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Vincenzo Gallina, 29, speaking with Adventist Mission near Lisbon, Portugal, where he was attending an Amazing Facts School of Evangelism program. (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)

​German Surprised After Praying for Sabbath Sign

“Yes, I am not keeping the Sabbath,” Vincenzo said to God. “But is it really that important?”

By Andrew McChesney

Vincenzo Gallina, a 20-something IT specialist in Germany, couldn’t comprehend what was happening.

One global crisis seemed to be followed by another global crisis — 9/11, European financial turmoil, Crimea, a migrant crisis.

Something was wrong. Vincenzo wondered whether the world was ending. He struggled to understand politicians’ seemingly illogical decisions. He looked for answers on YouTube. He returned to the church of his childhood.

Vincenzo didn’t only attend the usual Sunday worship services. He also went to services on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Church leaders were impressed with the young man’s interest in religion that they tried to convince him to become a priest. Vincenzo declined. He was only looking for answers to global events and trying to live a holy life.

As he searched, he embraced three important principles in his heart: to follow the truth no matter where it led; to be honest with others and especially to himself; and to act the way that he spoke.

As he read the Bible, he became frustrated. He didn’t understand what he was reading. One night, he prayed desperately for God to send someone to explain the Bible.

“God forgive me for I am too stupid to understand Your Word,” he prayed.

Finding Doug Batchelor

The next time he browsed YouTube, he stumbled across a sermon by Seventh-day Adventist evangelist Doug Batchelor. Something clicked in his mind as he listened. He liked that Doug Batchelor used the Bible to back up everything that he said. Soon he was watching five Doug Batchelor videos on YouTube every day. His mind was like a dry sponge, absorbing new knowledge.

Convinced that the seventh day is the biblical Sabbath, he began to attend an Adventist church in his hometown, Cologne, on Saturdays. He wanted to worship the Creator God. He wanted to prove the devil wrong in saying that it is impossible to keep God’s commandments. He wanted to follow the truth wherever it led and to be honest.

Because he was still living with his parents, he found it difficult to live a holy life. His parents did not pray before meals, and he heard the television playing on Sabbath. Doubts entered his mind about the importance of keeping the Sabbath as he pondered Jesus’ words in Mark 2:27, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (NKJV). He remembered Paul saying, “You are not under the law but under grace” in Romans 6:14.

He stopped keeping the Sabbath.

One Friday evening after sunset, Vincenzo was working on the computer and he sensed a voice say, “You know, you are not keeping one of My commandments.”

Vincenzo remembered his principle about being honest to others and himself.

“Yes, I am not keeping the Sabbath,” Vincenzo said. “But is it really that important?”

He returned to his work.

“You know, you are not keeping the law,” the voice said. “What you are doing is not right.”

“But is it really so important to keep this day?” Vincenzo said, picking up his dark-green Bible from the table. “Didn’t Jesus say that the Sabbath is made for man? Aren’t we no longer under the law?”

The voice wouldn’t stop.

Praying for Help

Finally, Vincenzo prayed for guidance. He knelt and, with the Bible in his hand, asked God for a clear answer.

“Do You want me to keep the Sabbath?” he prayed. “Is this day important to You? I need help in making this decision.”

He thought that he needed to create an opportunity for God to answer. Looking down at the Bible in his hand, he decided to open it at random and accept whatever answer God gave.

Vincenzo closed his eyes and opened the Bible. Opening his eyes, he read Isaiah 58:13, 14, which says, “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the Lord.”

Vincenzo started to cry. He could not continue working after receiving an answer like that. He turned off the computer and opened the Bible.

Since then, Vincenzo has had no doubt about keeping the Sabbath. He returned to church on Sabbath morning and, now 29, he has kept going ever since.

Vincenzo Gallina describing the Friday night when he asked God whether it really is important to keep the Sabbath. (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)