Should Christians Work on Sundays?

Working

Let me start of by saying that I am a Christian and these are my views about Christians working on Sunday. My views probably don’t match up exactly with every person who reads this article, and that’s okay! I encourage you to discuss and share your thoughts below in a respectful way.

I want to address the issue of Christians working on Sunday. As you read, you’ll notice that I refer to Sunday as the Sabbath. I understand that we can spend hours arguing the semantics of the word Sabbath and never agree on which day we’re talking about (Saturday/Sunday). For the sake of discussion, let’s define the Sabbath as a ‘weekly day of rest’ and for many Christians like myself, that day is Sunday.

Before we can answer the question, I think we need to look at three aspects of the Sabbath: the importance, the intent, and the application.

The Importance of the Sabbath

Exodus 20:8-11 (NIV) sums it up nicely here:

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Here we find the concept of keeping the Sabbath holy as it refers to God taking a day to rest after He created the earth in six days. (Whether you believe that it was a literal six days or not, the point remains that God took the seventh ‘day’ and rested.) The idea of taking time to rest and reflect with God is so important that God made it the fourth of the Ten Commandments.

The first point to realize is that the Sabbath is important – otherwise God wouldn’t have made a point to make it a day of rest and command us to honor it. Did God need to rest? Doubtful. But I do think that He wanted to make a point for us to understand the importance of taking a day of the week to rest. Working seven days in a row week after week isn’t healthy. Our bodies weren’t designed for it and God plainly instructs us to take a break – because it’s that important.

The Intent of the Sabbath

One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” – Mark 2:23-28 (NIV)

Unfortunately, the Pharisees had a legalistic view of the Sabbath but Jesus revealed the real purpose or intent of the Sabbath: The Sabbath was for man – not man for the Sabbath. The Sabbath was intended to be a time for us to take time out of our busy schedules and reflect on the good things in our life – our relationship with God, our family and our friends.

The fact that Jesus’ disciples picked some grain on the Sabbath doesn’t mean they were in violation of the idea that “Christians shouldn’t work on Sunday.” In fact, the disciples were doing the very thing the Sabbath was intended for – growing in your relationship with the Lord and spending time with your friends and family. It’s about stepping away from the things that hold our thoughts ‘hostage’ all week and taking just one day to rest and recover so that we’re rejuvenated for the next week’s work.

The Application of the Sabbath

I’ve heard people say, “Okay, if everyone ‘honored’ the Sabbath, what would we do if someone needed surgery and all the doctors said ‘sorry it’s the Sabbath, I don’t work on Sunday.’”

To that, I say let’s look at how Jesus responded to the Pharisees.

Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. – Matthew 12:9-13 (NIV)

Jesus clearly said that it is lawful to “do good on the Sabbath.” We cannot become like the Pharisees who loved to accuse people of dishonoring the Sabbath with every move they make on the “day of rest.” It’s just silly to think that a Christian today would refuse to do something because it is the Sabbath and they don’t work. No, the point is that we take a day to separate ourselves from the stress we endure throughout the week and stop to rest and enjoy the good things that God has provided for us.

Not working on Sunday can be especially challenging for entrepreneurs, but there is value in taking time to recoup your thoughts and spending quality time with your family. I know that I am going to make a concentrated effort to make Sunday a day of rest where I can enjoy the things God has made without stressing over the work that I have on my plate.

What do you think? Do you think Christians should work on Sundays? Leave a comment!

This article was originally published on October 26, 2010 at FaithandFinance.org.














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61 Comments
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  1. Wesley

    Interesting post. Our pastor preached a sermon on this just this past Sunday. One of the points he made was that it was more important that you observed a Sabbath, rather than which day you observed. Some people don’t have the option of not working on Sunday.

    However, I was raised not to go out to eat or shopping on Sundays. I’ve strayed from that more as I’ve gotten older and I’m still not sure how I feel about it honestly. Sure, my going out makes someone else work, but many of those people are not Christians and would not be observing the Sabbath anyway. I’m not saying I think that makes it right

    • LauriCNEKS

      I wouldn’t say that many of the people that work in restaurants aren’t Christians. I think they are just like every one else- in order to have a job at all, you have to work some Sundays and holidays. In this economy, you do what you have to do to provide for ourselves and our families, which is our God-given duty.
      It would be nice if everybody would be able to not work on Sundays, but the main thing is in our attitude. I am a nurse, and part of my ministry is in taking care of others. The same with all emergency responders, etc. Gas station attendants, etc, help others too. We can approach serving others on Sundays and holidays with a reverent, kind, giving attitude that shows the spirit of Jesus in our interactions.

      • Melody

        I to am a nurse and I am required to work Sundays. I feel I am doing God’s work even on Sundays. I have a good job, it pays well and I need a job. I can not tithe without a job. As I said before caring for people who need caring for even if it on Sunday, I believe that is not a sin. What is a sin is to refuse to care for the needy because it is the Sabbath. Jesus performed miracles on the Sabbath, and he was critized for it but he said he was doing his father’s work whether it was the Sabbath or not.

        • carlin

          It is a commandment. You should not be able to justify breaking this commandment, or any of the other commandments. Christians need to follow the 10 commandments.

