Should Christians Work on Sunday?

Let me start of by saying that I am a Christian and these are my views about Christians working on Sunday. My views probably don’t match up exactly with every person who reads this article, and that’s ok! I encourage you to discuss and share your thoughts below in a respectful way.

I want to address the issue of Christians working on Sunday. As you read, you’ll notice that I refer to Sunday as the Sabbath. I understand that we can spend hours arguing the semantics of the word Sabbath and never agree on which day we’re talking about (Saturday/Sunday). For the sake of discussion, let’s define the Sabbath as a ‘weekly day of rest’ and for many Christians like myself, that day is Sunday.

Before we can answer the question, I think we need to look at three aspects of the Sabbath: The Importance, The Intent, and The Application

The Importance of The Sabbath

Exodus 20: 8-11 sums it up nicely here:

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Here we find the concept of keeping the Sabbath holy as it refers to God taking a day to rest after He created the earth in six days. (Whether you believe that it was a literal six days or not, the point remains that God took the seventh ‘day’ and rested.) The idea of taking time to rest and reflect with God is so important that God made it the fourth in the Ten Commandments.

The first point to realize is that the Sabbath IS important – otherwise God wouldn’t have made a point to make it a day of rest and command us to honor it. Did God NEED to rest? Doubtful. But I do think that He wanted to make a point for us to understand the importance of taking a day of the week to rest. Working seven days in a row week after week isn’t healthy. Our bodies weren’t designed for it and God plainly instructs us to take a break – because it’s that important.

The Intent of The Sabbath

Mark 2:23-28 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grain fields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for an, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.

Unfortunately, the Pharisees had a legalistic view of the Sabbath but Jesus revealed the real purpose or intent of the Sabbath: The Sabbath was for man – not man for the Sabbath. The Sabbath was intended to be a time for us to take time out of our busy schedules and reflect on the good things in our life – our relationship with God, our family and our friends.

The fact that Jesus’ disciples picked some grain on the Sabbath doesn’t mean they were in violation of the idea that “Christians shouldn’t work on Sunday.” In fact, the disciples were doing the very thing the Sabbath was intended for – growing in your relationship with the Lord and spending time with your friends and family. It’s about stepping away from the things that hold our thoughts ‘hostage’ all week and taking just one day to rest and recover so that we’re rejuvenated for the next week’s work.

The Application of The Sabbath

I’ve heard people say, “Ok, if everyone ‘honored’ the Sabbath, what would we do if someone needed surgery and all the doctors said ‘sorry it’s the Sabbath, I don’t work on Sunday.’”

To that, I say let’s look at how Jesus responded to the Pharisees.

Matthew 12:9-13 Going on from that place, Jesus went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.

Jesus clearly said that it is lawful to ‘do good on the Sabbath’. We cannot become like the Pharisees who loved to accuse people of dishonoring the Sabbath with every move they make on the ‘day of rest.’ It’s just silly to think that a Christian today would refuse to do something because it is the Sabbath and they don’t work. No, the point is that we take a day to separate ourselves from the stress we endure throughout the week and stop to rest and enjoy the good things that God has provided for us.

Not working on Sunday can be challenging for entrepreneurs especially, but there is value in taking time to recoup your thoughts and spending quality time with your family. I know that I am going to make a concentrated effort to make Sunday a day of rest where I can enjoy the things God has made without stressing over the work that I have on my plate.

What do you think? Do you think Christians should work on Sundays?

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  • http://www.personalfinancebythebook.com Joe Plemon

    Tim,

    You have handled an all too often combative issue well. One guideline that helps me is the simple admonition to “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” The word “holy” means “set apart”, so we should make sure that out Sabbath never becomes like every other day. However we set it apart, it should be a distinct day; one which honors God.

    Of course legalism, as you pointed out, misses the point altogether. God is not honored when His children nit pick the letter of the law while ignoring the intent of it.

    Well done!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithandfinance Tim

      Thanks Joe! You hit it right on the head with your comment – you should ‘set apart’ the Sabbath from every other day.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Tim

  • http://blog.findthebestcarprice.com Car Negotiation Coach

    Hey Tim, Welcome to the yakezie! And a great take on the sabbath. I’ve had similar thoughts and it’s great to see it laid out like this.

