Is Sunday Really Sacred?

Scripture: Exodus 20:8-10
Date: 06/08/2019 
There are many differences in Christian church doctrines. If there is anything that is most essential to understand, it would be what God's Ten Commandments say. The Sabbath is one of the Commandments.

Is Sunday Really Sacred? - Paper or Digital Download

Is Sunday Really Sacred? - Paper or Digital Download
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Jesus spoke a lot about the Sabbath, but He never spoke about whether or not it should be kept. He spoke about how it should be kept. It was always presumed it would be kept because it's one of the Ten Commandments. God's not going to change one of the Ten Commandments without making that very clear.

You know, as I was praying about what to share this week, the Lord impressed me to talk about something that is very basic and foundational, but I think it's good for us to be reminded of these things. Now, there's few things that are more important than the Ten Commandments. You know, there's one Jesus, one Bible, one Holy spirit, but unfortunately, there are hundreds of different Christian denominations. And the different denominations argue about different theological points. I'm sure there's some that would disagree with us, but a lot of them disagree with each other over everything from the mode of baptism, whether or not you need to speak in tongues if you received the Holy Spirit, whether or not the wine during the communion should be fermented or unfermented, whether or not you should do it every week or once a year.

There's just a whole plethora of different doctrines that churches debate and argue about. And some things are more important than others. Even within our church you'll find some difference of opinion on who comprises the 144,000, and understanding the seven trumpets and Daniel 11. And, you know, there are some things that maybe are not essentials, but if there is anything that is an essential to understand, I would think it would be, oh, what do God's commandments say? What is sin? These things are priorities. They're very important issues.

So with that in mind, is Sunday really sacred? And we're going to begin at the beginning, Genesis chapter 2. God made the world in six days-- no really seven days, because He wasn't done creating until after the full week. He made one more thing, He made a day. "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made, and He rested the seventh day from all His work which He had done. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, made it holy, because in it He rested from all His work which God created and made."

He did not make it holy for Himself. He made it holy for man to remember. The Bible says the Sabbath was made for man. It doesn't say the Sabbath was made for Jews. The word there is "anthropos," it means mankind, humanity. And it's first time also you're going to find the word "seven" mentioned three times. It says seven, seven, seven, it's a number associated with God. The seventh day, the seventh day, the seventh day. Very specific. You get to the last book of the Bible, you have another number associated with man, who was made on the sixth day, and it's six, six, six. So you've got this contest between the worship of God and the worship of man that goes on through the Bible.

Now, you go to the Ten Commandments. You find them in Exodus chapter 20, verse 8, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you should labor and do all of your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall not do any work, your son or your daughter--" so forth. But very clearly says do all your work six days, seventh day, holy time.

This is one of the Ten Commandments spoken by God's voice. They are not ten suggestions. They're not 10 recommendations. God spoke with His own voice, wrote with His own finger His eternal law, moral law, for all His people, for all the world for that matter.

So which day is the seventh day? Some people say, "Well, you can't really know just using the Bible." Well, if we start with the dictionary, that's not the Bible. Dictionary: seventh day, Saturday, seventh day of the week. You go to the Bible, tells us that Jesus was crucified on the Preparation Day, which we know to be Friday. Then it says they went home and they kept the Sabbath according to the commandment, the seventh day. And then He rose. They came to the tomb early Sunday morning, the first day. People call it Easter Sunday. So you can even look in the Bible. It's pretty clear.

What day is the Lord's day? Now, many Christians will say, Well, you've got the Sabbath day, which is what the Jews kept, and then you've got the Lord's day, which is what Christians teach. And they get this from Revelation chapter 1, verse 10, where John says, "I was in the spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard a voice behind me like the sound of a trumpet." And so this is the beginning of Revelation. See that's the Lord's Day.

But there's not a single verse in the Bible that says that that is referring to the Lord's Day. In fact, it's the contrary. John was imprisoned by Rome on the Isle of Patmos where they had mines. And the prisoners were required to work in the mines, but John refused to work on the Sabbath day, and that is when the Lord gave him the vision. It doesn't say anything in the text that this is now some new different day of worship for the children of Israel or for the Christians.

What does the Bible say is the Lord's Day? Isaiah 58:13, "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day." What day is the Lord's Day? Sabbath day. Look at this one, Exodus 6. We just read the Ten Commandments, "Six days you should labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Jews." Is that what it says? Seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord. "And Jesus said, 'The son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.'" All things that were made, were made by Christ. Will that include when He wrote the Ten Commandments? Yes.

So if the Sabbath is the Lord's Day, why do so many people worship on Sunday? Jesus said, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition." Sunday keeping is not based on Scripture, it is based on a tradition. I'm going to prove it to you from the Bible as we go on here and from history.

