Worshiping on the wrong day = Hell? Really?

Posted: March 2, 2012 in Apologetics, Cannon, Catholicism, Jehovah Witness, Norfolk Adventures, the ONE true faith?, WHAT?

Recently in my area, I have run into several cults. These cults such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of God are teaching to worship on Sunday is a sin, and this sin is punishable by Hellfire. They say that we must keep the Sabbath, and failure to do so means we are part of the great whores church. I tell you this as someone who has had several 2-3 hour debates with a Jehovah Witness and have had no success changing their minds. To them, we are not part of the Lord’s church, and one of the reasons is because we are not keeping the Sabbath.

The Church of God also teaches this, but they do not like to come right out and tell you. On one occasion I was in a heated debate and I kept asking if the couple attempting to convert another fellow if they thought I was going to Hell for not keeping their Saturday Sabbath. After saying the same question 4 or 5 times, I told them I would no longer listen to them unless they gave me an answer. They reluctantly told me I was Hell bound for worshipping on the wrong day.

But who are you to tell me that if I worship on a Sunday I am going to Hell? Only the authority of the Bible could tell me that, so to the Bible we will go.

Rev 1:10 I (John) was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day

John, the early church leader, one of the 12 disciples, received the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ on what day? A Sunday! Sunday is the Lord’s Day. Why would Jesus come to John on a Sunday, when the Holy day is on a Saturday? Because it is not the Holy day any longer? Or is Jesus confused as to which day He should have came? Or is John confused as to which day it is?

So you say that this is not evidence of church on Sunday, and that Constantine was the one who switched the Holy day in the fourth century? Ok, Let’s look into church services in the New Testament after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Acts 20:7 On the first day of the week, we assembled to break bread. Paul spoke to them, and since he was about to depart the next day, he extended his message until midnight.

On what day? Sunday! They assembled to have communion and Paul taught a sermon until midnight because he was leaving soon. Sounds like a church service to me! Here’s another one.

1 Cor 16:2 On the first day of the week, each of you is to set something aside and save in keeping with how he prospers, so that no collections will need to be made when I come.

On what day? Sunday! When were they meeting together? Sunday! When were they collecting an offering for Paul? Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Was the writer of half the NT sinning by holding a service and worshiping and praying and teaching on a Sunday? Certainly not. We can meet on any day of the week, but the early church meet on a Sunday.

Ok, you say that there is no proof outside of the Bible until Constantine switched the date, and your sticking with that eh? Well let me tell you friend, that Constantine, or any other Pope for that matter, does not have the right to switch God’s laws, or change anything. He is a mere man who is claiming to be perfect, and that right there is a sin. I do not give a rip that Constantine said we ought to change the date from Saturday to Sunday. Nor do I care that Gregory invented Purgatory along with Augustine, nor do I care that the Papacy thinks they are infallible, nor do I care that they teach the Virgin Mary is divine, nor do I care that they added the Apocrypha to their cannon of scripture, nor do I care that they invented the doctrine of free will, nor do I care about anything they do, I do not give a crap what they teach. I care about what the Bible says, and about what history bears witness to, and history bears witness to the fact that long before Constantine took office, the early church was celebrating their church services on Sunday.

Pliny the younger (61-113 AD) was a Roman historian who wrote a letter to the emperor. In his letter (that is severely slanted against the Christians by the way) he wrote some of the things he observed about the early Christians, one of which was the fact that they worshipped and had a service on the Lord’s day, Sunday. This is 200+ years before Constantine “switched” the “Sabbath” which by the way as I have already said who cares, he does not have authority to switch anything.

Justin Martry (105-165 AD) was a Christian apologist who wrote his now famous First Apology. Here’s what he wrote about when they held a church service:

On the day commonly called Sunday all the believers… gather in their meetings… (and) read the memoirs of the apostles and the prophets (OT and NT)… after this we stand as one and pray…take communion… and take up offerings. We hold this meeting on Sunday because it is the first day in which God created the world, and also the day which Jesus, our Savior, rose from the Dead.

It is obvious, from the three examples provided in scripture and the two examples of early church formation, that the early church worshipped on a Sunday.

Having said that, there is no need to only worship on Sunday, you can worship any day you like. Sunday was just the day they had service. Let no one tell you otherwise, the early church, right after Jesus left and in the Bible, worshipped corporately on Sunday.

