is our final rest and eternal Sabbath, when we take a day off to recover, enjoy God, and enjoy the people and things He has given us, we are practicing for Heaven. And, when we don’t take our day off, the reason this life starts to feel like hell is because we are out of sync with how we were created and how life will be forever.
What is your day off? How good are you at actually taking and enjoying it?