Moderator note: This question is not specifically about the Sabbath, but why Sunday is a common meeting day for many in the church.
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Christians worship on Sunday because the Roman Catholic said so. This is fully documented. There is no biblical basis whatsoever for the practice, and all are agreed on this one point. There's some misunderstanding on two verses written by Paul, which some use to DEFEND sunday worship rather than justify it's institution. These are: (1). Acts 20:7 The bible reckons a day from sunset to sunset following. Thus, the First Day which Paul is referring to was actually AFTER Sabbath service (more like the evening following the Sabbath). People had probably gone home, then gathered in the evening "to break bread". It has nothing to do with the current practice of sunday morning/afternoon worship. The practice of breaking bread was normal among first century Christians, and it was a daily activity IN HOMES, after attending Church. This incident happened on one such event. See Acts 2:46. There is therefore no authority, or even a suggestion, to migrate Sabbath observance to sunday. 2. 1 Corinthians 16:2. This should be used by the defenders of the truth, rather than defenders of sunday worship. Here, Paul is actually proving that from sunday, Christians were at their homes, and that he would meet them on the Sabbath. So the people are being encouraged to each put aside what one has, storing it up until Paul comes. If this was a Church collection, individuals would not 'each' 'store up' what they wanted to give. There's no other verse that mentions sunday. But if you check the prophecy of Daniel, you'll learn that a power would change the times (like from sunset to sunset, to midnight to midnight as the reckoning of a day), and try to change the law. So, Christians have no biblical basis for holding sacred assembly on a day other than the Sabbath. And no man can sanctify a day. Only God can, and he sanctified the Sabbath. Genesis 2:3. Bless.
I think effort to answer certain questions on this topic might lead us to the will of God concerning this issue 1) when was the origin of sabbath? Genesis 2:2-3 KJV  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.  And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. 2) what was the significance? It is a sign between God and man confirming Him as the creator Exodus 31:16 KJV  Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 3) Did God commands that the day should be kept? Exodus 31:16-18 KJV  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. 4) What made the day special? Genesis 2:3 KJV  And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. 5) is it part of the Ten Commandments? Yes Exodus 20:8 KJV  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 6) Do people still keep the Ten Commandments or they have been done with at the cross? The Ten Commandments are still binding on mankind 7) what does the Bible say about breaking one of the law? James 2:10 KJV  For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 8) did God purpose the sabbath for Jew and for a period of time? Sabbath started when there was Jew or gentile in the garden of Eden,that is it is for all flesh and it's scope is eternal Isaiah 66:22-23 KJV  For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.  And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. 9) was God specific on WHEN AND HOW to keep the sabbath? Yes on the seventh day of the week and no being must perform any secular work Exodus 20:8-10 KJV  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  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 10) did God change the day? No, it is like a birthday. No one ever dare to change his or her birthday. Isaiah 66:22-23 KJV  For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.  And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. 11) did Christ or the apostles change it? Matthew 5:17 KJV  Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Luke 4:31 KJV  And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. Acts 17:2 KJV  And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, 12) then who changed the day? The Roman Catholics did 13) has the church ever denied it? No,they never did but affirmed it. 14) was it scriptural? The church said NO 15) then who should we follow God or man? God Matthew 15:8-9 KJV  This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 16) what then do we do? Worship God and obey Him for this is man's duty.
