Bible Question:

Why do we not keep the Sabbath? I realize that Pope Constantine changed the day of worship but the Bible repeats the commandment to keep the Sabbath holy.

Bible Answer:

We do not observe the Sabbath for three reasons.

Not Commanded

The command to keep the Sabbath occurs first in the Old Testament in the Ten Commandments.

Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. (NASB) Exodus 20:9-10

But when we come to the New Testament, we do not find the command to keep the Sabbath It is very interesting that the New Testament repeats all of the Ten Commandments except the one about keeping the Sabbath.

Christians Worshipped On Sunday

We do not keep the Sabbath for another reason. The early church did not keep the Sabbath! They gathered together on the first day of the week – Sunday.

On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread . . . (NASB) Acts 20:7

On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come. (NASB) 1 Cor. 16:2

The early church honored Jesus’ return to life by worshipping Him on Sunday.

Sabbath Law Is Gone

When Jesus died, the veil of the temple was split or torn apart. This was the entrance to the Holy of Holies.

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook; and the rocks were split . . . (NASB) Matthew 27:50-51

Why did this happen? When Jesus died, the sacrificial system was no longer necessary. Sacrifices were no longer needed because Jesus was the ultimate and perfect sacrifice for our sins. He accomplished His mission. The Old Testament sacrificial system died when Jesus died. When we worship Jesus is not important. But we do need to worship Him.

Conclusion:

It really does not matter when one worships God if our hearts are not right before Him. The form of our worship does not matter. God does not care if you are on your knees, standing, singing, praying, reciting creeds, reading scripture, or greeting people. He only cares about heart attitude. Do you really adore Him? Jesus made this clear to a group of people when He said,

“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”” (NASB) John 4:23-24

God wants our adoration and reverence.

Tom was a member of the church and had responsibility for the building. One Sunday morning he went into the room where the organ pipes were located to check the humidifier. While he was there, hidden from the sanctuary behind a screen which covered the pipes, some young children came bursting in.

As they ran down the aisle, Tom shouted out, “Stop running!” Since the children could not see him there was a moment of stunned silence, and then came the question, “Who is there?” Tom could not resist, “God! Don’t run in my house.” The children turned and quickly walked out of the sanctuary. Today, at least one of them, now an adult, still remembers that lesson about the need to honor and reverence God from the heart.

“Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.” (NASB) Romans 13:1-4

Every government is a minister of God. Some governments are evil, but God uses them to suppress evil. Without them evil would be worse than it is.

We also sin when we break God’s laws. When we break God’s laws or the government’s laws, we are being lawless and sinning. But there is one time God does not want us to obey our government. When a government violates God’s law(s), He wants us to obey Him and not the government He created.

“And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge;” (NASB) Acts 4:18-19

Conclusion:

We do not always plan to commit sins. Sometimes we are surprised by our own actions and discover that we have sinned. On other occasions, we know what we are doing and sin anyway. Both types of sin make God unhappy. Even though Christians are forgiven all of their sins – all past, present, and future ones – God asks us to confess our sins as we commit them because He wants us to live a holy life (1 Pet. 1:16). When we confess or admit our sins to God, He forgives them.

A Sunday School teacher had just finished teaching and wanted to make sure that she had made her point. She said, “Can anyone tell me what you must do before you can be forgiven of sin?” There was a short interval of silence and then from the back of the room, a small boy spoke up, “Sin,” he said. When does God forgive our sins? He forgives our sins after we commit them and then admit that we did. He is faithful to forgive all of our sins.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (NASB) 1 John 1:9