Why Do We Worship on Sunday
and Not Saturday?
By Dr. Ken Matto
(Acts 20:7 KJV) 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.
For hundreds of years the Protestant Church has been worshipping on Sunday and along with this practice, Sunday was called the Sabbath by the churches. One of the biggest mistakes Christians make is to refer to Saturday as the Sabbath because when Christ arose from the dead on Sunday morning, it was on that day that God changed the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day of the week. This change is found in all four of the Gospels.
(Mat 28:1 KJV) In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
(Mark 16:2 KJV) And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
(Luke 24:1 KJV) Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
(John 20:1 KJV) The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
In all four verses, the Greek words behind the underlined phrases are “μια των σαββατων” (mia tô n sabbatô n) which may be translated “first of the sabbaths. Now the reason that it is translated that way is because the word “σαββατωv” is plural. The last two letters of the word are “omega nu” (ωv) which makes the world plural. In Matthew 28:1, we read a very interesting thing. Notice it speaks about the end of the sabbath, which would have been the seventh day sabbath which was instituted under the Mosaic law. Matthew 28:1 is informing us that there was an end to the sabbath but right on the heels of the end of the sabbath, God tells us that Resurrection Sunday was the first of the sabbaths. Now the Sabbath was given under Moses about 1500 years before the resurrection of Christ and was to be observed. Now God is stating that there are new sabbaths since Resurrection Sunday was the beginning of the new sabbaths. (Exo 20:8 KJV) Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. The fourth commandment as found in Exodus 20:8 is the only one of the ten commandments which are not found in the New Testament. This means that God took the seventh day sabbath and changed it from the seventh day to the first day which is Sunday.
This is not the first thing that was changed in a single event. (Luke 22:15 KJV) And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: Jesus had desired to eat the Passover meal with His disciples but while they were celebrating the Passover, Jesus had instituted the Lord’s Supper which was to be celebrated as a remembrance. (Luke 22:19-20 KJV) And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. {20} Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. The Passover was now invalid as it had been replaced with the Lord’s Supper. The Passover was instituted at the time of Moses and was done under the law but now since Christ has come, the Passover no longer holds any significance because the Passover looked forward to Christ. So we see here two events which were changed at the time of the cross, that was the Sabbath and the Passover to Lord’s Supper.
This is very significant because many Christians fail to recognize the fact that everything changed at the cross. No longer is the seventh day sabbath of any significance because that too was looking forward to Christ. It looked forward as it symbolized the fact that no work was to be done on the sabbath or else it would mean that a violator would be subject to death. It looked forward to Christ because He gained our salvation on Calvary and to those who think they can work and add to salvation proves they are unsaved and subject to eternal damnation. So those churches who worship on Saturday are agreeing with the Old Testament that Christ is still to come, that is, they deny, even though they may not be aware of it, but it is a denial of the first coming of Christ and His resurrection which took place as the first of the new sabbaths which God Himself had implemented. The seventh day sabbath no longer holds any spiritual significance because those who are under grace are no longer under the law and that is why the fourth commandment is not written in the New Testament. Christ is now our Sabbath because we rest in Him for our salvation. (Col 2:10 KJV) And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: At this juncture I wish to offer some reasons why Christians should worship on Sunday and not Saturday.
No Biblical Precedent
There is absolutely nothing in Scripture teaching the early church met on a Saturday. (1 Cor 16:1-2 KJV) Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. {2} 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. If you notice Paul’s instructions to the churches at Galatia and Corinth was that their collections were taken up on the first day of the week, which is Sunday. This also confirmed by Paul’s visit to the church in Troas. (Acts 20:7 KJV) 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. We read the disciples came together on Sunday and in both the 1 Cor. 16 passage and Acts 20:7 along with John 20:19 below, the Greek words are also behind them as “Sabbaths.” (John 20:19 KJV) Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. Here is another passage which is post-resurrection that shows they assembled on the new sabbaths. So the biblical precedent is definitely a Sunday worship and not a Saturday Worship. The New Testament does not record the Christians ever meeting on the seventh day sabbath. It records the Jews still meeting in the synagogues on their sabbath but not Christians. (Acts 17:1-2 KJV) Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: {2} And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
Jesus arose on Sunday
If God wanted to still give credence to the seventh day sabbath, then Jesus would have been raised on Saturday. God was changing everything because of the cross and the seventh day sabbath was included in that change. In the Lord’s Supper we are told to do this as a remembrance. If we are remembering correctly that He rose on Sunday, then why would we continue to worship on Saturday which would make it an incorrect remembrance.
