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Should We Observe the Sabbath?

When and why was the Sabbath instituted in the Bible and who was commanded to observe it? Does God require Christians to keep the Sabbath today?


Should We Observe The Sabbath?

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I’ve read that the Bible indicates that the Sabbath is on Saturday. Why then is the Sabbath celebrated on a Sunday instead of Saturday, even though the Lord told us to keep the Sabbath?


Zurich, Switzerland

Brother Bob Pellien: Thank you so much, Sulamithe, for your question, and it’s so nice to receive a question all the way from Zurich, Switzerland. I think this is the first time that we’ve had a question from Switzerland and we’re very thankful and we welcome you all from Switzerland.

Regarding your question concerning the Sabbath, there are so many questions that come up about the Sabbath and a lot of those questions are just like yours. 

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Brother Bob: The questions are also asked by many preachers and people who have just not yet fully understood the topic about the Sabbath. So we’ll turn to the Holy Scriptures and ask these important questions that you’ve raised. To begin with, Sulamithe, your question already assumes that we should all be adhering to the Sabbath and the Sabbath rules in our era of time, albeit on a Saturday, Sunday, or any day at all for that matter. The very first thing we need to address is do we need to define who God commanded, really, to first observe the Sabbath in the first place? 

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Question: Should we be celebrating the Sabbath?

Brother Bob: The second part of the question is, until when? Well we have to determine that first before we can claim whether or not we should even be celebrating that ourselves and then determine, as your question posed to be done on a Saturday or a Sunday. 

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Question: Should we even be celebrating it?

What Does the Bible Say About the Sabbath Day?

Brother Bob: What does the Bible say about the Sabbath? 

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What does the Bible say about the Sabbath?

Brother Bob: Let’s begin turning to the pages of the Holy Scriptures. Malachi in chapter 4, verse 4:

“Earnestly remember the Law of Moses My servant, the statutes and the ordinances which I commanded him on [Mount] Horeb [to give] to all Israel.

[Malachi 4:4 Amplified Bible]

Brother Bob: So dear friends the Sabbath was definitely a commandment of Godwas one of the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses. No question about that. 

Who Should Observe the Sabbath?

Brother Bob: But to be observed by whom? 

The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant.

[Exodus 31:16 New International Version]

Brother Bob: Answer of the Bible: to be observed by the people of ancient Israel. Why? As a symbol of the Lord’s covenant with them. It was also an observance commanded by God to commemorate something else. What’s that? Let’s turn to Deutoronomy 5:15:

Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

[Deutoronomy 5:15 New International Version]

Brother Bob: So dear friends, God commanded the Israelites to celebrate the Sabbath and to commemorate how God delivered them out of Egypt. 

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God commanded the Israelites to celebrate the Sabbath

Brother Bob: Are you an Israelite that was enslaved in Egypt? Because the instruction was very clear: to remember that he brought them out of their enslavement in Egypt. If you were there, if you were a slave in Egypt, you should be celebrating the Sabbath. If not, well, then not. 

God Commands to Stop Observing the Sabbath

Brother Bob: In fact can we even pinpoint in the Bible specifically where God actually gave the instruction to stop it, where he took away or retracted the commandment? 

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God gave the instruction to stop the Sabbath

Brother Bob: In Hosea 2:11, the Bible answer this way:

“I will put an end to all her festivities—her annual and monthly festivals and her Sabbath celebrations—all her religious meetings.”

[Hosea 2:11 Today’s English Version]

Brother Bob: Dear friends, that was God himself speaking very clear saying they got to put a stop to it. The Prophet Jeremiah also gave testimony further to God’s decision to put an end to the observance of the Sabbath. What did he have to say? The prophet Jeremiah in the book of Lamentations, chapter 2 verse 6:

“He smashed to pieces the Temple where we worshipped him; He has put an end to holy days and Sabbaths. King and priest alike have felt the force of his anger.”

[Lamentations 2:6 Today’s English Version]

Brother Bob: So dear friends, what does this show? Well it shows that after the Israelites turned away from God, their observance of the Sabbath had become actually abominable in the sight of God. 

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The Sabbath became abominable to God

Brother Bob: The Sabbath ended completely and the Sabbath was never again commanded to be observed after the time of the Israelites. God put a total and complete end to that commandment. 

Does the Sabbath apply today? Should Christians keep the Sabbath?

Brother Bob: Inasmuch as we’re living much later, was there any guidance from Jesus and His disciples concerning the Sabbath in this, what is known as the Christian era of time, and thus would be followed by the Church? 

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Question: Is there a Sabbath in the Christian time?

Brother Bob: There is. The Lord Jesus himself stated that it’s lawful to do good on the Sabbath. 

How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.

[Matthew 12:12 New International Version]

Brother Bob: He was criticized harshly for that. He healed sick people on the Sabbath day and so many other things. When the Pharisees saw him doing this on the day that, well the Jews had considered a sacred day, they accused him of not even being from God. But we all know that our Lord Jesus Christ did not commit any sin when he did not observe the Sabbath. Why not? He knew there was no more Sabbath. He knew it. The Christians in the Gentile world, likewise, they too did not celebrate the Sabbath. Let’s take a look at the evidence for that. Here in Colossians chapter 2, verse 16, we’ll also read verse 23:

“Let no one criticize you in matters of food or drink or for not observing festivals, new moons or the Sabbath. “These doctrines may seem to be profound because they speak of religious observance and humility and of disregarding the body. In fact, they are useless as soon as the flesh rebels.”

[Colossians 2:16, 23 Christian Community Bible]

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Apostle Paul considered the Sabbath useless

Brother Bob: So dear friends, here Apostle Paul regarded the observance of the Sabbath as useless, a useless doctrine. Those who observe the Sabbath, despite having known the true God and been in the true faith, are turning back and are being again enslaved by weak and miserable principles by observing special days, special months, special seasons, special years, or Sabbaths. We have learned the instruction for the Sabbath [has] nothing to do with what day Christ was risen from the grave as you, Sulumithe, posed in your question. Maybe some other preachers may be teaching that or suggesting that in their service. 

Was the Saturday Sabbath Changed to Sunday?

Was the Sabbath observance changed from Saturday to Sunday? 

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Was the Sabbath changed from Saturday to Sunday? 

Brother Bob: Simply, no, because the real question is whether a Christian should even be observing the Jewish Sabbath to honor God’s covenant with His ancient nation. A covenant which they ended up breaking anyway. When that covenant was broken, so too was God’s instruction to observe it’s remembrance. It was God himself who put an end to the observing of the Sabbath.

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It was God Himself who put and end to the Sabbath

Brother Bob: Sulumith, from Zurich Switzerland, and everyone of us joining us in this program, that’s in the Bible.

Thank you so much for your question about the Sabbath and we hope that you will also send more questions to this program. 

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Brother Bob: There’s no question, in fact, that is too basic, no question that cannot be answered by the Bible when it comes to our lives, when it comes to our salvation. If you’d like to know more about the fundamental teachings found here inside the Church Of Christ, please visit

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Brother Bob: There you’ll find a variety of programs, just like this one, dedicated to answering your spiritual questions. Thanks for joining us. I’m Bob Pellien. We’ll see you next time on That’s in the Bible.


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Should We Observe the Sabbath?