1.) I'm a new Christian and I'm wondering which day of the week is the true Sabbath day of the Bible?
2.) Was the Sabbath day ever changed?
Well, I'm glad
to hear that you've given your heart to the Lord :)
With that disclaimer, we must not forget that the Sabbath day is important in God's sight since He set it up right at creation (Genesis 2:1-3) and He included it in the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:8-10). If you look up these verses, you'll see they both tell us that God instituted His Sabbath day on the 7h day of the week. All you really need to do is pull out the calendar to see that Saturday is indeed the 7th day of the week and it always has been since God first began the weekly cycle at the beginning of time in the book of Genesis. Encyclopedias and history itself clearly show that the day we call Saturday has always been the 7th day of the week.
But does this still apply to us as Christians? Is this the day that we are to keep holy?
Many say that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday in the New Testament, but there is no Biblical evidence for this. Jesus never changed it, but the Bible tells us that He it was His custom to keep the Sabbath as a holy day (Luke 4:16) and so did His followers (Luke 23:56, Acts 13:42-44, Acts 16:13). Christ called Himself "the Lord of the Sabbath day" (Matthew 12:8) which would make it "the Lord's Day" (see also Isaiah 58:13-14, where the Lord calls the Sabbath His "holy day") and Jesus said that Christians would be keeping the Sabbath even after His death (Matthew 24:20). In fact, the Bible tells us that we will even keep the Sabbath of the 10 Commandments in heaven (Isaiah 66:22-23).
Some people believe that Romans 14:5-6 teaches that the Sabbath day is basically a matter of personal opinion and that we can keep any day that we want to, but the real issue here in Romans is not over the 10 Commandments, but over the yearly feast days and sabbaths of the ceremonial law, such as Passover, the Day of Atonement, and The Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Jews who had converted to Christianity were telling all the other Christians that they had to keep these days holy and they were judging them for not doing so. Paul was addressing this problem and telling the Jewish converts that those fests and yearly sabbaths didn't need to be kept any longer, but it was up to each individual whether they wanted to or not. This does not apply to the Sabbath of God's 10 Commandment law because Paul said in the same book "Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law." (Romans 3:31)
It would be very inconsistent for God to say that only 1 of His commandments were optional, but the other 9 are still binding. Jesus clearly said in Matthew 5:19 "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Don't ever let anyone tell you that any of the 10 Commandments are not important!
Obviously Jesus does indeed want us to keep the Ten Commandments. Notice what He said in John 15:10 "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in My love even as I have kept My Fathers commandments and abide in His love." As Christians, we are to follow the example Jesus gave us (1 John 2:6) and one aspect of that is to obey His Father and live by the 10 Commandments, including the one about the Sabbath.
Others will say that Colossians 2:14-17 says that the Sabbath is no longer important as well. This is a misunderstanding. These verse are specifically pointing to the sabbaths which were "a shadow of things to come". Again, this is referring to the seven yearly holy days of ancient Israel since they were also called sabbaths, but they were in addition to, or "beside the sabbaths of the Lord" (Leviticus 23:38). In other words, these yearly sabbaths were not related to the Sabbath which God had given in the 10 Commandments. The yearly sabbaths ended at the cross because they foreshadowed and pointed to Christ's death. Colossians chapter 2 only mentions the sabbaths that were "a shadow" pointing forward to sin being dealt with at the cross. God's holy Sabbath didn't foreshadow anything since it was given before sin ever entered the world. (Genesis 2:1-3)
So why do many Christians say that Sunday is the Sabbath? It's really quite simple if you look back through history. Sunday was the day of celebration during the Roman empire as it was a time set aside to worship the sun god. Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, but the pagans were used to worshipping on Sunday and they didn't want to change, especially since the Jews were known to still worship on Saturday. The Jews were under the authority of Rome and there was a lot of Anti-Semitism even back then. Christians often suffered as a result of Jewish riots and outbreaks throughout the Empire. Some early Christian writers were Anti-Jewish, such as Barnabas and Justin Martyr, and they encouraged Christians to avoid keeping the Sabbath since it made believers appear to be Jews.
As a way of compromise, people
began to worship on both days:
Over time, the Sabbath became
less popular and Sunday became known as the day of Christian worship:
In the 4th century, this
proclamation was made:
Since the Catholic church sprang
up out of Rome, they take all the credit for the Sabbath being switched from
Saturday to Sunday:
"Q. How prove you that the Church
hath power to command feasts and holy days?
Friends, if we truly want to live
by the Bible, then we should make sure that we don't
"reject the commandment of God,
that ye may keep your own tradition."
But if we have disagreements
about this subject, let's not let that cause divisions among us as
Christians! Remember that Paul said that we should avoid
"strivings about the law; for
they are unprofitable and vain."
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