SABBATH / LORD'S DAY / SUNDAY
Regarding Sunday, please note that Sunday, the first day of the week, is NOT a "Christian Sabbath" - nor is the Christian's "Sunday" in any way a replacement for the Jewish "Sabbath"!
Regarding the "Lord's Day", they are ALL His!
Regarding "the Lord's Day" being the first day of the week, please consider the following:
The phrase "first day of the week" is found in the New Testament in exactly eight places. Examining these eight texts should be very helpful. The first six of the eight references refer specifically to the day of Jesus' resurrection, which was on the first day of the week. The six references are: Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2,9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1,19. Nothing in these verses designates the first day of the week as "the Lord's Day" nor do they establish a "Christian Sabbath" - they merely record the historical events that occurred on the first day of the week - the very day that Jesus arose from the grave!
The seventh occurrence of the phrase "first day of the week" occurs in 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."
This verse is not a basis for the Sunday meetings as we know them. Notice, it was after sunset, before midnight, the first day of the week. By Jewish reckoning, "All Bible days begin and end at sunset. Throughout the Roman world at that time, and for a few hundred years afterwards, days began and ended at sunset. The practice of beginning the new day at midnight began much later. Therefore this meeting, and Paul's preaching, took place during the hours we now call Saturday night". If that is so, then Paul intended to travel the next "day" (Sunday). If Roman reckoning is used, and if we want to follow the Biblical example, we would all be meeting on Sunday evening for dinner.
Another issue raised by this text (and in connection with the concept that many people have of the "Lord's Day") is whether or not this text says or infers that the disciples always held "Communion" every first day of the week? Not at all! This scripture says nothing about anything being done weekly or customarily. It simply relates the events of this one particular first day of the week. "The disciples came together to break bread" means merely that they gathered to eat a meal. This expression was commonly used to designate a meal. (See also Luke 24:30; Acts 2:46; 27:35 for further examples of "breaking bread.") Scripture interprets it only as eating a meal, not as a "Communion service."
The eighth and final place that we see the phrase "first day of the week" is in 1 Corinthians 16:2 "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."
This was not an instruction for a weekly giving (or tithing) program, but rather, verse 1 tells us what kind of collection is being made: "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also." First, it is a collection—not for the preacher, evangelism, or church expenses—but "for the saints." The members of the church in Jerusalem were suffering from drought and famine. They needed, not money, but food. Notice that Paul had given similar instruction to other churches and we also read in Romans 15:25-28: "But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia [where Corinth is located] to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain."
Upon honest examination, none of the texts speaking about "the first day of the week" sets it apart as a "special" day, a "holy day" or a "Sabbath day".
There is one other verse that needs to be addressed in relation to this topic. It is found in Rev. 1:10 - "On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit..."
Many people read into that verse that John was stating something that occurred on a Sunday, because in their mind's, the "Lord's Day" is Sunday. We are convinced that is not the case. The "Day of the Lord" is a phrase found numerous times in the Bible. That phrase is associated with the day of judgment! "The Lord's Day" is another way of saying "the day of the Lord". Consider the context of the verse in Revelation 1:10! The book of Revelation is about the revealing of Jesus Christ IN JUDGMENT. It begins in chapters 2 & 3 with judgment of the churches (judgment must begin at the house of God - Ezekiel 9:6; 1 Peter 4:17). What follows is chapter after chapter of judgment! The "Lord's Day" is the "Day of the Lord" which is the day of God's judgment of men - not a nice sweet time of Christian "fellowship" on the first day of the week!
We have not found many who concur with this position. Recently we found a post by the Israel Study Center which DOES agree with our position. We quote: "In one of the visions characteristic of Jewish apocalyptic tradition, John finds himself “in the spirit on the Lord’s Day” (Rev. 1:10). In view of modern controversies many Christ-followers wonder whether it was the seventh or the first day of the Israelite week that John had in mind. Both options, Sunday (1st day) and the Sabbath Day (7th day), while possible are a bit problematic for several reasons. One of them is that while the Sabbath Day does belong to the Lord it was never called the “Lord’s Day” before. On the other hand, Sunday, the Day that the resurrection of Jesus had become public, was never referred to as the “Lord’s Day” either. It could be argued, however, that “There is first time for everything”, but I would like to submit to you another possibility that should be also considered. “The Lord’s Day” is none other than “The Day of the Lord” spoken of so often by the prophets of Israel (Is. 2:12-22). According to Isaiah this is the day when justice finally prevails as the God of Israel judges his enemies and rewards his children with peace and prosperity. So, was this Saturday or Sunday? Neither. It was the Day of the Lord."
Having said that, the church does well to "continue steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:42)