Should we go to church on Sunday?
The answer for most people is that everyone goes to church on Sundays, people throughout history have gone to church on Sundays (Catholic and Protestant), it is a Christian tradition to attend church on Sundays. Others might say, that we should worship the Lord every day and that we do not need to meet on Sundays. There are others who say that we should meet on Saturdays since that is when Jesus went to the synagog. There are yet others who believe that Sundays are the new Sabbath and that we ought to observe Sundays as the Jews observed Saturdays. What is the answer?
First, we need to understand that according to the Bible, Christian believers are supposed to meet together. The very word "church" is a translation of the Greek word "ekklesia" which means "an assembly of people, called-out from another group". So a church is not a building or temple, it is a local group of people assembled together. There are also many Bible verses that support the meaning of the Greek word "ekklesia". These verses tell us that each church was a local assembly, they met in houses, etc.
Acts 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
Romans 16:1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
1 Peter 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
Revelation 1:9-11 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
If you do a simple search using the word "church", you will find that it is 90% of the time, it refers to a group of believers in a specific location.
Second, the Christians in the first century met to worship on the first day.
Acts 20:6-7 And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
1 Corinthians 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
Also, we can see that in Revelation 1:10, Sunday is referred to as “the Lord’s Day”. Since the first century, during the days of the Apostles, the majority of Christians have met to worship on Sunday, the Lord’s day. The reason for attending on Sunday is in honour of Christ’s resurrection. Jesus was in the tomb during the, and He arose on Sunday, the first day of the week as the firstborn from the dead (Colossians 1:18)
The New Testament believer has liberty in the matter of holy days (Romans 14).
What about the Sabbath day? It is important to note that there are some who teach that the Sabbath is mandatory for Christians. These people are contradicting what the apostles taught.
Why, then, did Jesus keep the Sabbath? Jesus kept the Sabbath for the same reason He kept all the other Mosaic laws. Jesus did it for the same reason He observed the Jewish feasts. He did these things because He was a Jew, born under the law, that He might fulfil the law and redeem His people from its penalty and bondage (Galatians 4:4; Matthew 5:17). New Testament believers are not bound to keep the Jewish Sabbath.
Some also teach that the Lord's Day became the NEW sabbath, but there is nothing in the Bible to suggest that. Sabbaths and the strict restrictions were done away with for the born-again believer when Jesus went to the cross. Even though this is true, it was still a day to assemble to worship the Lord together. Sunday did not become a NEW sabbath.
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:
Third, the first day of the week, Sunday was made a significant day. Although the Lord's day did not become a new Sabbath or a Holy Day, it was still meaningful to the New Testament believers for the following reasons below, and there are many more than these.
1. Jesus arose from the tomb on the first day. (Mk. 16:9).
2. The first time appeared to his disciples on the first day. (Mk. 16:9).
3. Jesus repeatedly met with His disciples at different places on the first day. (Mk. 16:9-11; Mt. 28:8-10; Lk. 24:34; Jn. 20:19-23).
4. Jesus gave a blessing to His disciples on the first day. (John 20:19).
5. Jesus granted the gift of the Holy Spirit to the disciples on the first day. (John 20:22).
6. Jesus charged His disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel on the first day. (Jn. 20:21; Mk. 16:9-15).
7. The Holy Spirit descended from heaven on the first day. (Ac. 2:1). Since Pentecost was on the 50th day after the Sabbath following the wave offering (Le. 23:15,16) means it was always on Sundays.
An interesting bit of information, the Sabbath day signifies the last day of the old creation (Genesis 2:2). So Sunday is the first day of the new creation.
History also teaches that believers worshipped on Sundays.
Justin Martyr (about A.D. 140). “And on the day called Sunday all who live in cities or the country gather together in one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read. ... But Sunday is the day on which we all hold a common assembly, because it is the First day of the week on which God ... made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead.”
So, in conclusion, the answer as to whether we should go to church on Sundays should be a… Yes. Hebrews 10:25 admonishes believers… "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
Although we are not held to the regulations of the Old Testament Sabbath day, every born again believer should find a Bible believing New Testament church (assembly), join it, grow, serve the Lord, and be faithful to the services.
At An Carraig Baptist Church, we take a literal, fundamental approach to the Bible (AV 1611). We are also a local, independent body of believers, which means we are not subject to any religious hierarchy. Being "Baptist" means, we hold to the Bible based, Baptist Distinctives, that have been the hallmark of true Baptist churches through the centuries. You are welcome to join us at any of our weekly meetings, or schedule to meet for tea/coffee.
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Join us Sundays for our Sunday Meetings 10:30am & 11:30am in the city centre.
7 Lower Mallow, Limerick City, County Limerick, 061.22.44.22 or 086.79.39.106