    As a secondary debate, what constitutes work? Does blogging count as work? Mowing the lawn? Washing dishes? I can see merits to both sides.

  • http://www.creditcardscanada.ca/ Credit Cards Canada

    I agree that everyone will come to a slightly different conclusion on this. It boils down to how someone defines “work” ad how someone defines “Sabbath”. Once upon a time, a specific day was set aside as the Sabbath. Sunday is still that day, for Christians, but only nominally. We now live in a 24-7 world, so people (Christians and others) need to redefine how they will carve out the time and mental space (which is what this is really all about) to honor God. This is not something as simple as it once was, and even as you note above – it was not all that simple in simpler times.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithandfinance Tim

    Hey Coach- thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you brought that up. I like mowing (when I had a yard) and it can be stress reliever. The same is true for people who love to garden. That can be ‘work’ but if it takes you away from the things that occupy your mind all week and you’re able to enjoy the break then go for it! For that person, it isn’t ‘work’. Should you mow all day and let your family sit in the living room for hours missing you..probably not. Same with the dishes- certain things still NEED to be done on Sunday, and it’s hard to balance, but shifting your focus on the more important things (especially) on the Sabbath can help us live a more fulfilling life. (In my opinion)

    Funny you mention blogging…I’m definitely going to have to be more conscientious about how I spend my Sunday with respect to my blog. I didn’t write this Sunday (that was challenging) but I really did feel refreshed when I took a break and enjoyed time with my wife.

    I’d love to hear your take on the definition of ‘work.’

    Tim

  • http://www.417marketing.com/ Nick Altrup

    I think it is important to take a day of rest and spend your time worshiping God, spending time with your family, and resting. I made more and more of an effort to do so of late. I haven’t spent any time on 417 Marketing on a Sunday in quite some time. Great post Tim.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithandfinance Tim

    @CCC You’re right – it’s not that easy and the answer isn’t simple for everyone. Living in a 24-7 world doesn’t help, but it’s even more reason to take a break.

    @Nick thanks for sharing!

    I appreciate the comments!!

    Tim

  • http://www.onemoneydesign.com Jason @ One Money Design

    Tim, you certainly handled this topic well. As a Christian, I appreciate God giving us a day to rest. Although, I don’t honor it like I should. In general, we view Sunday as a family day. Yes, we still keep the house picked up and serve in church, but I don’t go to the office and try to stay unplugged as much as possible. A day of rest is a true blessing. It is an opportunity to recharge, be still and hear God.

  • http://www.providentplan.com Paul Williams

    I agree with the others who said you handled this topic well, Tim. I’ve had a similar discussion in my Bible study group and came to the same conclusions as you. We should try to set time aside each week to rest and enjoy what God has done for us, but we should not make it into a legalistic burden that takes away from the joy of that rest. I think Jesus made that very clear in His teaching on the Sabbath – it’s meant for us to enjoy, and we should not avoid doing good on the Sabbath just because we’re not supposed to “work”.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithandfinance Tim

    Thank you all for the encouragement and kind words about my post.

    @Jason The day of rest really is a blessing and it’s something I myself need to remember.

    @ Paul You’re right- we have to make sure we don’t let legalism rob us of the joy God intended for us to have from the Sabbath.

    You guys are great!

  • http://www.russellhollander.com Russell Hollander

    Tim,

    Great post. This is an issue I have given much thought about in my own life. I like your take that the Sabbath is supposed to be different/special from the other days of the week. I think that is a good perspective. It is easy to get caught up in the physical act of observing the Sabbath. Whether or not to mow the lawn, or cook food, or blog. It would be the Pharisees that would be concerned with works that you should/should not do on the Sabbath. I think God is much more concerned with the reverence and spiritual aspects of observance. Keeping the Sabbath Holy is as aspect of my faith that I will definitely continue to work on and explore.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithandfinance Tim @ Faith and Finance

      Thanks for sharing, Russell! I appreciate your comments and input!

      Tim

  • Bryan

    Tim,

    I am just going to throw this out there.

    Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

    So whether you feel that Sunday is the true Sabbath or not it is ok. In our current Christian mind set it does not matter if you believe it is Sunday or Saturday. You got it right in saying that it is day day to set aside. Where I get my view of not working on Sunday is from the verses I mentioned. We are told (in another translation) Do not forsake the assembling together. For this reason going to church on Sunday is an important thing.

