“The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).
It often comes as a surprise to believers new to the faith that there are among us, in the Lord’s family, a small but vocal contingent who insist that true Christians should be worshiping on the seventh day of the week and not the first day, “The Lord’s Day,” as we call it.
Recently, on this page I told of a recent full-page ad in our local paper–and presumably in newspapers across the land–warning of the imminent fulfillment of the “seven trumpets” prophecies in Revelation. The world’s population would soon be divided into two groups, said these doomsdayers. But whereas we would have expected the groups to be the faithful and the unfaithful, the sheep and the goats as Matthew 25 puts it, or something such, it turns out the single thing differentiating the two groups is one worships on the Sabbath, the seventh day, and the others on the first day of the week. That’s it.
Truly amazing how much emphasis they put on a single command. And they’re not alone. Many who belong to denominations with “seventh day” or “Adventist” in their names promote seventh-day worship and rest and are constantly after the rest of the Christian family to get with the program.
I’m just one Christian and not a movement, not even a congregation. I’m a Baptist preacher, but don’t let the adjective mislead you. I’m pretty much a generic Christian, one who believes all who trust in Christ are saved regardless of all the variations of doctrine and beliefs many groups espouse. I believe Sabbath-worshipers who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ are saved. I believe Mormons who read their Bible and put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ are saved, even though the LDS doctrine slanders the Christian faith in a hundred ways. We are not saved by doctrinal uniformity but by repenting of our sin and putting faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Okay. Here is my response to the Sabbath-worshipers who are endlessly concerned that the rest of the Christian community is ignoring them….
One. I also worship on the seventh day, the Sabbath.
I worship on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and on Saturday. I worship daily. So where’s the problem?
Two. Surely, the Sabbath-worshiper would not return us to the hundreds of Jewish laws which were created to protect the Sabbath and which turned everyone into lawbreakers and hypocrites. If the answer is, “No, we are asking you to make the Sabbath your official day of worship and rest,” then I answer, “All seven of the days on the calendar are that.” See number 3.
Three. We worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). We rest in Christ. “We who have believed do enter that rest” (Hebrews 4:3). So where’s the problem?
Four. The Old Testament said one day a week was holy to the Lord; the New Testament makes all seven holy to the Lord. The OT says one tribe were priests to God; the NT makes us all priests (I Peter 2:9). The OT says one-tenth of one’s increase was God’s; the NT makes it all His.
Five. The OT priests worked on the Sabbath. (That’s Matthew 12:5). And since we are all priests, we work on the Sabbath–and all those other days as necessary. (Regardless which day they observe, pastors knock themselves out holding all the services, meeting with committees and leadership, doing endless things that are required to shepherd a flock. Pastors have to find another day of rest.)
Six. And then we have Colossians 2:16. “Let no one judge you in food or drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths–which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” Parse it any way you please–and believe me, they keep coming up with innovative ways to dismiss this sentence–it says what it says.
Seven. Some make a big deal over the pagan roots of first-day-worship. People worshiped the sun so they called it “Sun-day.” That automatically makes our worship on that day evil. But it overlooks several things.
–Christians are themselves redeemed from paganism, so they have no trouble believing that a day once devoted to idolatry may not be put in the service of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
–The devil has no days on the calendar. Of every day was it said, “This is the day the Lord hath made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24).
–“Unto the pure all things are pure.” (Titus 1:15)
Eight. Have these people never read The Epistle to the Hebrews? It’s all about why we no longer keep the Old Testament law. Romans and Galatians deal with the same issue.
Amazing what ditches people get into when they do not read God’s word. Or choose to believe it.
So, where is the problem? I think the problem is that these people want us to make our acceptance of the seventh day official and to join their movement.
Not going to happen.
The bottom line for me personally is Romans 8:2. “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and of death.” What that means is this…
–“The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” means: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:32). It’s a universal law. Whoever believes on Jesus has eternal life and shall not come into condemnation (see John 3:36).
–“The law of sin and of death” means: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4,20). That was the law until Calvary.
Let us worship the Lord constantly and bless all who worship differently from us or the same as us. Amen.