Should Christians Keep the Sabbath?

Should Christians Keep the Sabbath (Saturday)?
Chuck Smith


Q: I have a friend who is a Seventh—Day Adventist. He says that God will reject me for not going to church on Saturday. What does the Bible say?

A: I’m glad the Bible doesn’t say what your friend says. In Romans 14 Paul said that one man esteems one day above another while another man esteems every day alike. “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

Your friend esteems one day above another, and he esteems Saturday to be the day to worship the Lord as the holy day. As far as my own personal feelings are concerned, I esteem every day alike, because every day to me is a holy day to worship the Lord. It is something I don’t have any problem with, because I just love the Lord and worship Him continually.

When the Sabbath day law was given in the Book of Exodus, God declared that it was to be a perpetual covenant between Him and the nation Israel. “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever”(Ex. 31:17). Nothing is ever said concerning observance of the Sabbath day by Gentiles.

As recorded in Acts, the early Church elders met together to write to the Gentiles in regards to keeping the Law. Peter said, “Why should we put on them a yoke that neither we nor our fathers were able to bear?” There were certain “Judaizers” from the church in Jerusalem who went to the Gentile fellowship in Antioch. They told those at Antioch that unless they kept the Law of Moses and were circumcised, they couldn’t be saved.

The Seventh—Day Adventists are much like these Judaizers who were creating problems in the church in Antioch. But the elders in Jerusalem only told the Gentile believers that they shouldn’t eat anything strangled and to keep themselves from fornication. If they would do this, they did well. The elders didn’t try to place the Gentile believers under the Sabbath day law at all!

Paul tells us in Colossians 2 that Christ blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that were against us. This, of course, is in reference to the Sabbath day law and all the other such ordinances. Jesus took them out of the way. He nailed them to His cross. He made an open display of His victory over them, triumphing over them in the cross. Because of this, Paul said, “Let no man, therefore, judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come.”

These things were all just shadows in the Old Testament of that which was to come, which was Jesus Christ. The Sabbath day was a shadow of the rest we as the children of God would experience in Christ. We have the substance, Jesus Christ. Therefore, the shadows that spoke of the substance have no hold on us. I’m not required to keep the Sabbath day law any longer.

If I seek righteousness by the keeping of the Sabbath day, then it would be important that I keep the Sabbath day completely. The law declares that I’m not to kindle any fire on the Sabbath. Therefore, I should turn down the thermostat in the house, because, if I allow the furnace to go on, I’m kindling a fire. I shouldn’t start my car, because I’m kindling a fire in the combustion chambers the moment I turn on the engine. Thus, I couldn’t drive anywhere. I would have to limit my walking to two—thirds of a mile. I would have to keep all of these little regulations!

In the Talmud, the Jews sought to determine what constituted bearing a burden on the Sabbath day. According to their final interpretation, if you wore false teeth you were bearing a burden. So, you couldn’t wear your false teeth on the Sabbath!

I’m glad that I have this glorious liberty in Christ, and I don’t have to worry about those kind of things. Jesus Christ has set me free from these ordinances of the law. My righteousness is now through faith in Him. Because of my faith in Christ. God will accept me, even as He accepted Abraham long before the law was ever given Abraham believed God, and it was his faith that was imputed to him for righteousness. God accepts me on the basis of my faith, not on the basis of the day that I worship Him. Thank God for that!

The above article, “Should Christians Keep the Sabbath (Saturday)?” is written by Chuck Smith. The article was excerpted from pages 86-87 of Smith’s book Answers for Today.

The material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.