The snow was piling up outside the classroom window, and I had nothing to do but watch it. I usually had music class right after lunch, but today I was sequestered—along with two boys who were Jehovah's Witnesses—away from the rest of the second-graders while they practiced for the annual Christmas program. Missing the candy and songs at our Halloween party was still fresh in our minds.
"I'm sick of this!" I told the boys. "We miss all the fun, and these stupid holidays aren't even real. Why does everyone keep them?"
"But everybody thinks they're real," one of them explained. "That's why they do it."
"Well, when I rule the world, no one will keep them," I answered. "We'll do things my way then." One major point of understanding—the fact that I would be assisting Jesus Christ in His role of King of Kings—momentarily eluded this power-hungry 7-year-old.
"And I will be in charge," I added. "The Bible says so."
However, that time didn't come in second grade. Or in third or fourth. When I entered middle school, missing parties and cupcakes was replaced by skipping Friday night dances and my team's Saturday volleyball tournaments. It seemed that observing God's Holy Days and Sabbaths made me miss out on too much fun. By high school, the idea of sitting at home while my friends were at football games and proms was just too much.
Late one Saturday afternoon, after we came home from church services, I told my parents that I would not be going back with them the next week. They told me that they were disappointed, but knew they couldn't force their beliefs on me.
"Oh, it's not that I don't believe what you believe," I told them. "I'm just sick of missing all the fun on Friday nights and Saturdays."
That didn't sit well with my father. "You know, even if you don't go to church anymore, it doesn't mean we're going to help you get to places on Saturday," he said.
"But that's the whole point!" I whined.
My mother tried a different approach. "You know, if you didn't believe in the Sabbath, that would be one thing," she said. "But if you believe what the Bible says is true and ignore it anyway, that's a real problem."
"Why?" I retorted. "Well, the Bible says that God has no forgiveness for those who understand His way of life but choose another path," she explained.
I thought about this prospect. "So then what would happen to me if Jesus Christ returned?" I asked.
As usual, my mother answered gently. "Those who obey God's law will rule with Christ for a thousand years after His return," she said. "And those who died without ever understanding His laws or even hearing of Christ will have their opportunity after the Millennium. God will deal with the rest of the people later. He is the only one who knows what's in their hearts and could know what they really understood," my mother told me.
I sat in silence for a while. As far back as I could remember, I had always known that I could help rule the world after Christ's return. But I hadn't really thought about what I had to do to make God's promise a reality. Revelation, the book that explains the most about that time, looked like a good place to start.
I didn't have to read too far. Just a couple pages in, Revelation 2:26 Revelation 2:26And he that overcomes, and keeps my works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
American King James Version×says God will give power to those who keep His works until the end.
Hmmm. Since the end hadn't come yet, I guessed that keeping His laws was still a requirement. And it made sense. I knew that God would require people to keep His laws and Holy Days in the Kingdom. I knew this because I remembered hearing a scripture about Egypt being cursed for refusing to attend the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:18 Zechariah 14:18And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, with which the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
American King James Version×). Jesus had said in the Gospels that God's law was still in effect, and if it was required back then, and required in the future, I knew it was required now.
A few books back, 2 Timothy 2:12 2 Timothy 2:12If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
American King James Version×backed up my conclusion: "If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us."
That sounded pretty scary, a lot worse than staying home during some Friday night football games. I decided to look up one more verse—one about God's other promises for the Kingdom. In Luke 18:29-30 Luke 18:29-30  And he said to them, Truly I say to you, There is no man that has left house, or parents, or brothers, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,
 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
American King James Version×, Jesus told His disciples that they would be rewarded for the things they had to give up in order to obey Him: "There is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life."
That settled it. To follow God, others had obviously missed out on much more than I had. I hated to admit it, but I'd rather have given up a dance than my brother, even when he asked me to drive him to the movies.
The next morning, I told my parents that I would be going to church services with them the next Sabbath and promptly forgot about our conversations and my study until the next Feast of Trumpets. But when the minister read the passage about meeting Christ in the air, I smiled inwardly. I was glad I'd made the decision that gave me a chance to assist Christ in ruling the world. Then, maybe we could even have football games after sundown on Saturday night.
If you'd like to learn more about what days we should observe, be sure to download or request our free booklets Holidays or Holy Days: Does It Matter Which Days We Keep? and Sunset to Sunset: God's Sabbath Rest. VT