          • Hi Carlin! :)
            I have several questions for you based on your short answer. Assuming you consider the Sabbath to be on Sunday, then shouldn’t pastors not preach on Sunday? Technically, it is their job because it is part of the job expectations and they are paid for it. Also, when people bring up the point of Doctors and nurses, I do not believe they are “justifying” not working on the Sabbath, but bringing up a valid point of “Does God not want me to work on Sundays or does God not want me to love and care for someone in need?”
            The point is looking into God’s intent for the law :)

      • I strongly agree with you. What if all the important jobs like 911, police, ambulance, doctors, surgeons, etc. etc. all took off Sunday because you aren’t suppose to work? we’d all be in trouble or dying cause no service. What if we go to a gas-station & it’s closed cause they don’t work on Sundays? people don’t think about that. Like someone once said, it’s the same people that say we shouldn’t work on Sundays but yet expect to have services for them like at a restaurant, etc. Those people to me are called Hypocrites.

  2. Michael

    This questions the symptom not the disease. Christians working for or with non Christians is the real questionable choice. Chicken Fillet is an wonderful example of proper Christian choice. No one must work for a secular employer there is always self employment or teaming together with other Christians ( best done through your church . Many just don’t like the lower income that often comes with responsible Christian choices. What are you worshipping if Christ takes second place to higher pay? Truth often stings, but I will not apologize for truth because truth is a person called Christ.

    • Hi Michael!
      I’m curious where you get the idea that Christians are not supposed to work for non-Christians. I cannot think of a place in the Bible saying that. Working for non-Christians can be a wonderful opportunity to evangelize, both in actions and in words. For example, if a non-Christian employer saw one of their employees working harder than anyone else, and knew that person was a Christian, the employer might wonder how that employee’s faith plays into their work ethic.
      Also, some examples in the Bible of people who didn’t work for followers of God include Joseph (for Pharaoh) and Daniel (for the Babylonian ruler), and God did not convict them to quit working for pagan rulers. Just a food for thought :)

    • Brian Wilson

      I’d love to work for a Christian employer and only Christian employers. That would be as close to heaven on earth as I could think of since we spend so much time at work. But since I have no idea how to match my skills to a Christian employer that I don’t even know, I would be waiting indefinitely till one appears before me.

      And if I ever did locate one who would hire me, I’m sure they would pay more, not less, than I am making now as a grocery store clerk.

  3. Not being a Christian, I don’t feel it’s appropriate for me to critique someone’s choice to not work for religious reasons. But even without a spiritual basis, I think it’s worth taking a Sabbath from regular routines.

    I avoid working on Sundays also. Part of it is probably habit from my days as a Christian. But it also just feels right to get away from the screen and connect with other things.

    Some of my Christian family members have also questioned whether it’s appropriate to do things on a Sunday, like eating out or shopping, because they’re causing others to have to work to serve them.

  4. Definitely a tough one. I’m self-employed and often not working on Sunday means the work doesn’t get done, with greater consequences to follow.

    It’s a rarity that I don’t work at least a little on a Sunday, though I do think the ideal is to take it easy. I usually think of Sunday work to get by, not to get ahead (like the donkey in the ditch).

  5. Tammy Ingraham

    I am always amazed when God does this- I was literally just wondering about this- mostly because I do not keep it. I work outside of my home 6 days a week, so I fall into the trap of trying to “catch up” on Sundays, my one whole day off. I do believe that God meant literally for this (or a alternate day) to be a day of rest and reflexion on Him. So why don’t I do it? No idea! But if I don’t start doing it after this “hint”, I’m sure that He will find another way to remind me that the Sabbath is His day.

  6. Michael Bednar

    Very good article that makes one think and evaluate what they think on a given subject. I know that my pastor cannot rest on Sunday. In fact, it’s his busiest day of the week. But he makes it a point of setting aside Monday for himself and his family to rest and be rejuvinated in the presence of the Lord.

    Thank you for the article.

    • LauriCNEKS

      I agree. You do what you have to do, until another option is given you.

  7. Joseph Ashley

    The whole point is the day of rest that God designed for the human race. If you take the six days of creation as literal, the “Sabbath” doesn’t mean Sunday. It means “a day of rest”. The Jewish Sabbath is Friday at Sun-down until Saturday at Sun-down (3 stars in the sky). So, that being said, the whole point of the “Sabbath” is a day of rest and technically could be honored any day. However, as a Christian, I choose to honor the Sabbath on Sunday because that is the day agreed upon by my family and church family. So, in honoring Sunday as the Sabbath, I have the opportunity to fellowship with my church family and honor the Lord by not forsaking the assembling of myself with other believers, as well as honoring the lord by spending time with my natural family, and by spending time with him, and by allowing my body to rest from work, since my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

    • LauriCNEKS

      I agree totally. This is what the Sabbath is all about – worship, fellowship, rest.
      However, not every one has that choice.
      And, what about the traditional Sunday dinners? Who prepares them and cleans up after them? That’s work and not rest! If everybody pitched in, then it would be family time. But that doesn’t usually happen.
      We need to take a day of rest, worship and fellowship whenever we can.

