What is the day for worship? Sunday or Saturday? Let us look in the Bible for the answer. God sanctified the seventh day Sabbath (Saturday) and blessed it at the creation of the world (Genesis 2:2-3). He blessed it because He had created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. It was the birthday of the world, a memorial of His great work.
Some teach that the seventh day Sabbath was just for the Jews. But the seventh day Sabbath was instituted 2500 years before the existence of the Jews. God made His holy Sabbath for the benefit of mankind (Mark 2: 27).
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The Seventh Day Sabbath (Saturday) in the Bible
- Abraham and his descendants kept all of God’s commandments (Genesis 26:4-5).
- The Bible shows that God’s children kept the seventh day Sabbath before He handed down the Ten Commandments in Sinai (Exodus 16:4, 26-30).
- God reinforced His Ten Commandments, in stone, with His own finger and placed special emphasis on remembering His seventh-day Sabbath: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God… For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11).
- The Sabbath is a sign between God and man (Ezekiel 20:12, 20).
- Jesus declared that, “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8). And He provided a pattern for us. While on earth as Son of Man, He made it His custom to keep each seventh-day Sabbath by attending worship services (Luke 4:16).
- Jesus said He did not come to destroy the Law, but to fill it to the fullest spiritual meaning (Matthew 5:17-18).
- And when someone asked Jesus, “what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? Jesus answered,… if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17-19).
- When Jesus prophesied about events that would take place forty years after His death (A.D. 70, the destruction of Jerusalem), He underscored the fact that His followers would still be observing His seventh day Sabbath (Matthew 24:20).
- Christ’s disciples kept the seventh day Sabbath after the Crucifixion and the Resurrection (Luke 23:56; Acts 13:14, 42-44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4). There’s no mention in the New Testament (written up to sixty years after Christ’s death) of changing or eliminating the seventh-day Sabbath.
- Paul did away with the Mosaic Law with its feasts and yearly sabbath holidays (Colossians 2:16; Ephesians 2:15; Galatians 4:9, 20) but he didn’t do away with the the weekly seventh day Sabbath of the Ten Commandments. Paul taught that the seventh-day Sabbath observance remains (Hebrews 4:4, 9, 10).
- Finally, it is important to keep God’s true Sabbath for the believers will be judged by the law of God that commands the sanctity of the seventh day Sabbath (James 2:10, 12).
- God’s redeemed people will celebrate the seventh day Sabbath in the new heavens and new earth for all of eternity (Isaiah 66:22-23).
The First Day (Sunday) Worship
The word “Sunday” is not mentioned in the Bible. But the phrase “first day” is mentioned only eight times: Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1; John 20:19; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2. But none of these verses teach that “the first day of the week” Sunday is a holy day of rest or being sacred. In none of these verses can we find a single hint of Bible authority for Sunday sacredness! Sunday observance is a made-made institution.
For more on the Sabbath, please check (Lessons 91-102) of the Bible Lessons.
In His service,