The Importance of the First Day of the Week

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The Importance of the First Day of the Week

The Importance of the First Day of the Week

Mat 28:1  In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
2  And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3  His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4  And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
5  And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6  He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7  And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
8  And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

I Corinthians 15:1  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5  And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6  After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7  After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8  And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
9  For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

The first day of the week is the most important day of the week. The devil understands this. When I was a young boy, there were many businesses that could not open on Sunday. It was not allowed. However, it was not many years later that more and more businesses could open on Sunday. I remember how the stores tried to get people to come shopping on Sunday. They would put super sales on for that day. Since most people are lost, the number of people shopping on Sunday increased. Today, except for the recent lockdowns, many professing Christians will go to a restaurant for Sunday dinner. They might even invite a friend to go with them. Many will stop at the store to pick up a jug of milk or some other items.
Years ago, we had a very careless attitude toward Sunday shopping. We did not do our grocery shopping on that day, but there was a small corner store on our way to church and often we would stop after church to pick up some item like sour cream for our baked potatoes. We had given tracts to the owner of that store at times. One of the men of the church we attended talked about a response he got from her when he invited the owner of that store to church. That answer shocked me into reality. She said she could not come to church because she needed to be open for all those who went to church and wanted to stop by afterwards to buy some things. That answer was a slap to my face. I realized then what a fool I had been for being a stumblingblock to that dear woman. It may well have just been an excuse for her, but it was true as well. I told my wife after that, that we were done with stopping at the store for some items on Sunday. If we did not have it in the house, we just did without it on Sunday.
I know that police, doctors, nurses and other essential services need to be working on Sunday. Hospitals cannot shut down because it is Sunday. However, there are many things that we do not need to do on Sunday, but we have just become careless and we do not plan ahead. I can fill my gas tank on Saturday, so I do not need to stop for gas on Sunday.
My salvation is not tied to not shopping on Sunday. My salvation is tied to the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my Saviour. My position on Sunday business ventures has developed due to the love of God which He has put into my heart. I want others to know Him and that I am not a fraud. I want them to see that my words and my actions agree with one another.
I realize that it is not up to the government to legislate morality. The politicians are lost anyway so they do not care about Sunday. It is up to individual Christians to study God’s Word and to listen to the work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts that will make the difference.
As we see in our texts today, Jesus Christ rose on the first day of the week. That is beyond dispute. The epistles mention several times that the apostles met on the first day of the week to preach the Gospel. Sunday became an important day for the early Christians because Jesus Christ made it so. In the Old Testament, God had instituted an offering for the day after the Sabbath:

Leviticus 23:15  And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:
16  Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.

The wave offering was to be offered on the day after the sabbath. That offering was a picture of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is alive! That is very important news. He is not in a tomb somewhere. To this day, they do not know where the tomb that Jesus was buried in, is located. They have an assumption and many people pay to visit that site, but there is no way they could ever know because His DNA is not there!
We do not need the pagan, secular governments who despise God, to tell us when we should celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not need to follow the pagan beliefs of the Catholics and their many “daughters” in this important fact. We have the Word of God which tells us that Jesus Christ rose on the first day of the week. We have the testimony of Jesus Christ meeting several times with His disciples on the first day of the week. We have the early Christians meeting on the first day of the week. Every Sunday when true Christians stop their busy schedules and make the effort to go to a true Bible-believing church, they testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
As we have noted in our study of this matter, true Christians remember His death when they keep the Lord’s Supper. Jesus instituted that event for that purpose. Every time we keep that remembrance, we also remind ourselves that He is coming back again! What a great day that will be for the saints!
God directed the apostle Paul to give very clear instructions as to how true Christians keep that event. It is important and it is significant for the local church.
Today is the Lord’s Day. It is another opportunity to remind ourselves of the fact that our Saviour is alive! I trust that you will show your neighbours and others that you love the Lord by travelling to a true Bible-believing church today as a testimony of your love for the Lord. That should be your plan of action every “first day of the week” if you are truly born again.
Pastor Bartel

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