    You could go deeper to say that this is why we have 2 days for the weekend. See you study it out then the actual Sabbath would be Saturday. Then the Church decided to set aside Sunday so that we could spend time together in worship as a start to the week.

  • http://kyleclouse.com Kyle Clouse

    Tim, thanks for sharing. Look at chick-fil-a. Every restaurant is closed on Sundays and they are not hurting for business. It comes down to faith and trust in the Lord.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithandfinance Tim

    @Bryan – Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Meeting together with a group of believers is valuable and should be a priority for those who want to strengthen their faith.

    @Kyle – That’s a great example! Another one is Hobby Lobby; both are doing fine and I think that God blesses those who honor the Sabbath.

    Thanks for your comments gents!

  • http://posts.swbratcher.com Scott Bratcher

    If you are faced with this decision and have a concern that you will lose out by being closed or at rest on Sunday, I can offer a note from a purely business perspective.

    There is a restaurant in Springfield, MO that is closed all summer long. They close for business on Memorial Day and re-open for business on Labor Day to serve a loyal following of patrons. I personally think of them on Labor Day, above and beyond any other business trying to tempt me into their store with Labor Day sales. They are packed at lunch every day and don’t suffer from this schedule. If you are wondering how long this wacky schedule could last, know that it is not a fluke. They’ve been in business for over 100 years.

    Faith, above all else, will allow you to define your business in a way that allows you to live the life in line with your convictions.

  • http://dollarsanddoctrine.com rob @ dollars and doctrine

    Great post. Very balanced. A couple things I have learned while mulling this over and looking for the principle behind the Sabbath commandment (for us under the new covenant) are:

    1. Disobeying this command was punishable by death in the Old Testament. I think the modern believer who cannot separate time for worship, rest, and reverance will die a spiritual death (in a matter of speaking).

    2. The day is symbolic of grace. We stop from our work to recognize that we cannot save ourselves. In a sense, we stop once a week to celebrate that God’s work on the cross has made a way for us. In a sense, resting on the sabbath commemorates grace and our inability to save ourselves.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithandfinance Tim

    @Scott – I love your example; thanks for sharing! You’re right about building your business on your faith. Doing this will help you live your life in line with your convictions – something that isn’t always that case for people and their work.

    @Rob – Excellent points! If we aren’t growing spiritually, we’re dying (there’s no middle ground in my opinion). Taking a day off really is a way to acknowledge our dependence on God and the work He did on the cross. Great perspective!

  • Matt

    Little late on this boat, but check out Romans 14:5 “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day [alike]. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” Some versions even say that “some believe one day to be more holy than another…” It’s better to have a right heart period, than just on a particular day.

  • Wayne D

    Tim, great subject and very gracefully put! Adding to what Matt quoted: Colossians 2:16 “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:”

    So the actual day is not the point. The Sabbath is a day (or any number of days) for us to keep a regular fellowship with God and our brothers and sisters in Christ, and also a time to refrain from physical labor (Numbers 28:25 – And on the seventh day ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work).

    It is good for us to take time off from work, physically and mentally. Imagine if husbands and wives worked all the time and never spent time with each other. The relationship would fall apart! It is much more about a relationship with God and not keeping a specific day or rule to accepted by God.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithandfinance Tim

    @Matt – I completely agree! Having a right heart everyday IS what matters. Setting a day apart for rest and reflection can make each of those days even more productive and meaningful. Thanks for commenting!!

    @Wayne D – Thanks for the comment and compliment! You make excellent points. A day of rest is like a refresher for all your relationships – especially your relationship with God. If you don’t take time to cultivate your relationships, they’re on track to fall apart.

  • http://myonlineincomebykidgas.blogspot.com Kidgas

    I have to agree with everyone else who states you dealt quite well with the topic. Of course, I am of a similar belief to that which you stated so it is easy for me to say that.

  • http://www.graduatetutor.com/statistics-tutor.php Statistics tutor

    Nice piece. I avoid working on Saturday’s even if it hurts my business. Issiah 58 addresses Sabbath. here it is from the NIV

    13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath

    and from doing as you please on my holy day,

    if you call the Sabbath a delight

    and the LORD’s holy day honorable,

    and if you honor it by not going your own way

    and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

    14 then you will find your joy in the LORD,

    and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land

    and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”

    For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

    Helping others is not forbidden!

