One cannot deny a large body of evidence concerning the Sabbath found in the Old Testament. Not only is there a number of references, but they are strict directives from God to absolutely remember and keep the Sabbath Day holy. One of the Ten Commandments is to keep the Sabbath holy by not doing any work. (Ex 20:8-11) Without an understanding of Grace and Jesus Christ's granting us release from the law, one would automatically be inclined to feel constrained to keep the Sabbath. This is where many get off track.
We have to remember the Sabbath law is different from the others because it was not duplicated in the New Testament. There are many civil, judicial, and levitical laws that are not intended to be transfered to the New Covenant. The laws intended for us today, including all moral laws, are mentioned 'again' in the New Testament. For example, Jesus Himself re-affirms the moral laws with His own lips. (See Matthew 19:18-19, etc.) In no place in the New Testament are we commanded to keep the Sabbath. This commandment Jesus willfully left out. What is more, Jesus broke the Sabbath (John 5:9-16) healing and working on the Sabbath day. He did so with intent - that we may know He is Lord of the Sabbath. (Mk 2:27-28) Jesus came to fulfill the law and not create more of them! Man couldn't keep the ones he had at the time. Get this...when you have Christ, you have fulfilled the obligations of the law. When Jesus died, He in effect nailed the 'ordinances' - or the laws of man (non moral)- to His cross. (Col 2:14) Thank God we do not have to kill a lamb for a sacrifice, nor wash at a laver, nor keep the Sabbath, nor build railings on our roof, nor a thousand other laws. I must mention that we are bound to keep the moral laws (no murder, adultry, idolatry, etc) which are mentioned again by Christ.
The Sabbath is about rest, of course. But it is more about completion. When God made the heavens and the earth in six days and then rested on the seventh...it was not because God was tired and needed a break. It was to signal that creation was complete! The sabbath is only a type or shadow of things to come. The anti-type or reality is Christ. The ceremonial religious law were to lead us to Christ. They were our school-master to take us by the hand and lead us to Christ. We are not to worship the School master! Paul wrote and said, "We are complete in Him...." (Col 2:10) We are not made complete through law-keeping. All of that revealed how incomplete man was without Christ. We fulfill the Sabbath when our lives are made whole or complete in Christ.
In Isaiah 28:11-12, we discover a prophecy of the Holy Spirit. It was prophecied to be accompanied with stammering lips and another (unknown) tongues. The fulfillment of this at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-) was and continues to be the fulfillment of this prophecy. Notice what else it says about the Holy Spirit. "This is the 'rest' wherewith you may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing:" Wow! Again we find the fulfillment of the Sabbath rest in Christ and experientially in the Holy Spirit. Hebrews 4:3 states, "For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, 'As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world." Verse 8 goes on to bring further light to the coming Holy Spirit. The rest was ultimately fulfilled in the Holy Spirit. At last, read the 9th and 10th verses. We are to cease from works. Sabbath keeping is a work. It is something we do. But when you enter into Grace...you cease from works! What a revelation!
Finally, I want to bring Paul's instruction into view. It does not matter as to which particular day one sets aside for worship. (Romans 14:5) Paul admits there are some folks who are bent on worshipping on a particular day. It may be that he even included those Jews still bound to the O.T. law. In either case Paul establishes that we shouldn't quarrel with them necessarily. Leave them alone and let them worship in their own way. "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." Certainly Paul is saying, 'It is the worship that is important and not the day.' God receives it if given on Monday or Friday.
The problem with Seventh Day believers, like with other legalistic groups, is that they infer, if not outright declare, that you are 'not' saved if you do not adhere to Sabbath worship. Many Seventh Day Adventist's follow the writings of Ms. White with more tenacity than the words and life of Christ. This is the rub. If one wants to exercise certain disciplines of their own accord and as part of their worship, they should have that right. If some want to refrain from wearing jewelry, watching TV, eating pork pizza, wearing red ties....more power to them! But just don't attempt to use the Bible and declare that all pizza lovers are going to hell! Those who worship on Sunday are not violating the Bible. Born again believers who have Christ are keeping the Sabbath, the rest, each and everyday in their hearts. It feels so good to be free!!!
PS. There is a growing number of people leaving Adventism and other legalistic groups. Let's pray for them as doing so requires much fortitude. Let me hear your comments.