Why do churches meet on Sunday? The churches in the New Testament met on the first day of the week. Luke reported this is the common practice of churches of Christ (Acts 20:7). However, is this passage all the Bible speaks about meeting on the first day of the week?
The Lord’s Day
The apostle John revealed, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” (Rev 1:10). This Lord’s Day is not the Day of the Lord’s coming evidently or the Book of Revelation would have been too late and it would not have been written because John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day. On this “Lord’s Day,” John heard a loud voice behind him like a trumpet, and it was the voice of Christ telling John to write a book and send it to seven churches of Asia (Rev 1:11). When John turned around, he saw the One who looked like the “Son of Man” in the midst of seven lamp stands. This “Son of Man” is the one whose voice sounded like the roar of many waters and from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword. John described him as a man in a long robe, a gold sash around his chest, and he shined like the sun in full strength. The man identified himself as “the first and the last” and “I died, and behold I am alive forevermore” (Rev 1).
In the Midst of Lamp Stands
What is significant that Christ is in the midst of the seven lamp stands? These seven lamp stands are the seven churches of Asia (Rev 1:20). Christ was in the midst of the churches on the Lord’s Day. “In the midst” is from Greek phrase en meso, which is also found in Matthew 18:20, where Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” Paul also refers to the gathering of the saints as being in Christ’s name (1 Cor 5:4). In Revelation 1, John has presented that Christ was in the midst of the churches on the Lord’s Day. The Lord’s Day is the day of the assembly.
The Day of Assembly
Furthermore, the Greek word for “Lord” for “Lord’s Day” in Revelation 1:10 is the adjective kuriakos. This adjective is found only one other place in 1 Corinthians 11:20 referring to “the Lord’s Supper.” The churches in the New Testament only partook of the he Lord’s Supper when they gathered together. These descriptions identify again that the Lord’s Day is the day of the assembly in which Christians partook of the Lord’s Supper. A day known by all Christians especially those of whom Christ writes to in Asia Minor. The command for the assembly and the Lord’s Supper clearly include the Lord’s Day. Which day is this?
The First Day of the Week
Luke reported, “And upon the first day of the week when the disciples having been assembled to break bread,” (Acts 20:7a). The first day of the week was the day of assembling of the disciples to break bread. The apostle Paul described this breaking of bread as the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 10:16). Paul described the assembly as when Christians came together to eat the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 11:33; cf. 11:21–22). This is the Lord’s Day for which John wrote.
Christ rose on the first day of the week (Matt 28:1; John 20:19). Jesus met with the eleven on this day (John 20:19). Jesus blessed the bread for the Lord’s Supper on this day (Luke 24:30, 35). The Church established on the Day of Pentecost which was on the first day of the week (Acts 2:1; cf. Pentecost Lev 23:15–16). The churches collected to aid other churches in need on this day (1 Cor 16:1). The Scriptures repeatedly record that the day of Jesus’s resurrection was on the “third day” (Matt 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; 27:64; Mark 9:31, Luke 9:22; 13:32; 18:33; 24:7, 21, 46; Acts 10:40; 1 Cor 15:4).
The Lord’s Day is the first day of the week for the assembly in Christ’s name. This is the day of the assembly to partake of the Lord’s Supper, and on this day, Christ is in the midst of His churches. When must Christians assemble? If anyone loves Christ, they will assemble on the first day of the week (John 14:21, 23; 1 John 5:3; 2 John 6). The apostle Paul exhorted, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together [the assembly], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Heb 10:24–25 ESV).