Should Christians Keep the Sabbath?
Many people say that you have to observe the Sabbath on Saturday and that if you go to church on Sunday, you are taking on the mark of the beast. This is not true.
We only hold to the Old Testament laws that have not been fulfilled in Christ and do not contradict our doctrine. For example, we no longer do blood sacrifices because Jesus was the final sacrifice for all sin. Even the Jews today no longer observe these sacrifices.
Why don’t Christians observe the Sabbath?
The Bible says it doesn’t matter which day you worship.
Colossians 2:14-16: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 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.”
This verse reminds us that no one should judge a Christian for whatever day they recognize the Sabbath. Jesus blotted out the ordinances (rules) against Christians, which was the law of Moses. We do not need to observe the law because the Lord Jesus Christ eliminated the need to observe the law at the cross. This argument is important when speaking to the Seventh-day Adventists.
Ephesians 2:15: “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:“
The law is for Jews
This is another circumstance where context and rightly dividing Scripture helps tremendously in interpreting the Bible correctly.
Ezekiel 20:20: “And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.”
This verse shows the context to which it speaks. This is written for God’s chosen people, the Jews. The Sabbath is for the Old Testament, not the new testament. We are no longer bound by the laws of the Old Testament.
Exodus 20:8: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
Again, this is written for a Jewish audience. The Sabbath was an essential aspect of Judaism, but Jesus came and changed the way that we approach God. It is no longer necessary in the way that it was previously.
Exodus 20:2: “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”
Here again, we see an obvious Jewish context!
Verses that show that Gentiles observe the Sabbath
There are however verses that seem to show that Gentiles also have to observe the Sabbath which Seventh-day Adventists would use to support the notion that we have to observe the Sabbath as well. That’s why we have to know how to debunk it.
Isaiah 56:2-6: “Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.“
Let’s take the context of Isaiah 56. Do we see the following happening to Israel? There’s a lot of bloodshed and war going on so this has not been fulfilled yet.
Isaiah 56: 12-13: “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
A clearer answer would be the following verse.
Isaiah 66:22: “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.”
This happens in the future at the millennium when He restores the nation of Israel. This is why we have to believe in the restoration of the nation of Israel. Sabbath days are a shadow of things to come (Ephesians 2:17).