As a teen in God’s Church, I always loved it when our local pastor, Mr. Wilbur Malone, would speak about the Sabbath day and how special it is. He would begin by talking about Moses and the burning bush, which is still one of my favorite stories in the Old Testament. The Sabbath, you see, is profoundly special, and this account shows us why that is. It is, in fact, special for the same reason that you are special.
All of the things in the list above—the Sabbath, the burning bush and you—are designated in your Bible as holy. Have you ever thought about how it is that a day could be holy? In Which Day Is the Christian Sabbath?, Herbert W. Armstrong gave a powerful explanation for why God had designated the area around the burning bush as holy—and that it was God’s presence there that made it holy!
“The ground a mile away was not holy.Why did it make any difference whether Moses took off his shoes—or where? Here is why! The ground where he then stood was HOLY. He was required, by God, to treat holy ground with a respect he did not treat other ground.
“And why? Well, what made that particular bit of ground holy? God’s very presence was in that ground! God is HOLY! God’s presence in that bush made the ground around it holy!”
Moses responded to God’s presence with great humility and reverence; Mr. Armstrong showed that Moses’s profound respect for what God had designated as holy qualified Moses to represent God Himself before Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel through the Red Sea.
In the context of the Sabbath day, Mr. Armstrong also clearly defined what it means for something to be holy:
“Notice further! Also He ‘blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it’! What does ‘sanctified’ mean? Look in your dictionary. It means ‘set apart, for holy use or purpose.’ He set apart this day from other days—set it apart for holy use—for a day of physical rest, in which His people may assemble and worship God!”
Just as God designated the area around the burning bush as holy—set apart for His special purpose—He designated the seventh day of creation, the Sabbath day, as holy (Exodus 20:8).
We observe the Sabbath day every week, and you know how special it is. But have you considered that you are special for exactly the same reason the Sabbath day is special? You are so special to God that He designates you as holy—set apart for His special purpose. “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy” (1 Corinthians 7:14).
Toward the end of his life, Mr. Armstrong was moved to write to the brethren and co-workers about how important the young people in God’s Church are. “I want you to realize what an important part of God’s Work this [referring to the Church’s youth programs] is,” he wrote in a Jan. 15, 1984, co-worker letter. “The Kingdom of God is the Family of God into which God’s Church shall be born. God Himself is a Family—the God Family. These are children of members of God’s Church. They have access to Christ … whereas those of the world do not! …
“Except God calls and draws them, people in the world do not have access to God! … To others we proclaim the gospel as a witness! But to the children of those called into the Church the Bible clearly reveals they do have access freely to God.”
You have access to God! Do you pray on a daily basis? Do you communicate with God? Or do you let days go by without speaking to Him? God wants to hear from you, and He wants you to hear from Him because He has a special relationship with you—one that He has with no one else outside of this Church at this time. As young people, you are very special to God!
Mr. Armstrong concluded by saying, “Of all those we can reach, these youths of those already in the Church are by far the most important. I feel you never realized that before.” And yet, too many teens and young singles have decided to go their own way and let this special relationship fall by the wayside.
As one of those sanctified young people—the most important group we could possibly reach—you can be led by God’s Holy Spirit today, and you are headed toward a profound choice—the same choice that Adam and Eve had: to take of the tree of life or to take of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you choose the tree of life, fully embracing God’s way of life, and are baptized into the Body of Christ as a member of the Church of God, you will receive the Holy Spirit—the power of God—and take on the very mind of Christ. The May issue of True Education will help you better understand what it will mean for you to have God’s power dwelling inside you—and what a fantastic opportunity you have as a young person destined to be born into God’s Family.