Why did Adventists separate from Protestants and worship on Saturday?

Questions & Answers April 6, 2018

Q: What made the Adventists separate from Protestants, and why do they worship on Saturday while Protestants worship on Sunday? — Martin, via Samsung Mobile

A: Martin, thank you for your question. First of all, Seventh-day Adventists are Protestants, and always have been. As Seventh-day Adventists, we have no creed, other than the Bible itself. We believe and follow the Protestant practice of Sola Scriptura — the Bible and the Bible only. And it was this Bible principle that led us into the understanding of the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, which outlines many important events that are soon to take place. These events are described in detail in Revelation 12 to 14, including a description of God’s people at the end of time.

According to Rev. 14:12, “They keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” That includes the Biblical Sabbath — Saturday — which Jesus, and all of His apostles kept. 

In Luke 4:16 we read this about Jesus: “And as His [Jesus’] custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.”

In the book of Acts, which details the early Christian Church, there are many references about the Apostles teaching and preaching on the seventh day Sabbath. Here are just a few:

  • Acts 17:2: “Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures.”
  • Acts 13:42-44: “So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.”
  • Acts 16:11-14: “Therefore, sailing from Troas, we [Paul, Timothy, and Silas] ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days. And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.” 
  • Acts 18:4: “And he [Paul] reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.”

If you would like to learn more about the Sabbath, I encourage you to check out this Bible study guide from It Is Written.

Today, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the only truly worldwide and unified Protestant church actively working in more than 200 countries, with more than 20 million members. Every Sabbath, our church family gathers around the world to worship God and experience the special rest and fellowship He alone provides on the day that He blessed and made holy (see Genesis 2:1-3). And we invite you to join us. You can find a Seventh-day Adventist Church by using our church locator\ at adventist.org/en/utility/find-a-church/