I drove past a church today, and the message on the marquee caught my attention because it mentioned the Sabbath. So, I decided to pull into the driveway to read the message on their sign. This is what it said,
“No Christian can keep the faith and not keep the Sabbath.” – M. Lunn
This message intrigued me because directly under the marquee was their listing of Sunday morning service times. As I was about to drive away, a man walked out of the church building and approached my car, so I rolled down the window to ask him about his sign. I was curious why a Sunday keeping church seemed to be advocating the Sabbath, so I asked him about it.
I said, “I am curious about your sign that seems to encourage keeping the Sabbath, yet you are a Sunday keeping church. Can you explain this to me?”
He replied, “We keep the Christian Sabbath, which is Sunday.”
I was puzzled, so I asked, “Can you show me where in Scripture the Sabbath was changed to Sunday?”
He sidestepped this question by claiming “God obviously approves because it has been this way for 2,000 years.”
I was obviously not satisfied with this answer, so I reasserted my question about Scriptural evidence of the change, but again he was unable to provide a single verse to support his claim that Sunday is the “Christian Sabbath”.
We talked about the book of Acts, and I explained that on multiple occasions the book of Acts records believers attending Synagogue on the Sabbath with both Jews and Greeks and that when Paul went to Corinth he “reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks” for a year and a half. I also mentioned that the one time that Paul taught on the “first day of the week”, that it was Saturday night leading up to midnight.
He explained that both the resurrection and Pentecost took place on Sunday, and argued that was evidence of the believers meeting on Sunday. To which I explained that the resurrection was on the Biblical Feast day of “FirstFruits” and that Pentecost is also a Biblical Feast day and the fact that they were gathering on commanded Feast days do not negate the command to observe the Sabbath.
At this point, he accused me of being a Seventh Day Adventist and started pointing out flaws in the SDA doctrine. So, I quickly assured him that I am not a Seventh Day Adventist, but I do keep the Biblical Sabbath.
I explained to him that I was raised in a Sunday keeping church, attended a mainstream Christian college, studied mainstream Christian Theology, and was a preacher for nearly 15 years in a Sunday keeping Church. Then explained that a few years ago I began studying the first-century church, and found out that the first-century believers continued to keep the Sabbath, Passover, and the other Biblical Feasts.
At this point, he insisted on giving me a book, and he ran back inside the church and brought out a book titled, “Why I am a Nazarene and not a Mormon, Roman Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness, Christian Scientist, Seventh-Day Adventist” by C. William Fisher
He then proceeded to read this quote from the book,
“On the Lord’s day every one of us Christians keep the Sabbath meditating on the law, and rejoicing in the works of God.” – Irenaeus in A.D. 167
He then continued by saying that the “real truth” is that neither Constantine nor the Pope ever changed the Sabbath to Sunday, because Sunday has been the Christian Sabbath ever since the first Easter Sunday when Jesus resurrected.
At this point, I explained to him that “Easter” is actually the name of a pagan goddess, and was instituted by Constantine to replace Passover at the council of Nicaea in 325AD, and that Messiah actually resurrected on the Biblical Feast day known as “FirstFruits”. I then explained that the Spring feasts were prophetic rehearsals of his first coming, that he died on Passover, resurrected on FirstFruits, and the Spirit was poured out on Pentecost, and that the Fall Feasts are prophetic of his return. I explained that the Feast of Trumpets announces his return, and that the Day of Atonement is the day of judgment, and that Tabernacles is about Him making his dwelling with us once again on Earth.
I also asked him why Zechariah 14 says that the whole world will be required to go to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles after Messiah returns, but right now Christians don’t keep the Feast.
He had a puzzled look on his face and did not seem to be familiar with that Scripture. He then asked me if I believed in the “Pre-Trib Rapture”, to which I responded, “no, because it was invented less than 200 years ago, and has no Biblical basis.”
At this point, the preacher threw his hands in the air and took three steps backward away from my vehicle, and proclaimed loudly, “then we have nothing in common”. It seemed as if he did not even want to be near me if I didn’t agree about the “Pre-Trib Rapture”. I thought this was very interesting because we disagreed about many other things, but the Rapture was the one that really bothered him.
I tried to explain that the Rapture theory was invented in the late 1800’s, and did not exist in Christian Theology prior to that point. To which he claimed that the Scriptures do not warn Christians to prepare for the Tribulation. I explained that he needed to read Matthew 24 again, and notice that Messiah was warning his disciples about the Tribulation that will come, and I also explained that the Tribulation will be shortened for the sake of the Elect, but it was obvious that he was no longer interested in the conversation.
I thanked him for the conversation, and he told me to keep the book and read the section about Seventh-Day Adventists so that I can see why he believes that Sunday is the Christian Sabbath. I thanked him for the book and drove home.