|Now friends, if there’s any authority at all for observing this day, we’ll certainly find it as we look at this final reference. So let’s read in Acts 20:7, 8. “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.” All right, let’s pause there for just a moment. Here, as I mentioned a moment ago, we have the only record of a religious meeting being held on the first day of the week. Now if there’s any authority for Sunday-keeping we’re going to have to find it right here in this text. So let’s look at it carefully and let’s look at it honestly.
First of all, it says that they broke bread on that day. Now does the breaking of bread mean that the day was holy and that they were observing it as some Sabbath or sacred occasion? No. In fact, we read in Acts 2:46 that those early disciples broke bread daily. That fact does not imply that it was a holy day at all. If it was, then every day was holy because they surely broke bread daily in the early church. In this instance under consideration, Paul was having a special farewell meeting before going on up to Jerusalem. The people realized that they would never see Paul again alive. In Acts 20:25 he told them that he had the witness of the spirit, that he would see their faces no more. So this was a very, very special occasion for him to be with his people, the people whom he had brought to Christ, for the last time. This explains why Paul preached to them all night long. Certainly that is not a procedure that marked the regular worship services of that day. But, anyway, he preached right on up to midnight. Then the young man was killed, and he continued preaching afterward until the very break of day.
Now let’s ask this question at this point. When did this meeting take place according to our method of reckoning time? As most of you realize, the Bible method of measuring the day is from sunset to sun-set and not midnight to midnight. Our way is a pagan method which came in after the days of Jesus. The evening and the morning were the original elements of a day, as you’ll find in Genesis, chapter 1. Please refer to Leviticus 23:32 and you’ll read there that the Sabbath is to be observed from even unto even, or from evening to evening. When does the evening begin? If we can find that, we’ll know exactly when we should begin keeping the Sabbath. The answer is found in Mark 1:32. “And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased.” Now there it is. The evening is at sundown. And if you’d like to have further evidence on this point, just read Nehemiah 13:19, Joshua 10:26 and 2 Chronicles 18:34. In other words, that day, the Sabbath began at sunset and ended at sunset. And the first day of the week began at sunset and ended at sunset. The first day begins at the time we call Saturday evening, at the going down of the sun on Saturday evening, and it continues until the going down of the sun on Sunday evening. That constitutes the first day of the week.