The Lord's Day

In the last lesson, we studied why people worship on the first day of the week, rather than on the seventh day the LORD blessed and sanctified. Why would people make such a change when we do not find such a command recorded in the New Testament? Does man have a right to make such a change?

The last lesson we studied concerned the “Resurrection of Christ.” Most people feel that Christ arose on the first day of the week, and thus they should observe that day. But we found no such thing took place on the first day of the week, rather it was “in the end of the Sabbath”, according to Matthew 28:1 KJV.

Again, we found no basis for observing the first day of the week as the Sabbath, especially as we found no such clear, explicit command by Christ or His Father for changing the day of worship. The other reason people give for worshiping on the first day of the week is that Sunday is the Lord’s Day. I’m sure we all have heard this remark many times.

Still, we do not want to take man’s word for it, so can we find in the Bible where Sunday is called the Lord’s Day? This is very important, for if the Bible says that Sunday is the Lord’s Day, then we need to recognize it as such. But if the Bible does not say so, then we should be very careful about accepting man’s traditions. Let’s take our Bibles and see.

1. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day. Revelation 1:10

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Revelation 1:10

We do find one verse in the Bible that mentions the “Lord’s Day.” But can you tell from this verse which day is the Lord’s Day? John does not mention any certain day, so we cannot determine from this verse which day he is referring to. To say this refers to Sunday is certainly doing an injustice to the Scriptures. Let us check another verse as found in the next reference.

2. Lord of the Sabbath. Mark 2:27-28

And He said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Mark 2:27-28

Verse 28 tells us that the Lord (Christ) “is Lord also of the Sabbath.” Sabbath in the Bible always refers to the seventh day of the week, or Saturday as it is now called. Nowhere in the Bible is Sunday referred to as the Sabbath or the Lord’s Day. Since the Lord “is Lord also of the Sabbath”, it would appear if John in Revelation were referring to a specific day, he was referring to the seventh day of the week. It seems this verse makes it quite clear.

But it is said the people gathered together on the first day of the week after His Resurrection. This is true, but let us find out “why” they gathered. Was it because Sunday was a holy day, or was it for some other reason? I think the Bible will tell us exactly why the people gathered on the first day of the week.

3. Disciples were assembled together. John 20:19

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
John 20:19

Here it does say the disciples were gathered on the first day of the week, and Jesus even appeared with them. But the question is why were they gathered here on the first day of the week? Read the verse carefully and you will see it was “for fear of the Jews.” They had been followers of Jesus, and they were afraid for their lives.

They had no thought for worship; they were fearful of what might happen to them. So we must throw this reference aside as a reason for worshiping on the first day of the week.

4. Broke bread on the first day of the week. Acts 20:7

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.
Acts 20:7

Perhaps this is the first verse that people will read to try to prove we should worship on the first day of the week. They say the apostles or the disciples came together on the first day of the week to observe communion or the Lord’s Supper. When studying the Bible, we do not want to read as we think but think as we read. We need to let the Bible speak to us, rather than trying to make the Bible fit our preconceived ideas.

Notice the wording in this verse. It says they came together to “break bread.” Does it say anything about the cup? Whenever the breaking of bread is in connection with the Lord’s Supper, the cup is always mentioned. Since the cup is not mentioned, this leads us to believe there was some other reason for gathering at this time. Before we explain this verse, we will consider some other Scriptures that speak about the breaking of bread, and then we will come back and explain this verse.

5. Broke bread from house to house. Acts 2:46

And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Acts 2:46

Here it says they broke bread from house to house. Now, did they observe the Lord’s Supper from house to house? We would have to say they did not. The breaking of bread here is in reference to eating their meals or to eating a meal. When they ate their meals at home, they ate it with gladness and thanksgiving. Let’s examine another reference that is plainer still.

6. After fasting, they broke bread and did eat. Acts 27:33-35

And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing.

Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you.

And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat.

