Q: #537. Why don't most Christians observe the Sabbath day on Saturday?
A: (Ex 20:8-11)(KJV) Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. (9) Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: (10) but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: (11) for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
The 4th commandment is quite clear that the Sabbath Day (Saturday) was to be set aside for the Lord. Why do we, as Christians, now honor the Lord on Sunday instead of Saturday as the 4th commandment states?
First, let me make it clear that the Sabbath Day was never changed to Sunday. What we celebrate on Sunday is called the Lord’s Day. John used this term to describe Sunday in (Rev 1:10) saying, “I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day…” Both the Bible and history show us that the disciples and the early church set this day aside to meet in order to honor and worship the Lord. Two verses showing this are:
(1 Cor 16:1-2)(KJV) Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. (2) Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
(Acts 20:7)(KJV) And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
The reason we now celebrate on Sunday (the first day of the week) is because it was the day of the most important event in history, the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from the dead. (see: Mk 16:9, Lk 24:1, Jn 20:1)
*** For an explanation of why this event is so important to Christians please go to: “The Resurrection“
It is very important to understand that a great number of the laws, rules, and traditions God gave the Jewish people to follow in the Old Testament had a single purpose: to point to the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Animal sacrifices, the High Priest, manna from Heaven, and the bronze serpent, are just a few of the many things that pointed to Jesus.
The Sabbath Day is another example of this. The Sabbath Day was a symbol of rest. It pointed to Jesus Christ who is now our rest. (See: Heb 4) The Sabbath was a shadow of the substance that was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. (See: Col 2:16-17 below) The Sabbath was also given as a sign to Israel (Ex 31:13-17)(Ezek 20:12). Nowhere is it given as a sign to the church in the New Testament. This is very important to understand. Nowhere in the New Testament are Christians told to keep the Sabbath Day. Nine of the ten commandments are repeated in the New Testament as laws to be kept, with only keeping the Sabbath Day omitted. On the contrary, God tells us in several places that we are no longer to be held accountable for the day we choose to honor the Lord. For example:
(Col 2:16-17)(KJV) Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days. (17) which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
(Rom 14:5-6)(KJV) One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. (6) He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it…..
(Gal 4:9-10)(KJV) But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? (10) Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
It is also significant to note that after Jesus arose from the dead on Sunday, He showed the importance of this day by appearing to the disciples on the following two Sundays. (See: Jn 20:19,26) Also, the Holy Spirit was later given on Sunday (Acts 2:1).
Thank the Lord that we are now under grace and no longer judged by the days and ways we choose to worship the Lord. Frankly, I cannot imagine in this technological age we live in today that anyone can perfectly keep the Sabbath as God commanded. Almost every single thing we use to live our daily life (electricity, water, television, etc…) is generated by manpower working behind the scenes to provide it. This alone is breaking God’s command to not have people working for you on the Sabbath, not even counting the other things we do for ourselves that would break God’s demands for keeping this day holy. And, shudder to think what the punishment was for breaking God’s command for not keeping it totally….. death (Ex 35:2)(Num 15:32-36). Also, consider how they were to die; they were to be stoned to death by God’s people. How many Sabbath keepers out there are obeying God’s command to carry out this sentence? Is it any less disobedient to not obey God in carrying out that sentence?
Dear friend, if you are a person who is a Sabbath keeper, then I say that is wonderful. I write this simply to share why we who worship on Sunday have chosen to do so. I truly believe that the thing that is most important to God is not the day we choose to worship Him, but simply that we DO worship Him, and this should not be confined to even one day, but should be each and every day. Thank you Lord Jesus for dying for me…. a sinner who falls short.