“It wasn’t long ago that we were gathered to discuss this matter. However, now it was time again. Only a few days before, my country had been hit by a disastrous tornado, that took many lives. A week ago, a series of fires destroyed major cities around the world, followed by a great earthquake that hit the neighbor country.”
“I think God is not happy with us”, Mr. C. said. Every leader present was listening with great attention.
Mr. C continued:
“He is disappointed. Let me remind you of what his holiness told us some time ago in his encyclical Laudato Si. ‘“Humanity has disappointed God’s expectations.’” Now it is time to go all the way. Or does anyone here want to take any further risks?”
The Big Boss, as we call him, took the microphone and said:
“My country took a huge detour from the climate agreement, but we are glad to be back, and now we’re all in!”
Whispers and mumbles were heard among the congregation. Then Mr. Chairman said:
“His holiness, please tell us, how do you believe we have disappointed God?”
Decidedly and with authority he said:
“God is angry with us, and now it is time to get serious. The world is offending God by violating the holy day of rest – Sunday. This is one of the things we have stressed for years to implement all over the world.”
After some discussion, Mr. Chairman himself moved the following:
“Let us all follow the example of the United States and make Sunday observance mandatory.
A great applause filled the hall.
Sometime later, more calamities filled the earth, and nothing seem to have helped of what each country had implemented. On our next gathering, some of us had doubts as how to precede.
“The world has already enforced Sunday as a day of worship, and this keeps getting worse! I’m not sure this is helping anything” I said.
The leader of a neighbor country then stood up:
“With all respect Mr. Z. There is a small group of Sabbath keepers around the world that keep the Seventh day Sabbath. By doing this, in essence they destroy the reverence for Sunday!”
He got silent for a second, and then added:
“Isn’t that right, your holiness?”
The room was completely silent, with all eyes now fixed on the Pope. “You holiness, the floor is yours, Mr. Chairman assured.
“Let me tell you, their sins have reached heaven. It is their sins that have brought calamities upon the world. The natural disasters will certainly not cease until all the world will keep Sunday.”
As a result of this important meeting, the Sabbath keepers got the blame for the disasters upon the earth.
Mr. Z went home content that day. “Finally, the problems would soon cease”, he thought. The next day, he filed a complaint against his former good friend Mr. A. He and his family were denounced as enemies of law and order.
Later in the court, the judge read the decision:
”…You are charged for breaking down the moral restraints of society, as well as anarchy and corruption. You refuse to keep Sunday, and you are holding on to your so-called Sabbath. Thus, you are calling down the judgments of God upon us. This is nothing else than obstinacy, stubbornness, and contempt of authority. You are a troubler and a rebel against authority.”
Mr. A and his family were thrown into prison, and many other Sabbath keepers were punished.
This parable may seem like fiction to some. But really, we have been warned several times.
Calamities and the Sunday Law
As Seventh Day Adventists we have heard and preached about a Sunday law for more than a century. How will the world really be united on this issue? For some it might seem unlikely. Let’s look at it from an interesting angle.
Pope Francis delivered his encyclical on the environment (Laudato si) in June 2015. On September 24, 2015 he addressed the United States Congress, calling for action on Climate Change.
Acknowledging that the environment is getting worse, Pope Francis addressed this message to “every person living on this planet” and urged us to make improvements for the environment. Towards the end of his address, the Pope connected the environment with Sunday keeping, linking it to a concern for the nature and for the poor. He also later said that “humanity has disappointed God’s expectations”.
What will the next step be if the environment doesn’t improve, with what is currently being done by the world?
Later the same day, President Barack Obama said the following in a press release through the White House:
“I welcome His Holiness Pope Francis’s encyclical, and deeply admire the Pope’s decision to make the case – clearly, powerfully, and with the full moral authority of his position – for action on global climate change.”
He also mentioned the environment, and the poor, just like the Pope. Obama continues:
“…it is my hope that all world leaders–and all God’s children–will reflect on Pope Francis’s call to come together to care for our common home.”
This is very significant for prophecy. Climate change and how to solve natural disasters are some issues that easily unites the world.
Here are some powerful quotes from the pen of inspiration on the matter:
“Satan puts his interpretation upon events, and they think, as he would have them, that the calamities which fill the land are a result of Sunday-breaking. Thinking to appease the wrath of God, these influential men make laws enforcing Sunday observance. They think that by exalting this false rest day higher and still higher, compelling obedience to the Sunday law, the spurious sabbath, they are doing God service” (Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, p. 239).
“And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils. The class that have provoked the displeasure of Heaven will charge all their troubles upon those whose obedience to God’s commandments is a perpetual reproof to transgressors. It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath; that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced; and that those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the people, preventing their restoration to divine favor and temporal prosperity” (The Great Controversy, p. 590).
“Men in responsible positions will not only ignore and despise the Sabbath themselves, but from the sacred desk will urge upon the people the observance of the first day of the week, pleading tradition and custom in behalf of this man-made institution. They will point to calamities on land and sea—to the storms of wind, the floods, the earthquakes, the destruction by fire—as judgments indicating God’s displeasure because Sunday is not sacredly observed. These calamities will increase more and more, one disaster will follow close upon the heels of another; and those who make void the law of God will point to the few who are keeping the Sabbath of the fourth commandment as the ones who are bringing wrath upon the world. This falsehood is Satan’s device that he may ensnare the unwary” (Christian Service, p. 155).
“Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies of law and order, as breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing anarchy and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God upon the earth. Their conscientious scruples will be pronounced obstinacy, stubbornness, and contempt of authority. They will be accused of disaffection toward the government. Ministers who deny the obligation of the divine law will present from the pulpit the duty of yielding obedience to the civil authorities as ordained of God.” (The Great Controversy, p. 592)
There is no doubt that God wants us to be stewards the earth and His creation – we should. Nevertheless, imagine what will happen when the world will not find any solution to “the calamities which fill the land.” The last resort will then be to strictly enforce the Sunday Law, and make sure the world keeps it.
As Revelation chapter 13 describes, the world will get united and go against God’s Remnant, that will be the only group refusing to receive the mark of the beast.
May the Lord prepare us for what lies ahead, so that the day will not come upon us as a surprise! The coming of Jesus is nearer for each day.
Watch and pray!
Christian Hjortland is founder of Empower Missions and is serving as Director. He is a nurse, graphic designer, photographer, and has served as chaplain, Bible worker, as well as guest teacher at several mission schools. Christian is co-founder of the IMPACT movement which had its beginning in Norway. After getting trained at Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism, he became more passionate about sharing God’s word. His dream is to see the church revived, and to see Christ coming in this generation. He is serving in Empower Missions along with his newlywed wife, Susan.