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithandfinance Tim

    Great points Stats Tutor. We shouldn’t keep from helping others on the Sabbath – after all, we’re called to love our neighbor as ourselves! Thanks for your comment/compliment!

    @Kidgas thanks for the comment – I appreciate your kind words!

  • Jesse Martin

    I think Christians should only work jobs of necessity i.e. the surgeon is needed on Sun. Unfortunately, my current job as a restaurant manager/student requires me to work every other Sunday. So I try to make every other Sat. my day of rest. What disappoints me is all of the Christians who refuse to work on Sunday but feed the economic machine to keep Sunday open by going out to eat, etc. etc. on Sunday on a fairly regular basis. Yet they would complain and feel persecuted if they had to work on Sunday. It shows they don’t really hold any conviction about it. They’re selfish. I must say I hold the conviction and I’ve been guilty of eating out on Sunday too, but I try not to and may get to the point that I take a stand to never do it. I myself, shouldn’t, it presently goes against conscience. Well, I’ll be working tomorrow and we’ll be busy, because of the church crowd ;-) Thanks guys ;-)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithandfinance Tim

      You bring up a good point Jesse. For those who feel the conviction not to work on Sunday, it seems a little hypocritical if they think it’s OK for others to work (like restaurants where they’re served).

      I also respect how you take Saturdays off as your day of rest. We all want the freedom to choose how to live, rest, worship, etc – and some choose to do it on different days if necessary. The important thing is to take time to recover, right?

      Thanks for your input here Jesse!

      Tim

  • Simon

    A couple things to remember. 1) Torah and the Jews at the time of Jesus (up till today!) took the idea of not working very seriously. They rested even from traveling or cooking. They did not even leave the house because it involved “work”. How true this is! Christians often stress so badly about getting to church on time on Sundays. How much less work would it be to stay home and eat food that had been prepared the previous day.

    So, for the Jews in Jesus’ time, they never took a Sabbath to gather in the synagogue and sing songs. We Christians have taken the Jewish practice of Sabbath and made it involving all sorts of work. How hard do we slave over cooking big meals on Sunday? Our “day of rest”?

    I think its time we make Saturdays our “day of rest” and really commit to not going anywhere. The Jewish culture made sure to spend romantic time with their spouses on this day, how appropriate! Then, once fully rested, we can spend Sunday working to get to church, and working at our jobs the rest of the week.

    Simon

    • http://NinaTheRealtor.com Nina

      Right On Simon!

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  • Aaron

    You’re entitled to your wrong opinion. If the bible is the word of G-d, than you are not to work on the sabbath. Period. That includes picking wheat. The only thing worse than violating the sabbath is murder. The only reason to violate the sabbath is to save a life.

    I love how Christianity picks and chooses which god’s word they want to follow.

    • ron

      That was my opinion as well. It bothers me that there are so many differing opinions on this commandment.

  • Jay Martin

    I use my restaurant GM position for evangelism and to serve others. I used to have Sundays off; however, my latest assistant is also a Christian so now we alternate Sundays off. That would be un-loving of me to take all Sundays.

    Our Sun. rush exists largely b/c of the church crowd. Most of them would object to working Sun., because it is their day to recover and hopefully focus on God, yet they do not mind people working for them every week after week. I feel convicted that it is not good to have a profit business on Sun., even if we enjoy servant hood. I understand jobs like doctors & nurses having to pull Sun. duty. And they have enough staff to do a generous rotation; most other businesses do not. Instead of cooking or planning ahead, many Christians go out to eat to get served thereby feeding the 7 day-work-week-world & inhibiting others from worship & preaching. Then many go shopping and talk about Christian liberty but I think they are missing the most important thing, love. As the Scriptures say, not all things are profitable.

    Many think that working on Sun. is not a sin, but what is work? Good point someone made here to define work. Definition before discourse! Work is doing things to make money or doing something that you have to pay people to do where you have a staff and by participating in commerce you approve work. Work is a job. If you are convicted that it is bad for you and you need rest, is it not hypocrital and not love to fuel things that encourage others to work, to participate in commerce. It shows you do not really care about them. It is selfish. Alone time & rest is so important for us but we don’t care about that for others?

