Written by: Christopher Sernaque
The first post in this series entitled, “The Ultimate Proof that the Sabbath is Eternal”, dealt with proving that the Fourth Commandment, which requires the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, is still to be practiced by Christians. The belief that the seventh-day Sabbath was abolished at the cross is negated by the fact that God’s righteousness, or God’s commandments, shall not be abolished. In light of the fact that the seventh-day Sabbath is still to be observed by Christians, there are those who think that the Sabbath is nothing more than sleeping, or relaxing. While physical rest is part of the rest that the Sabbath provides, what about the rest of the story? There is a fact that is both plain and simple, and not surprisingly, is vehemently denied by those who believe that the righteousness of God has been abolished. That fact is this, the Sabbath day is a day for Christians to go to church and fellowship with one another, as we worship our Creator. The idea that the early Christian Church did not gather on the Sabbath, or that the Sabbath was never meant for congregating, is completely inaccurate. By looking at the Word of God, and some basic definitions, it can be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Christians are to come together and fellowship on the seventh-day Sabbath.
The Example of Jesus:
The Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus Christ, is our example. (1 John 2:6, 1 Peter 2:21) Jesus Christ went to church on the Seventh-Day of the week, and this fact alone is enough to obliterate the teaching that fellowship is not apart of the Sabbath commandment. Note the following verses:
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.“-Luke 4:16
“And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?”-Mark 6:2
The Example of the Disciples:
After Jesus death on the cross, the disciples observed the Sabbath day, according to the commandment. (Luke 23:56) There are many more instances, recording in the Acts of the Apostles, where it is shown that the disciples, the Apostle Paul and the Gentile Converts, observed the Sabbath.
“Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem. But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down…And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.“-Acts 13: 13, 14, 42, 44
“But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they… For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.”-Acts 15:11, 21
“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.”-Acts 16:13
“And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.”-Acts 17:2
“And he (Paul) reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.”-Acts 18:4
It is obvious that the Sabbath is a time for Christian fellowship, when one looks at the meaning of the words used to describe the gathering of people together on Sabbath. Consider the following terms:
Congregation: Both the Hebrew and Greek word for congregation means an assembly of people, in fact, in the Hebrew language the word congregate denoted a gathering together of families. (Strong’s #H5712 and #G4863)
Convocation: The word literally means, “something called out, that is, a public meeting” (Strong’s #H4744)
All of these terms, that mean to gather together, are used in connection with the Sabbath. Thus, it is undeniable that the Sabbath Commandment is also a command for Christian fellowship in honor of God’s creative power on the seventh-day of each week.
God commanded us to go to church on Sabbath:
This final line of evidence will come from the fact that God desires His people to fellowship on the seventh-day of the week, and thus, He implemented commands on doing so. Take note of the bold text, as some of the bold text below, was defined in the previous section.
“Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.”-Leviticus 23:3
“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.”-Isaiah 66:23
Notice these verses on the importance and joy that comes from obeying God and assembling on His Holy Day:
“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.”-Psalm 122:1
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”-Hebrews 10:25
The Bible also encourages believers to have home churches: (Matthew 18:20, 1 Corinthians 16:19, Philemon 1:1-2, Colossians 4:18, Romans 16:3-5)
To conclude, from the above Bible Scriptures, and definitions, it is obvious that the Sabbath Commandment is also commanding that God’s people assemble themselves together and praise Him!
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”-Psalm 100:4