Q: The Seventh Day Adventists are very strict regarding their ‘Sabbath Day.’ They will not work on that day, turn down jobs that demand Saturday attendance, and basically allow themselves no business or recreation on that day (including no TV, radio, etc.). We and other denominations do just the opposite on our Sundays. What is the proper use of our ‘Sabbaths'”
A: The group that you mention is known for its legalism. It impresses on its members that many of the Old Testament ceremonial rules and regulations are still in force for New Testament followers of Christ. One of those rules is the Sabbath Day (Saturday) worship. The Adventists insist on a rigid observance of the Sabbath Day because they believe the Sabbath laws are virtually part of the moral law for all mankind. They misunderstood the freedom that Jesus has granted the New Testament Christians on the matter of the actual DAY of worship, as we see from Paul’s statement in Colossians: “Therefore 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. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ” (2:16,17). Furthermore, Adventism implies that it is possible, after a person is saved, to become holy enough in his personal life that he can satisfy God with his own holiness. But this confuses the Law with the Gospel, confuses sanctification with justification. “A man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ” (Gal. 2:16).
For us today the Old Testament Sabbath laws cannot be applied. We do know, however, that God wants us to gather together regularly each week to hear the public preaching and teaching of his Word (Heb. 10:25, John 8:47). It is sad and certainly a sin against the Lord when people of any Christian denomination let recreation and unnecessary business transactions interfere with the hearing of the preached Word. Only through the use of the Word will faith be preserved in the heart of a Christian until his time of grace here is ended (Rom. 10:17, I Thess. 2:13).
When we, arrange our time schedules according to priorities, the Sunday morning church attendance ought to receive top billing. Blessings will result, for the divine power is at work in the Gospel. How blest are they who hear God’s Word!