Evidence from the Bible for the 7th day Sabbath.

Pastor Answers

Did you ask your pastor the question... "Why does our church keep Sunday as the Sabbath instead of the seventh day?" Here are some answers you may encounter. We encourage you to carefully consider the Biblical evidence for each.

1. The Sabbath was only for the Jews
2. We keep the Lord's Day, which is Sunday.
3. Paul and other apostles instructed Christians to keep Sunday instead of the seventh day.
4. We are under grace, not the law.
5. We believe in righteousness by faith, not by works.
6. We believe Saturday is the Sabbath, but we honor the magnitude of what Christ did through the ressurection on Sunday.
7. The Sabbath was abolished at the cross.
8. Jesus did away with the 10 Commandments.
9. Jesus changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday.
10. Only 9 of the 10 Commandments are repeated in the New Testament, so the 4th commandment is not part of the New Covenant law.
11. We do not know which day is the seventh anymore.
12. The day really doesn't matter, as long as we observe a rest.

1. YOUR PASTOR'S ANSWER: The Sabbath was only for the Jews


The Sabbath existed before the Jewish nation came into existence

Genesis 2:2-4 "And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens."

The Sabbath was established at the time the earth was created, not thousands of years later.

Genesis 26:5 “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

This text doesn’t specifically mention the Sabbath. However, if Abraham kept God’s law, then God must have revealed His law to people before giving it to the Children of Israel on Mount Sinai. It is likely the same law.

The Sabbath exists after the new earth (future)

Isaiah 66:22-23 “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. 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.”

Jews & Gentiles have become fellow citizens

a) John 11: 16 “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.”

b) Isaiah 42:6 “I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles.”

c) Ephesians 2:11-22 – This passage of scripture stresses the assurance that both Jews and Gentiles have become fellow citizens in the household of God and the wall of division between the two has been broken down.

2. PASTOR'S ANSWER: We keep the Lord's Day, which is Sunday.


Your pastor may have used this text: Revelation 1:10 “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,”

The text does not mention the day of the week to which it is referring. It also gives no indication of transferring of the holiness of the Sabbath from one day to another. It also gives no evidence that the “Lord’s Day” refers to Sunday or the day of Christ’s resurrection. Jesus said He is “Lord also of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27,28), and He kept the seventh day. It would make more sense that the “Lord’s Day refers to the seventh day.

3. PASTOR'S ANSWER: Paul and other apostles instructed Christians to keep Sunday instead of the seventh day.


The following texts are the three main texts of the eight places in the New Testament that mention the 1st day of the week. No where, is there any indication of it being sacred or having any special significance to it.

a) Your pastor may have used this text: I Cor. 16:1-2 “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.”

Nothing in this verse indicates there is any sacredness attached to the first day of the week. It rather appears to be an exhortation to make regular plans to lay aside offerings for the church.

b) Your pastor may have used this text: Acts 20:7 “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.”

Nothing in this text indicates the first day of the week being sacred. It would be natural for a final meeting to be held before Paul left on his Journey the next day. Keep in mind that a day in the Bible starts at evening and ends at evening. So, it is likely they met on what we would call Saturday night and he preached until midnight. Also, it wasn’t unusual that they broke bread together on the first day. In fact, the early Christians broke bread together daily (“And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart” Acts 2:46).

c)Your pastor may have used this text: John 20:19 “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.”

After Jesus rose from the grave on Sunday, He appeared to the disciples later that evening. There was no mention of Jesus sanctifying the first day of the week because of His resurrection or instructing His disciples to keep a new day holy.

The books of the New Testament were written many years after Jesus' death. Yet, the writers never mentioned anything about a change of the Sabbath. Mathew wrote about six years after Christ's ascension. Mark wrote about ten years after. Luke wrote about 28 years after. John wrote about sixty three years after. All four are silent on any kind of a change.

Every time the first day of the week is mentioned in the Bible, the literal translation of the original says “the first day after the Sabbath.”  Therefore, every first day reference by the apostles confirms that the Sabbath was the day before it.

4. PASTOR'S ANSWER: We are under grace, not the law.


Your pastor may have quoted this text: Rom 7:6 6 "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter."

Being delivered from the law, means that you are delivered from its penalty (death). Once you accept Christ, you are no longer under the law. This means that you do not have to suffer the penalty of your sins. You are delivered through the grace of Christ.

Imagine that you are caught breaking a law of the land, like speeding, and you end up in court. Perhaps the judge shows you mercy and doesn't penalize you. You have just been forgiven and are not under the penalty of the law. However, that doesn't mean you can leave the courthouse, speed home at 90 MPH and be free to break the law without consequence. You are still required to keep the law.

Grace doesn't take the law away, it takes sin away.

5. PASTOR'S ANSWER: We believe in righteousness by faith, not by works


Romans 3:31 "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law."

Is it legalism to obey God? When we have faith in Christ's sacrifice and His power to change our heart, we want to obey God. When God changes our heart, is He causing us to disobey, or do we become more and more like Him?

6. PASTOR'S ANSWER: We believe Saturday is the Sabbath, but we honor the magnitude of what Christ did through the ressurection on Sunday.


