I flew up to Orr, Minnesota again to speak to the second contingent at SEP — Summer Educational Program.
This winds up the second camp session at Orr for the summer of 1979. I found this second group of teen-agers slightly larger than the first contingent, to which I spoke three weeks before. This SEP program is a wonderful thing. It brings the teen-agers (12 to 18) into an activity that definitely increases their interest in the activities of God's Church.
I spoke on a subject that will appear as an article in the September GOOD NEWS.
It involves a whole new program in the church, bringing our young people and still younger children into a far greater relationship than before with their parents.
I am exuberent, enthusiastic and vitally interested in the new YES (Youth Educational Service) program now being launched in the church. It works in conjunction with the YOU program. But I feel it is even far more important. So much so that I am bringing both YOU and YES programs directly under my own personal direction and supervision, and the leaders of both will work directly under me, and in close personal touch with me.
By way of brief summary of my message this last Sabbath at Orr: There were more than 600 there altogether, including teen-age campers, crew, and about 100 visiting parents, since these youths will be returning home about Wednesday this week.
I put emphasis on the fact that God Himself has a very special interest in children of all ages — from infants on through teen-agers.
What the world does NOT know is that God, at the creation of MAN, set a definite Master Plan for reproducing Himself — a Plan that definitely involves the entire FAMILY as the basic unit of society. God's Great Master Plan includes children from infancy to adults.
As God's renewing of the face of the earth — recorded in Genesis, verses 2 through 31, and even into following chapters — took place in seven literal days (including creation of the Sabbath day), and since a day is as a thousand years to God, and a thousand years as a day, so those first seven days represented the 7,000 years of God's Master Plan.
When God drove Adam and Eve out from the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:22-24), He said, to put it in modern language, "YOU have made your own decision, for yourselves and all humanity that shall he born from you. YOU have rejected my government. You have rejected me as your God and Savior. YOU have rejected me as Revealer of basic knowledge. Therefore I SENTENCE YOU AND ALL HUMANITY to be CUT OFF FROM ME FOR SIX THOUSAND YEARS — EXCEPT FOR THE VERY — FEW I shall specially call, for special service preparing for the KINGDOM OF GOD, which shall begin after the 6,000 years. GO form your own knowledge, form your own gods and religions, form your own governments over nations. You will NOT be cut off from Satan, and therefore he will sway you in all you do into HIS WAY of vanity, lust and coveting, jealousy and envy, competition and strife, rebellion and destruction."
This present evil world resulted.
God did call a few. He called Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses and, though He denied them His Holy Spirit except for the prophets, the nation Israel. He sent Christ. He has called a comparatively VERY FEW into SPECIAL SERVICE preparing for the KINGDOM OF GOD — and these have formed GOD'S CHURCH!
Jesus said plainly and emphatically, "NO MAN CAN come to me, except the Father.. draw him" (John 6:44). No man CAN. Except for those specially called for special duty, all humanity has been CUT OFF from God! God has NOT, as yet, been trying to GET THE WORLD "saved."
But the children of those called are SET APART in a SEPARATE CATEGORY. This is BIG NEWS, not heretofore been taught in God's CHURCH!
In I Corinthians 7:8-9, Paul addresses THE UNMARRIED and widows. In verses 10-11 he addresses THE MARRIED! In verses 12-16 he addresses "the rest." Who can that be? The context explains.
"If any brother hath a wife that believeth not (Verse 12), and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away." A church member CANNOT divorce a non-church member, so long as that non-church member is willing to keep the marriage intact. Too many of our people are getting "liberal" at this point! The same is true of a believing wife who has a non-believing husband. As long as they can live in reasonable peace, THERE CAN BE NO DIVORCE!
Now verse 14: "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife." What does that mean? Not made "sanctimonious," but put in a SEPARATE CATEGORY — although non-believer, such non-member husband is NOT CUT OFF from God. Verse 16: "For what knowest thou, 0 wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband?" He is not converted, but he is NOT CUT OFF — meaning he CAN come to Christ IF WILLING:
Now notice verse 14 again: "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified" (put in a special category — not necessarily called, but NOT CUT OFF — free to come to Christ IF HE WISHES!) Continue: "else were your children unclean" — that is, CUT OFF from God like other children are! "But now are they holy." Or, in other words, the children of a believing parent are SET APART, in the sense that THEY ARE NOT CUT OFF FROM GOD as are other children!
It does not mean they are converted. Just that they are NOT "cut off" from God — the believing parent can TEACH THEM, and when they are mature, hopefully they may be converted.
THIS IS THE GREAT NEWS!
Children of even one converted parent may be TAUGHT by that parent, to offset Satan's reaching them through the human spirit within them.
THIS ALSO PLACES A RESPONSIBILITY ON GOD'S CHURCH, and on ALL PARENTS IN THE CHURCH to work with our children from babyhood until adult!
THIS IS A WONDERFUL TRUTH. The YES Program is going to definitely help in this regard.
Those at Orr last Sabbath received this Message with elation — parents as well as teen-agers! 1 am personally enthusiastic about it!