Have you ever wondered why there are seven days in a week? For instance, it is easy to see why there are 24 hours in a day, because light and darkness set themselves in 24-hour cycles. The number of days in a month is determined by the lunar cycle. It takes approximately 30 days for the moon to orbit the earth. The number of days in a calendar year is determined by the solar cycle, how many days it takes for the earth to orbit the 584 million miles around the sun. For example, if you put a stick in the sand and watch the shadow it casts every day at noon, it will take 365 days to return to its original position.
But there is no heavenly pattern or cycle to support a seven-day week. If you divide 365 days by seven, you do not have an equal number. There is a remainder of one, and this is why June 3rd can be on Monday one year and on Tuesday the next. Wouldn’t it make more sense to make a week five days? It would divide evenly into 365 days as 73 weeks per year. This would be much more logical and workable and would make scheduling things simpler, such as annual events, holidays, vacation, and payroll calculations.
Why 7 Days in a Week?
After World War II, the League of Nations (now the United Nations), led by Soviet Russia tried to change the world to a five-day week, but they failed. Why did Russia want to change it? Because Communism denies the existence of God, and there was a time when everyone knew the verse: “The Lord God made the earth in six days, and on the seventh day he rested.” Every time we start a new seven-day week, we are testifying to the existence of God as Creator! There is no logical reason for a seven-day week, but there is a very important, indispensable, theological reason: God created the earth in six days, and He called the seventh day His! According to the 4th Commandment, God said:
“Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shall not do any work; nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy servant, nor thy cattle…. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11). (Sabbath means rest.)
God designed man to rest at least one day out of seven, and when we circumvent God’s design, we pay for it. After a while, the body begins to break down. Moreover, the people of the Bible were agricultural people, and without modern inventions, they were dependent on their animals to do much of the labor. God also wanted the animals to have a day of rest, or they would have been worked to death. The same held true for their servants (employees today). They too needed a day of rest. If God had not ordained the Sabbath and made it a law, many servants and animals would be overworked by greedy owners and employers.
Honoring God’s Sabbath is not a matter of legalism; it’s a matter of honoring God as our Creator by giving Him His day of worship, and by giving proper rest to our bodies, which are the temples of God (Ref.: 1Cor.3:16-17, 6:19-20). Christians who ignore this commandment to give God His day are disobedient and cheat themselves of God’s blessing.
I have great respect for S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, who closed his restaurants on Sundays so his employees could have a day of rest and attend church services. I once heard him relate how when he first wanted to open a restaurant in a mall, the mall management did not want to rent to him, because they would only receive a percentage of six days’ revenue instead of seven. He confidently assured them they would not receive any less revenue from his restaurant’s six days of sales than those who were open seven days. They agreed, and it turned out their revenues not only met, but exceeded that of other restaurants that were open seven days. The message is clear: Give to God what belongs to Him, and He will amply bless the rest of your week and your finances too!
Christian TV Church
Recently, I saw a post on social media about missing church on Sundays: Most commenters were nonchalant about it. They figured as long as they watched a church service on Christian TV, they were okay, and God is okay with it too. They felt they were being fed sufficiently, and missing church on Sunday is not a big deal. I thought to myself: How selfish! So they feel perfectly satisfied with their personal state of spirituality—but what about their responsibility to bring forth their measure of increase to the Body of Christ? What about ministering to others? Paul said: “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves” (Rom.15:1).
“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him…. That there should be no schism in the body; that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1Cor.12:18, 25-26). You can’t do this sitting at home in front of your television.
Christian TV provides a wonderful spiritual uplift for those who are physically unable to get out to church. There are people who are shut-ins who would love to attend church, but they can’t—I know—I was one of them at one time. After incurring a severe back injury and subsequent painful surgery, I was home-bound and often bedridden. What I wouldn’t have given to be in church! How I missed the House of God and the corporate anointing of the assembly of the saints! I would weep in my longing to be in church. At that time, Christian TV was a spiritual lifeline for me. I was so fragile physically, emotionally, and also spiritually, as I battled a great warfare of my faith. I lay in bed reading my Bible and watching Christian TV, and my spirit was comforted, strengthened, and armed with truth. For such situations Christian TV is a Godsend. But it is not meant to be a substitute for church for the able-bodied. They are commanded to be in God’s House to exhort and inspire others.
