The Sabbath is a very special time for us. I say "time" and not "day" because we recognize the Seventh Day Sabbath as beginning at sundown on Friday til sundown on Saturday (the seventh day). This is the Biblical Sabbath. Genesis 2:1-3 says:
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
If we break this down and start where it says "God blessed the seventh day," we will recognize that God blessed us with the gift of the Sabbath. Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). Unfortunately, some people look at the Sabbath as being a legalistic burden, not realizing that it was meant to be a gift of rest, a time with family and being refreshed (Exodus 31:17 "on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed"). For us as a family, we realized this several months ago and we have enjoyed the blessing of the Sabbath immensely. One day, our son Robert came to us and asked why we went to church on Sunday and didn't observe Saturday as the Sabbath. Well, for us, this was a clean cut and simple answer... We explained that this was the Lord's day and therefore, it was the day we went to church. But, being that we are Bereans in nature and we study everything to be sure we have things right as God presented them to us in His word, we studied it to find the truth. In the New Testament, the seventh day of the week is called the Sabbath. The Sabbath is mentioned 58 times. The first day of the week is mentioned only 8 times. It is simply called "the first day of the week," and it is always differentiated from the Sabbath. This in itself is evidence for the continued validity of the seventh-day Sabbath. So, why do so many people go to Church on Sunday??? Well, that is somewhat of a two part answer. I say somewhat, because these are the two main issues that led to the modern "tradition" of Sunday worship. However, there is more to the story. The first part of the equation is, approximately 100 years before Christianity, Egyptian Mithraists introduced the "Festival of Sunday" and the worshiping of the sun, to the Roman Empire. Later, as Christianity grew, church leaders wanted to increase the numbers of the church. In order to make the gospel more attractive to non-Christians, pagan customs were incorporated into the church’s ceremonies. The custom of Sunday worship was welcomed by Christians who wanted to differentiate themselves from the Jews because of their rejection of the Savior. The first day of the week (Sunday) began to be recognized as both a religious and civil holiday. By the end of the second century, Christians considered it sinful to work on Sunday. The Roman emperor Constantine, a former sun-worshiper, professed conversion to Christianity and Constantine named himself Bishop of the Catholic Church and enacted the first civil law regarding Sunday observance in A.D. 321.
Then, we get to the second part of the equation... In the Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine it says:
Q. Which is the Sabbath day?
A. Saturday is the Sabbath day.
Q. Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
A. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea, (AD 336) transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday
Q. By what authority did the Church substitute Sunday for Saturday?
A. The Church substituted Sunday for Saturday by the plenitude of that divine power which Jesus Christ bestowed upon her
The Catholic Church literally took it upon themselves to decide that they had the authority to change God's word... In Exodus 20:10 it says "The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God." That says it all... God established the seventh day as the Sabbath and only He has the authority to change it. People were never given this authority. Joshua 24:15 says "But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." People cannot change the Sabbath day because it is undesirable for them to follow God's word. Again, Genesis 2:3 says: Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. Sanctified means set apart and declared as holy. God set the Seventh day apart and declared it holy. We cannot change this.
So, that all brings us to the next part. Why our family in particular has found the Sabbath day to be such a wonderful and special time for us. Once we came to the conclusion that Friday evening through Saturday evening was in fact undeniably the Sabbath and what it meant, we decided to honor it wholeheartedly. What this looked like for us on our very first Sabbath was setting out first thing Friday morning to be prepared for our day of rest. From a practical standpoint, that meant we were sure to take care of any and all straightening that needed to be done around the house during the day. We also prepared our Friday evening dinner, Saturday lunch and Sabbath dinner in advance. All of these meals were prepared in such a way that all we needed to do on Saturday was pop them in the oven, relax and enjoy our day while the food warmed up and then we enjoyed our meals. By the time Friday evening comes, all of the meals are prepared, the house is set, any other "work" is completed and by sundown we simply sit down and enjoy playing games as a family, maybe watching a movie, or whatever we decide as a family would be fun before heading off to sleep. When we wake on Saturday morning, we watch a live stream of a Sabbath worship service (due to COVID) and then we enjoy our meals, and simply enjoy our time together as a family, truly enjoying the blessing that God has given us. By the time the end of the day came on our first Sabbath, our 8 year old daughter approached us and said, "that was the best day ever! Can we do that again next week?" Wow! "best day ever..." and all because we as a family decided to honor the Sabbath as God defines it. It has been an incredible blessing to our family.
3/6/2021 08:17:58 pm
Thank you for sharing this. It’s very informative and educational.
3/6/2021 08:30:02 pm
Thank you for the encouraging words Teri.
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