Forerunner, "Bible Study," December 1996

The Babylonian system depicted in Revelation 17 rules over the kings and kingdoms of the earth. It "shall intend to change times and law" (Daniel 7:25), and we see this particularly well in this world's holidays. The contrast between God's way and the world's is very obvious: God begins the year in the early spring as plant life begins to bud and grow; the world, in the middle of a dead winter (northern hemisphere) or hot summer (southern hemisphere). God's months start with a new moon; the world's, haphazardly. God begins the day at sunset; the world, at midnight. God sanctified the last day of the week for rest; the world, the first day, sixth day or whatever day without regard for God's command. This present world system has attempted to change God's Sabbath and holy days, syncretizing them into corrupt worship and establishing their own counterfeit holidays. In this study we will see that God has not sanctioned this world's pagan holidays and that it is wrong to share in its celebrations.

1. God created us in His image (Genesis 1:26). Does that mean we think like Him? Isaiah 55:8-9; Numbers 22:32; Proverbs 14:12.

Comment: God's intent is creative, constructive and leads to eternal life. In contrast, man's perspective is degenerative, destructive and leads to death. Physically and materially, man can design marvelous temporal things, but mentally and spiritually, his ways are far from God's. Man's holidays, philosophy and laws are opposite the Creator's.

2. Should a Christian get involved in the ways of this world? Psalm 73:3-17; Jeremiah 10:2-5, 8-11; II Corinthians 6:14-17; I John 2:15-17.

Comment: The apostle Paul warns us to beware of those who would try to cheat us of eternal life by their own human reasoning (Colossians 2:8). Why should a true Christian have fellowship with the world? Some believe that they can convert those in the world if they socialize with them, but it is God alone who calls future sons to glory (John 6:44; Hebrews 2:10).

3. Are we enslaved to whomever we follow or obey? Romans 6:16-22; I Corinthians 7:22-23; Galatians 4:1-11.

Comment: When we lack spiritual understanding and do as the world does, we are slaves of the world. When converted, we cease to be slaves of the world and become sons of God. We are slaves of the world until Jesus Christ frees us by calling and redeeming us. Thereafter, we cease being slaves of the world and become servants of Christ.

4. Does God care how we worship Him? Exodus 20:2-6; Deuteronomy 5:7-10; Matthew 15:8-9; I Corinthians 10:14; Titus 1:12-16. Does it matter whether or not we share in the celebration of this world's religious holidays? Deuteronomy 13:13-18; 27:15; Isaiah 1:13-14; 29:13; Luke 16:15; I Peter 4:3-4.

Comment: Though the Bible—the word of God—makes no direct references to New Year's Eve, Lent, Easter, Halloween, or Christmas, the origins of these pagan holidays are mentioned as being abominations to God.

5. Does it matter that most of this world's holidays are based on fables, myths and lies? Mark 7:6-9,13; II Thessalonians 2:9-12; Titus 1:14; Revelation 22:14-15. Are we to worship God in spirit and truth? John 4:23-24; Romans 1:18-25; I John 4:4-6.

Comment: A true Christian does not lie and does not associate with lies, but seeks after truth in all aspects of life. If we live with a little lie now, then it is much easier to live with a worse lie later. God is emphatic on this point: A liar will not enter the Kingdom of God (Revelation 21:7-8).

6. What should we do about this world's celebrations? Proverbs 4:14-17; II Corinthians 6:17; Revelation 18:1-4.

Comment: A popular question during the Vietnam War was, "What if they threw a war and nobody came?" This illustrates that we condone and lend support to activities we attend. If everyone obeyed God by refusing to keep pagan holidays, one of Satan's ploys to obscure God's plan for mankind would be thwarted. The Bible is very clear that we should avoid, flee or turn away from the ways of this world and beware of their entry into the church of God (II Timothy 3:1-5).

7. What standard should be used to determine which religious days to keep? II Timothy 3:15-16.

Comment: Jesus Christ is our example (John 16:33; Hebrews 13:8; I Peter 2:21-22). He commanded His own disciples to observe God's holy days (Luke 22:8; John 7:8; 14:15). The apostle Paul kept them and taught their observance (Acts 20:16; 24:14; I Corinthians 11:17-28; Colossians 2:16-17). As the holy days show God's plan, they depict the spiritual regeneration of man, whereas, man's holidays picture no such plan. The holy days, then, are a vital tool in bringing about God's true purpose for mankind. "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (I Corinthians 10:31).