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Saturday? - or Sunday?

Updated on January 4, 2014

Saturday or Sunday

The fourth commandment found in Exodus 20:8 says, "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." Out of all 21st century Christianity, how many actually keep the Sabbath of Exodus? Are we required to? And if so, what are we to do on the Sabbath?

It has been suggested by many that Christians absolutely must keep the Sabbath. Those that do not may find themselves on the wrong side of judgment. One argument that is often used is that Sunday (Sun-day) came from a pagan religion of sun worship. What about the origin of Saturday (Saturn day)? They may also tempt you with the idea that both Jesus and Paul were Sabbath keepers, therefore we should follow them as our example. Some even carry it so far as to say that those who continue to worship on Sunday will receive the mark of the beast. Some pretty strong claims; let us see what the Bible has to say.

The first thing we must consider is this. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we are to worship on Saturday. We are clearly told to keep the day holy. The Sabbath was given for a day of rest. As we read on in Exodus, "Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." (Exodus 20:9-11).

In Acts 15:5, 6 we read, "But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter." Here was a discussion on the necessity of keeping the law. But in verse 29 the we see the discussion led to this conclusion, "That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well." If indeed Sunday church goers are waiting for the mark of the beast, this would have been the perfect opportunity for God to make it known.

Which day do you prefer to worship?

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In Light of the Law

Furthermore there is not a single command in the New Testament indicating that the New Testament church should keep the Sabbath. If we look at Exodus 31:13-17 we see, "Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you."Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed."

Furthermore we read in Colossians 2:16, "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:" We are told that the Sabbath was given for a sign to Israel. It is right that thousands of years later they still observe the Sabbath. As a Christian we are told not to judge in respect of holy days. I choose to worship on Sunday, but worship is not what the Sabbath is about. Can one worship on Saturday? Absolutely, but also on Sunday. As a matter of fact our worship should be seven days a week.

The Facts

But please do keep these facts in mind. According to Acts 20:7, The apostles came together to break bread on the first day of the week. I Corinthians 16:2 notes that it was "upon the first day of the week . . ." that the collection was offered. Not as criticism but as fact, Sabbath keepers do not "break bread" or receive an offering the same day that the New Testament church did.

Did Jesus keep the Sabbath? Yes, He did. He came to keep the law. Had He not kept the Sabbath, He would not have been the perfect sacrifice demanded by God. Paul did not go to the synagogue on Saturday to keep the law, but to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. Paul's message was salvation by grace through faith, not of works. If he went to the synagogue to keep the law, his message would have clashed with his reason.

Some may prefer Saturday as a day of worship, but in light of the New Testament, there is absolutely no reason to force Saturday as the only true day of worship. That is not forcing Saturday, but forcing the Scriptures to say something they simply do not say. Within the doctrine of Scripture is the doctrine of sole liberty which says we are each responsible for ourselves.

Are You the Judge?

Romans 14:10 says this - " But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ." We will all stand before the judgment Seat of God, but you will not answer for me, and I will not answer for you. I think we as Christians quite often forget this fact; first that we will each face a holy God to give an account of the life we lived; secondly, that we are accountable only for ourselves.

In light of the inescapable judgment seat, where do you stand? the day will soon be here when you will answer for your choices and reasons. Be clear where you stand so you will be clear when you stand before the Judge of all the earth.

Would it be wrong for me to worship on Saturday? I have worshiped on Saturday, perhaps not as in a worship service, but worship takes on many looks. Worship can be found in prayer meetings. It can be found as we praise the only One who deserves our praise. It can be found in a Bible study or active service to the Lord.

When you worship is between you and God.You, and you alone are responsible for the choices you make in life. What is even more important than when you worship is the fact that you do worship. So many people are leaving worship behind, and in so doing, they leave God behind.

So here is the bottom line. The Sabbath was given as a sign to the Jews. it is right for them to observe the Sabbath. The Sabbath is not a day of worship, but a day of rest. The New Testament church met among other days on Sunday. But the bottom, bottom line - Romans 14:5, "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."


