THE LORD'S DAY
Updated: Sep 3, 2022
IS SUNDAY BIBLICAL OR ROMAN CATHOLIC?
DOES the Bible teach that the seventh day Sabbath has been changed to Sunday, the first day of the week, or is it, as the Roman Catholic Church teaches, a Roman Catholic institution that is not taught in the Bible? If the Bible teaches a change it must be shown in one of the following 9 verses which are the only verses that mention the first day of the week...
Genesis 1:5; Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1-2, 9; Luke 23:54 - Luke 24:1.
Genesis shows that the first day of the week is a work day. The next three texts state that by Sunday morning “the Sabbath was past.” (Mark 16:1).
Is John 20:19 the beginning of Sunday observance?
On the first day of the week, following Christ’s brutal crucifixion, the disciples were assembled, not for worship, but “for fear of the Jews.” (v 19). Nothing says that the Sabbath had changed to Sunday.
Is the meeting described in Acts 20:7-11 proof that the disciples observed Sunday as a holy day?
‘Breaking bread’ doesn’t necessarily refer to a communion service - it was a term commonly used for eating a meal. Early Christians broke bread “daily.” (Acts 2:46). Acts 20:7 was not a regular meeting, but a final farewell (v 25), which explains why Paul preached right through the night (v 7, 11).
As Biblical days begin at sunset (Genesis 1:5; Leviticus 23:32) this meeting actually took place on the dark part of the first day of the week, or, as the New English Bible translates it, “On the Saturday night.” On the Sunday morning Paul showed that Sunday is nothing special by departing on a 19 mile journey to catch a ship at Assos. (v 11). Nothing says that the Sabbath had changed to Sunday and there is no evidence that Christians met regularly on Sunday. Paul's regular practice was to attend services on the Sabbath with both Jews and Gentiles. (Acts 18:4, 11; 17:2; 13:42, 44).
Does 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 speak of Sunday worship meetings?
There is no mention here of any church meeting. “Lay by him in store” means “at home,” as eight translations put it. Nothing says that the Sabbath has changed to Sunday and there is no evidence that Christians met regularly on Sunday.
Is Sunday the Lordʼs day? Revelation 1:10
Many years after Christ’s crucifixion the Apostle John had a vision on “the Lord’s day.” This shows that the Lord still has a day, but what day is it? Some claim that this is Sunday but this is not supported by the Bible. The only day the Lord ever claims as His is His Sabbath - “For the Son of man is LORD even of the Sabbath day.” (Matthew 12:8).
“...turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day...” (Isaiah 58:13).
“...the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord...” (Exodus 20:8-11).
Should Christians keep Sunday because Jesus arose from the dead on Sunday?
Jesus died on Friday and arose on Sunday, the first day of the week, after resting the seventh day Sabbath in the tomb, but nowhere are we told to keep Friday or Sunday holy. The memorial of Christ’s resurrection is baptism (See Romans 6:4).
Didnʼt the [so-called] early ʻchurch fathersʼ speak of Christians meeting on Sundays?
“The writings of the so-called apostolic Fathers have unhappily for the most part, come down to us in a condition very little worthy of confidence. . .”*
Because there is no Biblical proof for Sunday people appeal to these uninspired writers, but in doing so they have given up the Protestant principle of “the Bible and the Bible alone.” Sunday observance did come in slowly (while the Sabbath was also observed) but the Bible nowhere requires the observance of Sunday.
*Augustus Neander, General History of the Christian Religion and Church (1854), Vol. 1 Appendix, sec. 4, p 657.
Roman Catholics are correct. The Bible does not teach that the Sabbath has been changed to Sunday. Those who take the Bible as the final authority on all matters of faith and practice should not therefore observe Sunday in place of the Lord’s Sabbath.
“The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday. In this matter the Seventh day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant.” The Catholic Universe Bulletin, Aug. 14, 1942, p. 4.
Does the Lord still have a special day in the New Testament?
Yes. John wrote, “I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day.” Revelation 1:10.
Which day is the Lord’s day?
“The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath day.” (Matthew 12:8; Isaiah 58:13; Exodus 20:8-11). The only day the Lord ever calls His own is the seventh day Sabbath. It is the memorial of creation and, as Jesus is the Creator, the Sabbath is His day (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16-17).
Which day is the Sabbath?
“The seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God.” (Exodus 20:8-11).
It is not just any day in seven, but specifically “the seventh day.” Sunday is the first day of the week, so the seventh day Sabbath is the day before Sunday (Luke 23:52–56-24:1-2). Religious Jews still keep the same Sabbath Jesus kept. It corresponds to Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. Bible days begin at sunset. (Genesis 1:5; Mark 1:32).
Has the calendar been changed?
Pope Gregory XIII made a calendar change in 1582, but this did not interfere with the weekly cycle.
When was the Sabbath made, blessed, and set aside as holy?
The Sabbath was given at the end of creation week, before Adam and Eve sinned. (Genesis 2:1-3). The Lord’s Sabbath was observed from creation week, long before it was written on stone. Abraham kept God’s commandments (Genesis 26:5). In Exodus 16, before the law was written on stone (Exodus 20) some were breaking the Lord’s Sabbath and He asked, “How
long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?” The Sabbath commandment begins with the word “Remember...” showing that it was already known (Exodus 20).
For whose benefit did the Lord make the Sabbath?Jesus said, “the Sabbath was made for man.” Mark 2:27-28. The Sabbath blessing was for Adam and Eve and all their children. The Bible never calls it “the Jewish Sabbath.” The Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments which apply to all.
How many should keep the Sabbath?
“Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant.” Isaiah 56:1-7.
What example did Jesus give as regarding the seventh day
“...as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day...” Luke 4:16.
Jesus, our example, kept the Sabbath. If He hadn’t He would have been a sinner, not a Saviour. He showed us how to keep it.
Did Christ’s followers keep the Sabbath?
Following Christ’s death, “...they returned, and prepared spices and
ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.” Luke 23:56
What did Paul do on the Sabbath?
“And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days
reasoned with them out of the scriptures.” Acts 17:2.
When did Paul preach to the Gentiles?
On the Sabbath. (Acts 13:42-44). The Gentiles were not told to meet on Sunday. There is no controversy in the Bible between Jews and Christians over which day is the Sabbath because they observed the same day.
How does the Lord ask us to keep His Sabbath?
“If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words...” Isaiah 58:13-14.
How long will the Sabbath exist?
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall
in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:17-18. As long as the creation exists the Sabbath will exist to remind us that God is the Creator.
Note: “To fulfill” means to do, not to destroy. (see Matthew 3:15).
Why is it so important?
The Sabbath is part of God’s law. Disregarding the Sabbath is breaking God’s law, which is sin (1John 3:4). Those who know are accountable.
On what day will all the saved come before God to worship Him in the New Earth?
“...from one new moon to another and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 66:22-23.
The saved will worship continually, but they will come before God to worship Him on the Sabbath. They will also assemble “from one new moon to another (monthly),” to eat of the tree of life, which bears its fruit monthly. (Revelation 22:2).
If we love our Creator we should keep His seventh day Sabbath holy.
Sunday came three days too late...
THE Old Covenant was sealed by the blood of an ox. The New Covenant was sealed by the blood of Jesus on the cross. Galatians 3:15 and Hebrews 9:16-17 show that when a covenant (will or testament) is sealed by the death of the covenant-maker, then nothing can be added to it or taken away from it. This is why Jesus had to establish the ordinances of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism before He died. Jesus didn’t change the Sabbath to Sunday before He died, so Sunday cannot be any part of the New Covenant, and now He has died sealing His Covenant, it never can be.