In my humble opinion and world history the Sabbath switch was done under the sole authority of the Roman Catholic church. To have disagreed with the infallibility of this change or many others would have been considered heresy with a short show trial, then a long and slow journey to the stake. “The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday.”.... James Cardinal Gibbons, The Catholic Mirror, Sept. 23, 1893 “From this same Catholic Church you have accepted your Sunday, and that Sunday, as the Lord’s day, she has handed down as a tradition; and the entire Protestant world has accepted it as tradition, for you have not an iota of Scripture to establish it. Therefore that which you [Protestants] have accepted as your rule of faith, inadequate as it of course is, as well as your Sunday, you have accepted on the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.” D.B. Ray, The Papal Controversy, p. 179, 1892 “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!” James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore (1877-1921) "We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church, instituted by Christ to teach and guide man through life, has the right to change the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say, yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for instance, the Friday abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws." Ephesians 2:16-22 I believe that the switch was done to drive a wedge between Jew and Gentile, as the Jews would not give up the Shabbat of Torah, Talmud. Council of Elvira In Spain 586 CE began the use of cannons against the Sephardic Jews during the inquisition period and it's many persecutions of them to take property, liberties, lives and then their final expulsion in 1492. And yes God does use mortal fallible man to bring fore His Word, but He does not use man to rewrite what He has already clearly stated! In the Lord's shalom and His shabbat.............warrior on
Saturday or Sunday? God rested on the seventh day after His work of creation and sanctified it (Gen 2:2,3). There is no record of Abraham or any other patriarch before Moses observing Sabbath. There was no such command during their days. But God included it in the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:8-11). The Law explains the mode of observance (Ex 23:10-13). Jesus was born as a "Son of the Law." He observed the Sabbath (Mk 6:1,2). That was definitely Saturday the seventh day of the week. The New Covenant begins with the death of Christ (Mt 26:28). His death has delivered us from all the ceremonial part of the Law. This was signified by the tearing of the veil in the Temple when Christ died. "Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross" (Col 2:14). For a Christian today there is no law of Sabbath. "Therefore let no one judge you in food or in 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" (Col 2:16,17). What then is the rule today? Romans 14:5,6 gives the answer in no vague terms: "One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it." Hence this becomes a matter of total liberty and individual choice. We have several references in the New Testament that the believers in the early Church gathered on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:1,2). This was perhaps because the Lord rose again on the first day. But there is no command to observe this day as a Sabbath. It will be good to set aside one day in the week for rest and relaxation from the routine. God Himself "rested." It renews the body, refreshes the mind and blesses the family. (In the Arab countries Friday is the weekly holiday). Let's use this day of rest for spiritual exercises like worship, fellowship, prayer, Bible study, self-examination, and so on. We need this very badly in a busy world like ours. Even under the Law Jesus said this day could be used to do good and save life. We can lift up a donkey or an ox from the pit! (Mk 3:4; Lk 14:5). Go reaching out to save the lost! God's seventh day was man's first day. God worked and rested. Man first rested and then started to work. It is not Saturday or Sunday but whether or not we are going to set aside a day to rest and "delight in the Lord" (Isa 58:13,14). "Let each one be fully convinced in his own mind!"
Exodus 20:8-11 states that we should "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." There is no question that Saturday is the Sabbath day. Jesus spent his Sabbaths in synagogues and teaching the people. The Bible gives no indication that the sanctity of the Sabbath day was transferred to any other day. When someone willfully is disobedient of God's Law, the results are always bad. If keeping the Sabbath, the 7th day of the week, is legalism, then why should we keep the rest of the commandments? If we are not under the law anymore, is it ok then to have other gods, practice idolatry, take the Lord's name in vain, disrespect our parents, kill, be adulterous, steal, bear false testimony or covet your neighbor property? Certainly not! And if we still are under the commandments, why forget the only one that tells us to remember it?
