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1. Is the Bible a reliable source of information for our faith? Amos 3:7 NKJV
“Surely the Lord God does unless He reveals His secret to His servants the .”
Absolutely! God reveals every truth needed for salvation in His Holy Word. This is why it is important for us to study Scripture to see if God changed the Sabbath to Sunday. If He made such a monumental change, He would reveal it in the Bible.
2. Where is “Sunday” first mentioned in the New Testament? Matthew 28:1 NKJV
“Now after the Sabbath, as the day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.”
Matthew simply reports it was at dawn on the first day of the week that the women went to Jesus’ tomb to complete the burial process. Matthew wrote his Gospel six years after the resurrection and he doesn’t mention a change of the Sabbath to Sunday. What he does say is the Sabbath comes one day before the first day of the week.
3. Does Luke, the Gentile physician, let Gentiles know the Sabbath was changed? Luke 24:1-4 NKJV
“Now on the day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.”
Luke doesn’t say anything in this detailed description to his Gentile readers that the Sabbath was for the Jews and now they were to keep Sunday in honor of the resurrection. Rather, he endorses the Sabbath by pointing out that even in Jesus’ death, they kept it. And this endorsement is written some 35 years after the resurrection!
4. Does the Gospel of Mark tell of a change? Mark 16:1-4 NKJV
“Very early in the morning, on the day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.”
Mark writes about ten years after the crucifixion, but he doesn’t comment on a Sabbath change either.
5. Did the disciples have a worship service in honor of the resurrection the first Sunday morning? Mark 16:9-11 NKJV
“Now when He rose early on the day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not .”
Again, this first day text doesn’t mention anything about a change. Mary is the first to talk to the risen Jesus, but He doesn’t tell her they should now keep Sunday in honor of His resurrection (see John 20:11-18). When Mary tells the disciples Jesus is alive, she finds them mourning His death and they don’t believe her report. This was no Easter morning sunrise worship service.
6. What does John have to say about the first day of the week? John 20:1 NKJV
“Now on the day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.”
While John wrote this at least 60 years after the crucifixion, he didn’t see a need to talk about a change of the Sabbath.
7. Does John say the disciples worshiped on the first day? John 20:19 NKJV
“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ “
Some have suggested the disciples always worshiped on Sunday after the resurrection. But John records they were gathered, not to worship, but “for fear of the Jews.” Jesus “rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen” (Mark 16:14). It is not likely they would have a worship service in honor of a resurrection they didn’t believe in.
8. Doesn’t the Bible say Christians took up offerings on Sunday at church? 1 Corinthians 16:1-3 NKJV
“Now concerning the collection the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem.”
This text doesn’t say, “take up offerings at church on the first day of the week.”
Notice what the text does say:
– This was a collection “for the saints” and not “of the saints.”
– This collection “for the saints” is actually relief aid for the poverty-stricken saints in Jerusalem (Romans 15:25-28).
– They are to “lay something aside” or “lay by him in store” (KJV). The original Greek is translated: “Let each one of you put on one side and store up at home” (Weymouth); or “saving it up” (NIV). Notice this instruction is for individuals to put this gift aside at their home and not a collective offering at church.
They were to make an account of how the Lord had prospered them the week prior and to put some of the profit aside at home. When Paul visited, he would find all the aid ready to take to Jerusalem. This passage doesn’t say the Sabbath had been changed.
9. Does Acts describe a church worship service on Sunday morning? Acts 20:7-11 NKJV
“Now on the day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until . There were many in the upper room where they were gathered together. And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep . He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, ‘Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.’ Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till , he departed.”
Finally, we’ve found a meeting on the first day of the week. And it is a religious meeting. But does it say the Sabbath was changed or that the disciples always kept Sunday? The answer is No. Let’s look at what the Bible says about this.
– The disciples preached and broke bread “daily” every day of the week—this was not reserved for Sundays (Acts 2:46).
– “Breaking bread” doesn’t make this a Communion at a church service. This phrase often describes eating a meal as in “breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food” (Acts 2:46; Acts 27:33-35). Even if it were a Communion service, the Bible doesn’t say Communion was held only on Sundays.
– This meeting took place in the evening of the first day. Notice Paul preached until midnight; there were many lights (it was dark outside); Eutychus fell asleep (it was late at night); and Paul preached until the break of day, and then went on a trip. Since Jewish days start and end at sundown, this was our Saturday night (Genesis 1:5, 8). The New English Bible translates this “On the Saturday night… ” Paul preached Saturday night and left Sunday morning on a journey. He didn’t go to church! This actually disproves Sunday keeping because Paul travels Sunday morning and doesn’t keep it holy.
We’ve read every verse in the New Testament that mentions Sunday and none of them authorizes a change of the Bible Sabbath. Now let’s look at the few remaining verses sometimes used to support a change.
10. Does Paul say it doesn’t matter whether we keep the Sabbath or Sunday holy? Romans 14:5, 6 NKJV
“One person esteems day above another; another esteems every day alike.”
Paul never mentions the Sabbath in Romans 14. The Bible would contradict itself if Paul told the Romans they didn’t need to keep the Sabbath, and then he kept it and taught other Gentiles to keep it (Acts 13:42-44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4). Obviously, the Bible is not contradictory. So what is Paul talking about?
In the early church, Jewish and Gentile Christians debated whether Gentile converts must observe the Jewish festivals and be circumcised or eat the meat of animals sacrificed to idols (Acts 15:1; 1 Corinthians 8:7-13; Romans 14:1-5). Because these issues did not involve the Ten Commandments, Paul said the church’s first responsibility is to maintain unity.
Paul clearly taught we need to keep the Ten Commandments and not the ceremonial law.” Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters” (1 Corinthians 7:19).
11. Is there any place in the Bible that says the law of God is changed? Daniel 7:25 NKJV
“He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to times and law.”
The Bible does say the law will be changed, but not by God. It is misguided men who attempted to change God’s holy law long ago. The challenge today is that the tradition is so deeply rooted in our culture. Even though it is not in the Bible, we may feel a need to justify it no matter the cost. But this cost is too high. This issue is one of loyalty. Will we be loyal to Jesus and His Word, or will we honor man’s authority above Jesus? This is precisely the challenge that comes from the entity that made the change:
Sunday keeping “not only has no foundation in the Bible, but is in flagrant contradiction with its letter, which commands rest on the Sabbath, which is Saturday. It was the Catholic Church which… has transferred this rest to the Sunday in remembrance of the resurrection of our Lord. Thus the observance of Sunday by Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the Church.” Monsignor Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today (Boston: Thomas B. Noonan & Co., 1868), p. 213.
12. Will God restore the truths of His Word? Acts 3:20, 21 NKJV
“That He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”
Jesus will restore all the truths of His Word before He returns. Restoring the Sabbath is especially important because it is the predicted focus of the devil’s attack against Jesus as our Creator and Savior (Daniel 7:25). During the judgment hour, just prior to Jesus’ return, the gospel calls us to return to worship and reverence Jesus as Creator.
“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth-to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water’ ” (Revelation 14:6, 7). This “restored gospel” remarkably quotes the fourth commandment, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:11).
Have you noticed the fourth commandment begins with the word “Remember”? With prophetic insight, God knew we would forget and need this end-time reminder in Revelation 14:7.
13. Do you love Jesus and desire to honor Him as your Creator and Redeemer by keeping His Sabbath holy?