My son asked me a question which I didn’t really know how to answer. Is the Sabbath the day we are to go to church and worship together? Or is the Sabbath the day we rest?  One of his co-workers told him that Saturday is the day we are supposed to go to church and not Sunday.  I want to be able to show him with scripture why we go to church on Sunday.  Thanks


Believe it or not, the Bible does not absolutely and definitely prescribe that there is a specific Christian worship day.   I believe this is for a reason, as we have more freedom in Christ than the Jews had under the Mosaic Law.

Having said this, the tradition of the early church, from the very beginning, and obviously under the instructions of the apostles, was that the principle day of worship was on what we call Sunday.  This is the day that they celebrated the Lord’s Supper/Communion.  It is the day they held the Love Feast.  One can argue/debate that their Sunday may have begun at sunset on our Saturday and ended at sunset on our Sunday.   This certainly was how the Jews reckoned the days, but most likely by the second century, most of the church was reckoning the days from midnight to midnight as we do in the West.

Another thing to bear in mind is that for at least some of the churches well into the second century, there was worship on both Saturday and Sunday.  This was the case in Alexandria for sure.  However, the case is a slam dunk, both biblically (Acts 20:7, 1 Cor 16:2, Revelation 1:10) and from Church History, that Sunday was the chief day of worship for the apostolic church.  In fact, it was not until the nineteenth century that any Christian group taught Saturday worship.

It is likely that your son may have come across someone who teaches that Saturday is the Christian Sabbath.  The largest group which teaches this is the Seventh Day Adventist Church which was begun by Ellen G. White in the second half of the nineteenth century.  The technical term for this practice or doctrine is Sabbatarianism. First of all there is NO Christian Sabbath per se.  Absolutely nowhere in the New Testament is there even a suggestion that, as Christians, we celebrate a Sabbath.  In fact, in Colossians 2:16f Paul explicitly forbids judging people over Sabbath celebration (which, by the way, means that a Christian may celebrate one if he or she wants to as a personal choice).  In Hebrews 4:1f the Hebrew writer tells us that the Christian Sabbath is heaven, not anything we have on this earth.  I do not believe that doctrines about the Sabbath are a salvation issue, but the biblical teaching from the New Testament is that there is no weekly Christian Sabbath.  The Seventh Day Adventist position is false doctrine, and it flies in the face of Church History.

John Oakes

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