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    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi ComfortB,

      Glad you were able to stop by.Thanks for your wise input. In line with this hub, I guess I'm considering worship as public worship. I certainly believe that we ought to be worshiping God everyday all day as best we can and that worship can even find expression in rest. I agree with you. Let's all go make disciples.

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 

      5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      As I read through the comments here on this hubs, I couldn't help but wonder why everyone resonates the same idea that a day of rest is not a day of worship.

      Worship does not only encompasses 'the gathering, or congregation of believers on a particular day, in a specific place'. When you 'keep the sabbath', or 'observe a 'day of rest', you do so in response the the Spirit of God in you beckoning that you be removed from all the distractions of this world and 'focus' on God (Yahweh).

      That time of 'rest', or of 'keeping a holy day' is a time of WORSHIP of God from your heart, your being. It's a time that you set aside to honor and reverence God and God alone.

      Remember the response of our Lord Himself to the question of the woman at the well when she asked a question as to the 'right place of worship', more like the subject of this hub - Jesus responded with these words...

      "...Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is a spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:20- 24

      Let's not get all hung-up on all the rhetorics of 'keeping the sabbath', or 'keeping the holy day'. The veil has long been ripped and removed. We are no longer under the law to observe days.

      Let's go make disciples people!

      Love you all, and God bless!

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Good to hear from you Cherry. Haven't seen you for a while. You summed it up perfectly. Thanks for adding to the discussion and for stopping by.

    • Cherry4 profile image

      Cherry Ann 

      5 years ago from New York

      Awesome Hub lifegate

      John 9:16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.

      Here it shows that even the pharisees thought that if one does not keep the sabbath then they do not belong to God and how wrong they were.

      Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

      Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

      In the above verse it clears it up pretty well i should say, the body has nothing to do with any particular day of the week but everything to do with Christ. It does not matter on which day one worships or what religion they choose to call their selves because all of that is irrelevant. It all comes down to if one has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and if you have not accepted him then it is simple you are none of his. Jesus who was God in the flesh will not force himself on anyone. Again all that matters is if you have submitted to God.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Great to see you, CS. In answer to your first question, I wonder how many people today even know what holiness is about. It seems that so few preach or teach on holiness anymore. It's almost lost from the mainstream Christian's vocabulary.

      I definitely don't think that rest means worship. I choose to worship on Sunday, and I do hope it's a time of consecration, but I'm more worn out on Sunday than just about any other day of the week.

      If you get a chance stop over and visit us at TGAF. There's a lot of new things happening.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great Hub, Lifegate,

      You know, I wonder how many of us really keep holy the Sabbath? I have often asked myself, "Have I taken my day of rest and made it holy unto the Lord." Setting aside the idea of the debate of which day, I have to look at what does it mean to keep that day "of Rest" holy. Holy here deals with specific consecration—being set apart in a personal sense. So if I have a day of rest (which I don't think means a day of worship) and consecrate it to the Lord, then it is a day, where I simply rest in God's provision for my life. It is a day removed from the common day-to-day labors that tend to take my thoughts away from the One who provides. So, I do agree that it is not a day of worship, but I also believe we are to keep a day set apart for rest from our labor. And it is wonderful to me to see that God made this day holy, and in doing so He set His people apart. It was like a personal stamp on the life of those He calls His own. God bless you, brother...Good food for thought.


    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi Karen,

      I like y our first sentence, "I do keep the Sabbath. I keep the Sabbath because I heard the whisper of the Lord to do so." That says it all. That is exactly the point pf this hub and you caught it up front. I hear the whisper say "Sunday".

      Then you say, "Which day, if any, do the "Christians" keep Holy? Does an hour on a Sunday morning count as keeping a day Holy." Again, you hit the nail on the head. So many people think that if they show up for church on a Sunday or any other day that they are doing God a favor. The Christian church has it so backwards today. It's all about God, not us.

      And what a powerful statement this is, "I would be bold to say, that if we followed the 1st commandment then we would need have no concern of breaking any of the others, because our love of God ." So often we miss the simplicity of God's plan.

      As far as I Corinthians 16:2 it does mention that a collection was taken on the first day of the week. It very well may have been meant for Paul and Timothy, but nevertheless it was collected on Sunday. But I realize that the early church met on a daily basis, not a weekly basis that is so common today.

