Is Working On Sunday a Sin?
You’ve likely heard about taking a Sabbath rest, or not working on the Sabbath. In the Bible, this idea goes all the way back to when God created the earth and universe. On the seventh day, God rested from His work.
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”
Genesis 2:2-3 NIV
Taking a Sabbath rest day is also in the Ten Commandments (#4) that God gave Moses after delivering the Israelites from Egyptian rule.
“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.”
Exodus 20:8-11 NIV
Looking at the sabbath in the Bible, you might wondering if working on Sunday is a sin, or against God’s commandments.
While the scriptures make it clear that we need to take one day of rest each week, working on Sunday is definitely not a sin. In fact, the biblical sabbath wasn’t on Sunday. The sabbath began on Friday evening and continued to Saturday evening.
This is why some sects of Christianity, such as Seventh Day Adventists, meet for church on Saturday. Meeting in the Synagogue on the sabbath (Saturday) is seen many times throughout the New Testament.
“When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.”
Mark 6:2 NIV
“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read,”
Luke 4:16 NIV
Today, the vast majority of Christian churches have services on Sunday. This isn’t because they’re honoring the Sabbath. Rather, they have Sunday services because Jesus rose from the grave on Sunday, the day after the sabbath. Church services are on Sunday to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.
Should you rest on Saturday?
Since Saturday is the official sabbath, should you not work on Saturdays? What should you do on the sabbath? Is working on Saturday a sin?
I believe that it’s essential to take one day off work every week.
Whether that’s Saturday, Sunday, or Tuesday is more up to you and your schedule. God’s commandment tells us to honor the sabbath and cease from our work. Personally, I choose to take a sabbath rest on Mondays, because that’s what works for my current schedule.
If you feel strongly convicted about taking a sabbath rest on Saturday, then you should do that. If Saturdays don’t work for your schedule, then find another day that does.
The fact that you take one day a week to rest from your work is more important than the actual day that you’re resting. Paul explains that some people view certain days more important than other days, and some people think every day is the same.
They’re both right.
“One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.”
Romans 14:5 NIV
If you think your sabbath needs to be on Saturday, you’re right. If you think your sabbath should be on Friday, you’re also right.
You shouldn’t work 7 days a week
So, while working on Sunday or Saturday isn’t a sin, you would be going against God’s commandments if you never took a sabbath. You need to cease from your work one day every week.
God sees this day of rest as a high priority, considering He included it in the 10 Commandments.
It’s not always easy to take a day of rest. There have been plenty of weeks where I have so many things I need to get done, and taking a day of rest is difficult. But, this is necessary for us to live the full life God intended for us.
I believe taking a sabbath every week also helps us trust God more. I trust God that I’ll get everything I need to do this week done in six days. When the Israelites were in the wilderness, they collected food each day. On the sixth day, they collected enough food for the seventh day, and they needed to trust God to provide and take care of them while they rested.
It’s also a way of honoring God with our time. We should use our sabbath to spend time seeking God, reading the Bible, and spend time with our community and family. Working on Sunday or Saturday isn’t a sin, but we need to follow the principle. A weekly sabbath is essential for our long-term health and wellbeing.