Because Christ arose from the grave on Sunday, it gives some the idea that it should be a holy day. But God never said it was Holy. One can celebrate the resurrection of Jesus any day of the week and it would be a good thing, but God would have to bless, sanctify and make the day holy before it could be a Sabbath. So, if a person of great fame and authority were to proclaim; “I now proclaim that Monday is a holy day unto the Lord so it is now a Sabbath,” do you think it would change anything?

7. PASTOR'S ANSWER: The Sabbath was abolished at the cross.


Your pastor may have quoted this text: Col. 2:14-16 “…having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross...Therefore, let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”

Moses gave the Israelites various laws regarding food, feasts, ceremonial rest days and others, which were all shadows pointing to what Jesus would do on this earth and his sacrifice (commonly referred to as ceremonial laws). These shadows (such as sacrifices, Pentecost and other feasts), symbolizing the reality of Christ, were no longer needed when Christ became our real sacrifice and began His priestly ministry. The Sabbath of the moral law (10 commandments) is a memorial of an event at the beginning of earth’s history, not a shadow of things to come. The moral law is eternal.

Your pastor may have quoted this text: Romans 14:5 “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

Under the ceremonial law (sacrifices, sanctuary ceremonies), the Jews were to keep various ceremonial rest days including seven annual sabbaths, which were separate from the weekly creation Sabbath. They had many additional requirements regarding food, feasts, circumcision, etc. After Jesus died on the cross, there was no longer a requirement to keep the ceremonial law. However, all believers were at different stages of enlightenment and it was importance for all to act on his or her conscience. Paul speaks in these verses of the importance of allowing each person to act on his or her conscience and to preserve love and mutual respect for continuing harmony among the believers.

8. PASTOR'S ANSWER: Jesus did away with the 10 Commandments


a) Jesus’ prophecied about the Sabbath
When the disciples asked Jesus about signs of His coming and the end of the world, Jesus told them about many of the signs in nature, wars and tribulations that would happen in the future (Matthew 24:1-51). During this chapter, He specifically mentions the Sabbath.

Matthew 24:20 “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:”

If Jesus intended to abolish the Sabbath at the cross or to make it no longer binding, why would He speak of the Sabbath as existing many years after His death? If He only mentioned it because He knew the Jews would still be erroneously keeping the Sabbath in 70 AD (when the Jerusalem was destroyed), then why would it matter to Christians if they had to flee on the Sabbath day?

b) Jesus clarified the meaning of the law
Your pastor may have quoted the following texts to show that Jesus abolished the 10 commandments and gave us new ones:

  • Matthew 22:35-40 “Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ “This is the first and great commandment. “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

  • John 15: 12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

  • I John 3:24 “And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.”

These texts do not contradict or mention eliminating any previously given law. The first group of texts in Matthew instructs us to start with loving God and then our neighbor. Then as we learn of more specific commandments written in God’s law and by God’s prophets, they will fit into (and not contradict) these great two commandments. The first four of the ten commandments fall under the commandment Jesus gave to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and the last six of the ten commandments fall under the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself.

Jesus taught the true meaning of the Sabbath, (e.g. “it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:12) and “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath”(Mark 2:27). Why would He bother to teach them the true meaning of the Sabbath if He wanted them to worship on a different day?

c) Jesus and His disciples taught us to keep the Sabbath
As further clarification, the following texts (written while Jesus was on earth or after he was risen) show the binding nature of God’s commandments:

  • Mark 7:7-9 “And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men – the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” And he said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban (that is, dedicated to the temple)”; “and you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

    Notice the specific mention of the 5th commandment and how Jesus says it is the word of God and should be put above traditions of men.

  • Matthew 5:17-20 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one title will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

  • I Corinthians 7:19 “Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.”

  • Romans 3:31 “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

  • Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

  • Romans 13:8-10 “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

    Notice the specific commandments mentioned and how they are in no way done away with, but simply summarized.

  • 1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”

    If there is no law, then there is no more sin. If there is no sin, then there is no reason to repent of our sins. If there is no reason to repent of our sins, then there is no need for a Savior. If the law is not binding, then Jesus would not have had to die for our sins.

  • James 2:10 “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.”

    Here again, the binding nature of the law is mentioned after Jesus died on the cross. Two specific commandments from the moral law are here mentioned as not being abolished, and it also references the whole law.

9. PASTOR'S ANSWER: Jesus changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday


a) Jesus did not change the day
As already provided in numerous texts, Jesus never transferred the Sabbath holiness from the seventh day to Sunday. Jesus kept the seventh day and so did his apostles. Christians kept the seventh day for centuries after Christ’s resurrection. Nowhere in the Bible can evidence be found of this change.

b) The Church of Rome changed the day
The change from Sabbath to Sunday was a gradual process that began sometime before A.D. 150 and continued for some three centuries. The observance of Sunday didn’t immediately replace that of the Sabbath, but for several centuries Christians observed both days. Then, in the Canon 29 of the Council of Laodicea, in the 4th century, we find a stipulation that “Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday, but shall work on that day; but the Lord’s day they shall especially honor, and, as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out from Christ.” In examining writings during the first four centuries after Christ, it becomes clear that Christians were motivated to consider Sunday sacred because they wanted to avoid practices that would identify them with Jews and thus lead to persecution. It is also clear that the church at Rome early developed a preference for Sunday which helped them attract Pagans to the church, who already honored the sun on the first day of the week. Rome’s influence finally prevailed to make the observance of Sunday a matter of church law.