Some of you have heard this interesting story from history, where I think it was Czar Nicholas, he looked out of his palace walls one day and he noticed that this guard had always been standing at this obscure place on the wall. There's no gate. There was no door. And one day he was walking in the garden. He went up to the garden and he said, "Why exactly are you standing here?" Well, the guard was very nervous, and he said, "Well, I have orders to stand here, your majesty." And he said, "Do you know why?" He said, "No, we've just always had someone here 24 hours a day."

So he went to the captain. Now, the Czar was getting very curious, and he said, "Why do we always have a soldier standing at that particular remote spot in the garden? There's nothing there." And he said, "Well, it's just been a standing order for years. We've always had 24 hours a day a guard has to be stationed there. It's been mandated. It's in the archives."

So the Czar went to look at the archives to try and find out why is there a soldier there in the archives. It said 100 years earlier Catherine the Great was entertaining guests. One of her guests came, a dignitary from another country, and gave her a gift of an exotic rosebush. They planted the rosebush, and she said, "I don't want this to be trampled. Have a guard guard my rosebush."

Well, the rosebush died five years after they planted it, but at that point they were in the habit of guarding that spot. And so for 100 years, a guard was standing there without questioning why he was standing there. It was a tradition. And there are still traditions that Christians guard that there is no rhyme or reason for except that it's a tradition. There's no biblical reason for it.

So some of the other Scriptures that explain this, Ezekiel 22, verse 26 and verse 31, "Her priests have violated my law and profane My holy things. They put no difference between the profane and the holy. They have hid their eyes from my Sabbaths, and I am profane among them. Therefore I poured out my indignation on them."

You know, one of the reasons I was convinced of the Sabbath truth is because after I first learned these things, I went to my pastors. I used to go to church on Sunday. I was so into Christianity I was going to several different churches. One church said we'd have a Wednesday night Bible study. I'd be there. And then I'd go to another denomination, I'd be at their service. Another one would have a special early morning service, I went there. I was going to four or five different churches, studying with all these Christian groups in Southern California. I was just hungry. I couldn't get enough.

But when I learned the Sabbath truth, I'd ask the different pastors and say, "So why do we go to church on Sunday?" And if you ask ten different pastors, you would get 11 different answers. One would say, these are just a few examples, "Doug, we're no longer under the Ten Commandments. We're now under Grace." I said, "Well, what does that mean? Does that mean that we don't need to keep the Ten Commandments?" They said, "Well, we're not under the law." So what, wait, let me, help me understand that. "Is it okay now to kill?" "Well, no." "Steal?" "No." "Lying?" "No." "Commit adultery?" "No."

What they really meant is there's one commandment you're not supposed to remember anymore. That's the Sabbath. I said, "But isn't that the one that says remember?" So that didn't make sense. And so I talked to another one. He said, "Because of the Resurrection, Jesus rose on the first day of the week, and so it is the new Christian Sabbath." I said, "That sounds beautiful." Said, "Where is the Scripture that tells us that?" "Well, there is no specific Scripture, but we've had a longstanding tradition." As though there's some value in that.

And then I had another friend. He was the most creative. And he said, "Doug, back in the days of Joshua, you remember Joshua prayed and the sun stood still. Saturday turned into Sunday back then." And I said, "Well, that's interesting. I said, “Except why did they continue to keep it on the seventh day for another 1,500 years after that?" And he couldn't answer that. And they were all giving me difference - they didn't agree with each other.

I said something's wrong. They are hiding their eyes from a very obvious truth because they have counted the cost of what will it mean if I take a stand for this Biblical truth? I'll lose my congregation. I'll be very unpopular. I know pastors that have taken a stand, and it cost them. I know some pastors took a stand for the truth, and the majority of the church followed them in the Sabbath truth.

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Doug: So what we're going do now, if we want to know why would any Christian keep Sunday instead of the Sabbath, the first day instead of the seventh. We're going to look at every reference to Sunday, except you realize the word Sunday does not appear in the New Testament. Sometimes you'll hear the word "sundry" if you're reading the King James. Sundry is not Sunday. Sundries means different. God in various times and sundry manners spoke to the prophets in time past. That means different manners. So if you look at every reference to the first day of the week, which is what we commonly refer to as Sunday, you might find if there's a change. There's eight references in the New Testament. And nobody's going to argue the Old Testament because it's very clear it's the seventh day there. So we're going to take them one by one. Does that sound fair? And we'll look at them and see what the Bible says.

Look at the first four references are simply historical. They are talking about the time of the Resurrection. Matthew 28, verse 1, "In the end of the Sabbath--" Harold Camping was the founder of Family Radio. Good radio station, I listened to them. But he used to answer Bible questions, and he would always-- when people asked about the Sabbath, he would go to this verse. He'd say, "See what it says right there? The end of the Sabbath. That means the Sabbath is now over. You don't need to keep the Sabbath anymore."

