The Sabbath command talks of rest but not worship. So, is it necessary to go to church on the Sabbath?

The Sabbath command talks of both rest and worship. The Bible teaches, “Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings” (Leviticus 23:3). The word “convocation” is from the Hebrew word miqrâ’ (מקרא), which means a public meeting, assembly, or gathering. Therefore, the Sabbath is a time for holy assemblies or worship services.

Also, Isaiah the prophet, speaks of worship on the Sabbath, “It shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 66:23).

But the main reason that we associate the Sabbath with worship is the example of Jesus and His disciples:

  • “They went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught” (Mark 1:21).
  • “And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?” (Mark 6:2).
  • “He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read” (Luke 4:16).
  • “It came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered” (Luke 6:6).

Over and over again, we see Jesus in the synagogue on the Sabbath. We’re even told that it was His custom to be there on that day. The disciples also followed in the example of Jesus, as we can see clearly in the book of Acts:

  • “When they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down” (Acts 13:14).
  • “When the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath” (Acts 13:42).
  • “He (Paul) reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks” (Acts 18:4).

Finally, the Lord admonishes, “Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

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In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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