(7/2/14) Many excellent responses have hit the nail on the head, establishing that Sunday worship was initiated by the Roman Catholic Church. It was made official by Constantine in 321 a.d., who was a SUN-worshiping "convert" to Christianity. In 2010, I published "The Lord's Sabbath: Why All the Fuss?" in which I point out that ALL of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament, including the 4th. They are the "moral" laws as opposed to the "ceremonial" laws. Martin Luther, John Wesley, Moody, and even Billy Graham state that we are NOT free from the moral laws. Acts 20:7-12 is one of the two main "proof texts" for Sunday keepers. "Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread..." The "Power New Testament" by Wm. Moford explains that the Jewish day ends at sundown. Two hours after a Sabbath sundown (technically the first day of the week), there was a service called Havdalah, which returned the members to the secular world. It is still observed in synagogues today. It was at this service where Paul talked past midnight. The second proof text, 1 Cor. 16:2: "On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside..." During the Sabbath, money is never supposed to be discussed or used. However, at the Havdalah service two hours after sundown, it was altogether proper. Paul was a Sabbath-keeper - Acts 13:14, 42; 16:13; 17:2 (It was his custom); 18:4, 11 (78 consecutive Sabbaths). According to his own admission, Paul, the renowned teacher of Grace, was a keeper of the Law, living in obedience to the Law (Acts 21:24), believing everything that agrees with the Law (24:14), doing nothing against the Law (25:8), and having done "nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors" (28:17). Catholics declared that Jesus arose Sunday morning. Many Protestants agree. But no one bears witness to the TIME, for the simple reason that no one witnessed the moment he opened his eyes and left the tomb. For the correct timing, we have Jesus' own testimony: "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Mt. 12:40). There is simply no way to get three days and three nights between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. They rushed to get Jesus down from the cross and into the tomb before sundown. This alone should tell us that the resurrection should have been about sundown, not in the morning. There is only one way you can make this work: Jesus was placed in the tomb late Wed. Afternoon. He then lay there Wed. Night, Thursday day and night, Friday day and night, and all day Saturday until evening - three days and three nights. Why does tradition place the crucifixion on Friday? Simply because the Scriptures say that Jesus was crucified on the "Preparation Day," the day before the Sabbath (Jn. 19:42). The first day of the Passover week was a "high day," a Sabbath as well (Lev. 23:6-8). True, Jesus was crucified on the day before the Sabbath, but that was a "high day" - the first day of Unleavened Bread. It was NOT Saturday; it was Thursday (John 19:30-31). Luke and Mark leave us clues that unlock the puzzle. "When the Sabbath was over," two Marys and Salome "brought spices" early on the first day of the week (Mark 15:47-16:2). "It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. The women...followed Joseph and saw the tomb...Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment" (Luke 23:54-56). They brought spices AFTER the Sabbath. They prepared those spices BEFORE a Sabbath. There had to be TWO Sabbaths that week with one day in between - Thursday and Saturday (with Friday in between). So if Jesus was three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, then He left the tomb Saturday evening about sunset - not Sunday morning. Jesus and all the apostles all observed the Sabbath.
For those who are quoting Exodus 20, you need to read on. Exodus 20 is the 'letter' of the Law, spoken by the Lord Himself. However, He-THE LORD- goes on to explain it in Exodus 31:12-18. The Lord Himself states what the law is, and to WHOM it refers to. "the children of Israel"- repeatedly, and declares "you", as in reference to "the children of Israel". It is then finished by detailing that the finger of God wrote "the testimony". So, IF you are a Jewish person, or one who has sought to place yourself under the burden of the law, then YES, the law is still in effect, for you... However, IF you are a christian believer, and you believe Jesus Christ, then you understand that He said He was 'cutting' a "NEW" covenant. He cut it by the shedding of HIS blood. Luke 22:20, Mark 14:24. He goes on to teach the Pharisee's (shut them down) as seen in Matt 2:25-28, with 28 being the point at which HE declares that HE is the LORD over the Sabbath, and can do what ever He wants. In Matt 12:1-8, again, He teaches the "religious" people, who Know all the scriptures, but missed the point, and 1.)DEFENDS the disciples for picking the corn (sanctifies their breaking of the "law"). 2.) Cites King Davids'-and cohorts'- having entered the temple and ate the shewbread. 3.) Blasts the Pharisees for "profaning" the Sabbath, and excusing themselves (double standard). 4.) Basically tells them the temple and the laws are not the greatest things to consider, (because HE was bigger, and better, and again, pointing out their love to quote the law but never had a clue what it really meant, or how to apply it). 