    How can Christian businessmen in good conscience not allow their staff a day of rest to worship the Lord? How can Christians participate in commerce on whatever is their Lord’s day (sat or sun) thereby approving, encouraging and fueling our un-godly culture’s (ungodly=satanic), way of doing what they want, when they want it, with God out of the picture? Wouldn’t the believers want to encourage Lord’s Day commerce workers to come to church to hear the preaching of the Word and rest? Even if they did those commerce workers can’t, because they have to make sure churchgoers have a good lunch or are able to come out later that day to go shopping.

    Why is it ok, not selfish or greedy to do business on the Lord’s Day? Why is it ok for large churches to operate an in-house paid staff restaurant each Sun.? If the 4th commandment is no longer in effect where is that clear Biblically? Is it unloving and hypocrital to take a day of rest and yet fuel things that make others who are less fortunate than you work to serve you? So what if they are unbelievers, we don’t want to encourage them to never come to church so they can profit! I’m really wrestling with this and convicted that I am part of this un-godly machine right now. I praise restaurants and other businesses that obey the Spirit’s inclination to close on their Lord’s day. What are your thoughts on my questions? What would Jesus say? Is this really what the New Testament meant when it states not to judge others in regards to the Sabbath or have people taken this out of context?

    • CJ

      Hey Jay have you ever thought about closing on Sunday and see how the Lord will prosper if you do it for Him and encourage your workers to go to church with you. Try it you you might like it. I’d be interested to know what happens, but be aware that Satan may try to play games with you, but be faithful stand your ground for the Lord and ask for His blessing. Remember to do it for the Glory of the Lord. On the door you could put a sign that says “Gone to church, come join me as I seek to Worship the Lord. Be open again Monday see you then.”

  • Fono Taefu

    What a great article, I think you cover the basis of the fourth commandment very well. I myself believe that the Sabbath should be kept holy but my job requires me to work on a sunday and I always felt wrong about doing so, but your article has opened a new perspective for me. I wish to grow more and more as a Christian and your article has given me understanding. Thankyou

  • christopher brown

    Nice aritcle Tim and I concur, especially the comment pertaining to entrepreneurs. Since I am one, I know firsthand the external demands and internal struggle to keep a balanced lifestyle. There are times when one day a week for reflection and spritual rejuvenation is not enough. As I have wrestled with the issue of personal balance I have learned that my I understand of stewardship critical. God has designed us to be stewards, and not just with money, but more importantly with our time. Observing the Sabbath, taking time to replenish our souls, to cultivate our relationship with God and others is ultimately about our role as stewards.

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  • Mark

    Question: “What day is the Sabbath, Saturday or Sunday? Do Christians have to observe the Sabbath day?”

    Answer: It is often claimed that “God instituted the Sabbath in Eden” because of the connection between the Sabbath and creation in Exodus 20:11. Although God’s rest on the seventh day (Genesis 2:3) did foreshadow a future Sabbath law, there is no biblical record of the Sabbath before the children of Israel left the land of Egypt. Nowhere in Scripture is there any hint that Sabbath-keeping was practiced from Adam to Moses.

    The Word of God makes it quite clear that Sabbath observance was a special sign between God and Israel: “The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested” (Exodus 31:16–17).

    In Deuteronomy 5, Moses restates the Ten Commandments to the next generation of Israelites. Here, after commanding Sabbath observance in verses 12–14, Moses gives the reason the Sabbath was given to the nation Israel: “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day” (Deuteronomy 5:15).

    God’s intent for giving the Sabbath to Israel was not that they would remember creation, but that they would remember their Egyptian slavery and the Lord’s deliverance. Note the requirements for Sabbath-keeping: A person placed under that Sabbath law could not leave his home on the Sabbath (Exodus 16:29), he could not build a fire (Exodus 35:3), and he could not cause anyone else to work (Deuteronomy 5:14). A person breaking the Sabbath law was to be put to death (Exodus 31:15; Numbers 15:32–35).

