The vast majority of professing Christians believe that the Lord’s Day is Sunday-the day set aside for worship and spiritual rejuvenation. For example, the Southern Baptist Convention published this statement at the Southern Baptist Convention June 14, 2000:
The first day of the week is the Lord’s Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should include exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the Lord’s Day should be commensurate with the Christian conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Among the Scriptures listed for proof at the bottom of the statement is Revelation 1:10.
What many Protestants may not be aware of is that the Roman Catholic Church instituted Sunday observance as a day of worship. The following excerpts are from a lecture given by T. Enright, a Catholic Priest. These comments were published In the Industrial American, December 19, 1889:
My brethren, look about at the various wrangling sects and denominations. Show me one that claims or possesses the power to make laws binding on the conscience. There is but one on the face of the earth-THE CATHOLIC CHURCH-that has the power to make laws binding upon the conscience, binding before God, binding under the pain of hellfire. Take, for instance, the day we celebrate-Sunday. What right have the Protestant churches to observe that day? NONE WHATEVER. You say it is to obey the commandment, ‘Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.’ But Sunday is not the Sabbath according to the Bible and the record of time.
Everyone knows that Sunday is the first day of the week, while Saturday is the seventh day, and the Sabbath, the day consecrated as a day of rest. It is so recognized in all civilized nations . . . . It was the Holy Catholic Church that changed the day from Saturday to Sunday, the first day of the week. And has not only compelled all to keep Sunday, but at the council of Laodicea, AD 364 anathematized those who kept the Sabbath and urged all persons to labor on the seventh day under penalty of anathema.
Which church does the whole civilized world obey? Protestants call us every horrible name they can think of-anti-Christ, the scarlet-colored beast, Babylon, etc., and at the same time profess great reverence for the Bible, and yet by their solemn act of keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the power of the Catholic Church.
Monsignor Louis Segur, in Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, page 213, 1868 adds: “The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is the homage they pay, in spite of themselves, TO THE AUTHORITY OF THE [CATHOLIC] CHURCH.”
In The Catholic Extension Magazine, May 22, 1934, Editor Peter Tramer made this remark:
We also say that of all Protestants, the Seventh-day Adventists are the only group that reason correctly and are consistent with their teachings. It is always laughable to see the Protestant churches, in pulpit and legislature, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in the Bible.
Protestant churches list various New Testament Scriptures to prove that the New Testament first day of the week is a day of rest and worship. An examination of these texts shows otherwise. In every case they prove Sunday to be a regular workday. In fact, there is no text in the New Testament that refers to Sunday as the Lord’s Day. Please see to our article entitled: Is the Sabbath Commanded for Christians Today?
The Lord’s Day in Revelation
As noted in the third paragraph of this article, the Southern Baptist Convention listed Revelation 1:10 (the only text in the Bible that uses the term, “the Lord’s Day”) as proof that the Lord’s Day is Sunday. Does this text really prove this? John makes this statement: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.” What did he mean? The book of Revelation is prophetic, that is, a forecast of future events from the time of John until the end of time. Was John in a trance on a Sunday, or was he taken by vision into the future to see the various events that are yet to happen?
What is the Lord’s Day all about?
The book of Revelation tells us of events involving the Church. Then we find the seals that reveal impending catastrophes to come upon the earth, the seven trumpet plagues, the two witnesses, the rise of a mysterious beast, the seven last plagues, the destruction of Babylon, the return of Christ, the establishment of the Kingdom of God, and the New Jerusalem. All these events are described as taking place during the Lord’s Day. They refer to the future. Are there corroborating proofs from other Scriptures that indicate this?
What the Day of the Lord Portends
Many passages refer to the Lord’s Day. In the Old Testament it is called “The Day of the Lord.” It does not allude to a day of assembly and worship. It describes a time of horror and fear to come upon all nations, a time when God will take a direct hand in the affairs of men. For 6,000 years God has kept a hands-off policy in dealing with mankind. Aside from the Old Testament nation of Israel, which failed to live up to His requirements and what He is presently doing with His Church, God has allowed men to go their own way and to learn the lessons of sin and rebellion. But that will change when the Day of the Lord begins. So, what does this day, or time period, portend?
Let us notice some of the prophecies:
Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? (Amos 5:18-20)
Many have no concept of what will really take place at this time. They do not realize that what will occur should not be desired, though it is absolutely necessary to bring about peace and happiness on this earth.
The Apostle Paul wrote:
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (Heb. 12:5-11)
This is what is going to happen to this world. And this is why we are warned: “Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests” (Zeph.1:7). Rather than anticipating a time of feasting and rejoicing, it is a time of sober reflection, a realization that the time is coming when God will deal with this world in the only language it seems to understand-force and power!