      As is most often the case, not everyone will agree, and that's okay. But hopefully we all listen to that "whisper of the Lord". That's why I like Colossians 2:16, "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:" It comes down to how God whispers to each of us.

      Hope you have a good journey as you'll be wrapping up your travels. They've been a blessing to me as well as to you. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • shofarcall profile image


      5 years ago

      Hello Bill,

      I do keep the Sabbath. I keep the Sabbath because I heard the whisper of the Lord to do so. We are not only told to rest, but to keep it Holy.

      Which day, if any, do the "Christians" keep Holy? Does an hour on a Sunday morning count as keeping a day Holy. There was a time when this day was reserved for the Lord, but even that is no longer so.

      What we, as Gentiles, tend to forget or don't know, was that when YHVH delivered the people from Israel, it was not ONLY the Israelites, or Hebrews or Jewish people he delivered....

      Ex 12:38 And a mixed multitude went up with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle

      Who was that mixed multitude if not gentiles as well? Even then, there were those outside of of the Hebrews who believed in the One True God of the Torah. And therefore they were one with them.

      I gree with you that we should have our own private worship every day of the week, but the Sabbath is to be kept Holy. It is one of the 10 Commandments (Moral Low )

      Rev22: 10 Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

      What??? talk of blessing if we do His COMMANDMENTS in the very last book of scripture? What commandments are these? I would be bold to say, that if we followed the 1st commandment then we would need have no concern of breaking any of the others, because our love of God would not allow us to disobey ANY of His Moral Laws. Including rest on the Sabbath Day.

      As far as the Sabbath Day goes, I believe most folk are too far indoctrinated in what the Roman Catholic Church has imposed on us and what the world dictates, (shopping, commerce, socialising etc) to even consider keeping the Sabbath Holy and as a day of rest.

      Concerning your reference to 1 Cor. 16:2 - I can't help feeling it was slightly misrepresented in your hub. To me, it sounds as if Paul is speaking to the Corinthians specifically about the collection FOR the saints i.e the likes of himself or Timothy or any of the others when they come to visit to encourage them in their faith, so as to be able to support them.

      1Cor 16:1. Now concerning the collection FOR the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.

      2. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, THAT THERE BE NO GATHERINGS WHEN I COME (my capital letters)

      To me, Paul is clearly saying let the money be gathered (not on the sabbath but on the first day of the week) so that you will not have to gather this money from amongst yourselves, when I or one of the others have already come i.e are already there.

      Also, there is nothing specific in New Testament that tells us we are to worship on Sunday.

      Sorry this has become longer than intended. Ultimately, the reason why I keep the Sabbath is as I said in the beginning, I heard the Lord's voice to do so. And it has brought me much insight and joy to do so. We need each and every one of us to listen for His voice and what he instructs us to do and DO IT. God Bless.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks for the vote, and for stopping by LS. It's always good to hear from you.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi FD,

      Good to hear from you. Yes, Jesus is our Sabbath. He's our rest and we are to worship Him at all times. I think part of that worship is praise. Praise can change a person from the inside out as we focus on Him.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      Thank you for your comment. i would just like to go on record as saying that I worship our Creator and my Saviour everyday - Saturday included.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Well stated LG. Voted up.

    • Faithful Daughter profile image

      Evie Lopez 

      5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Very well said Lifegate. It is very true when you said "but worship is not what the Sabbath is about." In fact, Jesus IS our Sabbath rest. Luke 6:1-11 tells more. And as you said, worship should be seven days a week, not just on Saturday, Sunday, or Wednesday nights. We should all carry songs of worship for our Lord in our hearts at all times. God bless. Voted up and useful.

    • ro-jo-yo profile image


      5 years ago

      The Sabbath is the fourth commandment. The Jewish people observe the Sabbath because Yehowah blessed and hallowed it. By observing this day it shows that one worships our Creator Yehowah. By not observing it then you don't worship the true Creator.

      The Messiah Yehowshuwa also observed the Sabbath in honor of his Father. For he said that the greatest commandment was to love Yehowah, his Father with all our heart, mind and soul. Mark 12:29-30


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