  8. Missnosipho

    People can work on Sunday because if you look at a calendar, if you ask a Jew (and so many people “forget” that Christ was indeed a Jew), if you look at the life of Christ, if you acknowledge that Christ did on Good Friday, *rested on the Sabbath* and rose on Resurrection Sunday (Matthew 28:1), if you take into account that the Fourth Commandment starts with *Remember* (which speaks to the Lord knowing that people would “forget”), if you do your own research on the fact that it is the Catholic Church changed the observance from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset to Saturday midnight to Sunday midnight, then you know that Sunday is the first day of the week not *the* day of rest. It’s pretty unfortunate that the Fourth Commandment is the main one where people take a very “it doesn’t matter the specifics” approach on when *no where in the Word* was man told to stop observing the one truth Sabbath. Deception comes in many forms (Matthew 24:4) and if you’re guilty of breaking on commandment, you’re guilty of breaking them all (James 2:10). The Sabbath *the true Sabbath* matters. (http://cbcg.org/true_sabbath.htm)

  9. David

    Pls. the do’s and dont’s of Christianity. Be free. Do not be legalistic. How about a christian doctor who is working in hospital on sunday? Or a christian police man who has to work on sunday. Suppose your daughter is suddenly sick and needs to go to the hospital and that Christian doctor is there to help. Would you say then: lets wait untill Monday? The Sabbath is an jewish tradition coming from the law. Not a Christian thing. We are free. Of course it is good to have quality time with yhe familiy on Sunday so it is good to rest. But not because of the Sabbath! So be free!
    So if you are an entrepreneur it is between him/her and the Lord what kind of agreements you have made. Just stick to that. Be free and worship the Lord!

    • Jester

      David…you may consider reading the entire article before leaving a comment.

  10. What a great topic, and one that I have taken to heart the last few years. Coming to the conclusion that one day of rest is what I do, it also happens to be Sunday, by choice I give this to God and I work as the treasure of my small local church, so actually I am working that day.

    However I broke out the word “work” ………work to create income is one thing, ………work to assist others is another. Admittadley I work to create income to pay bills, on Sunday I thank God for the funds I do have.

    Years gone by I had to milk cows on Sunday, had to because the health of the heard would be affected, this is “labor of love” not labor of income.

    It has taken me many years to get to this point of my understanding. Living now in Vegas a 24 hour city some can not make Sunday their day of rest, but making a day of rest has made my walk with, for and to Christ much more fulfilling. Giving up to get more….. what a deal!

  11. K Klein

    It is a choice not a religious rule, so to speak. Each person has to decide as on Judgment Day we each give an account for our own life choices.

    Saying that – you have to ask yourself Why you need to work on Sabbath? Is it for ‘more money’, if so then is ‘money’ your ‘god’ and not God – then it won’t matter to you. Jesus even said something about ‘is a sin to heal on the Sabbath or say your sins are forgiven’ . So, that leads me to believe it is more about ‘motive’ than anything.

    As a Christian – by not working and resting on Sunday, which is my Sabbath – I am making a statement to others who might not be believers. Giving myself time to reflect on God and His many mercies is what I personally try and do – but then am I watching tv? Am I going out to eat a meal and causing someone else to ‘have to’ work on Sabbath? These are all q’s to ask one’s self.

    I have chosen Not to take any job that requires me to work on Sunday – my Sabbath. I felt that by making that purposeful choice then I am trusting God to meet all my needs by Not working on Sunday. Some jobs require it – are you willing to stand up for your convictions should you feel the same?

    I don’t judge others for working, but I have tried to teach my children that God can provide them employment that won’t require them to work on Sunday if the ask Him to do so.

    Working on Sundays won’t send you to hell or to heaven -

  12. Cheryl

    Just thought I would make a point. The Sabbath should be a Saturday because the 1st day of the week is Sunday and if Christ rested on the seventh day, then that would be a Saturday.

    • Hi Cheryl,
      i understand where you are coming from, but to fully understand this you need to read the bible more closely.
      Christ was resurrected on a Sunday, and Pentecost also fell on a Sunday.
      To honour this, the sabbath changed to a Sunday.
      Throughout the New Testament, Paul instructs his many congregations to gather on the Sunday,
      In Acts 20: 7 It says;
      “On the first day of the week we came together to break bread”.
      Also, in Luke 6:5 it says that Christ is Lord “even on the Sabbath,” implying that He has the ability to change the Sabbath to a sunday.

  13. Although I agree with the premise, what happens when we are told that we MUST keep Sunday as the Sabbath, and those of us who believe that God does not change and made the Sabbath on Friday evening to Saturday evening are told we can no longer keep our Sabbath?

    I find that too many Christians, whether they keep Saturday or Sunday, do not truly keep it the way the Bible tells us too. I also believe that there are many who are keep it like the Pharisees. Jesus helped people on Sabbath, so why can we not do good, whether it is at church or other places?

    Thanks for the article. These are the kinds of articles that we should read with an open mind and go see what the Word of God tells us!

