A student asked why some say we should worship on Saturday. Some teach Sabbath worship. Part of our answer is as follows. Much of it was taken directly from Way of Life’s web site. Perhaps this will help someone else!
1. The sabbath, though mentioned in Genesis 2:2-3, was not delivered to man until it was given to Israel in the wilderness (Nehemiah 9:13-14). Ellen White added to Scripture when she taught that Adam and the patriarchs kept the sabbath.
2. The sabbath was not given to mankind in general, but to Israel alone as a special sign between her and God (Exodus 31:13, 17). If the sabbath had been kept by mankind from the creation, it could not have been given as a special sign to Israel.
3. The New Testament teaches that the believer is not bound by the sabbath law. See Colossians 2:16-17.
4. The sabbath was a type of salvation. “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:9-10). As God rested on the seventh day from His work of creation, the believer today rests in the completed work of Christ. In order to enter into God’s rest, a person must accept God’s work and must cease from his own work (John 6:28-29). Salvation must be accepted as God’s gift.
5. Jesus kept the sabbath because He was born under the law to fulfill the demands of the law. See Galatians 4:4-5. The Lord Jesus made Himself a servant and was born under the law of Moses that He might redeem sinners from the curse of the law and bring them into the eternal liberty of sonship.
6. It cannot be proven that the apostle Paul and the early churches observed the sabbath. It is true that Paul met in the synagogues on the sabbath in order to preach to the Jews assembled there, but this does not mean that he observed the sabbath. According to the Bible, the reason Paul visited synagogues on the sabbath was to preach the gospel. Paul’s desire was to preach Christ. He was burdened for his own people, the Jews. So, he went where the Jews were to preach Christ to them. Consider Acts 13:14-44; 16:13-14; 17:2-4; 18:4.
7. There is much evidence in the Bible and elsewhere that the early Christians met and worshiped on the first day rather than on the sabbath.
On the first day, which is Sunday:
Jesus rose from the dead (Mark 16:9).
Jesus first appeared to his disciples (Mark 16:9).
Jesus met with the disciples at different places (Mark 16:9-11; Matthew 28:8-10; Luke 24:34; Mark 16:12-13; Jn. 20:19-23).
Jesus blessed the disciples (John 20:19).
Jesus imparted to the disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit (John 20:22).
Jesus commissioned the disciples to preach the gospel (John 20:21; with Mark 16:9-15).
Jesus ascended to Heaven, was seated at the right hand of the Father, and was made Head of all (John 20:17; Ephesians 1:20).
The gospel of the risen Christ was first preached (Luke 24:34).
Jesus explained the Scriptures to the disciples (Luke 24:27, 45).
The Holy Spirit descended (Acts 2:1). Pentecost was on the 50th day after the sabbath following the wave offering (Leviticus 23:15-16). Thus, Pentecost was always on a Sunday.
The Christians met to worship on the first day (Acts 20:6-7; 1 Cor. 16:2).
Since those days, the vast majority of Christians have met to worship on the first day of the week. They do this in honor of the resurrection of their Savior. Christ was in the tomb on the sabbath and rose as the firstborn from the dead on the first day. The sabbath signifies the last day of the old creation (Genesis 2:2). Sunday is the first day of the new creation.
8. Sunday is not the sabbath. Bible-believing Christians do not observe the sabbath by assembling on Sunday. The New Testament believer is redeemed from the obligations of the Law of Moses. Romans 14:1-13 and Colossians 2:16 clearly state that believers are not to be judged in respect to holy days. The Galatians’ respect of holy days caused the apostle Paul to fear that they were not even saved! See Galatians 4:10-11, 20.
9. The idea that Sunday observance will be the mark of the beast is not found in Scripture. This idea came from Ellen White. It is true that the Antichrist will “think to change times and laws” (Daniel 7:25), yet nowhere does the Bible say that this will involve the sabbath or Sunday. The Bible does not reveal exactly what laws the Antichrist will change. We rightfully worship on Sunday, not Saturday!