Home Questions and Answers Question 11 - Should Church Be on Sunday or Saturday?
Question 11 - Should Church Be on Sunday or Saturday? PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 26 April 2013 13:09

Question: Should church be on Sunday or Saturday? Answer: Church should be on Sunday. The Bible clearly reveals that the Sabbath is for the nation of Israel. Ezekiel 20:20 states that the Sabbath is a sign for none other than a Jew. After all, Jews require a sign, not Gentiles (1 Cor. 1:22). Seventh-day Adventists may argue that no one can say that the Sabbath is just for Jews (Is. 56:2-7). The Sabbath was made for all men (Mk. 2:27). Christians are even told to enter the Sabbatical rest (Heb. 4:4-10). Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath, so as followers of Christ, we must observe the Sabbath (Mk. 2:28). Here are several problems with this argument:

 

1)    Isaiah 56:2-7: The context is the Millennium, not today in the Church Age. Notice the Lord brings salvation and reveals his righteousness upon the world (vs. 1). He restores the outcasts of Israel (vs.8). In the previous chapter, the earth is restored (vs. 12-13). In the same book, the Gentiles observe the Sabbaths, but that happens at the Millennium (66:22-23).

2)    Mark 2:27: Rather than nitpicking one verse, why not look at the rest of the verses in the Bible? The rest of the Bible show that “man” and “sabbath” ALWAYS refer to national Jews or Millennial Gentiles. So it is true that the Sabbath is made for man, but it is aimed to the Jews first, then eventually to the Gentiles at the Millennium. It is like how the gospel is made for man, but it aimed to the Jews first, then eventually to the Gentiles (Rom. 1:16). Note especially how the Bible reveals that no “man” was to judge you about observing the “sabbath” until the Millennium occurs (Col. 2:16-17 cf. Is. 56:2-7; 66:22-23).

3)    Hebrews 4:4-10: By simply looking at the book to begin with, one would have recognized that the passage was aimed toward Hebrews, because the Jews are the ones who observe the Sabbath. Because the Jews are to follow the Sabbath at the Millennium, the passage is aimed for the nation of Israel at the future times (1:2; 2:5; 8:10-13).

4)    Mark 12:28: This verse just says that Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath. It never said that Christians are to go to church on the Sabbath. Also, Jesus should not just be our Lord on Saturdays. He ought to be our Lord on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays as well. To limit Jesus as Lord on Saturdays is to limit Him as the Lord Himself.

Knowing that the Sabbath is not clearly commanded for the Christian church, they will claim that ever since the Old Testament, the Sabbath has always been observed, never Sunday. Jesus observed it (Lk. 4:16). The disciples observed it (Lk. 23:56). Paul observed it (Acts 17:1-3). The Gentiles observed it (Acts 13:42).The church started at the Sabbath, which occurs on a Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). The Catholic church has changed the Biblical day of worship from Saturday to Sunday. Here are several problems with their arguments:

1)    Lk. 4:16 & 23:56: Of course, every Old Testament verse and any verse in the four Gospels will show that the Jews, Jesus, and the disciples observed the Sabbath, because they were still Jews living in the Old Testament. The Christian church did not officially begin until Acts 2:4, 47.

2)    Acts 17:1-3: Of course, this passage and many more will mention about Paul going to the Jewish synagogues on the Sabbath. Isn’t it obvious? It is because he wants to witness to the Jews over there. In the synagogues, you have a chance to speak openly about the scriptures.

3)    Acts 13:42: Of course, the Gentiles attended the Sabbath, because they were proselytes to Judaism to begin with (vs. 43). Also, these Gentiles were not saved until later on when they heard Paul’s preaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath (vs. 44-48).

4)    Acts 2:1-4: Pentecost occurs on the first day of the week, never Saturday. Anyone who is familiar with the Jewish calendar knows Saturday is incorrect, and Jewish scribes know this contradicts the day of Pentecost in Leviticus 23:15-16. Thus, we worship God on Sunday, because it was the official beginning of the Christian church (vs. 1-4, 47).

5)    Matthew 28:1: Christ specifically resurrected after the end of the Sabbath. How can we commemorate such an important day of our Lord’s resurrection if we neglect Sunday? Why commemorate the day of a dead Man, rather than a living Savior? This is why historically Sunday has been commemorated, not Saturday. The Catholic church did not even start yet.

•    Epistle of Barnabas (100 AD). “Wherefore we Christians keep the eighth day for joy, on which also Jesus arose from the dead and when he appeared ascended into heaven” (15:8f, The Epistle of Barnabas, 100 AD, Ante-Nicene Fathers , vol. 1, pg. 147).

•    Bardesanes (200 AD). “Wherever we are, we are all called after the one name of Christ Christians. On one day, the first of the week, we assemble ourselves together” (On Fate).

•    The Didascalia (225 AD). "The apostles further appointed: On the first day of the week let there be service, and the reading of the Holy Scriptures, and the oblation, because on the first day of the week our Lord rose from the place of the dead” (Didascalia 2).

•    Ignatius (250 AD): "This [custom], of not bending the knee upon Sunday, is a symbol of the resurrection, through which we have been set free, by the grace of Christ, from sins, and from death, which has been put to death under Him. Now this custom took its rise from apostolic times, as the blessed Irenaeus, the martyr and bishop of Lyons, declares in his treatise On Easter, in which he makes mention of Pentecost also; upon which we do not bend the knee, because it is of equal significance with the Lord's day, for the reason already alleged concerning it" (Ignatius, Fragments).

•    Justin Martyr (150 AD). "And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead” (First apology of Justin, Weekly Worship of the Christians, Ch. 68).

6)    Acts 20:7: Paul preached at the Christian church on the first day of the week, Sunday. He did not preach to them on Saturday. So what is wrong with worshipping on Sundays?

7)    1 Corinthians 16:1-2: The Corinthian church held offerings on the first day of the week, Sunday. They did not hold church offerings on Saturday. So what is wrong with holding offering services on Sundays?

8)    Romans 14:5-6, 16: Observances do not have to be restricted to certain days, but we observe Sunday on the basis of not letting people get the wrong idea of us. If we held a church service on Saturday, rather than Sunday, won’t the people associate us with Seventh-day Adventists, who adorn themselves with the heresies of Ellen G. White?

 

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 26 April 2013 13:13
 
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