False religions worship on Saturday
Judaism, Roman Catholicism, Seventh day Adventists are just three false religions which have chosen to have their worship on Saturday. They are still clinging to the Old Testament Sabbath and basically are in rebellion against God since the sabbath was changed at the cross.
Pentecost was on Sunday
(Acts 2:1 KJV) And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. Pentecost was fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ. Here we have a significant Christian event called the birth of the church occurring on Sunday by the giving of the Holy Spirit of Promise. This was also accompanied by the first sermon preached by Peter and three thousand became saved.
Jesus was declared to be the Son of God on Sunday
(Rom 1:4 KJV) And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: When the Lord Jesus Christ was resurrected on Sunday morning, He was declared to be the Son of God. His resurrection from the dead proved all His claims. He showed that not even death could hold him since death had no right to hold him since His sacrifice for sin was completed and accepted by the Father. This verse details His deity. He was raised according to the Spirit of holiness since death only has power over the unholy, it has no power over the Holy which is the saved, but here we have the Spirit of Holiness as deity. Please note one thing, he did not become the Son of God upon His resurrection, He was always the eternal Son of God but His resurrection was a declaration of His deity.
Jesus Fellowshipped with His disciples
(Luke 24:13-15 KJV) And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. {14} And they talked together of all these things which had happened. {15} And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. On Sunday when Jesus was resurrected, He had fellowship with two of His disciples. (Mat 18:20 KJV) For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. While this was not a worship service, it shows the principle that Jesus is in the midst of His disciples as they fellowshipped with each other, with only two as He Himself had spoken. (Luke 24:36 KJV) And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. Not only did He fellowship with two on the road to Emmaus but with the rest of the assembled disciples.
The Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem
(Mat 21:7-9 KJV) And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. {8} And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strowed them in the way. {9} And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. Jesus had come into Jerusalem in fulfillment if Zechariah 9:9 on a Sunday which we know as Palm Sunday. (Zec 9:9 KJV) Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
A Living Hope
(1 Pet 1:3 KJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, The resurrection of Christ on Sunday gave us a living hope whereby we can be born again unto salvation.
Congregational Splits
Another bad fruit of Saturday worship is that it split’s the congregation in two and those who come on Saturday will never get to know those who come on Sunday. People in the same church will be strangers. If a congregation gets big and another service is needed, then shift the schedule around on Sunday. I know churches that have an early service and then Sunday School afterward while the second service is going on.
Sunday Fun-day
Probably the worst fruit of all is the fact that Christians will come to church on Saturday night and then will stay clear of the church on Sunday. They believe that that they have done their “holy hour of obligation” and when Sunday rolls around they can sleep late or they can get up early and go do whatever they want. It is a shame that many churches have set up this way of escape from spiritual responsibilities. Christians already have too many ways which divert them from being solid in their testimony and they do not need their church to help them along. Why would any church want to pattern their service schedule in the way the false religions do? This Saturday service is just as unbiblical as any other false teachings. The biblical pattern is that the believers meet on the first day of the week and not the seventh day. Those churches who do this are in violation of the Scriptures and God cannot bless any church who violates the Scriptures. If they do not recant this evil method, then Christ will remove their candlestick. (Rev 2:5 KJV) Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. The church is not supposed to follow the world or false religions, let the false religions and the world follow us. A great testimony to neighbors is to see Christians going to church on Sunday morning rather than to the beach. It is a question of testimony.
The reality is that the cross of Christ changed everything including negating the Mosaic law. Every significant spiritual event that happened in the early church happened on a Sunday. Then the Bible sets up the meeting day for the believers and that is only on Sunday. Nowhere in Scripture do we ever read that the believers continued to observe the seventh day Sabbath. In fact, it was not included in the writings of the New Testament. God gave us the new sabbaths in conjunction with the resurrection of Christ. It is Sunday that we are to worship on and not Saturday. A Saturday worship shows denial of the first coming of Christ because that church is showing it still observes the seventh day Sabbath in obedience to the Mosaic law. Sunday is the day of worship for the true believer, anything beyond that is sin.