  14. Susan

    One of the reasons why there was to be no work on the sabbath was to allow time to be spent in the company of the community of faith i.e. church. The other was to allow more time to be spent with family. Imagine if we spent the Sabbath eve having a celebration type meal with the family. The only time some families get together for a meal is Christmas and then there is so much hassle about are we going to my parents or your parents etc. It is very difficult to do that when you are working. You know finish work at 5 and be at their house for 7 after getting washed and changed.

    Those work work Sundays and take other days off miss the family interaction. My dad now long retired, was part of a rota that provided an emergency service to the community. During the week he was on call he could be asked to go to work at any time outside normal office hours to make sure people did not suffer too much by not having electricity.

    Some people though use work as an excuse. I do not want to spend time with the family so I will go to work instead. That attitude destroys families. No wonder there is so much in the bible about getting your priorities right.

  15. Jim Golden

    I have had to work on Sunday (Lords’s Day or Sabbath), and did not really want to. I felt though that the Lord provided me my job and if this is something that needed to be done then I should do it. I talked with my employer and made accommodations for my schedule when that became necessary. By law your employer does not have to let you off, however most I think will work around worship conflicts. It is important to have a day of rest and it is important to worship our Lord as well. This is an important consideration for all Christians. Often our Sunday activities (think sports for instance) interfere with what some may consider rest as well. This should be a consideration and has been a big challenge for me since I have been a Christian.

  16. what good is it to keep a commandment in action when the heart is what is the matter?
    by the way, my pastor works on Sunday’s. Sunday School teachers work on Sundays. I work on Sundays at the railroad but I give my tithes and offerings from that labor on Sundays and noone seems to mind.

  17. Sporto

    Great topic.

    I think once in a while you may need to miss church for work or school. Ask anyone who works in a hospital, police dept., fire dept. etc. The goal is to try to get a steady schedule so you can go to church on Sunday, especially if you are not part of a small group or assemble with other believers in prayer, fellowship, etc (see Heb.10:25) Personally, I think it’s an encouragement to the pastor and the congregation to attend. Who wants to come to an empty church service and what message would that be? I found a good article on the topic: http://www.gotquestions.org/missing-church.html

  18. Tim !!

    This is a good article. Here are two references that I’ve looked at from time to time. They seem to suggest that the the fourth commandment does not come across with the force of the other commandments in the Christian age. Personally I do believe in a “Sabbath” rest for one day a week. Thanks, Ron

    “One man considers one day more sacred than another; 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” Romans 14:5-6a.

    “… Do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.
    Colossians 2:16

  19. Tom Larsen

    I really appreciate your blog entry and viewpoint. You have given a balanced (legalistic vs liberal) answer to a thorny question I have wrestled with for some time as a christian. I plan to use, with your permission, this article to share with christian friends.

  20. Once all Protestant denominations believed in keeping the Sabbath. They have now jettisoned the Sabbath along with even more basic doctrinal truths.

    When I was a teenager and applied for a job at McDonald’s, I told them what days and hours I was available to work, still being in school. I told them I would help them out as much as possible, but that I would not work on Sunday, because that was the Christian Sabbath. They called me a few Sundays when someone couldn’t make it in, but eventually they stopped calling because they knew I wasn’t available on Sunday. Since I was a good worker and helped them out otherwise, it never was a problem.

    I find it sad that Orthodox Jews won’t work on Saturday, devout Muslims won’t work on their holy days, but Christians will work on Sundays without complaint and most don’t even ask not to.

  21. Dusky Knight

    The problem with all of this beautiful notion is that the real Sabbath was and continues to be from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. The concept of Sunday sacredness became somewhat official when the Emperor Constantine claimed to have seen a thing in the sky with a type of cross on it and either read or heard ‘In this sign, conquer’. Constantine was a sun-worshiper and if you read his law from 321 AD it speaks of doing no work ‘on the venerable day of the sun’.

    Further, this commandment is one of the Top 4. The first 4 have to do with man’s relationship with the Most High. The other and later 6 have to do with man’s relationship with his neighbor.

  22. AUGUSTINE

    I HAVE NOT GONE THROUGH THE WHOLE PASSAGE, BUT I WANT YOU TO CONSIDER THIS, THERE ARE PEOPLE EMPLOYED BY THE CHURCH, FULL TIME WORKERS NOT EVEN THE MAN OF GOD, AND THEY WORK ON SUNDAY AND GET PAID AT THE END OF THE MONTH, WHERE DO YOU CLASSIFY THIS TYPE OF WORKING. MY VIEW ON WORKING ON SUNDAY STANDS ON EACH PERSON’S LEVEL OF CHRISTIAN LIFE COMMITMENT TO GOD.

  23. Bren Morrison

    This is a very good article. A lot of people “have” to work on Sunday and or Saturday, whichever is consider the Sabbath to you. I believe in these cases, as long as you take a day of the week and dedicate it to the Lord as the Sabbath between you and Him, make that day Holy, then it would be okay. I’m talking about our doctors, nurses, occupations that “have” to work 24/7 to keep us going. I’m not talking fast food chains, stores, etc. As everyday is to be holy unto our Lord, he requires one day to be set apart unto him as the Sabbath. Make sure you dedicate that day to him.