I might add that if you truly believe that those who worship on Sunday are Hell bound, you do not believe that Jesus died for every sin. If Jesus died for every sin (and he did) and we are under the new covenant of grace (which we are) and grace forgives trespasses (which it does) then even if we were all deceived and worshipping on the wrong day (which were not) then Jesus would forgive us anyways. We could worship on the wrong day our whole life and Jesus would forgive us. Jesus forgives sins, past present and future. He died for every sin right? So the people who are worshipping on the “wrong day” are not forgiven? Well did not our Lord Jesus Christ die for all sins? Then how can we say these “wrong” worshippers are Hell bound? Clearly using this logic Jesus could not have died for all sins, if there is a sin in which He cannot forgive right?

But there is no wrong day friends. We can worship on ANY old day of the week.

Col 2:8-17 Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ. For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ, and you have been filled by Him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. You were also circumcised in Him with a circumcision not done with hands, by putting off the body of flesh, in the circumcision of the Messiah. Having been buried with Him in baptism, you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive with Him and forgave us all our trespasses. He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; He triumphed over them by Him.
 Therefore, don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is the Messiah.

Rom 14:5-10 One person considers one day to be above another day. Someone else considers every day to be the same. Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind. Whoever observes the day, observes it for the honor of the Lord. Whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat [it], yet he thanks God. For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and came to life for this: that He might rule over both the dead and the living. But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the tribunal of God.

There is no set day to keep a Sabbath, in fact Jesus, nor Paul, nor Peter, nor any of the apostles tell us we have to keep a Sabbath. Jesus reintegrated all of the commandments, except the Sabbath day commandment! I dare you to find me a scripture that tells us we have to keep the Sabbath in the NT… I double dog dare you!

Whatever day you worship, whatever day you want to hold as Holy, do it to the Lord, and leave these old practices behind you. We might as well begin reciting food laws and sacrificing pigs if we really want to be under the Old Covenant. Jesus freed us from that, we can now Live a free life in Christ. Not to abuse this great gift, but to live for Him daily and not get so wrapped up in what someone thinks about a Sabbath or a Holy Day.

God bless,
Dan Fogarty.

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Comments
  1. Jen Apsey says:

    Good stuff Dan!!! This is a subject that is often misunderstood. How can people hold on to the old, yet claim to be “new?” (In Christ). And does it REALLY matter WHAT day we set aside for God? I have a feeling He’s more concerned that we are doing it rather than WHAT DAY we are. I haven’t heard it explained better than I have here. Thanks brother, and keep up the work for the Kingdom!!!!

  2. Julio says:

    Brother, let me show you what Acts 20:7 truly says.

    Act 20:7 AndG1161 uponG1722 theG3588 firstG3391 day of theG3588—-{week,G4521}—-when theG3588 disciplesG3101 came togetherG4863 to breakG2806 bread,G740 PaulG3972 preachedG1256 unto them,G846 readyG3195 to departG1826 on theG3588 morrow;G1887 andG5037 continuedG3905 his speechG3056 untilG3360 midnight.G3317

    To Hebrew people, the day begins at sundown. Reading this verse under careful scrutiny will reveal that this was actually a Saturday night and not Sunday. If you notice also, the word “day” was added by the translators. The word for week is…

    G4521
    σάββατον
    sabbaton
    sab’-bat-on
    Of Hebrew origin [H7676]; the Sabbath (that is, Shabbath), or day of weekly repose from secular avocations (also the observance or institution itself); by extension a se’nnight, that is, the interval between two Sabbaths; likewise the plural in all the above applications: – sabbath (day), week.

    What we find is that this was taking place as soon as the sunset and is why he was speaking until midnight. This time in judaism is called Matzai Shabbat and refers to the time immediately following the sabbath. The complete Jewish Bible reneders the verse like this.

    Act 20:7 On Motza’ei-Shabbat, when we were gathered to break bread, Sha’ul addressed them. Since he was going to leave the next day, he kept talking until midnight.

    So this did not occur on Sunday as the translators seem to indicate.

    The verse you quote from in Romans is speaking about fasting in context and not the Sabbath.

    Revelation 1:10 can also be rendered as..

    Rev 1:10 I came to be, in the Spirit, on the Day of the Lord; and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a trumpet,

    Which would make sense since the Day of the LORD is what Revelations is essentially about.

    Isa 13:6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
    Isa 13:7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt:
    Isa 13:8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.
    Isa 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
    Isa 13:10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

    You want to know if people will go to hell(grave) for not observing the sabbath? Let me ask you something. Will people go to hell for adultery, lying, idolatry, fornication or any other sin? Your answer can be applied to the question you put forth in the title of this article.

    • I’m sorry but you are twisting the scriptures. The greek in Acts 20:7 is Heis Sabbaton, meaning one sabbath. They used the word sabbath to refer to a Sunday. The day did not begin at sundown as you say, otherwise Paul would have preached a 36 hour sermon!

