The question of why we require Sunday-keeping Christians to be re-baptized recently came to my attention. It’s a fair question. After one has spent many years walking with the Lord, it seems redundant to have to repeat the baptism ceremony. Why ask these Christians to be re-baptized just because they were not keeping God’s Sabbath? Is the Sabbath really such a big deal?

Focus on the Law

First, let’s not get hung up on the Sabbath. The Sabbath is no more of an issue than any other commandment of God. God says in Rev 12:9, that Satan actively deceives. Consequently, people do not understand the importance of God’s Law. They do not believe the breaking of God’s commandments matters. Many of these people come to recognize Jesus as Lord but, unfortunately, they still do not understand the importance of God’s Law. We know otherwise. God’s Law is His way of life. It is the way of love. It is impossible to attain eternal life in a state of rebellion to God’s Law.

The first step in our walk with God is repentance. The second is to be baptized. This is made clear in Acts 2:38. These steps are essential before God grants us His Holy Spirit (the deposit on eternal life). God will not grant eternal life to someone who does not conform to His way of life. God’s way of life brings peace to us and to others. Breaking God’s Law brings misery.

The issue is not whether or not one keeps the Sabbath, the issue is whether or not one keeps God’s Law. This is the fundamental issue. Ignorance of the law doesn’t matter. Romans 2:11-12 says:

11 For there is no respect of persons with God.12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

If someone came to the church of God with multiple partners, God would require them to repent and be baptized. The breaking of God’s Sabbath is no different. The Sabbath is one of God’s Ten Commandments. James 2:10 says,

10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point , he is guilty of all.11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

James could have equally said “For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Keep the Sabbath. Now if you commit no adultery, yet you break the Sabbath, you’re a transgressor of the law.”

Now Focus on the Sabbath

Some have said that we focus too much on the Sabbath. It appears this way only because we live in a Sabbath-breaking culture. The breaking of other commandments does prick the conscience of most people. It is, therefore, easy for them to recognize the need to repent.  They do not realize that the Sabbath is a foundational part of God’s system of worship. The first four of the Ten Commandments show us how to love God. (The last six show us how to love our fellow man.) The Sabbath is the fourth command and God commands us to observe it so that we can worship Him in spirit and in truth. In fact, before man was created, God created the sun and moon to enable man to know the appointed times to worship God. You will see this in Gen 1:14, where God says:

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years:

The word “seasons” in this verse is the Hebrew word “moad”. Here is the definition from Strong’s:

4150. dEowøm mow{ed, mo-ade´; or dEoOm moled, mo-ade´; or (feminine) h∂dDowøm moweadah(2 Chronicles 8:13), mo-aw-daw´; from 3259; properly, an appointment, i.e. a fixed time or season; specifically, a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by extension, the place of meeting; also a signal (as appointed beforehand):—appointed (sign, time), (place of, solemn) assembly, congregation, (set, solemn) feast, (appointed, due) season, solemn(-ity), synogogue, (set) time (appointed).

God has set times for us to worship Him. We welcome everyone to come and fellowship with us at these appointed times. And yes, if you have not been keeping God’s commandments, we will encourage you to repent and be baptized as the first steps in your new walk with God.

If you have questions or comments, please let us know. We’re happy to talk with you.

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