    *my own personal opinion, I can’t stand the niv Bible*

  24. Samuel

    I agree with the articles’s position. Any work done on the Sabbath must be geared towards the need to do good. Services directly essential to the safety and health of others should be performed on Sunday. Other types of work should take a break, but this society will not allow it.

  25. Suzanne

    Dear Tim, I appreciate the heart of the question but to me the real question is “should a Christian work on the Sabbath day?” Now I know you don’t want to get into a discussion as to which day is the Sabbath but if you want truth and not tradition then you have to go back to the Bible and the Hebraic understanding of the Scriptures. Our days of the week have all been named after other gods whereas the Israelites just called them “the first day” “second day” etc and the only day that wasn’t given a number was the Sabbath day which was the 7th day, which happens to be what we call Saturday. It begins at sundown on Friday evening and ends at sundown Saturday evening. It always was that way until around 325 AD when Constantine changed it to Sunday. This is easily verified by looking it up as there is a lot of information out there about this topic. The church moved away from the truth at that time and became mixed with paganism. We began keeping pagan feasts
    like Christmas and Easter that honor Baal and Ashorah instead of the Feasts of the Lord like Passover., etc. Apostasy means falling away from the truth and that’s what happened. God in His great love and mercy is restoring His church to the truth which He has been doing ‘line upon line’since the time of Wycliffe. The church had gone into ‘the dark ages’ from 325 (the 4th century) until 1330 when Wycliffe was borj in the 14th century, a period of 1000 years, or one day with the Lord. Then God began to restore the church through the Moravians, Luther, Zwingli, Huss, Calvin, Knox etc. There’s been a progressive, ongoing revelation restored to the church, and now in these final days He’s been restoring the truth concerning the Sabbath and the Feasts and bringing us back to our Hebraic roots which is causing our brother, Judah, to finally start seeing we serve the same God and their eyes are being opened to see Jesus is their Messiah. I’ve been studying this now for about 10 years and although I’ve been a Christian most of my life I can truly say the eyes of my understanding have really been enlightened since I began studying this. I have come to see the lies I wss believing and have repented and am learning to walk more fully in the truth. It has also helped me to discern error much more clearly. I also realized that the Old Testament is still relevant for us today in much more than we had thought. Not that we’re saved by ‘works of righteousness’ instead of the shed blood of Jesus, but the Torah means teaching and instruction. The Israelites were only “saved” by trusting in the shed blood of the lamb just as we are, but once they were saved they had to learn how to walk in righteousness and holiness and that’s why God gave them the Torah. He also gave them the sacrificial system to deal with sin issues. We know Jesus died once for all so ee no longer need a sacrificial system. Nevertheless, much of the teachings of the Torah are still relevant today. Years before I began learning all this, God kept saying to me, “if the foundations be destroyed what can the righteous do?” I didn’t know what He meant at the time but now I do. I know I’ve gone into a long comment here but I couldn’t answer your question without clarifying my position. The 10 commandments are still relevant to Christians aren’t they? The 4th commandment says “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” and as I pointed out there was only one day of the week called the Sabbath and it was the 7th day of the week not the 1st day. Nowhere will you find that God changed the Sabbath. He made it an everlasting ordinance and has said we’ll be keeping it and the feasts during the millennium so why wouldn’t we do it now? Did you know the feasts are called “the appointed times of the Lord?” Or “the Moedim” which means ‘rehearsals’. We’re supposed to be ‘rehearsing’ them now to get ready for the real thing. So, back to the question, should Christians work “on the Sabbath day?” I have to say, absolutely not, (unless as you pointed out in scripture) it’s to help someone in need. I say this because God specifically says we’re not to do any work on the Sabbath but to rest in Him, etc. so to be obedient to the commandment we should not work on that day if at all possible. I’ve found it to be my delight and jealously guard my day with the Lord. Everyone will have to search out what I’ve said for themselves and come to their own conclusion but I know that if you are a sincere seeker of truth He will show you. Shalom!

  26. I would love to have Sundays off but I have mostly been working weekends and holidays for the past 30 years. It makes it very difficult and nearly impossible to attend church services much. I am an RN in my 50′s working in a hospital where discrimination towards older worker is very much present. I have looked for another job for many years but the pay cut is low and would be forced to lose my home. The medical field sees weekends off as a huge benefit and so if they offer it it is very likely that one would take a drastic paycut for this benefit. I am able to continue working at my age because I do work the fri sat and sunday 12 hour shifts. Holidays have totally lost any meaning for me because I usually work Thanksgiving or Christmas every year and these days cannot be requested off. I get 8 days off a year for the past 34 years of employment. I hope that those that are off on sudays realize what a privilege it is to be able to choose to attend church because that choice was taken from me from my catholic employer.

  27. Victoria

    Thank you so much for this precious reminder of obeying the Fourth Commandment of honouring the Sabbath Day. We are expected by Almighty God to OBEY this to the letter. Perfectionists will have a hard time with this as they are convinced that the world will quit turning if they refrain from any form of participation in it they condone, and might be reluctant to the thought of being “obligated” and rather seeing it as being “forced” to comply, as opposed to honouring and obeying our Loving Heavenly Father to take a Holy Day of RESTING IN THE LORD. Consequences also always will follow: rewards for obedience, or condemnation for disobedience. The choice remains ours to make. I choose to OBEY and HONOUR the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY. May you all feel convicted likewise, for it is a blessing to dedicate this one day to Him – why jeopardise it all when there’s so much to gain?

