By: Rob Peralta
This situation requires God's wisdom and grace. Perhaps this is one of the most touchy situations that we (believers in ALL the commandments) have to deal with.
On the one hand we are close to our family and friends, yet on the other we know they are not doing His Commandment. We must remember they are "Commandments" meaning we MUST do them. They are not the 10 suggestions. Clearly God's word says that the people living in the last days (which we are) are going to be saved by testifying of our Lord and KEEPING the Commandments(Rev.14:12). So what are we to do?
First, we must realize that great love is when we try to save someone from destruction. These people are heading for destruction (once they know it's a Commandment) because God makes NO exceptions. Jesus said (Matt 7:22, 23) "Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And cast out demons in Your name? And did many wonderful works in Your name? And then I will say unto them, I never knew you, depart from me, you that PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS." His Law cannot be changed. (Psalms 89:34) "My covenant I will not break, nor alter that which comes from my lips." The great 10 commandments came from His lips and the heart of those Commandments is the Sabbath.
I am NOT saying that ALL Sunday keepers who have ever lived will perish because if they were never shown that the Sabbath is a Commandment and they walked in the light that they "knew" then God's grace may have sufficed. But once they KNOW that the Sabbath is a Commandment of God, then accountability comes unto them. It is our responsibility to help them see that God truly cares for them and wants their obedience to His word. We MUST do this in a humble and caring way. (Hebrews 10:26) is VERY clear about this accountability. "If we sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there remains NO MORE SACRIFICE for our sins" Here it is clearly showing that when we know His truth (i.e. the Commandments) we must obey them.
How important is His word and the thing that came out of His mouth? Read (Psalms 138:2) "...for You have exalted Your word above Your name." So we can see the importance of obeying His word.
Once we have warned them, then we have done our part to try to save them from destruction. We care so much for them that we don't neglect this truly important duty. Yet Jesus made it clear when He said in (Matt 10:37) "he that loves his Father or Mother more than me , is not worthy of me". So to neglect our duty for the sake of our relationship with our family or friends is to put them before our duty.
After we have tried and we meet a hardened heart that will not listen it is important to realize that it is time for us to rely on prayer. The Holy Spirit must take over. If we push too much it will only harden their hearts even more against obeying His Commandment. I have heard of many stories where the family member or friend FINALLY accepted His Commandment after years of prayer from the Sabbath keeper.
Let us always continue to show the way to our family and friends, if our direct words won't persuade them, then our loving actions may. Yours in Christ.