Some folks say the only correct day to go to church is Saturday, the Sabbath.
But most Christians go to church on Sunday instead of Saturday.
And some who worship on Saturdays are very vocal that the Sabbath is the only correct day for worship.
Yet most Christians attend church on Sundays and assert that Sunday is just fine.
Why the disagreement? And how do we resolve it?
Immediately after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, Christians began to attend church on Sunday -the day Jesus was resurrected (Acts 20:7) Jesus himself spoke of the Sabbath as a ceremonial law. When Jesus died on the cross, he fulfilled the Law and set us free from it’s requirements.
Sunday was also the Jewish feast day of Firstfruits which prophetically foretold the resurrection of Christ.
Jesus Christ fulfilled that Jewish feast on his resurrection, so we worship on Sunday.
But there’s even more to the story than that!
Let’s dig into the Word of God and find out why there are strong arguments from both sides- and how to rightly divide the scriptures on this matter.
There are many Biblical details that support attending church on Sunday as opposed to Saturday, (in this other post I wrote) plus a few reasons Saturday worship is also fine.
You will find a fair treatment of both sides of the story in this post, so you can set your mind at ease either way.
While most Christian denominations hold Sunday church services, quite a few denominations choose to attend church on Saturday.
They point out –and correctly so- that the Bible proclaims Saturday as the true Sabbath day. [or more accurately -from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday]
And Saturday is a fine day to go to church. In fact, the Bible says regarding this in Romans 14:5b “each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”
So, then, why do we go to church on Sunday instead of Saturday? Is this going against the Commandments? After all, the commandments specifically state to “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it Holy.”
Is going to church on a Sunday going against what God has commanded us to do?
Not at all. First and foremost, it must be understood that since the Sabbath was a ceremonial law, it was meant solely for Israel, not for anyone else.
The reason why Christians go to church on Sunday instead of Saturday is that Jesus’ resurrection occurred on Sunday.
Jesus’ resurrection also coincided with the Jewish Feast of Firstfruits.
It’s evidence of God’s promise that Christians will join Jesus in heaven and live with him just as he promised.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ on Sunday is also known as the Lord’s Day.
Therefore, Christians celebrate the day of Christ’s resurrection instead of the Sabbath, which is a Sunday – not a Saturday.
Is It Wrong to Go to Church on Sunday?
Knowing that some worship the Lord on Saturday instead of Sunday can leave some Christians befuddled.
And that’s okay. It’s perfectly normal to be concerned about whether or not you are doing the “right” thing in Christ’s eyes.
That said, some may fear that it is wrong to attend church on Sunday. But is it?
Let’s take a look at what scripture says about worshipping on Sunday.
If we look at scripture, it is clear that there is no designated time slot for worshiping Christ.
In fact, many Bible verses proclaim that worship should be done every day, day, and night.
For example, in the Old Testament 1 Chronicles 16:23 says, “Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day.”
Another great example is found in the New Testament, where it is written:
“And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”Revelation 4:8 (emphasis added)
We see scripture come into play once more by reading Colossians 2:16.
It states explicitly to not let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink.
It states that nobody should ever be condemned for the day they worship Christ, either.
Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.Colossians 2:16, ESV
That said, is it wrong to go to church on Sunday? Certainly not.
While the Old Testament makes it straightforward for Israel to rest and worship on the Sabbath, it is unnecessary for New Testament Christians.
Plus, you will see from most churches that services are available throughout the week.
There is no limit to when you can worship the Lord.
Another persistent question is what day God rested.
Did God rest on Saturday or Sunday? Well, scripture tells us that God rested on the 7th day.
According to the Bible, the 7th day of the week is Saturday, with the beginning of the week beginning on Sunday.
This scripture is clear in Genesis 2:1-3, where the Bible states, “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. And by the seventh day, God had finished the work He had been doing; so on that day, He rested from all His work. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because on that day He rested from all the work of creation that He had accomplished.”
With that in mind, God clearly took his rest on Saturday.
But as you can see in this more in-depth post, many, many years went by before God gave the law to Moses on Mt. Sinai.
This means the Sabbath law was never given to Enoch, Noah or Abraham. Not even Joseph.