Acts 27:33-35

This tells us that Paul, the centurion, the soldiers, and the shipmen fasted for fourteen days, then Paul took some bread, broke it, and told them to eat for their health. Here again, it says they took bread and broke it, but it was not to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. They were to eat a meal. In the olden days, they did not cut their bread as we do today, they just simply broke off as much as they wanted and ate it. So this is what breaking of bread means, the eating of a meal.

7. Let us go back to Acts 20:7.

This does say they came together to break bread on the first day of the week. Now, why did they come together? If you will read the verse carefully, you will notice Paul was going to leave them. So they came together to meet with Paul before his departure, and they ate a meal. Then Paul took the opportunity to speak to them until midnight.

This was not to observe the communion, for the cup is not mentioned and the breaking of bread in the Bible has reference to just the eating of a meal.

8. When referring to the Lord’s Supper, the cup is always mentioned.

9. Lay by in store. 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.
1 Corinthians 16:2

Now, this is a very interesting verse and one that most rely on for support to keep the first day of the week as a day of worship. Most feel that the people at this time were worshiping on the first day of the week, as the people took an offering.

Here again, what we have been taught in our past governs our thinking a lot of the time. Many people read this casually and read into it what they have been taught, but really the thought is not there. Nothing is mentioned here about worship, so how can we say they were worshiping on the first day of the week. They were told “to lay by in store on the first day of the week”, indicating the meeting had taken place prior to the first day of the week.

But there are also other very important thoughts we want to consider about this verse. If you will notice verse 1, they were to take a collection.

Now, a collection can refer to several things. You can collect money, you can collect food, you can collect clothing, or you can collect any number of things. Now, who was this collection for? Verse 1 tells us it was to be for the saints, not for the gospel work. Now, why would they be taking a collection for the saints? Was it normal procedure to take collections for the people? I think it was not. The offerings were to go for the support of the gospel work, beyond which the tithe was to be used. But this collection was to go for the saints. Why? Let’s see if the Scripture tells us.

10. A famine to come. Acts 11:27-30

And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.

And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:

Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

Acts 11:27-30

You notice here a “great dearth” was to come and they were going to send relief to the brethren. In other words, a collection had to be taken to relieve the saints and they were going to send it by Barnabas and Saul (Paul).

11. Paul goes to Jerusalem with the contribution. Romans 15:25-27

But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.

For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.

It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.

Romans 15:25-27

Here it speaks of the “poor saints.” Why were they poor? It was because of the dearth or famine, and they needed relief or help. This is the reason a collection was needed for the saints. We are commanded to help one another, so they also wanted to give.

12. Paul mentions again the collections of 1 Corinthians 16:1-2.

As you read this, you will see that Paul mentions that he had sent someone on ahead to make up their bounty (collection), so it would all be ready when he came through their area. He also writes they had notice (notification) before, so this was more than just a collection taken in church. This included food, clothing, or anything that would be of help to the poor saints at Jerusalem.

13. Turn back and read 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 again.

Now, can we see why this collection was to be taken and taken on the first day of the week? This would include a lot of work, getting the materials ready, preparing it, boxing it. This would not have been done on the Sabbath, so they were told to do it (lay by) on the first day of the week, when this kind of work was permitted.

14. If Jesus had given them rest. Hebrews 4:8-10

For if Jesus had given them rest, then would He not afterward have spoken of another day?

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 4:8-10

If Jesus had of spoken of another day of rest, He would have mentioned it but He didn’t. Therefore He did not change the day of worship. The Sabbath is the same as it has always been since Creation.


We have compared the reasoning of the people for worshiping on the first day of the week in these last two lessons but find it does not stand up in the light of God’s word. The Scriptures do not mean what most people think they do. I hope we will have the courage to stand up and be counted with God’s people, no matter what others think.

God said, “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

Material from the book Answers to Your Bible Questions by Wesley Walker.

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Answers to Your Bible Questions