  28. Dan M.

    Wonderful article about the Sabbath and about the real meaning of “keeping it holy.” It is also good to remember what the apostle Paul said about how the “letter killeth” and how the “spirit giveth life.” I’ve also lurked here for some time without posting anything. Just wanted to mention that this is a great blog with a lot of good information to go with its spiritual bent.

    The only issue I have (and its one I’ve kind of always had) is this: Why the need to make the Sabbath into a specific day? God created the world in six days, then rested on the seventh day. Whose to say what day of the week that was? Most people worship on Sunday. Seventh day Adventists take a more literal viewpoint and hold services on Saturday because the Gregorian calendar defines Saturday as the seventh day of the week.

    But isn’t the whole point simply to set one day per week aside to reflect and rejuvenate? I work Sundays and attend church services on Wednesdays (one of my days off). I don’t see that there’s a difference really.

  29. Sabbath in the dictionary is defined as “the seventh day of the week, Saturday, as the day of rest and religious observance among Jews and some Christians. Ex. 20:8–11.”

    Saturday is the real sabbath day.

    With worrying about observing the sabbath, the following verse comes to mind:

    Colossians 2:16 – Let no man therefore judge you in food, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

  30. kingsley ozoagu

    Sabbath Day is a day you shall keep holy,a day that every human should gather together and woship the lord,that means no working on a Sabbath Day.

  31. Troy Johnson

    If you believe the Bible it is divided into 2 covenants. The old and the new. The old was to the children of Israel. Jesus fulfilled it. Jesus said He fulfilled it. Jesus made a new covenant or promise to the whole world. Is that awesome or what. The Sabbath was in the old covenant. God did not rest He really stopped creating. God was done making everything in heaven and earth. Pretty big job huh. How would you like to get that contract. (only God). That word rest means to cease. Jesus is now our Sabbath and has nothing to do with physical rest. The apostle Paul in the New Testament says let no man judge you concerning the Sabbath or any of Israels feasts. If you are a Christian you are in Christ in the New Covenant do not seek to be under the old per the Bible. I hope this helps.

    • Brian Wilson

      Yes, this is the truth.

      “The word means to cease. Jesus is now our Sabbath and has nothing to do with physical rest.”

      Thank you.

  32. Iyonna

    The Lord ia amazing. This is the very concersation that my husband had to have with his employer today. We felt that the balance in our home was affected when we didn’t take a day out to reflect on God, give honor to God, spend time together and to rest. We have a “peace” with it in our spirit and are more revived for work because of our choice to honor the Sabbath. Praise God for a day of rest…

  33. Lisa Kirkpatrick

    I enjoyed this post. It was a nice reminder to slow down and enjoy my day and remember that it really is holy to God, so it should be to me too, even after church.

  34. Dipanshu

    Schedules are busy for everyone but is there anyone who does not fend for some rest after a week. I am sure everyone does. Thats the inherent nature God made us with. How strictly “no work” is enforced varies for person to person but how great the time we spend together at church on sundays, moments we cherish all week, thats what brings us back for another sunday fellowship.

    Maybe God mentioned this time…so that we would have a day for church, spend time in His amazing presence. Maybe God made this time so that we dont forget that we had people whom we could take care of, someone who would cherish time we spent with them. How blessed we are who have people who love us. How unfortunate, those who lost love to save work….Maybe thats why God made sabbath.

  35. Courtney

    My husband and I both work full time jobs Monday through Friday- He goes to seminary and we both volunteer in church. I am the Worship leader..he is on the worship team, he is the Youth Pastor. (so this can take up many Saturdays too, with studies and prep and meetings and practice) I also handle hospitality and being we rent a building for service..we arrive 2 hrs early and stay about 30 minutes after for set-up & tear down. After Sunday church we volunteer our time at a retirement home doing worship and message along with serving treats each week. So our Sunday, we leave the house at 7:45 am and return about 4pm…We are doing the Lord’s work that He has called us to do and I understand the principle of the Sabbath. but when do you fit it in? does it have to be a full day? or can you take time to rest in Him throughout the week? It makes me think and yes there are some moments when you just plain get tired, but most of the time we are fired up for the Lord and He keeps us going! Is doing His work resting too?

  36. These words are faithful and true, if we do not come away from all the noise, we will fall apart.
    The same goes for a Bible that is falling apart; means the owner of that Word is not falling apart. ( KISS ) Keep it simple soldier.

  37. I think it is important to add that the Sabbath referred to in Genesis is from Friday at sundown through Saturday at sundown. What we refer to as our Saturday Sabbath or Sunday is not accurate. Some people fail to realize this important part of scripture. Whether you still keep the Sabbath or you don’t, remember Jesus Christ was our final rest. We now have rest and freedom in Him.

  38. Abiodun Sobowale

    Obviously i did not read all the other posts…..

