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Questions On Doctrine


Saturday Observance a Valid Criterion



Do Seventh-day Adventists believe that Saturday is the only valid criterion for determining full obedience to the law of God, or can one worship sincerely on Sunday, but fail to keep the Sabbath, and still be counted a faithful and obedient Christian?


Seventh-day Adventists can not, and do not, read hearts; that is God's prerogative. We believe in advancing light. Time, circumstance, knowledge, understanding, and conviction are determining factors. And we believe, further, that at stated times there is a special "present truth" due for emphasis (2 Peter 1: 12).

We likewise believe that light is to increase "more and more unto the perfect day" (Prov. 4:18), and that increasing knowledge and understanding unavoidably carry with them increasing responsibility (John 9:41). "To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). Repudiation of recognized light then becomes a matter for which one is responsible. "While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light" (John 12:36). "Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you"


(verse 35). "Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light" (Luke 11:35, 36).

As to the question itself, it should be noted:

When Sunday observance shall be enforced by law, and the world shall be enlightened concerning the obligation of the true Sabbath, then whoever shall transgress the command of God, to obey a precept which has no higher authority than that of Rome, will thereby honor popery above God.—The Great Controversy, p. 449

We recognize that the Sabbath was not a test in medieval times. And we do not believe that it was a test in the days of the great sixteenth-century Reformation, or even in Wesley's day. But in these "last days," when, we believe, all truth is to be restored before Christ's second coming, and the message with divine import is to come to mankind on the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, there is a moral accountability for obedience on the part of those to whom light and conviction have come. God surely does not hold men accountable for truth that has not yet come to their knowledge and understanding.

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