Is the Sabbath Worth Keeping?
One Man’s Story
Marc Forsyth openly declared his hostility to God as a teenager. His father had died when he was 13, and with no one to stop his hell-bent path, he lit up with tobacco, alcohol and marijuana. Soon he was using heavier drugs and committing burglaries to pay for his addictions.
At 18, Marc landed in jail for the first time. This “adult time out” did little to redirect his path. “I was bitter. I just wanted to be back out in the world,” Marc recalls.
When he got out, Marc moved to another city and left the drugs behind. This time he sought fulfillment in a woman. Two children and a couple stints in jail later, she left and Marc found himself raising his kids alone. “God was convicting me and I started taking my kids to a non-denominational church,” Marc says. “I got a Bible and began carrying it to work with me. God also convicted me about alcohol and tobacco, and I gave those up cold-turkey. But I had anger issues and I was struggling with pornography and lust.”
“Lord, What Is the Truth?”
His anger got out of control in 2010 and put Marc back in jail. This time, it was the turning point he needed. He studied the Bible with a different church group each day. “I got seven years of Bible knowledge in one year of jail,” he laughs.
Yet as he studied Scripture with these different denominations, he began to notice that the doctrines they taught did not all line up with the Bible. “Many of them based their teachings on just one or two Bible verses,” he explains. “I saw that they were taking things out of context. I was praying, ‘Lord, you are the way and the truth. I want to know the truth. What is the truth? These can’t all be the truth.’”
One denomination was different – the Seventh-day Adventists. They brought in magazines and books from Amazing Facts that were easy to read and understand. “I saw that they were using the whole Bible to teach the truth.”He gladly accepted the truths he learned about the state of the dead, prophecy, the Sabbath, and health. “Most of us in my circle of friends rededicated our lives to God in the Seventh-day Adventist church while we were in jail,” Marc recalls. “We were witnessing to our cell mates, praying for each other. I was sharing the Amazing Facts booklets with others. My mind was blown. I wanted people to know the truth. I was on fire going around the jail pod.”
The Key to Abiding in Christ
Marc got out of jail after a year and started attending a local Sunday-keeping church where he met and married his wife Lindsey. “I didn’t really want to let Sunday go,” Marc explains. “I kind of had one foot in the world and one foot not. I kept making excuses for working on Sabbath, eating meet, etc. I was justifying my decisions, but I knew, deep down, that I wasn’t following God completely.”
His struggles with temptation continued and “I began to wonder if I was really abiding in Christ,” Marc explains. “I told my wife, ‘maybe I need to go back and start keeping the Sabbath again.’”
Then the pandemic hit and with it came an opportunity to watch church online. Marc and his wife, Lindsey, began watching Pastor Doug Batchelor from Amazing Facts together on Sabbaths. “My faith started growing again and I tried to teach Lindsey what I knew.” The family also switched from watching regular TV to watching faith-based programming from Three Angels Broadcasting Network.
Not long afterwards, they discovered that the White House Seventh-day Adventist church in Tennessee was near their home. They watched online and were impressed with Pastor McKenzie’s Biblical sermons. Before long they were attending in person. About the same time, Marc left his job because of harassment he was receiving for being a Christian.
For three weeks Marc looked for a new job that would allow him to have Sabbath’s off. “Our faith was tested during that time,” says Lindsey. “He’d never been out of work for this long before and we wondered whether he should really insist on not working on Sabbath.”
Then one Sabbath after potluck, he told the pastor about his need for work. They prayed together that God would lead Marc to the right job. “Just a couple of days later, I got a new job,” Marc smiles. “And there are no Sabbath issues at this job! God provided exactly what I needed!”
Keeping the Sabbath has not been all easy for Marc and Lindsey. Their six kids are having a difficult time adapting to Sabbath keeping. The devil’s temptations and attacks have increased. But their faith remains strong, and they are committed to keeping God’s Sabbath regardless of the difficulties. “I’m so thankful that God is faithful and keeps working with us,” says Marc. “He kept working the sanctification process in me, even when I wasn’t following everything I knew.”