    This is a very interesting topic and i came across this post while trying to answer a colleague who suggested that working on a Sunday is breaking a commandment of God!

    I do work on sundays (every sunday actually), since i am a worker in my church and my church does not have enough personnel on her workforce. I know of some friends who actually work more on sundays than during the regular work week. The point is that God want us to take time off to be with Him in fellowship but does it necessarily have to be on a Sunday (since the exact day is debatable)?.

    Take time to rest and enjoy fellowship with God but don’t be fixated on a particular day.

    Happy Sabbath

  39. Suzanne

    I’ve read through everyone’s posts and understand your positions. This is a topic the Lord has really impressed on my heart in recent years and I’ve studied it a lot. As I’ve questioned the Lord and sought for the truth He’s been faithful to show me. One verse stood out to begin with and that was Isaiah 58:13, 14 which says, “if you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as youplease on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s day honorable, and if you honor it by not goingnyour own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will delight (oneg) yourself in the I AM and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and give you to feast on the inheritance of your father, Jacob. The mouth of the I AM has spoken. ” There is absolutely no doubt in my heart or mind that God only set apart one day and consecrated it and “made it holy”- and that’s the 7th day, or Saturday as we kjow it, and it began Friday at sundown,, as previously pointed out by some mof you. In Isaiah 58 when the Lord tells us to “call the Sabbath a delight” the word in Hebrew is ‘oneg’ and the only other place in the Bible this word is used is in Psalm 37, where it says “delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”. When you look at the two verses together you’ll see they are linked. He will bless you exceedingly if you honor Him and keep His holy Sabbath, the one He made holy, specifically the 7th day and not the 1st, or any other day of the week. What a promise! Who wouldn’t want this? I have worked on the Sabbath day in the past when I worked in a hospital emergency room, and that is legitimate work on the Sabbath as Jesus pointed out. Human need (or animal, for that matter, like your ox falling in a ditch) and compassion take precedence over all else, so there are jobs that must be done that day. There are many other jobs that are a matter of choice, not meeting someone’s need, except our own need for finances. However, this is one of those situations where we each have to decide whom we will serve. I personally believe that if we will honor God by obeying His commandments and putting Him first, that He will honor us and bless us in return. He knows we need money to live and pay our bills but He has promised to bless us if we obey Him. If you read Deut. 28 you’ll see the blessings that we’ll receive if we obey Him, delighting in Him, and keeping His commandments. The blessings will come upon us and overtake us as it says in Malachi. Awesome! Also, did you know that the Sabbath was a ‘sign’ or ‘mark’ of the covenant between God and His people forever to show who is really a covenant child of God and who is not? It was also a test to see whether the people would, obey Him and walk, in His instruction. See Exodus 16:4-30. There’s so much in the study and observance of Sabbath that it would be wise for everyone to search out all the scriptures on the subject asking the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us into all truth and removing lies and error that we have believed as we know we live at the time the Bible warns us about when there would be great deception and a falling away. That being the case, can any of us trust in what we’re taught without being like the faithful Bereans and searching the scriptures ourselves to see if these things are so? I want to make my calling and election sure and not be one of the people in Matthew 7 that will say, Lord, didn’t I do many wonderful things in your name and have Him say, Be gone from me, you worker of lawlessness (iniquity or real meaning -Torahlessness) I never knew you.” That’s scary because Jesus said there would be many that fall into that category. We are warned of lawlessness being rampant in our day, that we won’t endure sound doctrine, heaping together teachers who only tell us good things, tickling our ears, etc. I don’t want to be that way and will study to show myself approved, having oil in my lamp, watching and praying, and make my calling and election sure. What about you?

  40. This is my take: First why do I go to church? Do I go to fulfill a given law (i.e to keep the sabbath?). What’s God’s interest with my life? We all know the OT is the shadow of the NT. But that doesn’t make it any lesser! I do believe that what God was doing since the fall of Adm and Eve was the preparation of the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ; a plan to save the world. Imagine how hard it could be to accept Jesus if He came the time of David. And the law was part of the preparation; to guide people towards God.
    Personally I go church to have that corporate worship with the brethren, and above all wait upon my savior under my spiritual leader on that alter. The church is an alter. And, for me, I’ve no issue with the day, and I can actually worship even on Wednesday, if that’s the day we can all meet and raise our hands and souls to Jehovah God.
    I believe in grace as opposed to the Law. I know for real if I started keeping the law I’ll surely mess (and how I want to go to heaven!) Who can keep the Sabbath as the Israelites did? (because that’s what God meant by keeping the sabbath). None of us. The law condemns me, tells me of my sins, but doesn’t give the solution. The Grace gives the answer: salvation. and that’s why Jesus came. if we could be made right by keeping the law then there was no need of Jesus Coming; and people like Paul could not need to be converted. The question of not working on Sunday, to me is purely a law. And therefore I can work on Sunday. It’s dangerous to be a Sunday Christian. Worship should be all the time. Nevertheless, we should not be simply careless. We MUST honor this day for it’s the one day we dedicate to our maker. Above all, may God truly help and guide everyone of us. Thanks Tim for the article and the great comments from everyone.
    I did an article on the law versus grace, can check it here: http://youngxtian.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-law-cant-nullify-promise_16.html