The Catholic Church has taken responsibility for changing the Sabbath to Sunday and claims to have the authority from God to do so. The Catechism of the Council of Trent, Donovan translation, 1829 ed., reads “But the Church of God has in her wisdom ordained that the celebration of the Sabbath day should be transferred to ‘the Lord’s day’.” In addition, Prompta Bibliotheca, Vol. VI states “The Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but as it were God, and the vicar of God…” and “The Pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even divine laws…” In A Doctrinal Catechism by Stephen Keenan, 1876, we read “Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her; - she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.”

c) Prophecies foretold the change
Daniel 7:25 “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

This prophecy refers to a power that shall dare to change God’s law. Of all the ten commandments, the fourth commandment stands out as being changed by an earthly power. Other prophecies expand on this concept and are astonishing in their portrayal of man’s attempts to overthrow God’s commands.

In the text above, a time, times and the dividing of times is calculated to equal 1260 years (1 year + 2 years + 1/2 year = 3-1/2 years = 1260 days/prophetic years). This time period fits right into the Church of Rome as the power that thinks to change times and laws. In 538 AD, the church gained preeminence when, through its influence, the Ostrogoths were uprooted. The church then exerted power over the state for hundreds of years, culminating in 1798 when the pope was taken prisoner by Berthier, a French General. The time form 538 to 1798 is exactly 1260 years (see the Daniel 7 Study Guide).

Revelation 14:12 “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”

This prophecy refers to people in the last days who do not worship the beast or receive his mark. They are described as keeping the commandments and having faith. This is important to note because this group of people honors the commandments of God, and observes them, but not in a legalistic sense. They keep the divine requirements through the power of Christ and as the character of God is revealed in the heart of the true believer (see the Revelation 13 & 14 Study Guide).

10. PASTOR'S ANSWER: Only 9 of the 10 Commandments are repeated in the New Testament, so the 4th commandment is not part of the New Covenant law.
  The women who anointed the body of Jesus observed the Sabbath command. “And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment” (Luke 23:55,56).  Some say that all the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament except the Sabbath commandment, but this text specifically mentions the Sabbath commandment and reports the sacred regard for the 7th day Sabbath held by the followers of Jesus. There are other texts in the New Testament that also support the continuing blessings of Sabbath keeping.
11. PASTOR'S ANSWER: We do not know which day is the seventh anymore.


a) The Jews have always kept the seventh day. If some had somehow lost track of the day, there would be Jews in different places around the world keeping any number of different days. Instead all Jews are unified all over the earth as to which day is the seventh day.

b) Throughout the history of the Bible, there were many opportunities for God to correct the day, if it was wrong. However, God is not only silent on correcting the day, He reaffirms it over and over. For example, after the children of Israel were lead out of Egypt, God sent manna to them for food every day of the week except the seventh. On the sixth day he sent extra manna. If the people had messed up and were keeping the wrong day, they would have been corrected at this time. Jesus kept the seventh day, and he surely wouldn’t have been confused as to which day was actually the seventh. Jesus died on the preparation day, he rested in the tomb on the Sabbath and he rose on Sunday.

c) If we trust the Bible, then we can only question the correctness of the seventh day from the time after the last book of the Bible was written until the present day. Since there have been so many writings and records kept since that time, it is highly unlikely a global mistake like this could have occurred. The United States Naval Observatory, Director James Robertson, 1932 – “…We have had occasion to investigate the results of the works of specialists in chronology and we have never found one of them that has ever had the slightest doubt about the continuity of the weekly cycle since long before the Christian era…There has been no change in our calendar in past centuries that has affected in any way the cycle of the week…”

d) A day is measured by how long it takes the earth to rotate. A month is measured by the cycle of the moon. A year is measured by the time it takes the earth to revolve around the sun. A week has no known measure, and can only be traced back to the creation of the world when God established the weekly cycle. It has continued from the beginning of the earth, without alteration, to our time.

12. PASTOR'S ANSWER: The day really doesn't matter, as long as we observe a rest.


  • I John 2:3-5 “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”

    Keeping God’s laws, including keeping the Sabbath day holy, is implemented in our lives as a result of knowing God. If keeping the Sabbath seems like a trivial matter, consider others in the Bible who didn’t follow God’s instructions exactly as given. While God is ready to forgive, obeying His word does matter to God.

  • John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

    We are saved by grace. We are not saved because we keep all of the commandments perfectly (Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned"). But, if we love God, we will want to be obedient and we will trust that his instruction is for our own good. Through Christ, we can receive power to do what is right and live how God wants us to live.

If we have truly given our life to God, then our hearts will be changed. As God teaches us, we will begin to reflect His character and will obey His commands.

Did your pastor provide an answer not listed above? Please let us know. We welcome your comments and questions.