Defending the Biblical Authority of the SABBATH
“THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK” sets it apart as a rest day. Not one makes it holy, calls it the Sabbath or by any other sacred title. In EVERY case, the first day of the week was a common workday.
In NONE of them was there a religious meeting and preaching service being held on the hours we now call SUNDAY. In NONE of them can we find a single shred of BIBLE AUTHORITY for Sunday observance! There is no record in the Bible of celebrating the resurrection on Sunday.
Sometimes Revelation 1:10 is used as Bible authority for calling Sunday “the Lord’s DAY.” It says: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice ….” But this does not say the “first day of the week,” or “Sunday,” is the “day” here called “the Lord’s day.” As a matter of fact, it is not speaking of ANY day of the week at all, but of “the day of the Lord”—the time of the coming PLAGUES, climaxing in the coming of Christ, and the Millennium. This is the THEME of the Revelation. But, if one wants to argue, and insist upon this text applying to some definite day of the week, he shall have to look elsewhere to see WHICH day THE BIBLE calls the LORD’S DAY. For this text does not designate ANY day of the week.
Jesus said He was Lord of the SABBATH, and if He is LORD of that day, then it belongs to Him, and is His day, and therefore the Sabbath is the Lord’s day (Mark 2:28). Isaiah 58:13 calls the Sabbath (the seventh day of the week) “MY HOLY DAY.” God is speaking. So the Sabbath is THE LORD’S DAY.
In the original commandment, in Exodus 20:10, we read: “[T]he seventh day is the Sabbath OF THE LORD THY GOD ….” Not MY day, or your day. Sunday is MY day. So is Monday, and every other weekday, for my labor and my own needs. But the seventh day is NOT mine, it is THE LORD’S! It belongs to HIM, and He made it HOLY, and commanded us to KEEP it that way. It is HIS DAY!
The TRUE SABBATH of the NEW Testament!
Let us look through the New Testament to find WHICH DAY Paul kept and taught Gentile converts to keep. Lets look at the DAY that Paul and Barnabas used for preaching to Gentiles:
Acts 13:14-15, 42-44: “But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue ON THE SABBATH DAY, and sat down. And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.”
Paul stood up, and spoke, preaching Christ to them.
”And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the GENTILES besought that these words might be preached to them THE NEXT SABBATH.”
Now since Paul was preaching “the grace of God” (verse 43), here was his opportunity to straighten out these Gentiles, and explain that the Sabbath was not done away.
Question? Why should he wait a whole week, in order to preach to THE GENTILES ON THE NEXT SABBATH? If the day had now been changed to Sunday, why did not Paul tell them they would not have to wait a week, but the very next day, Sunday, was the proper day for this service? But notice what Paul did.
”And the NEXT SABBATH DAY came, almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.” Here Paul waited a whole week, passing up a Sunday, in order to preach to the GENTILES on the Sabbath day.