A Good Question

By Chuck Bartlett

Last week, a listener to our weekly radio program called in a Bible question. She said that she had been invited by someone of the 7th Day Adventist church, and they wanted to know about the practice of keeping the Sabbath. Let’s take a closer look at the doctrine of keeping the Sabbath and the 7th Day Adventist group.

Sabbath-keeping is not a new doctrine

When God gave the law to Moses for the Israelites, they were commanded to keep the Sabbath holy (Ex. 20:8-11). Those who violated that law were to be stoned to death (Num. 15:32-36). When Jesus walked with man, He kept the law concerning the Sabbath (Luke 4:16). This should not surprise us as Jesus lived and died under the Old Law. The Old Law was not done away with until Christ’s death (Heb. 8:6-7; 9:16-17; Col. 2:14).

Sabbath keepers after the death of Jesus

Even after Jesus’ death, we read of individuals in the Bible who continued to gather on the Sabbath to worship God. Such people, like Paul, had rejected Jesus and they were caught up in Judaism prior to obeying the gospel (Gal. 1:13). This is why you can read about the apostle going into synagogues on the Sabbath to preach to the Jews (Acts 13:1415:21; 17:2; 18:4). When Paul went to the synagogues to teach after his conversion, he was NOT keeping the Sabbath. The synagogues were filled with lost Jews, and he was preaching with the intent to convert them to Christ. Sometimes people would listen and obey (Acts 17:2-4; 18:8).

No keeping of the Sabbath today

After Jesus died and the New Law (New Covenant) came into effect, (Matt. 26:28), Christians were not required to keep the Sabbath. Saints gathered to worship the Lord on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:1-2). God’s people were admonished not to worry about Jews and religious pagans who would now judge them in food, drink, festivals, the new moon or sabbaths (Col. 2:16). Specifically, the Jews would rebuke Christians for not keeping Old Testament rules. God’s children were told not to listen to them (Gal. 4:10-11).

Worshipping on Saturday

We need to realize that there is a difference between Christians gathering on a Saturday to worship and the keeping of the Sabbath. We have occasionally held revivals at the church building on a Saturday to worship. But these gatherings do not replace the requirement to assemble of the first day of the week – Sunday (Acts 20:7, 1 Cor. 16:2. This means that although we gathered to worship on a Saturday, certain practices are reserved for Sunday. Christians remember the Lord’s death by taking the Lord’s Supper on Sundays (Acts 20:7; I Cor. 11:17-18, 23-26). The church also takes up a collection (I Cor. 16:1-2; II Cor. 9:7). Those things should not be done on Saturday. You can study, pray and sing anytime, as we read Christians doing (Acts 16:25; 20:36; 8:28-35).

7th Day Adventist’s Church

Finally, note that you cannot read about this religious group anywhere in the Bible. Instead, it was started by man in the 1840s. One early leader was Ellen G. White, who claimed to be a prophet. Our only goal is to follow Christ by belong to the church that He built (Matt. 16:18; Acts 20:28). Since Christ purchased His church with His own blood, we know it began at the time of His death around 33 AD. Mankind needs to test the spirits to see where they are of God because many false prophets have gone out into this world (I John 4:1). Rather than leaning on personal opinions, we should merely accept what God has made perfectly clear.

 

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