Maybe you know about the covenant God made with Abraham in Genesis 17:7. But have you ever noticed that God included Abraham’s children in it? This is interesting because at the time that God made this covenant with Abraham, he did not yet have any children. God included them anyway: “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed …” (verse 7).
Why did God include Abraham’s children in this covenant? Children are often overlooked by self-absorbed people, but they are not overlooked by God—because God is creating a God Family! He wanted to make Abraham’s physical family thrive and expand physically, just as He wants His Family to thrive and expand spiritually. God cares about family, about children—about you.
“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). Children of true Christians are considered “holy”—set apart and sanctified by God. If one or both of your parents has entered into a baptismal covenant with God, you are in this category: a child who has been set apart by God Himself!
Perhaps you weren’t even born when your parents were called—you weren’t around to agree or disagree with the terms of the covenant. Nobody checked with you about it. Perhaps you have gotten into a negative attitude about this situation from time to time. Maybe you haven’t liked being so “set apart”—so different from the people around you.
If that is the case, consider this: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44). God called your parents. They didn’t initiate the call, but they valued it, and they answered it, entering into a wonderful, rare covenant with God.
But what if 1 Corinthians 7:14 said: “[T]he unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: notwithstanding, your children are still unclean. They are on their own”?
It would never read that way because God cares so much about children and family! If a child has just one believing parent, God sets him or her apart. Although the vast majority of humanity is cut off from God, God gives these special children the choice to have a relationship with Him. Your cousins, neighbors or schoolmates may talk about God, but they do not know the real God. Churches, preachers and billboards across America and the world talk a lot about “God,” but they are not worshiping the true God.
“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Revelation 12:9 says Satan has deceived the whole world. Millions of people talk about God, but they are actually talking about the god of this world—Satan. They are deceived and blinded. They have not had a chance to know the great God yet, but you do!
Since you were born to a dad or mom who has entered into a covenant with God, you are in a different category from the rest of the deceived world. You have access to the one and only true God! You do not have to be deceived by Satan’s lies. You can get down on your knees, bow your head, and literally come before the throne of God the Father, with Jesus Christ sitting at His right hand. You can ask for help from the Creator of the universe!
This means you can ask Him to stop the class bully who is making your life uncomfortable. You can ask Him to send you a friend—a sincere, honest friend—whom you can have fun with and get close to. You can ask Him to protect you and guide you when you go out into a deceived world, so you can enjoy and learn from as many profitable experiences as possible—and be safe doing so. You can ask Him to open doors of opportunity for you and your family—blessing your parents with better income, if needed, and helping them learn how to make your home and family more enjoyable and loving.
You can ask God so many things, and He will answer—because He has set you apart. You have an open door to God! You have access to God through prayer, through your parents, through His Church and through reading His Word. He will show you truths in the Bible. As you mature, God’s Holy Spirit will begin to work with you as you submit to Him and try to please Him with your attitude and actions. If you were like almost every other young people across the planet, you wouldn’t have this open door to the true God.
Satan is presenting another way of life to you, however. Almost everyone else lives this way. Satan is clever and extremely good at deceiving.
Movie critic Michael Medved observed, “Even if you see people doing things you know to be horrible, you know to be irresponsible—if the people are pretty enough, those things look attractive. Those things look desirable. The whole emphasis of the media is on the eyes—on the eyes connecting with the heart, connecting with the emotions.”
If you watch a handsome actor or a beautiful actress steal things from other people, commit adultery, swear, or even commit murder or other horrific acts, the god of this world and the people he inspires can make those acts look appealing. He can make things that are undeniably wrong look good. Satan knows you have been sanctified by the Almighty God and that you are special to Him. He wants to kidnap you away from your loving Father—so he dangles some candy to coax you into his car.
This presents you with a choice: Either love God’s way of life, mature, enter into your own covenant with God, and be born into God’s own Family and live for eternity, or live a way of life that is pleasing and exciting to your physical senses here and now, and don’t think about the rest.
Look at the world and view it objectively. You might see some inviting and appealing aspects. But you also see things that are terribly wrong with it. The glamour and sparkle can never cover up all the unfairness, pain and suffering. If you look at the whole picture honestly, it proves who the god of this world is.
So, which god do you choose? Is it worth it to please your senses, to let your emotions go, to plunge into whatever entertainment you want, to experience the fun now and the consequences later, to take your chances with the kidnapper?
Or, is it worth it to submit yourself to your Father and live a set-apart way of life now? Is it worth looking forward to 1,000 years of bliss in a society where the Father and the Son will show mankind how to build a happy and prosperous world? Is it worth it to make it into a world where that lying, deceitful, hateful, kidnapping god will be locked away?
The Millennium will be a thousand years of a joyful and excitement-filled life. But, as you know, the Millennium isn’t here now—you have to wait and work for it.
It is like someone is offering you $1,000 today, but you have to break some bones and lose some friends to get it. Someone else is offering you $100 million, but you have to wait 10 years for it. Which would you choose?
Many young people in the world today will discipline themselves and work hard for four years in high school in order to receive a scholarship for college. Some young people restrict their lifestyle and practice self-discipline so they can be promoted to a high-paying job or an office of responsibility like an ambassador. Some rare young people are selected by a powerful businessman or political leader to receive a fantastic career, a huge upgrade to their social life, and a massive financial reward—they just have to be devoted to him and follow his instructions closely for six or seven years.
Wouldn’t you be willing to do these types of things if you knew the reward was well worth it?
Well, these examples are chicken feed compared to what God is offering the rare few of you! He wants to give you eternal life as His son in the Family of God! Talk about an awesome career, an exciting social life and a high office!
Young people, God has not overlooked you. He has given you the sanctification, the open door, the green light. Don’t waste it!
God made that covenant with Abraham, but Abraham couldn’t see it, feel it or hear it. It wasn’t happening right at that moment. What he could see was the neck of his son Isaac. What he could feel was the weight of a sharp knife in his hand. What he could hear was God’s order to take that knife and sacrifice his precious son.
That was not appealing to Abraham! Satan offered Abraham something much more appealing: Disobey. Save your son’s life. Walk away from all this, and do what you feel is right for you. But Abraham ignored that deceiver. He trusted God and obeyed Him (Genesis 22:1-19).
Because Abraham obeyed, Isaac was spared, and he benefited greatly from Abraham’s covenant with God. Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, did too. Today, Abraham’s seed—you—still benefits from that covenant. And we haven’t even gotten to the Millennium yet, when the fun really begins.
The God of Abraham has set you apart and given you a chance to have a relationship with Him. Take advantage of that opportunity. It is not a temporary high with an inevitable crash. It is something He alone has to give: everlasting life! It is life without side effects—life filled with joy, love, enrichment and purpose.
Thank God for this opportunity. It is an opportunity because you are given a choice: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).