|Now let me ask you, the reader, a simple question: “Have you ever been condemned for not keeping Sunday as the Sabbath?” I would think you probably have. I assume that you have heard how it is wrong to shop on Sunday and how it is wrong to mow your grass, or to labor on the job, or to work on your home on Sunday. I have personally heard a preacher say that those who go to Wal-mart on Sunday are going to hell.
I would like to ask these who condemn and set at naught their brethren a question: Where in the Scriptures are we commanded to rest on Sunday the first day of the week? I have read the Bible through many times, and I have yet to find such a commandment. I have found that God worked on the first day of the week, that Christ worked the first day of the week, and that the Patriarchs and the Prophets all worked on the first day of the week. I also found where the Apostles also all worked on the first day of the week. In fact I found where God actually commands men to work on that day, and calls Sunday a ‘working day’, but I cannot find a single verse in all of Holy Writ that condemns men for working on the first day of the week..
Now if there is not a law in all the Bible that forbids men from working on Sunday. And if God has not forbade such work, then to work on that day is not sin. “For where there is no law, there is no transgression”- Romans 4:15. I have often pointed this fact out to men and one of the most common responses I have received is the following: “But we set aside Sunday as the Sabbath!”. I must ask, “Who is the ‘WE’ in your statement?” You and what other man set it aside? For God certainly did not, for if He did, it would certainly be clearly written in his Bible. And since when should the Christians obey you, a man ? When did you, my dear brother, become the lawgiver? My Bible tells me that we should obey God rather than man. Will you not agree that a Christian ought to obey God? Then if we are honest we should open up his Bible and see what he commands about Sunday and the Sabbath. And as you read your Bible you will notice these facts about Sunday.
SUNDAY IS THE DAY AFTER THE SABBATH
Here is a simple way for us to know when is the Sabbath. Luke 24:1-3 ¶ Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
It was on the first day of the week that the disciples came to Jesus’ tomb, and found it empty; he had risen. That day is celebrated by most Christians every year as “Easter”. What day of the week does Easter always fall on? That is correct Sunday. My friends Sunday is the first day of the week.
Now what did the disciples do the day before Sunday? Luke 23:56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
FORTY FACTS ABOUT SUNDAY
1. The very first thing recorded in the Bible is work done on Sunday, the first day of the week. (Genesis 1:1-5.) This was done by the Creator Himself. If God made the earth on Sunday, can it be wicked for us to work on Sunday?
2. God commands men to work upon the first day of the week. (Exodus 20:8-11.) Is it wrong to obey God?
3. None of the patriarchs ever kept Sunday.
4. None of the holy prophets ever Sunday.
5. By the express command of God, His holy people used the first day of the week as a common working day for 4,000 years, at least.
6. God Himself calls the first day of the week [Sunday] a “working” day. (Ezekiel 46:1.)
7. God did not rest upon it.
8. He never blessed it.
9. Christ did not rest upon it.
10. Jesus was a carpenter (Mark 6:3), and worked at His trade until He was thirty years old. He kept the Sabbath and worked six days in the week, as all admit. Hence He did many a hard day’s work on Sunday.
11. The apostles worked upon it during the same time.
12. The apostles never rested upon Sunday.
13. Christ never blessed it.
14. It has never been blessed by any divine authority.
15. It has never been sanctified.
16. No law was ever given to enforce the keeping of it, hence it is no transgression to work upon it. “Where no law is, there is no transgression.” Romans 4:15. (See also 1 John 3:4.)
17. The New Testament nowhere forbids work to be done on it.
18. No penalty is provided for its violation.
19. No blessing is promised for its observance.
20. No regulation is given as to how it ought to be observed. Would this be so if the Lord wished us to keep it?
21. It is never called the Christian Sabbath.
22. It is never called the Sabbath day at all.
23. It is never called the Lord’s day.
24. It is never called even a rest day.
25. No sacred title whatever is applied to it. Then why should we call it holy?
26. It is simply called the “first day of the week.”
27. Jesus never mentioned it in any way, never took its name upon His lips, so far as the record shows.
28. The word Sunday never occurs in the Bible at all.
29. Neither God, Christ, nor inspired men ever said one word in favor of Sunday as a holy day.
30. The first day of the week is mentioned only eight times in all the New Testament. (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2)
31. Six of these texts refer to the same first day of the week.
32. Paul directed the saints to look over their secular affairs on that day. (1 Corinthians 16:2.)
33. In all the New Testament we have a record of only one religious meeting held upon that day, and even this was a night meeting. (Acts 20:5-12.)