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. (Joel 2:1-2)
The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness. (Zeph. 1:14-15)
Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. (Isa. 13:6-8)
The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? (Joel 2:11)
What Will Take Place
During the Day of the Lord
Even when the Day of the Lord begins, millions will not be aware of what is about to happen. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote to the brethren in Thessalonica: “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thess. 5:1-3). There will be signs, however, to indicate that the time is near. “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come” (Joel 2:30-31). It is the time for international reckoning with the nations. The world is warned: “Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD, Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come” (Joel 1:14-15).
Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low. . . . And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. (Isa. 2:10-12, 17-21)
During this time period the nations of the earth will be brought together for the final battle-the battle of Armageddon.
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. (Joel 3:14-16)
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. (Rev. 16:13-16)
Jerusalem will be the focal point of this struggle.
Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives . . . . and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. (Zech. 14:1-5)
Though the nations will foolishly fight against Christ, they will not prevail. “And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth” (Zech. 14:12).
Why the Day of the Lord?
Some say, ” Surely a loving God would not bring such destruction and punishment upon the world.” What many do not realize is that this world is not God’s world. God has given control of it to Satan, the Devil (Matt. 4:8-9). It is Satan’s world (2 Cor 4:4, Eph. 6:12), and it is an evil place (Gal 1:4, 1 John 5:19). Not until His second coming will Christ take control of it (Rev. 11:15). When most people hear the word “sin,” they have little concept of how it relates to them and how deeply the world is ensconced in it. They have not been told what sin really is. The Bible defines sin as the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). This means violating God’s commandments in both the physical and spiritual aspects. The Bible tells us that all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). People hear the phrase, “Christ died to save sinners,” yet few know what this really means. What it means is: Christ died because all of us have sinned. He was willing to take the legal penalty of the law upon Himself so that when we repent, we can be forgiven.
But we are living in a world today that refuses to repent of sin-the transgression of God’s Law. Unless God intervenes, this world will destroy itself. Jesus warned: “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive, Moffatt translation]: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matt.24:22). Today, there is only one language this world understands-the language of power. Jesus will come with all power (Matt 28:18).
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Rev. 19:11-16)
The world has rejected God’s message of love and repentance. Instead, men, in their arrogance, assume that by their own means they can bring about a one-world government, a government that will bring peace to the world. Only in their dreams! “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” (Isa. 57:21).
Here is why the Day of the Lord is coming:
For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low. (Isa. 2:12)
Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. (Isa. 13:9)
For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood . . . . (Jer. 46:10)
Even the Apostle Paul foretold the time when God would punish His enemies. Paul wrote: “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:7-8)
During the Day of the Lord the heathen nations will be judged for their sins. Many professing Christians do not realize that it is a crime to preach Christ in many of these nations, and those who do face prison terms.
For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen. (Ezek. 30:3)
For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. (Obad. 15)
What does this great and terrible day presage?
For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many. (Isa. 66:15-16)
For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. (Mal. 4:1)
The Scope of the Day of the Lord
The Day of the Lord signals the beginning of those events when God will intervene in the affairs of men. He has not done so directly for many generations. But that will change. What takes place when Christ returns is not the final judgment upon the wicked, however. The Day of the Lord includes the events leading up to the return of Christ, the resurrection of the righteous, the establishment of the Kingdom of God, the reward given the saints, and the final judgment upon the wicked. The Day of the Lord lasts for more than 1,000 years. Paul instructed the Corinthians to look forward in rejoicing to that day when they would receive the promises from God. “As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus” (2 Cor. 1:14). Here Paul clearly refers to the resurrection and the reward for faithfully serving God. At this time the saints will rule with Christ for 1,000 years (Rev 20:4).
But when the thousand years are over, what will take place?
The Apostle Peter tells us what the Day of the Lord includes:
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. (2 Peter 3:9-13)
Few realize the extent of sin in the world and how God views it. It is ruinous, and if not checked will eventually lead to the destruction of all human life. Scriptures reveal the time period called the Day of the Lord will bring a halt to all this, and will establish the Kingdom of God on this earth. There is only one weekday Christ said was His. “And He said . . . The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath” (Mark 2:27-28). As acknowledged by Roman Catholic advocates, that day is not Sunday. It is Saturday, the seventh day of the week-the only day God set aside for worship. Sunday is never called the Sabbath in the Bible. It is referred to as the first day of the week and is always a workday. Revelation 1:10 does not refer to Sunday. It refers to “the great and terrible day of the Lord.” We would do well to heed the facts of history and the Bible prophecies, and to show respect to God for what He has made plain in the Scriptures. Israel of old was sentenced for Sabbath breaking (Ezek. 20:13, 24-25). Will we be?