Thursday, March 10, 2016

Keep the Sabbath Day Holy?

Seventh-day Adventists argue that there is no Scriptural evidence for worship on the first day of the week—Sunday, and that pagans introduced Sunday worship. In fact, they argue that all Scriptural evidence supports worship on the Sabbath. Let's remember the first rule of Bible study, which the SDA consistently ignore: Context, context, context!

Look up the word "sabbath" outside of the Gospels and you will find that it occurs 11 times. Nine of the occurrences are in The Book of Acts, which is a transitional book. The last two are in the evidences against Sabbath keeping: Colossians 2:16 and Hebrews 4:9. The first one in Acts is a descriptor—"Sabbath day's journey." Acts 13:14 says that they went into the synagogue on the Sabbath and sat down. In verse 27, they are reasoning with them, telling them that the inhabitants of Jerusalem fulfilled the prophets, whom they read every Sabbath, by condemning Jesus. Verse 42, they asked that they might be reasoned with the next Sabbath. Verse 44, they were gathered to hear the words of God—by the Apostles reasoning with them. Acts 15:21 is again a condemnation against them, saying that their reading of Moses on the Sabbath preached Christ. Acts 16:13, they went to a place where there was a meeting of women and reasoned with them. Acts 17:2 and 18:4, they again were reasoning with the Jews. There is not one reference to worshiping on the Sabbath or observing it. They were commanded to begin in Jerusalem and go into the entire world preaching the Gospel. The Jews gathered in the synagogues to read from Moses and the prophets every Sabbath. What better time to reason with them than when they open the Scriptures that preached Christ?

A plain reading of the text does not support the Sabbath. In order to argue for worship on the Sabbath, one needs to return to the Old Testament and ignore the context regarding Sabbath keeping, while ignoring everything revealed in the New Testament. None of these 11 references to the Sabbath speak of worshiping on or observing the Sabbath. These references all take place after Jesus' resurrection. After His resurrection, there is not one mention of the observance of the Sabbath or worshiping on it. Think about it! The Sabbath was a sign between national Israel and God (Exodus 31). Why would Gentiles who come to faith be expected or required to keep the Sabbath? That is equivalent to expecting or requiring them to be circumcised.

However, once a law is put in place, it is binding until its obligation is satisfied, until it is repealed, or until a substitution is made being of the same kind or for the same purpose. The law concerning keeping a particular day holy was not fulfilled in the person and work of Christ Jesus, nor was it ever repealed. But a substitution did take place. The Christian church commemorates the resurrection of their risen Saviour on the day in which He rose from the dead. That day is the first day of the week—Sunday. The New Testament bears this out as do the writings of the early church fathers.

Game, set, match. Thanks for playing, SDA.

Remember, "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath" (Mark. 2:27).