5.) Points out their lack of love for man, God, and law, and lack of understanding of what the law was for- Mercy. 6.) Tells them to their faces that HE is the LORD of the Sabbath. Hebrews 8:7-13 tells us that the "old covenant" is cancelled, and Christ is the new covenant. He is the testator of the New, and the mediator of it. Heb 9:15. Jesus came to expose the weakness of the Law, and those guilty of the hypocrisy of it. Jesus came to break the rigidity of the law, and to usher in the law of love, Grace and mercy. In short, Jesus came to fulfill the law, by showing how the law was to be lived. When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, His reply was not "Follow the big 10". He summed it up by reducing it to . 1.) "love the Lord you God with all your heart, soul and mind". 2.) "Love thy neighbor as thyself". He then declared that ALL of the Law and the prophets (God's instructions, or framework, and those who were His constant reminders), HANG on THOSE two commands. Please allow me to interject some teaching here. You see, IF you love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul, and you are loving your neighbor as [you love, or want for] yourself, you won't be worshipping other gods, committing adultery, or stealing, killing, raping, dishonoring mom and dad, etc... In fact, you will live out the "8th" commandment by pursuing HIM, spending time in prayer, meditating on the scriptures, and in worship of HIM, and will be doing that which is closest to HIS heart, which is loving others, showing kindness, being merciful, generous, being obedient to the great commission, -preaching, teaching, baptizing and making disciples, caring for the widow and the fatherless...you get it, right...? In other words, it is loving and serving God, and others, not hiding behind "religiosity" and "self righteousness". As a Born again believer, (new covenant), we "rest" from our "will" to do, & seek to do the will of The Father. We rest every day as we "deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Him". Mark 8:34-37. Rom 12:1-2 So the question is, are you Jewish, under the law, or are you a Born again (John 3:3) believer under the "new and better" covenant? www.pastorpaz.org
Acts 2: 46 A "Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts..." In the light of the above scripture, we understand that the disciples of Lord Jesus Christ gathered on a daily basis. So Worship is not to be set as a rule to be observed strictly on Saturday or Sunday for the sake of tradition. We should be grateful to God for HIS Love expressed in Christ Jesus on daily basis. I feel strongly that the body of Christ should have daily gathering to worship God and to encourage one another through the Holy Scriptures. When we do it, we are truly honoring GOD better than those who call themselves with denominations by worship GOD only on Saturday or Sunday. GOD be the Glory.
It is now O.K. to worship any and every day. It is not when but that you do it. The sabath was made for man, not man for the sabath.
S. Michael seemed to explain this great not sure why the sun god got involved. Most Christians worship on Sunday. Plain and clear God has allowed it Or do you think were going to hell? But who are you to judge? Legalism was the jewish preist obsession and Christ preach against it and their lack of love. We are saved by grace of God thru faith in Christ not by the law or are own doing. Christ fulfilled the law by his sacrifice on the cross. Read your whole bible folks.
In my own opinion, the most important thing, should be the results that follow, after having done what one thinks is correct, wether it's a Sunday or Saturday! The reason behind one going to church on Sunday or Saturday, is what is of vital importance, otherwise the argument will carry on and on! All the years I have been a christian, I have seen the faithfulness of God unto his promises to all believers, wether it's Sunday or Saturday, people receive answers to their prayers. This then is a proof that God is involved! Moreover in Christ there is neither jew nor gentile, it does not matter anymore! My conclusion therefore is, Christians let us stand together as one and stop giving the devil room to divide us! As long as we make issues out of small matters then we still have a long way to go! If we believe in one God, then let each and every one of us do their part, according to how they are instructed by the Holy Spirit! I would rather go out there and win souls, than make an argument about who is doing it right, - the Sunday or Saturday worshipper! To me they are all doing right. Be blessed!
If we are followers of Yeshua (Jesus), shouldn't we live as he lived? He kept the Sabbath and all the annual feast days. If he kept them, I think we should too. If we want to align with God's will we should be on God's calendar, not the world's. When studying this issues it is critical to go to the original language and culture they were written in. Most don't know that the word "sabbath" appears more than 60 times in the NT but every time it refers to the resurrection or the post resurrection apostolic meetings they translate it "first day of the week"? Coincidence? I don't think so. Yeshua was raised on the Sabbath because He is "master of the Sabbath". Translations that say other wise are biased to support Sunday worship. Young's Literal Translation or an interlinear Bible show this clearly.