Watching Christian TV and videos for the believer is like taking vitamins and minerals, of which I am a hearty partaker. I see a benefit in my body when I take them. But they are meant to supplement a person’s diet—not to be a substitute for food. If you try to live off of just taking vitamins and don’t eat regular food, you will become malnourished, evenly sickly. God designed the body to be sustained by eating the foods He created and blessed for our diet. And He designed our spirits to be sustained by the fellowship, mutual exhorting, and hearing of the Word in the corporate church assembly. In this setting, the Holy Spirit can order up specialized meals for those present in that service as He moves by His gifts and anointings.
Provoke One Another
“Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see that day approaching” (Heb.10:24-25).
One of our most important functions as members of the Body of Christ is to provoke one another. This means, of course, we must be in the assembly of the saints to perform this function. Being out of church prevents us from exhorting others and being exhorted by others. This is a trick of the enemy to keep us from hearing an inspired word of the Lord which may be the very word we need to prepare us for a coming attack. God always prepares us beforehand, but when we skip church, we may miss an exhortation designed to forewarn and forearm us.
After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples who were holed up behind closed doors. Their hopes were dashed; their faith was smashed; and they were scared and miserable. They were “assembled for fear of the Jews.” All the remaining disciples were there except for Thomas. In the midst of their despair, Jesus appeared and said, “Peace be unto you. As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” Then He did something marvelous: He breathed on them and said: “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” Instantly, they were transformed and filled with joy! Later Thomas showed up, and they told him everything. What an irony, the very one who most needed it, had missed the very experience his doubting, double-minded spirit needed, because he was not present at “the assembly” (John 20:19-25).
I can tell you, I have seen this happen hundreds of times: A powerful message came forth over the pulpit that was exactly what those in a battle needed to hear, but they were not in church to hear it! When you ask them why they were not in church, they answer, “I’ve been in a battle.” HELLO? That’s when you really need to be in church! When you’re in the battle, and your faith is being fiercely tried, staying home then is playing into the hands of the adversary.
The Greek word for provoke—parachumos is used both in the positive and negative sense. Generally, we take it to mean a negative action, but it actually has a powerful positive meaning. para: to come alongside of, and chumos: to sharpen. In church services, we sharpen one another spiritually; that is, with our individual gifts and experiences in the Lord we inspire, encourage, uplift, and strengthen one another. We incite one another in a good sense—“unto good works.” The Wiseman said: “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” (Pro.27:17). Paul said, speaking of the Body of Christ which is the church:
“From whom (Christ) the whole body fitly joined together, and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Eph.4:16). To edify means to build up, as in building an edifice. We are God’s building, and when we all are in our places, bringing forth our personal measures of love, encouragement, as well as the expression of our gifts, we are edified individually, and the whole Body increases spiritually, and ultimately in souls.
Moreover, Paul said that as we see the signs of the end time increasing and the coming of the Lord drawing near, we should assemble together “so much the more” to exhort one another. In the rest of Hebrews Chapter 10, this includes: Warning against sin in light of the coming judgment and vengeance of God; encouraging one another that the losses of this life are temporary and cannot compare to the eternal rewards of Heaven, and exhorting one another to keep the faith:
“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense of reward. For you have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, you might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry” (Heb.10:23-37). This is a balanced meal, which you are unlikely to receive on Christian TV in this day of sugar-coated, lopsided preaching.
How Do You Spell Sunday?
God said that the Lord’s day, which the New Testament church observed on Sunday in honor of the Resurrection, belongs to Him. It is the firstfruits of our week, and God always gets the firstfruits of everything. We are to come into His house on His day to worship Him. It is not a day for us to stay home and clean out the garage, wash the cars, paint the house, entertain guests, and have a cookout. To skip church to do these things is to rob God of what belongs to Him, and He is a jealous God. We are to enjoy the Sabbath rest, including spending time with families and friends, but not in place of giving God His portion.
It occurred to me that perhaps we would be more mindful that this day belongs to Him if we were to change the spelling from Sunday to Sonday!