That's not what it's saying. It's saying that that week after the crucifixion, after the Sabbath was over, it's saying that they came early in the morning on the first day of the week. He tried to build a whole doctrine. I told you there's 11 different answers if you ask 10 different pastors, the reason why. "As it began towards the first day of the week." Now, is that a new command, to keep the first day? You find built into that anything that says now we have a new Sabbath day? It's on the first day. No, it's a simple historical record.

Now did--was it important that Jesus rose on the first day of the week? Absolutely. Does that make it a new Sabbath? Was there anything wrong with the seventh day where God had to now change it? No. Was the seventh day Sabbath chosen before or after sin? Before sin. It's part of God's perfect plan. There's nothing wrong with it. Did God do important things on Thursday? Was the Lord's Supper important? That's Thursday. Does it make it a new Sabbath?

How important is the Crucifixion? What day of the week was that? Friday. Is that a new Sabbath? Mark 16:9, a very similar reference, "Now when Jesus was risen on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene." Do you find built into this verse that there's a new commandment? No, there's nothing there, simply the record of what happened. John 20, very similar, "The first day of the week comes Mary early while it was still dark. She came to the tomb." And just again a historical record. There's no new voice from a mountain, no new finger writing new law in stone saying, "Now the first day is to be our new Sabbath." Nothing of the sort. Mark 16:1 and 2, "Now when the Sabbath was passed, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome, brought spices, that they might come and anoint Him."

Now, this to me is actually proof that the seventh day was still important. If Jesus had taught the apostles that they didn't need to keep the Sabbath anymore, or the seventh day wasn't going to be important, it was not going to be meaningful for them, why was it so important to the disciples that they would not finish embalming His body on Friday when the Sun was going down? They knew Jesus would not be pleased with that. There was a lot of work involved in. And then they said let's wait until after the Sabbath has passed. That's why they waited because the Sabbath was important.

You know, Jesus even kept the Sabbath in His death. He died Friday, rested through the Sabbath, rose after it was over. And so the idea that it's been done away with just doesn't hold water. No new commandment here. "Very early in the morning on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen." Again, it's just telling us what happened there. And then the next reference is in Luke. Luke 23 verse 56 says, "They returned, and they prepared spices and fragrant oils. They rested on the Sabbath day according to the commandments."

So they prepared. That was the Preparation Day. They got everything ready. That's what we would call Friday. They kept the Sabbath according-- does he say the Jewish law? Luke was a Gentile. He says the Sabbath. He states it like every Christian will know about this. And he's writing this years after the Crucifixion. He could've said the old Jewish Sabbath. He says according to the commandment, not the old commandment. It's all stated as though it's still in existence. "Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the sepulchre," or the tomb. Is there anything in here that says, "And God established a new Sabbath day?" So we're looking at all the references to the first day. We're looking for that commandment.

I know one evangelist was very dramatic. When he would preach on this subject, he would bring $1,000 and he put it up front for everyone to see it. He said, "I'm going to give this away to anybody tonight that can show me this missing text in the Bible. What I want from you is to show me one commandment in the Bible to keep the first day as the new Christian Sabbath." Of course, everybody's very quiet because it's not there. And he always got to take his money home. So he was happy doing that.

Now we'll go to the sixth reference text referring to the first day of the week. And it talks--is it a new Sabbath day? This is talking about the day of the Resurrection. It says, "Then that same day at evening--" Now, wait, what day is this? First day. When does a day begin and end in the Bible? So when it's talking about the same day that Christ rose, first day of the week, evening, it's getting ready to turn into Monday. See what's happening? "When the doors were shut, the disciples were assembled to inaugurate a new Sabbath." Is that why they're assembled? It says, "They were assembled for fear of the Jews." The Jews were saying the body was stolen. They thought they were going to come looking for them. And Jesus came, met with them, and said, "Peace to you."

Now, you also look later, I think it's verse 26 in the same chapter, it says, "Eight days later He met with them again." This time Thomas is there. What is eight days after Sunday? Seven days after Sunday would be what? Sunday. Eight days after Sunday is Monday. So He also meets with them on a Monday. Is that a new Sabbath? So the idea because Jesus did something and met with the disciples-- He met with them by the sea when they were fishing. Obviously, if they were fishing, it wasn't the Sabbath. But He met with them then too. He met with them over a period of 40 days after the Resurrection.

Does this seventh passage say that Sunday is holy? 1 Corinthians 16, verse 2. We've only got one more after this. But this is one some people use. They say this is proof that the disciples were now keeping Sunday as a new Christian Sabbath. Paul says, "On the first day of the week" - and the way it actually reads in the original, "On the beginning 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."

