Only the true Sabbath day can be the day for assembled Christian fellowship. Jesus Christ says, "I am the vine, you are the branches" (John 15:5). We are told to abide in Him (verse 4), or, spiritually, we can do nothing. A grape branch cannot produce grapes unless joined to the vine.
Next, notice the basis of Christian fellowship in I John 1:3, 6-7:
We can have true Christian fellowship only when each individual Christian is joined to Christ and to the Father, as a branch of a grapevine joined to the vine.
Now what joins the many branches of that vine to one another? When people meet on their own human-appointed day, trying to join themselves together in a church group, Christ is not present with them in that fellowship. He never put His presence in that day! Such people are like a bunch of grape branches, cut off from the vine, trying to join themselves together!
How does Jesus Christ put His presence in His Sabbath? On that day He rested and was refreshed, and He blessed that day, set it apart for holy use and purpose as His day. He hallowed it and made it holy time. And how did He make it holy? Christ's presence makes holy whatever or wherever He is (Exodus 3:4-5), just as we can be holy if Christ's presence by the Holy Spirit is within us. Thus, Christ's presence in the Sabbath makes that space of time holy.
So His very presence is in His day. When God's own obedient children, each joined to Christ assemble on His holy day, they actually have fellowship with Christ. He is there in their midst, in Spirit! Then Christ joins them together in fellowship with Him and the Father!
When people assemble on a day other than one set apart by God, Christ's presence is not in that day!
What about public or church-group worship in a weekly service on Sunday or Friday? The Bible says: "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth" (John 4: 24). The churches of this world say, "Worship God according to the dictates of your own conscience"—totally contrary to what God says!
How does one worship God in spirit and in truth? Jesus says plainly: "Your word is truth" (John 17:17). God's Word is the Bible, and the Bible authorizes only the Sabbath as God's weekly holy day for assembly and worship. There is no biblical authority to worship on Sunday. To worship God in spirit and in truth is to worship Him how and when (so far as congregational assembly is concerned) He says in His Word, which is the truth.
We find in Leviticus 23:2-3 that God sets apart the Sabbath day as "a holy convocation," which means a commanded assembly. He sets apart as the day for congregational assembly the one day that identifies the God whom we are to worship! No other day can fulfill that great and glorious purpose!
Does it make any difference which day or whether we, as Christians, keep the Sabbath? It certainly does! The Bible definition of a Christian is one who has received the gift of God's Holy Spirit, and is being led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:9-11, 14). In other words, Christ in us is our hope of glory (Colossians 1:27)! The Holy Spirit is the life-imparting Spirit that emanates from the very Person of the Father and of Christ! The Holy Spirit in us gives us, not only the love, power, faith, and life of Jesus Christ, but also His mind (Philippians 2:5; I Corinthians 2:10-16).
It means, literally, that Christ Himself is in us, not in Person, but in spirit (Galatians 2:20). Jesus Christ is a Savior who literally comes inside us—in our minds—to clean us up and save us from within! It means that Jesus Christ is living His life within us!
Now if Jesus Christ is in us—and we are not a truly converted Christians unless He is!—will He, in us, profane His holy day and observe a pagan day?
Jesus Christ has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He made the Sabbath by resting on that very first Sabbath! Christ spoke to the Israelites about the Sabbath (Exodus 16). He kept the Sabbath as His custom (Luke 4:16). Jesus Christ has always put His Presence in His own holy day! If Christ is in us, He will keep no other day!
God gives His Holy Spirit only to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32).The conditions to receiving the Holy Spirit as God's gift are to repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38). Sin is the transgression of God's law (I John 3:4), which is spiritual (Romans 7:14). The penalty for transgressing that law is death for all eternity (Romans 6:23)! The fourth commandment of God's law instructs us to "remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy"!
There are no loopholes! There is no escape for those who disobey! God's laws are enforced automatically! We are dealing with the Almighty God on this question of keeping the Sabbath!
God is love! God loves mankind. God loves each individual! God made His Sabbath holy for a purpose: to keep us in His fellowship, that is, to keep us in a loving relationship with Him! It is truly wonderful!
It keeps us in Christ's own fellowship—in close contact. It bestows upon us His security, peace of mind, happiness, and abundant living!
The Sabbath command is a spiritual command. It has to do with our fellowship, assembly, and worship of God. This is why the Sabbath was made for man—as a blessing! God created it to be enjoyed, to refresh us spiritually, in blessed fellowship and communion with Jesus Christ our Lord!
It takes living faith to obey God! Now it is up to you!
This concludes the Sabbath tour. If you have questions that have not been answered in this tour, check out our common questions.
For additional information on the seventh-day Sabbath, the annual holy days, pagan holidays, and the law of God, visit our library of sermons and articles. If you have questions or comments, feel free to contact us.