The Sabbath law was never the way to salvation.
Here’s what the book of Genesis says about Abraham’s salvation:
And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.Genesis 15:6, ESV
So Abraham’s salvation was based on his belief and trust in God. It was not based on Sabbath worship.
God didn’t give Moses the Sabbath Law until hundreds of years after Abraham.
There’s some confusion about Jesus proclaiming himself “Lord of the Sabbath.”
Jesus makes this claim in all three of the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). What does this mean, exactly?
Well, according to scripture, Jesus refers to Himself as the Lord of the Sabbath to show that he has authority over the law.
Indeed Jesus fulfilled the Law and all of it’s requirements through his death on the cross.
After all, he is the creator of all things.
For by[a] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.Colossians 1:16
He even declares that “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” –Mark 2:27
Why Didn’t the Apostles Worship on Sunday?
Actually, the Apostles did worship at church on Sunday.
There is some confusion when it comes to the Apostles going to the synagogues on a Saturday.
If they were there to worship the Lord, then wouldn’t it be suitable for modern-day Christians to rest and worship the Lord on Saturday, too?
Well, the Apostles indeed attended the synagogues on Saturday.
But while they were at the synagogues, these Apostles-most of whom were Jewish- were not there for a church service.
While they were in attendance, they were there solely for missionary trips -to explain to their fellow Jews the reality of Christ’s resurrection.
This was the best place to share the gospel message with sincere Jews who were following the Law by attending synagogue on the Sabbath.
It was the perfect place to explain that Jesus Christ fulfilled the promises of the Mosaic law and the many Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament.
This act is made clear in Acts 13:42-44 (ESV), where the scripture states:
“As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told to them the next Sabbath. After the synagogue meeting broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God.
The next Sabbath, almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.”
So, the answer is clear: apostles were not at the Synagogue to worship.
They worshipped on Sunday, as most Christians do today.
How to Keep the Sabbath
Knowing that there are different “rules” for Jews might have some devout Christians confused.
If Christians’ day of worship differs from Jews’, is there still a way to keep and honor the Sabbath?
Yes. You can do many things to keep the Sabbath the “Lord’s Day,” no matter which day you are celebrating it. Here’s how.
Do Not Judge
The first thing to remember is that it is ungodly for anyone to judge someone based on the day they engage in worship.
We are judged by your hearts, not the days of our worship.
And, if you pay attention to scripture, you would note that all days should include some act of worship toward the Lord.
Not only this, but most churches nowadays offer services all days of the week.
Choose the service that is right for you; if it happens to fall on a Sunday, great.
If your worship takes place on the Saturday, so be it.
Even Monday, Tuesday, Friday – any day is acceptable for the Lord.
Jesus is our Sabbath now.
9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.Hebrews 4:9-10, ESV
The Law was completely filled in Him. So our Sabbath rest is also in Him.
Worship In Joy
Remember that whatever day you choose to worship does not matter.
The goal is to worship the Lord. But, always remember to honor him in joyfulness.
Do not think of your day of worship as a duty or something you must do.
Let this be a day that you try and relax and let go of worldly things.
Relax and let God enter your heart, mind, body, and soul.
Gather With Others
Gather with others on this special day.
It doesn’t matter if it is a small group of two or three people.
Bring your friends and family to your group or attend services.
The point is to be surrounded by more of God’s children and rejoice in the word.
Enjoy His Creations and Rest
Yes, it’s okay to take some time off and rest.
On the holiest of days, take the time to surround yourself with His creations.
Sunday might be the best day to go out and take a walk in nature.
See the beauty that God has provided.
When you’re done basking in His creations, don’t be afraid to sit back and relax – even take a nap!
Most Christians worship on Sunday and consider it their “Sabbath” instead of the Jewish Sabbath, which occurs on Saturday.
This is because the New Covenant isn’t a covenant based on rules and commands.
It is a covenant based on the fulfillment of those commands in the person of Jesus Christ.
So the new covenant is the law of liberty that brings blessings as we learn to walk by faith.
Or proper response now is to enter into that rest by placing our faith and belief in the Lord of the Sabbath who fulfilled the Law on the cross.