Today I’d like for us to look into the Scriptures to determine which day of the week early Christians worshipped. If we want to be like the Christians we read about in the Bible, then we need to worship in the same way that God commanded them to worship. In the New Testament, you will notice that that Christians were meeting on the first day of the week instead of the seventh day (sabbath).
Here are some things to consider….
1)Christ Arose On A Sunday
In Mark 16:9, we learn that “Jesus was risen early the first day of the week”. Some folks have a problem with this because this verse is missing in certain manuscripts. Let’s look at another one. In Luke 24:1, we see the same thing recorded. And check this out…my good friend Jeff Smelser pointed this out to me. The men who Jesus are walking with here in Luke 24 are traveling a distance of about 7 miles on this day. That’s much farther than was allowed on the sabbath. In Luke 24:21, the men confirm that it was “the third day” in which Christ was supposed to arise from the dead. This is before they realized they were talking to Jesus and that he had risen. So Christ arose on “the third day” and appeared to these men that same day…and they were traveling longer than a sabbath days journey. This discredits those that belief Jesus was raised on the sabbath.
2)Jesus Met With Disciples On Sunday
After Jesus was raised from the dead, he met on several occasions with his followers before ascending into heaven to be with the Father. On the same day that Jesus arose, he met with his disciples and again one week later which would have been the next Sunday. (John 20:1, 19, 26).
3)First Gospel Sermon Was Preached On Sunday
In Leviticus 23:15 we can see that the day of Pentecost was always on the first day of the week (the day after the sabbath). On the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2:1-4, we see that the disciples of Jesus were gathered. The Holy Spirit caused them to speak in different languages to the Jews who were gathered to the Pentecost feast from many different countries. It was on this Sunday that the first gospel sermon was preached (Acts 2:22-36). This was the beginning or the church as men heard the gospel preached to them, as they believed the message, repented of their sins, and were baptized “for the forgiveness of their sins” in Acts 2:38-37.
4)The Early Church Met On Sunday
From passages such as 1 Corinthians 11:18-20;14:23, we learn that the early Christians would come together and meet. In Acts 20:7, we see that the day that they gathered was on the first day of the week. They were also commanded to take up a collection of money on the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). If they had met on another day, then they would have had to at least meet again on Sunday to take up that collection. Most people who keep the sabbath take up their collection on Saturday, not on Sunday as Paul instructed the churches.
5)Sabbath Custom, Not Command
It is interesting that Christians are never commanded to keep the sabbath. I would like to point out that Paul did have a custom of going into the jewish synagogue on the sabbath(Acts 17:2) to reason with the Jews, but his purpose was to convert them. He did not go there for Christian worship with other believers. I would see nothing wrong with Christians today going to a Jewish worship on a Saturday to reason with the Jews, however, this would not make it a Christian worship service. And we cannot command Christians today to keep the sabbath when we have no example of Christians in the Bible being commanded to keep it.