    An examination of New Testament passages shows us four important points: 1) Whenever Christ appears in His resurrected form and the day is mentioned, it is always the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1, 9, 10; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:1, 13, 15; John 20:19, 26). 2) The only time the Sabbath is mentioned from Acts through Revelation it is for evangelistic purposes to the Jews and the setting is usually in a synagogue (Acts chapters 13–18). Paul wrote, “to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews” (1 Corinthians 9:20). Paul did not go to the synagogue to fellowship with and edify the saints, but to convict and save the lost. 3) Once Paul states “from now on I will go to the Gentiles” (Acts 18:6), the Sabbath is never again mentioned. And 4) instead of suggesting adherence to the Sabbath day, the remainder of the New Testament implies the opposite (including the one exception to point 3 above, found in Colossians 2:16).

    Looking more closely at point 4 above will reveal that there is no obligation for the New Testament believer to keep the Sabbath, and will also show that the idea of a Sunday “Christian Sabbath” is also unscriptural. As discussed above, there is one time the Sabbath is mentioned after Paul began to focus on the Gentiles, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” (Colossians 2:16–17). The Jewish Sabbath was abolished at the cross where Christ “canceled the written code, with its regulations” (Colossians 2:14).

    This idea is repeated more than once in the New Testament: “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord” (Romans 14:5–6a). “But now that you know God — or rather are known by God — how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years” (Galatians 4:9–10).

    But some claim that a mandate by Constantine in A.D. 321 “changed” the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. On what day did the early church meet for worship? Scripture never mentions any Sabbath (Saturday) gatherings by believers for fellowship or worship. However, there are clear passages that mention the first day of the week. For instance, Acts 20:7 states that “on the first day of the week we came together to break bread.” In 1 Corinthians 16:2 Paul urges the Corinthian believers “on the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income.” Since Paul designates this offering as “service” in 2 Corinthians 9:12, this collection must have been linked with the Sunday worship service of the Christian assembly. Historically Sunday, not Saturday, was the normal meeting day for Christians in the church, and its practice dates back to the first century.

    The Sabbath was given to Israel, not the church. The Sabbath is still Saturday, not Sunday, and has never been changed. But the Sabbath is part of the Old Testament Law, and Christians are free from the bondage of the Law (Galatians 4:1-26; Romans 6:14). Sabbath keeping is not required of the Christian—be it Saturday or Sunday. The first day of the week, Sunday, the Lord’s Day (Revelation 1:10) celebrates the New Creation, with Christ as our resurrected Head. We are not obligated to follow the Mosaic Sabbath—resting, but are now free to follow the risen Christ—serving. The Apostle Paul said that each individual Christian should decide whether to observe a Sabbath rest, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14:5). We are to worship God every day, not just on Saturday or Sunday.

    • Coby

      Thanks for your comments Mark, very helpful.

    • http://NinaTheRealtor.com Nina

      There are a lot of great comments here, and the article is very well thought out for modern day Christians. However Mark’s comment is excellent. Thank you Mark!

      I want to share about coming to terms with the Sabbath in my own Christian faith. I have a couple of Jewish friends, and our Saviour – Y’shua is Jewish. The Sabbath is from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday. Sunday is the first day of the week, the day we Christians gather to worship.

      As a mother, a grandmother, a realtor, and solo bread winner in my home, I had developed a habit of feeling guilty when I wasn’t doing anything “productive” – like earning money, taking care of the family, household chores, etc. To sit and relax, or to sleep in on Saturday… I felt guilty. Then I read what God’s Word said about the Sabbath. I searched the internet for what Jews say about the Sabbath. God originally gave the Sabbath to the Jews, back in a day when a day off from work was completely uncommon, especially for slaves. Long story short, I came to the conclusion that the Sabbath is a GIFT to mankind from a loving, all knowing Holy Father. He knows our mortal bodies need rest. He knows our minds need a time of relief from stress. I had run myself ragged and I NEEDED a rest. God wasn’t upset with me for resting. In fact, He delights in us taking the time to stop our busy lives, rest and give thanks to Him.

      Now, my first choice is to observe Sabbath on Friday evening and all day Saturday. I am not bound to absolute rules every Friday and Saturday. There is no condemnation to us who are in Christ Jesus. The Sabbath was created for the man, not the man for the Sabbath.

      As a realtor, sometimes I have clients whose schedule requires that I work on Saturday. So I work with them on Saturday with an attitude of gratitude, giving thanks to God that I have clients to work with. But now, I have learned that it’s ok to rest, and that we all NEED to forget the stresses of life and rest on a frequent and regular basis.

