Salvation and the Commanded Observances
Many ask if the keeping of the Sabbath, New Moons, and the annual observances is required for salvation. In this age just prior to the return of Jesus Christ, the answer to this question depends on the person doing the asking and on an individual's understanding of God's word.
Before answering this question, it is important to determine the biblical definition of a Christian:
A Christian is any person who has experienced the following:
- Been called by God the Father to salvation
- Accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior
- Repented of their sins
- Been baptized as an outward sign of repentance
- Received the holy spirit of God
As a result of having experienced all of these things, one should have a compelling desire to obey God, especially when one is shown the truth. But, to say that one is not a Christian, because one does not understand or keep the annual observances is to make a judgment that only God has the prerogative to make.
There is absolute proof that God the Father and Jesus Christ want those who have the holy spirit to practice all of the laws of God that apply under his agreement with them (Deut.30:15-19).
There is also absolute proof that God will destroy those who do not obey his way of life (1.Jn.3:4), and he will reward those who seek and obey him (Matt.19:16-17; Heb.11:16). God is extremely fair, just, and merciful with his creation, but he does require obedience:
"Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does not do it, to him it is sin" (Jms.4:17 Para.).
Herein lies a basic spiritual principle: if a person knows what is good and righteous but chooses that which is ungodly and evil, sin is imputed to that person and the wages of sin is death (Rom.6:23).
Jesus said that those who profess to be in obedience to God and his way of life but are not, are hypocrites:
"You hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matt.15:7-8 KJV).
"Why call me, Lord, Lord, when you do not do the things that I say?" (Lk.6:46 Para.).
By these and many others scriptures, we can be sure that God does require those who are truly his children to obey his law, which includes observing his special days.
Three Important Questions
The answer to the question of whether or not a person must observe these special observances to obtain salvation can be answered by asking oneself the following three questions:
- Do I understand what these observances are and what they symbolize?
- Do I understand that God commands these days to be observed?
- Do I understand that to willfully disobey God's law is sin, which is punishable by eternal death if I do not repent?
God the Father only judges us for what we know and understand. He will not condemn us for what we do not know or understand. The Father looks at the heart and intent of a person's actions. If your answer to any of the above questions is yes, it is very likely that the observance of these days is a requirement for your salvation.
Salvation is an individual matter. It is between each individual, God the Father, and Jesus Christ. It is not between one individual and another or a physical organization. Your salvation is your responsibility (Phil.2: 12). Each individual is held personally responsible for their own decisions concerning their personal relationship with God and each person is judged according to the spiritual knowledge that they possess and what they do with it.
For those who have been given the holy spirit and still do not understand the meaning of these special observances and the necessity for their observance, these observances are not yet required for their salvation, but only because they do not understand.
A DEADLY MISTAKE
A deadly mistake is being made by those whom God has called to salvation and will not obey him by observing his commanded observances. and holy convocations. Some still do not understand that once spiritual knowledge is given to an individual, it must be acted upon in a positive manner by the recipient.
God the Father and Jesus Christ are extremely serious about our salvation. They are so serious that they have placed the powers of the universe at the disposal of those who are truly called during this age.
The calling to salvation is not a game to be taken lightly. It is a life and death matter. Anyone who is unwilling to obey God's rules of conduct will not obtain immortality. For those who obey, there is the gift of salvation and immortality. For those who do not obey, there is dishonor and death. God will not be mocked.
Those who wish to destroy the law will be destroyed by it. Those who say that these observances are surely not for modern man, should remember that God says he is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb.1:12; 13:8; Rev.21:7-8).
Do you desire eternal life, or do you want death? The choice is yours.
You alone can answer this question.
By B. L. Cocherell b5w75