You have the opportunity to help usher in a whole new age!
The Feast of Tabernacles pictures the — soon-coming 1,000 years of peaceful rule over this earth by Jesus Christ. It will be the time we often refer to as "the wonderful world tomorrow." Christ will return to take up His position as supreme King over the whole earth. Those "dead in Christ" will be resurrected to spirit life. And the true Christians who are still alive at that time will be changed into spirit beings to live and reign with Christ. Yes, Christians have a fantastic future to look forward to! But wait a minute. What about their children? And what about teenagers who are associated with God's Church? Since they are not converted and baptized, they are not going to be changed into spirit beings, right? Right. These young people may be the children of Church members. Or they may have started studying God's truth by themselves — perhaps their families are even hostile to God's Church. Many of you reading this article right now may be in just such a situation. Does God care about young people? And if so, just what does He have in store for them? You need to know!
The coming world tomorrow
When Jesus Christ returns, true Christians will be changed into spirit beings to reign with Christ as kings and priests (Revelation 5:10). So what does that make their children? Well, the children of kings are known as princes and princesses! So likewise, the children of true Christians can look forward to being looked up to and honored on the human level by other humans. The same would apply to young people who are seeking to learn God's will, but whose parents will not necessarily be in the first resurrection. And what a wonderful society it will be under Christ's rule: no sickness, no crime, no pollution, abundant crops, perfect weather patterns, no wars, no armies, no hostile animals, happy families. But if you are a member of God's Church today, have you stopped to realize that that wonderful world tomorrow, that perfect society, is not for you? That's right — the world tomorrow is not really for members of God's Church. It really is for our children. The members of God's Church will then be spirit beings. We'll be part of God's Family, assisting Jesus Christ in governing and teaching that perfect world. We will see to it that Christ's instructions are carried out to the last detail. But we will not be the ones to do the physical building of that society, nor will we be the ones to benefit most from the ideal physical environment. The actual restoring of the old wastes, the planting and reaping of bumper crops and the building of beautiful homes and cities will be carried out by humans. And the teenagers from God's Church are destined to be among the leaders and beneficiaries of that society. In Zechariah 8:23 God talks about that time: "In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, 'Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.'" When other people at the beginning of the Millennium find out that a teenager's father or mother is now a member of the God Family — when they discover that the teenager attended God's Church or studied the Church's teachings in this age — then they will look up to that teenager to show them the way. Those teenagers who strive now to learn God's way are then going to be in high demand! The surface of this earth will be dramatically changed. Mountains will be brought low. Land will appear in many areas now covered by oceans. Deserts and polar ice caps will become fertile and habitable. The surface of this planet will receive an incredible face-lifting. And then God will need thousands to be pioneers! Have you ever envied the pioneers of yesteryear — like Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, Vasco da Gama, Captain James Cook and David Livingstone, to name just a few? Well, the achievements of the pioneers of tomorrow, who are being trained today, will pale into insignificance anything accomplished in past ages. Farmland will have to be opened in new areas where no human has set foot. With Christ's guidance, cities are going to be built that would boggle the minds of today's architects and town planners. Industries and commerce need to be developed in ways that are foreign to today's economists. Some will have to set the example in establishing happy family units that practice God's way of life. Some will have to set the example by living in accordance with all of God's health laws. With guidance from God, thousands of inventions are just waiting to be "discovered." Recreational activities will not be based on competition, vanity and laziness as they are today. Trendsetters will be needed!
A unique opportunity
Adam rejected God's ways. Since then humanity has been cut off from God. Today's teenagers are the first generation in the history of this world with the opportunity to build a perfect society. No generation since Adam has had that chance. That's a big responsibility. God is very selective in the foundation He builds. The teenagers associated with God's Church today are being offered a part in that foundation. God is not going to make any mistakes. So teenagers in God's Church are being tested as to whether God will be able to use them. Let's face it: Today, young people who try to live God's way face many tests. Peer pressure to conform to the world's standards seems at times impossible to overcome, especially in such matters as dress, personal appearance, drinking, smoking, drugs and sex. Often the teenager may be the only one in the whole school who knows about God's truth. To reject the ways the other kids do things means to be rejected by them, and none of us want to be rejected or ostracized. Yes, it's often tough. But it boils down to this: Either they seek the approval of other kids by being just like they are, and face a future without hope — or young people seek God's approval and possibly face a certain amount of persecution, but they then look forward to pioneering God's way of life in the incredible future. When Daniel was taken to Babylon, he was only a teenager. When pressured to compromise his observance of God's standards, he and three other young princes resisted. God blessed these four teenagers and they became leaders in the empire of Babylon. You can read the whole account in chapters 1 and 2 of the book of Daniel. Solomon wrote, "Even a child is known by his deeds, by whether what he does is pure and right" (Proverbs 20:11). Solomon further wrote that there is a purpose for everything, including trials (Ecclesiastes 3:1). In past ages God sometimes protected whole families because of the obedience of one member of that family. For example, Noah's wife, his three sons and their wives were all spared from the Flood because of Noah's obedience. But it won't work like that in the time just ahead. Of that time God says, "'Though Noah, Daniel and Job [three men known for their right living] were in it [this end-time society], as I live,' says the Lord God, 'they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness' " (Ezekiel 14:20). So young people are not going to have opportunities for leadership positions in the world tomorrow simply because of how their parents have lived. When a teenager's parents come into God's Church, the teenager already is familiar with many of this world's ways and attitudes. Through his parents he now receives access to positive teaching from God. He also has access to a certain amount of shielding from Satan's influence. This is what the Bible refers to as being "sanctified" or "holy" (I Corinthians 7:14). The decisions at first are strictly the parents' — it wasn't the teenager's idea to come into the Church. But somewhere along the line, as the teenager gets older, the decisions must become his or her own. He or she must show God a real desire for God's way of life. And each time he or she makes a right decision, the young person draws a little closer to God. For the teenager who starts to study God's truth on his own incentive, without parental involvement, the whole process may even proceed at a faster pace.
The need to qualify
God is soon now going to establish a whole new society, and He will use thousands of young people to pioneer in every area of life. So God is looking for teenagers who, like Daniel, don't bow to peer pressure. He needs those who can swim against the stream. He wants those who are prepared to live by His laws and who don't apologize for their high moral standards. And He wants teenagers who look upon hard work as a challenge. Teenagers, you are standing at the brink of a new age! God plans to use you to pioneer a perfect society. What a mind-boggling challenge! That is God's goal for you. How will you respond?