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The Lord's Day

What about the Lord's day? The term "the Lord's day" is used by some to suggest that Jesus rose on Sunday. Actually, Jesus did not rise on Sunday morning. He was already gone when people came to the tomb. In reality, the term is used only once in the Bible in Revelation 1:10 which was written long after the resurrection. There is no cause and effect shown in the Bible between the resurrection and the term "the Lord's day". This appears to be more the result of persecution. In John 16:1-2 Jesus warned, "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." What came about is that Christians first went to the synagogues on the sabbath but they were not accepted. It was later on that Christians started worshipping on another day of the week other than Saturday. In addition to the persecution in the synagogue, persecution also came from Rome. It was persecution that brought about the term, not the resurrection.

What does Bible say? Look at the verses that refer to worship on the sabbath after the resurrection.

  1. Acts 13:5 says, "And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister." The Jews were not in the synagogues on Sunday but instead on Saturday.
  2. In Acts 13:14 Paul went into the synagogue. He was beat up and thrown out.
  3. In Acts 13:27 Paul made a reference to the prophets being read every sabbath day.
  4. Acts 13:42 and 44 also mention Paul and Barnabas preaching on the sabbath.
  5. In Acts 15:21 James referred to Moses, meaning the Law of Moses, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
  6. Acts 16:13-14 says, "And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul."
  7. In Acts 17:2 Paul went into the synagogue in Thessalonica and for three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures. The result was that the city set in an uproar. Acts 18:4 tells us Paul was in Corinth at one time and reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath until he ran into opposition and blasphemy. He then departed from the synagogue

The one time that any kind of worship on Sunday is found is in Acts 20:7. "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight." This does not establish a cause and effect relationship between the resurrection and any day of worship.

1 Corinthians 16:2 says, "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." This is not talking about worship but instead saving up money.

1 Corinthians 2:16 says, "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:" It does not say to worship on Sunday or that Jesus rose on Sunday.

Preachers will often claim that Sunday worship is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. 1 Corinthians 11:24 recalls Jesus celebrating the passover saying "...this do in remembrance of me." Concerning his sacrifice for us we celebrate the passover in the Lord's Supper not in Sunday morning services.

What will God do in the future? When there are the new heavens and the new earth, Isaiah 66:23 tells us, "And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD." The sabbath will still be remembered in the future. The one time use of the phrase "the Lord's day" does not mean Jesus rose from the grave on Sunday or that we should worship on that day.



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