Before answering, one has to first establish the reason behind the Day of Worship question. If simply desiring to live according to God’s laws, the best advice is guiding the person scripturally. According to the Ten Commandments, the Seventh Day of the week is the Day of worship.
However, if desiring to be a Christian, the Day of Worship question would be irrelevant. Christians are not under the Law, as Christ would have taken over everything in their lives. Christians are a different creation, taking instructions directly from God, as guided by the Holy Spirit. To them, the Seventh Day Sabbath rest has become a day-to-day reality, rather than a once a week sign. See [The Seventh Day Sabbath is a sign of God’s Kingdom].
“The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void”(Luke 16:16) (ESV).
Before addressing the significance of this Scripture, let us first deal with the aspect of those forcing their way into God’s Kingdom. These are the people who assume that attaining salvation could be by other means, other than through Christ. These are the people who assume that the attainment of salvation is by works. See [Works bring the opposite of what is intended].
In Jesus we have the fulfilment of the Law and the Prophets. In other words, the reason why the day of worship is not relevant to true Christians, is that it was not relevant to Jesus. Nevertheless, when not yet decided to follow Christ, one can do well by just keeping the Law, according to the Ten Commandments. And that includes dedication to Sabbath-keeping.
“And behold, one came and said unto him, ‘Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?’ And he said unto him, ‘Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He saith unto him, ‘Which?’ Jesus said, ‘Thou shalt do no murder thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not bear false witness. Honour thy father and thy mother: and Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ The young man saith unto him, ‘All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?’ Jesus said unto him, ‘If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me’ But when the young man head that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, ‘Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God’” (Matthew 19:16-24) (KJV).
This passage reveals that while Commandment-keeping can be virtuous, it is not sufficient for attaining eternal life. Eternal life requires surrendering everything considered as important. Apparently, as shown by addressing Jesus as “Good Master” the young man lived virtuously. This was commendable—in agreement with what ordinary people could see as goodness in Jesus.
But Commandment-keeping is not necessarily relevant to a true Christian; the term of which implies being Christ-like. The life of a true Christian implies being in communion with God, who dwells in that person’s life. People can be able to see the mind of God, in true Christians, who are a living testimony of what Godliness implies. When Jesus walked on earth, people could see God in the personality of Jesus.
But most people could not intimately relate with Jesus, though Jesus represented God in His life on earth. Humanity remains in the same state, as was projected in the lives of those in Jesus’ time. Only the disciples of Jesus could take seriously, the idea of intimately relating with Jesus.
The rest—like the young man describing Jesus as Good Master—loved Jesus. But those people could not maintain the necessary intimate relationship with Jesus. They could not go further than loving Jesus for what they could get out of Him.
Being very particular about the Day of worship, makes one satisfied, with sustaining feelings of self-centredness. But, instead of maintaining comfort in days of worship, Jesus went out of His way—seeking to salvage those in sinful conditions. The apostle Paul sought to do the same:
“For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings”(1 Corinthians 9:19-23) (ESV).
In Paul we see a perfect example of Christ’s follower. Paul is not fixated on days of worship, necessarily. Through Jesus, Paul is an example of what true worship entails. Like Jesus, Paul is a living sacrifice for humanity, regardless of such people’s religious background.
The reality in Jesus, requires no consideration of which day needs regarding as day of worship or not. It also requires no consideration of work as condition for personal survival. But, reality in Jesus, implies taking instructions directly from God. See [Unpacking the myth about Law and Grace].
Nevertheless, the example of Paul shows a man who would not demean those considering Days of worship as necessarily important (Romans 14:5-6). It was actually Paul’s custom to go to Synagogues on Sabbath Days—but not necessarily to fulfill lawful requirements (Acts 13:42, 16:13 and 18:4). This was just as Jesus behaved similarly (Luke 4:16).
By frequenting to teach those Jews on Sabbath days, Jesus and Paul were not necessarily crafting a doctrinal behaviour to be adopted legalistically. As the Jews observed Sabbath-keeping, Jesus and Paul found it most convenient to engage them on Biblical matters during those days. On the other six days of the week, the Jews were totally out of touch with Biblical issues, as expected to work for survival.
However, to follow Christ demands renouncing everything. For instance, Simon Peter and his brother Andrew were fishermen. They had to leave their tents behind, to follow Christ. They were no longer expected to work for their personal survival. They were to commit themselves to follow Christ who categorically declared that whoever intended to follow Him had to renounce everything:
“Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them ‘If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple’”(Luke 14:25-27) (ESV).
Simply said, what Jesus said is that any concern for self-survival cannot qualify anyone desiring to be His follower. It is therefore extremely imperative for a potential follower of Jesus to first count the cost, before committing oneself for Christ. This does not imply committing oneself to work for Christ, in order to earn salvation. But committing oneself to following Christ, by surrendering everything that the person considers necessary for survival.
In other words, a person who comes to Jesus commits himself to a perpetual Sabbath rest. Those who understand how the Sabbath rest is religiously observed, could easily appreciate how coming to Christ entails. This implies not doing anything for personal survival, anymore. Sabbath-keepers religiously keep that day holy, as not to even do anything to do with their survival pursuits.
Faithful Sabbath-keepers cannot do anything for their personal survival on the day of the Lord. Those having come to Christ, also commit themselves not to do anything for personal survival, except following the instructions of their Lord. Those people behave similarly to how faithful Sabbath-keepers behave on Sabbath Days, when committed to follow Christ.
Very few Christians appreciate the fact that Christianity is not necessarily for those lacking other things to do. But it is the real thing to commit oneself to, for all the days of one’s life. You cannot be a true Christian when committed to doing other things at the same time. See[Christianity is a full time commitment].
It is not surprising when most people turn away from websites such as this one. But the avoidance of such websites could be the only sign that these represent what Jesus taught. The only difference could be that, Jesus was thronged by multitudes, benefitting from his miraculous activities. Websites such as this one, lack miracles of physical benefits—as focusing more on spiritual benefits.
But the truth projected is of Jesus, without dilution. Humanly speaking, it can be discouraging to see people shunning what promises real life. This is when observing that people appear as preferring to follow things of no value. But one becomes encouraged, when also discovering that, such rejection is not new, as also projected in Jesus’ rejection.
While the Day of Worship brings mental satisfaction, due to personal benefits, it fulfills the attributes of self-centredness. True followers of Jesus are no longer driven by self-centredness, but by the mind of Christ—as seeking to save humanity. It is Christ working in their lives, more than them working to attain salvation—long granted through the cross.
Any day is a Day of worship to those having committed themselves to Jesus Christ. Traditions, customs and culture, have ceased to influence the thinking pattern of those having become God’s children. Like Jesus and Paul, those people are the light in a darkened world of sinful humanity.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99