      The NT was not wrote in Hebrew, it was wrote in Greek. There is no evidence of a Hebrew NT. So you cannot take the Hebrew origin and twist the greek words up as you are trying to do.

      I will not reply any more, you have my original post, take it or leave it.

      Stop living in bondage friend, and start seeing the risen Lord. Jesus died for all sins and Jesus never said to worship on a certain day. He would have told us if it was so important as you say.

  3. Greg Bentley says:

    Amen Brother……I would only add that if we are truly worshiping Jesus “in spirit and in truth” then we are worshiping all of the time. Non stop, as Paul said “pray without ceasing”. And I would also say that any time 2 or more of us are together there is some form of worship taking place,even if it is just the example of our lives.Because I believe that truest and best way to worship Jesus is with our lives, by being like Him.

  4. Julio says:

    By you asking me what my sect is, you are ignoring what scripture is saying. You are trying to invalidate my point by my affiliation. That is totally unimportant to the topic at hand which is the sabbath and it’s validity. We are to follow in Jesus’ footsteps as Paul did.

    1Co 11:1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.

    Well, in Acts we see Paul continually going to the synagogue on the Sabbath.

    Act 17:2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
    Act 17:3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.”
    Act 17:4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.

    Again..

    Act 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.

    So by his custom, he always worshipped on the sabbath.

    • Paul siad he was all things to all men, so of course he would go in a Jewish synagogue to win jews.

      And it matters everything what religious group you belong to. Try telling a Jehovah Witness they are wrong, they wont believe a word that comes out of your mouth because they have been trained not to.

      You didn’t answer my question, what sect? what religion? Jew? JW? Mormon? what do you have to say?

  5. Julio says:

    You are trying to explain it away. Paul’s custom always to go to the synagogue on the sabbath. Don’t forget that he was a Pharisee and notice in the book of Acts that the gentiles are always in the syngogues on the sabbath as well.

    Act 13:14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down.
    Act 13:15 And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, “Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.”

    Act 13:27 For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him.

    Act 13:42 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.

    Act 15:21 For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

    Act 17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.
    Act 17:2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
    Act 17:3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.”
    Act 17:4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.

    Act 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.
    Act 18:5 When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ.

    Just to humor you I will say that I am part of the way.

    Act 24:14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.

    • Well just to humor you, i don’t believe you.

      Gal 3:10-11 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”

      You are living under the law friend, so once again, what religion or sect are you?

      I already told you why Paul went into the synagogues, to win Jews. You can accept or deny that truth.

      • Julio says:

        No, I am living exactly how God has instructed us to live. Many people are confused by the writings of Paul because he spends much time speaking about being under the law but what they fail to realize is that being under the law means you are breaking it.

        Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
        Rom 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

        Sin is defined as breaking the law.

        1Jn 3:4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

        So if sin will not have dominion over us it means we are obeying the law. It also means that the sinners do not obey the law.

        Rom 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
        Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
        Rom 8:7 Because the CARNAL MIND is enmity against God; FOR IT IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE LAW OF GOD, nor indeed can be.
        Rom 8:8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

        Read all of Romans chapter 7 brother. Paul lays out the truth about the law better called the Torah.

        Rom 7:12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
        Rom 7:13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.
        Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.

        The law according to Paul is good, holy and spiritual. To be under the law is to be under condemnation of it for breaking it. So those who are in Christ are no longer under the condemnation of the law because they obey it.

        Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
        Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

        Blessings.

      • Its not a hard question: WHAT SECT OR CULT OR RELIGIOUS GROUP ARE YOU AFFILIATED WITH? You don’t want to answer, much like the members of the church of God don’t like to answer.

        Why is that? Hmmm…

  6. Julio says:

    Why are you not addressing my points about the scripture and instead are focusing on something so unimportant as my religion? I don’t belong to any church or synagogue so I don’t have an affiliation but if you want me to identify myself I would say I am a Messianic Jew. There you go. Now can you please address my points?

    • You just answered mine. We will never understand each other.

      I’m not waisting my time discussing this, you already have my points, take them or leave them.

      God bless.

      • Julio says:

        Blessings brother. I pray that we all lose our own preconceived notions and men’s intepretations of the Bible and just read it as he gave it to us. Without our own spin on it. The scriptures which Paul says in Timothy..

        2Ti 3:14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
        2Ti 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
        2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
        2Ti 3:17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

        These scriptures speak mainly of the Tanakh and that is where we read about the sacredness of the sabbath. The NT which is inspired is only in agreement with it.

        Shalom.

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