Why did Christians choose Sunday to worship God?
1. Our Lord finished His works, conquered death, hell and the grave and rose again on Sunday (Mat. 28:1; Mark 16:9; John 20:1,2).
2. It was on Sunday, that the Lord appeared following His resurrection (Mat.28:1; Mark 16:9; John 20:1,19,26).
3. Jesus Christ had completely condemned the old Sabbath day of the Jews. After His resurrection, He made only Sunday as the permanent day of rest and as the holy day (Mat.28:1; Mark 16:9; John 20:1,19,26).
4. The Holy Spirit descended on earth only on a Sunday. The day of Pentecost was Sunday. Thus it was on the first day of the week that the Lord resurrected, the Holy Spirit descended and the Church was founded. The Jewish day of Sabbath was being totally ignored.
5. Neither Jesus Christ nor the apostles commanded to observe the Sabbath day of the Jews. Christians are not bound by any day (Rom.14:5,6; Gal.4:9-13; Col. 2:14-17). To make any resolution over a day and to break it after making the resolution is a sin. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are not sinful days. Like Saturday and Sunday they too are holy days.
6. In the New Covenant, Saturday was not commanded to be a day of rest. The Old Covenant was changed. Hence the day is also changed (Ps. 118:22-24; Heb. 7:18,19). Therefore the early church worshipped God on the first day of the week, that is on a Sunday (Mat.28:1, Mark 16:9; John 20:1,19,26; Acts 20:7; I Cor.16:2; Rev.1:10).
7. Following the model set by the Old Covenant, Sunday became the day of rest in the New Covenant. Pentecost is the day following the seven Sabbath days of the Jews. Pentecost is a Sunday and a day of rest.
a) The Jews were commanded to hold a sacred assembly and observe the festival of Passover for seven days. The first day was the day of rest; the seventh day too was to be the day of rest (Lev. 23:5-8).
b) It was on the day following the Sabbath that the Israelites should bring a sheaf of the first grain of the harvest for the priest to wave it before the Lord. This was symbolic of the resurrection (Lev. 23:10,11).
c) The Israelites were asked to hold a sacred assembly and worship God on the first day of the week which was Sunday and not to do regular work on the day (Lev. 23:36).
8. God gave His commandments to Israelites on a Sunday (Ex.19: 1,3; 12:2-18).
9. Again on a Sunday that the Lord gave His revelation (Rev.1: 10).
10.Neither Constantine nor any Pope changed the day of rest. The claim of Roman Catholics to have changed the day of rest from Saturday to Sunday in 321 BC, 364 BC was historically untrue. Even 300 years earlier, the day of rest as followed by the Jews were changed and the Christians started observing the first day of the week as the day of rest, the holy day and the day of worship. The saints who lived in the first, second and third centuries such as Ignasius the bishop of Antiochus, Polycarp the disciple of Ap.John, Clement, Origen, Tertullian, Irenaeus, Theophilus, Victorianus, Eusebius et al., had mentioned the first day of the week as the holy day of worshipping the Lord, the day of rest and the Lord's day. In the Catholic's Encyclopaedia it is clearly mentioned that Sunday was the day the early Christians of the first, second and third centuries observed as the day of worshiping the Lord. In the early days of the apostles, every day they worshiped the Lord breaking the bread (Acts 2: 46). As the practice could not be continued, they gathered every Sunday to worship the Lord (I Cor. 16:2; Acts 20:7).
The ordinance of Sabbath given to the Jews was that they should work for six days and rest on the seventh day (Ex. 20:8-11). God finished creation of heaven and earth in six days and rested on the seventh day. In the same way, man too work for six days and rest on the seventh day (Ex. 23:12; 20: 8-11; 31: 13-17). Man was created on the sixth day. The seventh day mentioned in Gen. 2:1-3, was the second day for man. Was Adam resting on the second day of his genesis or did our forefathers Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob rest or worship God on the seventh day mentioned in Gen. 2:1-3? No. In Gen.2: 1-3, God rested on the seventh day after completing His works of creation. Did God rest every seventh day? No. As man fell in sin, God does the work of redemption every day. The Lord said, "My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working" (John 5:17).
The Jewish Sabbath was related to the covenant, which God made with the Jews. That old Jewish Sabbath did not bind the Gentile Christians. The early apostles went to the Jewish synagogue on the day of Sabbath and preached the gospel to the Jews (Acts 13: 14,15,42,44; Acts 14:1; 17:1-4,10,11; 18:4,19; 19:8). However it was on the first day that they gathered to worship the Lord (Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:2; Acts 2:1,42;13:1-3).
Children of God, who are saved, should be careful not to get entrapped in the old law again. Let us abide in the freedom set by Christ and not be burdened again by the yoke of slavery (Gal. 5:1). Those who were trying to be justified by law had been alienated from Christ and fallen away from grace (Gal.5: 4). "Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God- or rather are known by God- how is that you are turning back to those weak and vacuous ways? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you" (Gal.4: 8-11)(NIV). Also "one man considers one day more sacred than the other, another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God" (Rom. 14: 5,6)(NIV).
"Therefore do not let any one judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are shadow of things to come; the reality however, is found in Christ" (Col. 2: 16,17)(NIV). "For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace" (Rom. 6: 14)(NIV). May you abide in this grace!