34. There is not an intimation that they ever held a meeting upon it before or after that.
35. It was not their custom to meet on that day.
36. There was no requirement to break bread on that day.
37. We have an account of only one instance in which it was done. (Acts 20:7.)
38. That was done in the night—after midnight. (Verses 7-11.) Jesus celebrated it on Thursday evening (Luke 22), and the disciples sometimes did it every day (Acts 2:42-46).
39. The Bible nowhere says that the first day of the week commemorates the resurrection of Christ. This is a tradition of men, which contradicts the law of God. (Matthew 15:1-9.) Baptism commemorates the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. (Romans 6:3-5.)
40. Finally, the New Testament is totally silent with regard to any change of the Sabbath day or any sacredness for the first day.
CONFESSIONS THAT SUNDAY IS NOT THE BIBLE SABBATH
The following are honest confessions from different Churches that Sunday is not the Bible Sabbath.
Roman Catholic Confessions
James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of our Fathers, 88th ed., pp. 89.
"But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify."
James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore (1877-1921), in a signed letter.
"Is Saturday the seventh day according to the Bible and the Ten Commandments? I answer yes. Is Sunday the first day of the week and did the Church change the seventh day -Saturday - for Sunday, the first day? I answer yes . Did Christ change the day'? I answer no!
Protestant theologians and preachers from a wide spectrum of denominations have been quite candid in admitting that there is no Biblical authority for observing Sunday as a sabbath.
Canon Eyton, The Ten Commandments , pp. 52, 63, 65.
"There is no word, no hint, in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday .... into the rest of Sunday no divine law enters.... The observance of Ash Wednesday or Lent stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday."
Bishop Seymour, Why We Keep Sunday .
We have made the change from the seventh day to the first day, from Saturday to Sunday, on the authority of the one holy Catholic Church."
Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, a paper read before a New York ministers' conference, Nov. 13, 1893, reported in New York Examiner , Nov.16, 1893.
"There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week .... Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament absolutely not.
"To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years' intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question . . . never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated.
"Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history . . . . But what a pity it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!"
William Owen Carver, The Lord's Day in Our Day , p. 49.
"There was never any formal or authoritative change from the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath to the Christian first-day observance."
Dr. R. W. Dale, The Ten Commandments (New York: Eaton &Mains), p. 127-129.
" . . . it is quite clear that however rigidly or devotedly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath - . . The Sabbath was founded on a specific Divine command. We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday .... There is not a single sentence in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday."
Disciples of Christ
Alexander Campbell, The Christian Baptist, Feb. 2, 1824,vol. 1. no. 7, p. 164.
"'But,' say some, 'it was changed from the seventh to the first day.' Where? when? and by whom? No man can tell. No; it never was changed, nor could it be, unless creation was to be gone through again: for the reason assigned must be changed before the observance, or respect to the reason, can be changed! It is all old wives' fables to talk of the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day. If it be changed, it was that august personage changed it who changes times and laws ex officio - I think his name is Doctor Antichrist.'
First Day Observance , pp. 17, 19.
"The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change."
The Sunday Problem , a study book of the United Lutheran Church (1923), p. 36.
"We have seen how gradually the impression of the Jewish sabbath faded from the mind of the Christian Church, and how completely the newer thought underlying the observance of the first day took possession of the church. We have seen that the Christians of the first three centuries never confused one with the other, but for a time celebrated both."
Dr. Augustus Neander, The History of the Christian Religion and Church Henry John Rose, tr. (1843), p. 186.
"The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a Divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic Church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday."
Harris Franklin Rall, Christian Advocate, July 2, 1942, p.26.
"Take the matter of Sunday. There are indications in the New Testament as to how the church came to keep the first day of the week as its day of worship, but there is no passage telling Christians to keep that day, or to transfer the Jewish Sabbath to that day."
You may celebrate the Resurrection of Christ on Sunday and even deem the "Lord's Day" if you will, you have that liberty. But Sunday is not the Sabbath, it is not the Christian Sabbath, or any other kind of Sabbath. It is the first day of the week. And it is wrong for any man to condemn another for working on Sunday. If you feel the Sabbath Command of the Law is still binding, then you should observe Saturday as the Sabbath just as the Jews and Seventh Day Adventists do, and thus be honest with your convictions.
| "Come out her her my people" - Jesus Christ
SUNDAY IS NOT THE SABBATH