Editorial

World Day of Prayer

MUCH has been written and said about repentance, revival, and reformation in the past few years, but often this has been quite general and not very specific. The question raised in Malachi 3:7: "Wherein shall we return?" called forth a specific answer from the Lord. This was in reference to the vital matter of robbing God in tithes and offerings. While this is still a problem in the church today, there is another area in which some drastic changes need to take place if we are to receive the full approval and blessing of the Lord. We write of Sabbath observance. . .

-Ministerial Secretary, Ministerial Association, General Conference, at the time this article was written

MUCH has been written and said about repentance, revival, and reformation in the past few years, but often this has been quite general and not very specific. The question raised in Malachi 3:7: "Wherein shall we return?" called forth a specific answer from the Lord. This was in reference to the vital matter of robbing God in tithes and offerings. While this is still a problem in the church today, there is another area in which some drastic changes need to take place if we are to receive the full approval and blessing of the Lord. We write of Sabbath observance.

Many have become so careless in this matter that in some places there is very little difference between how we keep the Sabbath and the way the average Christian keeps Sunday. The old familiar statement, "Oh, you Adventists keep Saturday for Sunday" comes altogether too close to the truth today. This is not only to be lamented, but by the grace of God, corrected.

April 28, 1973, has been designated as a day of prayer and special study on this vital issue. This is a WORLD DAY OF PRAYER and we appeal to every pastor to preach in his church on this Sabbath a mes sage on proper Sabbath observance that may be used by the Lord to lead His people to fuller conformity to His divine will.

The insert in this issue of The Ministry has been prepared to give our pastors and other ministers vital and relevant material that may be used as source materials for the Sabbath sermon. We hope you will study the insert very carefully and prayerfully, and then present the most vibrant sermon on the blessing of proper Sabbath observance that it is possible for you to preach.

We have also prepared a leaflet on Sabbath observance that will be made available to every family in the church. It would be well to have a supply of these on hand so that you can provide them to all future newly baptized members. This will give them a good understanding of what is involved in proper Sabbath observance and will get them started in the right way.

Dear brethren, let us not be halfhearted in our response to this matter. If our ministers will preach with all their hearts, and will set the right example, we believe that a genuine revival and reformation can begin on Sabbath, April 28, that will characterize our relationship to God for years to come.

In some places our members are required by law to send their children to school on the Sabbath. We should join with our people all over the world in praying that the Lord will intervene in their behalf. Our leaders in these countries will be encouraged by our prayers and earnest intercession to make strong appeals to those in authority to provide a proper solution to this distressing problem.

In view of this, and many other perplexing situations that have confronted us around the world, we call attention to the action taken by the Annual Council in Mexico City dealing with proper Sabbath observance. The call is quite explicit and will certainly receive wholehearted support by our ministers in all the world.

Resolution on Sabbath Observance

Realizing that the Sabbath of the Lord, our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, is to be the unique sign identifying God's true people in the last days, and

Recognizing that in some areas there exists among us today a great need for reform in our manner of Sabbath observance, and

Having recently studied in our churches a series of Sabbath school lessons on the subject "Christ and the Sabbath," which focused on the great significance of the Sabbath and its faithful observance, and

Understanding sympathetically that many of our people are confronted with serious problems as to their employment or education in relationship to proper Sabbath observance,

We recommend, 1. That an official call be extended to our believers throughout the world during 1973, Youth- Family Life Year, inviting them to unite in the observance of Sabbath, April 28, 1973, as a SPECIAL DAY OF PRAYER AND STUDY.

2. That on this day we especially beseech God:

a. That the Holy Spirit reveal to us, His people, the extent of our departure from God's will and lead us to repent and by careful attention to the sacredness of the Sabbath hours, manifest our love for Christ and His holy day.

b. That our people beset by problems that appear to be insurmountable be given faith and courage to obey God rather than men, and to claim the promise of our Lord who said: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Remembering that "when we learn the power of His word, we shall not follow the suggestions of Satan in order to obtain food or to save our lives. Our only question will be, What is God's command? and what His promise? Knowing these, we shall obey the one, and trust the other." The Desire of Ages, p. 121.

c. That His Spirit move upon the hearts of those in authority to make provision for our people so they may obey the commandments of God without experiencing undue difficulty.

3. That on this Sabbath the sermon be devoted to a renewed study of and dedication to the principles of proper Sabbath observance.

4. That in addition to the regular Sabbath services, groups be encouraged to come together either in churches or in homes for the purpose of giving further study to the divine counsel that has come to us in regard to proper Sabbath-keeping.

5. That in our study specific and helpful counsel be given to cover such aspects of genuine Sabbath observance as the priority of worship, the opportunity for service, the quality of social relationships, the nature of permissible recreation, the dilemma of school attendance, and the problem of Sabbath-free employment.

6. That special materials for this purpose be made avail able through The Ministry magazine, and that they be sup


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-Ministerial Secretary, Ministerial Association, General Conference, at the time this article was written

March 1973

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