      When I’m home alone at sunset on a Friday, I will have my own little Shabbat worship time. I’ll light my candles, pour myself a glass of wine, say a prayer of thanks and praise to God, and play some of my favorite worship music. It has become one of my all time favorite times of the week. Very sweet time alone with my Father, so peaceful and relaxing. When I have no one awaiting me on Saturday, I sleep until my body wakes on its own; I leisurely enjoy my coffee. I read, watch a movie, take naps. And I spend time in prayer, giving thanks to our Almighty Father, creator of the universe, who meets all my needs.

      The Sabbath is a gift to you for your physical, spiritual, and emotional enrichment. I especially encourage you Type A personalities to take a Sabbath once or twice a month at the very least. It’s ok to stop and take a break. Recharge your batteries. The world will still be turning when you go back to it.

      Shalom~!

      Nina

  • joshua

    “and they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers”.

    acts 2:42

    my concern is that all those four things cannot be possible on any other day except on sunday when we go to church.

    can anyone explain? (struggling whether to go into retail sector or not)

    • http://www.raisingkidswithhorses.com Michelle Falica

      I think you should read Mark’s comment. He uses the Word of God to explain things…not traditions of men. The Apostle’s Doctrine was Christ Crucified….we can do that anywhere and on anyday. Fellowshp can happen at work, a playdate with your kids and other parents, a birthday party….it doesn’t require a church building….just two or more people that love the Lord. The breaking of bread….we do that at our kitchen table, around the campfire or wherever. Its a celebration…a way to remember what Jesus did for us. Our children raise their glass full of grape juice and shout out verses, great and wonderful things that Jesus did for us, and how thankful they are that He is Lord of their life. Jesus crosses all social, economic, and geographical boundaries. No matter where you work or when you work….you can glorify God and praise his name….all the while RESTING in the hope of heaven and Jesus.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithandfinance Niama

    I think that Christians should rest on Sunday and only do Christian activities on this day if they can.

    • http://www.raisingkidswithhorses.com Michelle Falica

      Christian activities…..Christ should have preeminence in ALL that we do. It doesn’t take an Awana Club, a Bible Study, or a church pot luck. Live your life for Christ.

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  • http://www.moneyandfaithinmotion.com/blog Tanya @ Money and Faith in Motion

    Personally, I spent years working for newspapers and often had to work on Sundays – absolutely no choice. And I was in the job where I felt God had put me at the time. Now I have a different job with weekends off and I really enjoy it. I do think that, whether your day of rest is Sunday or some other day, since God told us to rest, we should rest. Even He rested, to set an example for us. Unplugging and unwinding – especially in our modern culture – is definitely beneficial.

  • rick

    Another perspective of the Sabbath is this: How do your neighbors view what you do on the Sabbath? Would they think that you are observing the Sabbath if you are mowing your yard? They might enjoy a day of rest without a noisy mower waking them up early on their day off.

    • http://www.raisingkidswithhorses.com Michelle Falica

      More important is how your neighbors view what you do EVERYDAY. A Christian is suppose to think of others first EVERYDAY. Mowing the grass knowing your neighbors might be sleeping is rude. So rather than focus on which day we are suppose to be Christians why not focus on how we are suppose to act EVERYDAY.

  • sopulu

    thank God this site. I have learnt alot.

  • ChristFollower

    I have a job where I sometimes have to work on Sundays. Can I rest and honor the Lord on my day off if it’s not a Sunday?

  • http://www.raisingkidswithhorses.com Michelle Falica

    You sure can ChristFollower! Everyday belongs to Jesus.

    • ChristFollower

      Amen! Thank you sister!!

  • Paul

    This was a really helpful article and so were the comments. Thanks, keep up the good work! :)

  • CJ

    “You have handled an all too often combative issue well. One guideline that helps me is the simple admonition to “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” The word “holy” means “set apart”, so we should make sure that out Sabbath never becomes like every other day. However we set it apart, it should be a distinct day; one which honors God. ”

    I like that, I want to set apart the whole day not just a few hours.

  • wfl20

    no way a christian should not work on sunday, even tho I could work all 6 days a week, which is more than 100 hours, I could have a job but I had to work on sunday, which is totally illegal. and discrimination I got into two accidents. one because I was looking for a job, and the other was because I was fired when i was picking up my from my work. I shouldn’t of been in those situations in the first place.


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