Religion: Sabbath or Sunday Worship – Part 1
During the creation, God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because it was the day that He rested from all the work that God had done.—Genesis 2:2-3 (NIV)
God said: “It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed”— Exodus 31:17 (ESV)
When God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, one of the commandments was to “remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy”—(Exodus 20:8-11, 23:12).
The Abrahamic religion is a group of a monotheistic religion that endorses the worship of one God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. However, it mostly centered on Abraham to whom God established His covenant that he (Abraham) will be the “Father of Many Nations” and Abraham’s obedience made him known as the Father of Faith. God said to Abraham as recorded in Genesis 12:2-3—“I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing…” and in Genesis 22:18—“And through your offspring, all nations of the earth will be blessed because you have obeyed My voice.”
Three major and minor religions gave birth to the Abrahamic religion, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; and the minor religions are the Baháʼí Faith, the Druze Faith, and Samaritanism to name a few, and became the outlet where God’s word is and will be heard. Other than the people of Israel, God’s will is that all the people of the world will be blessed. Abraham can be described as the father of the Jewish and Arabic people, through Isaac and Jacob are for the Jews and Ismael for the Arabs and all the family of faith —the community of the entire world will be grafted as heroes of faith through Abraham’s seed.
Men and women of faith who lived in the past would be “a great cloud of witnesses. The great cloud is referred to as the multitudes of believers that have gone before us bearing witness and living a life of faith as we now have. The heroes of faith from the book of Hebrews should serve as an encouragement and an inspiration to submit with a deeper trust in God who keeps all his promises.
For those who belong to the Abrahamic religion, the seventh day of the week is Saturday (Sabbath) and is set aside for the day of rest and worship. The seventh day is to be kept as a day of holy rest as God rested and refresh from creation. Disobedience to observe the Sabbath or the seventh day is considered breaking with the covenant made by God to Israelites. The command is for the nation of Israel in recognition of God’s work for the deliverance of His people (Israelites) from Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:15).
Friday is the seventh day of the week which is holy to Muslims as ordained by God recorded in the Quran. Friday evening (6 pm) is already considered Saturday as the beginning of the new day and ends after dark on Sunday evening (6 pm), which is considered the seventh day or Sabbath for the Jewish people, and Sundays were claimed by Christians as the Christian Sabbath, and called it the day of the Lord or resurrected Sunday.
Anybody either Jews, Gentiles, or Muslims who has kept either Sunday and Sabbath (Saturday) set no one apart from each other. They could either choose to rest on Saturdays or Sundays as their seventh day in honor of the Almighty God and should not be an issue, since the command is directed to the Israelites. For as long as we worship the one true God, He knows how much we love HIM. The significance of the seventh day is a devotion to the Almighty Father, the one true God that His existence is being recognized.
Did Jesus and the apostles change the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday? Not at all. It was not taught and recorded in the New Testament. Did Paul or St. Paul change it? Paul brought the good news to the Gentiles after it was rejected many times by the Jews—Acts 13:28. The Gentiles became Abraham’s seed by faith due to this rejection and became heirs of the promises to Abraham and his seed (Galatians 3-4). Paul preached the gospel of the Kingdom to the Jews but was repeatedly rejected and Paul eventually turned onto the teaching to the Gentiles where he was accepted.
Paul learned Mosaic Law and the Old Testament from Gamaliel a well-respected teacher, a Rabbi, and the Jewish law teacher of Paul. Paul with his knowledge of the Old Testament made many changes and introduced new theology different from the teachings of Jesus. The Bible is clear how Jesus observed the Sabbath and the apostles continued to observe after his death. Is it a violation of the Almighty’s Will to observe Sunday as the rest day? When did Sunday worship start? Does God hear us when we honor Him on Sundays? How did Sabbath (Saturday) become Sunday worship will be discussed in this series.
God is all in all.