Paul is on his way through Asia. He's on his way to Jerusalem to take a special offering from the churches in Jerusalem. He's making haste. There's a famine. They're hungry. And he said, "Look, at the beginning of the week," they used to get their accounts in order in the first of the week. Everybody set something aside when you've done your bookkeeping so there is no church offering when I come. It's actually saying the very opposite. This is not talking about passing the plate Sunday morning. He's saying, "The beginning of the week, lay something aside so that we don't have a collection when I come. It's ready to give to me. And I'm making haste. And I'm on my way."

Is this the new Sabbath commandment? Does he say anything here about, "Now, do not work on that day. Make sure that we gather together for worship on that day." And it's just a practical recommendation that they set aside an offering for collection purposes.

And this is the eighth now in the final reference to the first day of the week that you're going to find in the Bible. And people work real hard to make hay out of this one. Is it saying that Sunday is a new holy day? Let's look at it together. It's Acts 20, verse 7. If you've got your Bibles, I recommend you turn there. Acts 20, verse 7. Luke is telling a remarkable story. We'll find out why he's telling the story. "Now on the first day of the week--" yes that would be Sunday, "when the disciples came together to break bread." Ah, ah, you got it? They came together to break bread. They're having a communion service. They're gathering on the first day, and they're having a communion service. This must be evidence that they now are worshiping on the first day. It is the new Sabbath.

I respectfully disagree. I don't think that's what they're saying at all. It says, "Paul is ready to depart the next day. He speaks to them, and he continues his message until midnight." Now, when does the first day begin? Sundown. So when it says that they're meeting on the first day of the week, and it's an evening meeting, what this is a Saturday night meeting. And why is he talking so long? Because he's not-- he's beginning a journey the next day. If Sunday is the new Sabbath, why is he beginning a journey?

Let's keep reading. First of all, the scholar Horatio Hackett said, "The Jews reckon the day from evening to morning, that on that principle the evening of the first day of the week would have been our Saturday night." By the way this scholar is not a member of our church. He's just being honest. "The apostle held his last religious service on Saturday evening, and consequently resumed his journey on Sunday morning." Commentary on the Book of Acts. So Acts 20, it says, "A young man named Eutychus was sitting in the window, who's sinking into a deep sleep. He falls down from the third story, and he's taken up dead because Paul was long in preaching," which is a good recommendation for pastors not to preach too long because it can be lethal when that happens. So Paul goes down. He embraces the young man. He says his life is still in him. Eutychus is resurrected.

Luke is telling this story because he's saying a resurrection took place. Notice what happened. "When they came up after Eutychus is resurrected, they broke bread." Now they're breaking bread again. They "eaten and talked a long while, even till daybreak." They stayed up all night long. They eat bread twice and then Paul departed. The next day--oh by the way, breaking bread in Acts 20:46, you only break bread on--what does breaking bread mean? Is it always a communion service? "So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread daily in the temple." Daily breaking bread from house to house. Jesus said, "Give us this day our daily bread." Breaking bread did not always mean a communion service. It meant eating. You remember on the road to Emmaus he went in and broke bread with them. They were eating. And that was a Sunday night, which would have been Monday.

So it's not saying anywhere in these verses that Sunday is now a new Sabbath. They ate their bread with gladness, simplicity of heart. The next day Paul said goodbye to them. He began a journey, that would have been Sunday. Would that be when you begin a long epic journey? No. Prior day Sabbath he spent with them all day, and that evening he preached. Eutychus fell out the window. He's resurrected. That's why Luke is telling the story. He's not telling the story to say a new Sabbath was inaugurated in Acts chapter 20.

Wouldn't God have told us if one of the Ten Commandments had been changed? What do you think? How many of you heard that they've changed the law now? Highway 65, you can go 80 miles an hour. Isn't that exciting? Did you hear that? How many of you believe me? Nobody believes a pastor. Why don't you believe me? Because you know that if the state is going to change a major law that would affect everybody's lives, they are responsible to thoroughly announce that and advertise it to avoid accidents, right? Everyone's going to know about that.

Now, when God gave the Sabbath, He speaks it with His voice. He writes it with His finger in front of an entire nation. If He's going to change that, don't you think there'd be something in the New Testament? There'd be some battle. Look at all the argument that the Jews had with the Christians over circumcision. You find that discussed all through the writings of Paul. There was a great debate over that. They had a great debate about whether or not you get eat food sacrificed to idols or not. But you realize there's never a debate about whether or not you should keep the Sabbath. Jesus spoke a lot about the Sabbath, but He never spoke about whether or not it should be kept. He spoke about how it should be kept.

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