"The Protest is Over!" At least that is what Anglican Bishop Tony Palmer declared at a Kenneth Copeland pastoral leadership conference on January 21, 2014. "The Protest is over," repeated Palmer, "and if there is no protest, how can there be a Protestant Church?"
It seems to me that the line between Protestant and Catholic gets blurred more and more every year. Attitudes and opinions of the Roman Church by Protestants are softening. A mere 60 years ago the country was concerned about electing a Catholic President of the country. Today, religious affiliation has little or now influence on voters. In fact, according to an August 31, 2017, article by Pew Research, "Most American Protestants now say the two Christian traditions are more similar than different, religiously, and many U.S. Protestants espouse traditionally Catholic beliefs on some issues." In fact, the article went on to state that a full 36% of Protestant Americans do not believe in either sola fide (faith alone) or sola scriptura (Scripture alone).
He talked about how the brothers had money, but no food, so they came to Joseph. It's interesting, in the original story, the brothers came and bowed down to Joseph. The unity the Roman Church has always sought is one where the world church bows at her feet.
What have the last 500 years taught us? Is the Protest really over?
Not much is said about the day after Jesus died. We know it was the Sabbath. But it must have been a somber, quiet, sad, reflective Sabbath for the followers of Jesus. Even the religious leaders had to know something was different. For they were still concerned about the body of Jesus and the disciples stealing it.
What strikes me is a comparison of the events of that original Easter Weekend. For six hours one Friday, He hung on the merciless and cruel cross of sin-fill hatred, dying in the place I deserved. After those six hours, in keeping with His own commandments and heavenly law that predates even creation, He rests on the seventh day. Thus I can't help but reflect back to creation--the six days at the beginning of earth's history where Jesus created our planet, solar system (and more). But on the seventh day of creation week He rested. ...
Matthew and Mark make it clear when Jesus was resurrected: It was the first day of the week--the day following the Sabbath, which followed the Day of Preparation--or Friday (cf Matthew 27:62, 28:1, Mark 15:42, 16:1-2). Interesting to me that they qualify what day it was in relation to the seventh-day Sabbath. Clearly we see that when Matthew wrote his Gospel, and Mark wrote his, the first day of the week was still that--the first day. In their minds, Sabbath was still the day of God's creation: Holy, for rest and worship. If the Holy Day of rest and worship had been changed by Jesus at His resurrection, one would expect Matthew or Mark to tell us.
Consider that while we don't know the exact date for writing, many believe Matthew was most likely written in the 50s AD, and Mark in the early 60s AD during the Nero Persecution. So in the very writing of their Gospels, we are reminded that they themselves, 20 and 30 years later, were still observing the seventh-day of the week as the Sabbath of the Lord God and not some other day.
Thus I join the world in celebrating the Lord's resurrection on a Sunday morning. But I will continue to keep holy the seventh-day of God's creation for worship and rest.
Just as His disciples did.
Just as Jesus did.
Does everything happen for a reason?
What is the will of God?
What is the will of God for my life?
Good questions most Christians will most likely ask at some point in their life.
Many are willing to do God's will, but many more often don't have the slightest idea of what that means in a practical sense in their life. So they turn to their pastor or their elders or other mentors in the church and ask, "How can I discover God's will for my life?"
Pastor Ben is a pastor, marriage counselor, and international lecturer on Bible prophecy for more than 18 years. His lectures and preaching appointments have taken him to Europe, Australia, and Central America. He currently serves as the Lead Pastor for the South Tacoma Adventist Fellowship in Tacoma, WA.