Here is a Bible verse that is the basis for most people when considering meeting together on Sabbath:
“Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy CONVOCATION. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.” Leviticus 23:3
The Hebrew definition of Convocation is: A large formal assembly of people or a rehearsal. The rehearsal means to “re-hear” what has been taught or a practice session for a later event.
So we can think of Sabbath as a rehearsal for the ultimate rest with God.
What God’s Word Says about Meeting With Believers on Sabbath
As I researched this topic, I found a plethora of die-hard beliefs that are taught by church groups or leaders. I pray that you would choose to base your beliefs solely on what God has shown you and NOT on what anyone else has taught you. I urge you to study ALL scripture for yourself.
Mark 1:21 – Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.
Mark 6:2 – And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue.
Luke 4:16 – So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.
Luke 6:6 – Now it happened on another Sabbath, also, that He entered the synagogue and taught.
Luke 13:10 – Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.
Acts 13:14 – But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down.
Acts 17:1-2 – Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures.
Acts 18:4 – And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.
Acts 16:13 – And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there.
Acts 13:42-44 – So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.
I concluded from these verses that groups of believers gathered together on Sabbath for the purpose of Prayer & Studying God’s Word (Jesus, while on the earth, taught His Word in person). The believers met in synagogues and temples. When believers in Jesus were unwelcome in synagogues and temples, they met elsewhere to pray and study God’s Word.
God is always the focus of Sabbath. That never changes. I personally believe that much of the current state of “going to church” is far from God’s purposes of Sabbath. It should not be a place to go with entertainment and agendas, but rather a mutual coming together to know God (the “church” is a group of people, not a place). A good question to ask is, “Does my experience of meeting together with other believers on Sabbath line up with God’s Sabbath purposes?” He wants us to learn to rest in Him and thankfully we get the chance to practice that every Sabbath.
One More Thought
Here is another Bible verse often used when discussing meeting together on Sabbath:
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
I want to work on building up the Body of Christ. I have to keep in mind that I can do this on Sabbath AND every day of the week. Bible believers were known primarily to meet on Sabbath to read God’s Word and pray, but they also met EVERY day of the week to build each other up and meet each others’ needs. I can’t lose sight of fulfilling this verse at all times because of a false belief that I can only meet with other believers on Sabbath.
I am NOT speaking of trying to keep Sabbath on a different day. I personally think God set the Sabbath day and made it holy and no man can change that. I am strictly talking about meeting together as believers and “exhorting one another.” That can be done ANY day of the week. There is much proof of that throughout God’s Word and this verse in Hebrews says nothing of this being done only on Sabbath. I also strongly believe that I am not to hate or tear down anyone who gets together as a group of believers on a day other than Sabbath.