Not all Christians worship or even gather on Sunday, though it is a popular choice due to convenience and tradition. Here are some common reasons people meet on a Sunday: *Viewing Sunday as the 'new Sabbath'. [[It is important to remember any man, even emperor or pope, has no real power to change the Sabbath. It is Christ who is Lord of the Sabbath, and God's Sabbath from Genesis to Revelation has never changed. The Sabbath has always been the seventh day, Saturday, and is a type to point us to the “True Sabbath” - eternal rest from dead works (Heb 4:1-7). The most men can do is use law, violence, or rejection to force others to comply with their personal traditions. See eBible thread http://goo.gl/jka99D]. *The Resurrection was on a Sunday [Though as some others have mentioned, this was likely a Saturday night by roman reckoning - see eBible thread http://goo.gl/Sjzbby]. *Pentecost was on a Sunday [Pentecost was always a Sunday because it was 50 days after the weekly Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:9-21)]. * Convenience [the majority of church buildings have services on Sunday, businesses are often closed on Sunday]. Since we can meet on Sunday or any day, there is nothing wrong with this. * Some believe the early church had a practice of only meeting on Sunday and didn't keep the Sabbath [Contradicts scripture. Also, see related eBible thread on Acts 20:7 http://goo.gl/Q9N7E1] *For some, it is to avoid being 'Jewish' in practice [The Judiazers of the early church tried to compel gentile Christians to become more Jewish in practice. The Catholic church and others sought to make the Christians who chose to keep Jewish customs more secular/pagan in practice. These are both two sides of the same error]. *** Sunday gathering is not a tenet of Christianity or a necessity of the Christian faith. Early Christians met on any/every day of the week (Acts 2:46, Acts 17:17, Acts 5:12-6, etc). Jewish Christians often continued to keep the feast days and the Sabbaths, though they took on a new meaning in Christ (such as 1 Cor 5:8), and were no longer compulsory. Believers (Jewish and Gentile) frequently met in the synagogues on the Sabbath (Acts 13:14-44, Acts 17:1-3). The synagogues were ideal places for preaching the good news to both jew and gentile (Acts 17:17). There is nothing wrong with worshiping on any day of the week (Acts 2:42-47) and even daily if we wish. -We- are the church, not a building (Matt 18:20). In the first and second century, church gatherings were becoming more formalized, and some differences between jewish and gentile Christians turned into heated debates. Some saw the differing practices as the problem (vs. The disunity) and sought to do away with jewish customs. Conversely, scripture calls for unity of the spirit (not uniformity) in regards to personal practices. (Rom 14:1-19, Eph 4:1-6). Paul continued to keep feast days and the Sabbath, for instance, but did not mandate any such thing onto the gentile Christians. Eventually Sunday meetings ("8th day") became common in *addition* to Saturday (Sabbath). Unfortunately, believers who continued to keep the Sabbath were heavily persecuted (by Emperor Hadrian, by the later Roman Catholic church, etc). This led many believers to stop keeping the Sabbath, so as to escape the persecution. More and more laws were set up to support Sunday worship, until eventually the Catholic church set it up as the 'only' day at the Council of Laodicea: “Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday (Sabbath), but shall work on that Day: but the Lord’s Day, they shall especially honour; and as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out from Christ”. This was a huge onslaught against our freedom in Christ, but is the main reason why so many Christians view Sunday as the day to 'go to church'. However, our worship is a lifetime of service (Rom 12:1), not a specific day.
To literally answer your question, it is because most churches have church services on Sunday and have for a long time. And it really is that simple. If you asked the average church goer that would be the answer you would get. I believe going any further than that would get us into legalism. JESUS said he is the Lord of the Sabbath and warned against those who tried to attach legalism to it. The main thing is that we make him the Lord of our Sabbath whatever day we chose.
The 7th day Sabbath honors and points to the One True God, SUNday worship (worship of the SUN god) honors the god of this world, it is a counterfeit day of worship. Ezekiel 8:16 And he brought me into the inner court of the house of the Lord; and behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs to the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east, worshiping the sun toward the east.
Is there not a difference between the Sabbath as an institution and a specific day set apart for observance. The change of the day in no way affects the obligation of the Sabbath as an institution. Change of the day or no change, the Sabbath remains as a sacred institution the same- it cannot be put aside. It is a day of Rest and it is "1" day in Seven. Jesus is actually our "Sabbath Rest" - Hebrews Chapter 4.
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