  41. thoene winters

    I believe that God’s commandments all apply today; why would 9 of the commandments apply but not commandment 4? God created the Sabbath or Sunday as a day of rest for his people; to assume that God needed to rest after creating the world and that the day has no significance to mankind is ridiculous. He confirmed the day of rest in the Ten Commandments. I have heard people say that Paul states that the law no longer applies to New Testament Christians. However, every time that Paul argues “against the law,” he is arguing that the law will not save people. This, of course, is true. Salvation is through Christ alone. However, Christians are commanded to keep the law as an act of thankfulness and as a witness to non-Christians. For most of us, “keeping the Sabbath day holy” involves inconvenience. Therefore, we find excuses not to follow this commandment.

    • Lloyd Brooks

      New Covenant. The Old Convenent does NOT apply at all today.

  42. Ronald Foster

    I’ve read a lot of these posts. I surely don’t mow the yard on Sunday. I consider it to be downright heathen. However, sometimes we as lowly humans seem not to be able to accomplish all we need to do in 6 days so we can relax and reflect on the 7th day. So, that being said, I’m gonna wait til 12:01 am Monday morning to get my tractor and run the box blade to level out the rock under my shed and also plant some plants in the garden. If it rains beforehand, which the Lord already knows if it is going to, my work wasn’t meant to be done anyway. I really think a person’s own conviction dictates whether they will work on the Sabbath or not. For me the conviction is high. If I do decide to work today 6-2-2013 Sunday (which I won’t), tomorrow I might end up paying a higher price by being scolded by the almighty. Hmmm, something to think about definitely!

  43. I’m a Christian and I love The Lord with all my heart, I work as an oil burner tech in New York and the job requires to be on call the nights and weekends available for any emergency, that also includes holidays as we’ll. in summer time there’s no problem because I can attend church with no problem but after the second week of October I have to be available until the second week of April, I’m not on call every Sunday thank God but I feel really bad when I miss Church because of my job, I guess it is not that bad And I can say that this job was an answer to one of my prayers. You know that sometimes we want to hear what we want and not what is best for us I have talked with three different pastors and all of them have told me the very same thing: ” Son; you gotta do what you gotta do in order to provide for your Family” let me tell you my jaw just dropped. To those who have off Sundays God bless you and to those like me who have to work be strong, God knows your heart and he is faithful, God Bless

  44. I do believe Christians should not work on Sunday if it can be helped. (Those in health care usually have no choice). In that I also believe that Christians should not go and shop or eat out making others work on Sunday. The main reason for these beliefs is more related to if Christians want others to actually go to church on Sunday, they should not even contribute to the possibility of preventing others from worshipping on Sunday. Also, by working or shopping or going out to eat we contribute to the notion that Sunday is just another day and not a day of worship. The idea if sunday being the church day is being lost due to all the businesses open treating Sunday as just another day. We are loosing the holiness of a day for worship.

  45. Lloyd Brooks

    The opinion you expressed is well done, but there are several problems with it. When you understand them, you should rethink and repost your thoughts.

    The Ten Commandments were part of the Old Covenant, established between God and the Jews, and ended in 70 A.D… It does definitely NOT apply to Christians,

    The day and definition of the Sabbath is neither controversial or open for interpretation. Scripture is clear that it is Saturday, Still is, always will be. Again it does NOT apply to Christians BECAUSE we are under the New Covenant established with the death of Jesus. Romans 7:1-6

    There was much debate between the Apostles and Elders of the Early Church, and so, at the Council of Jerusalem the Apostles Paul and Peter agreed and imposed that that Gentile converts were not under the Law. In Romans 14:5-10, Paul makes it plain that we can choose any day to worship that soothes our conscience. Sunday, Saturday, Thursday. Does not matter. Just be consistent.

    You appear to be seriously concerned about being correct. You are, but not completely. Keep learning, but leave your “opinions” out of it. All that matters is what the Scriptures say. Feel free to contact me if I can help.

  46. Lloyd Brooks

    I failed to point out in my previous posts that there are NO requirements for behavior on our day of worship, however, in 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 it says “You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.”

    This implies that although you CAN work on the day of worship (Sunday) it is not necessarily a good idea for you to do so. Also, the rules of the Sabbath set an example of healthy observance that, although NOT required, really ARE beneficial.

    Thanks for listening. (email your comments to me at mb5498@aol.com)

  47. jayzook

    The whole idea of not working on Sunday comes from the old testament law.
    The old law was a different covenant for the Hebrew people.
    Christ came and died for us as the last and final covenant!
    I had a guy tell me just today that he mows his lawn on Sunday because he does not consider that work!
    I responded to him by pointing out that others may disagree with him about that!
    Now you have men arguing about what is a sin and what is not!
    It is very important to learn and understand the difference in covenants God designed for all of mankind!
    In closing I would say that the first century church (the apostles designed) oftennhad to gather together in fellowship (church) in the later hours on Sundays because they were working!
    There was no such thing as a day off for the first century Christians.
    Hope this helps!

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