The Bare Soul - January 22, 2012
Household Evangelism

Acts 16:31 - They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Many believers have taken the words of Paul to heart regarding God's promise to save one's household. While some might suggest this is applicable to only the Philippian jailer's situation, there are many other scriptures which affirm God's desire for us to lay hold of this promise for our own families. Some of us may have seen this pledge fulfilled in a brief amount of time for our our next of kin. Others (including myself) may have seen certain of our loved ones turn to the Lord, while others continue to languish in their sin. If anything, the ones we continue to pray for seem further from God rather then coming closer to Him. While this can be frustrating as a mother, father, brother, sister, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, and so on, we must not lose heart. As stated, there are numerous scriptures telling us to persevere in our belief for their conversion and ultimate salvation. A good source to help us further understand and grow in faith toward this promise is ScripturePromises.com. (You might want to print the following and reference it often when praying God's word back to the Lord regarding your family's salvation: http://www.scripturepromises.com/promises/family.pdf.)

We should not falter regarding our hope of salvation for our loved ones. To do so is to disregard the power of God's word concerning what He states in scripture. If we cannot rely on what the Lord has told us, then where is our hope? Nonetheless, as previously suggested, we still often falter in our belief because we "see" differently than what God's word states. "Johnny" at one time at least listened to what you had to say about the Lord and His wonderful love, but now you find he is either completely indifferent or possibly even hostile to the mention of Jesus Christ. "Lucy," on the other hand, may have once been totally self-consumed in her own hedonistic pursuits, but now is pursuing mysticism of a new age variety. This consumes you with worry, knowing she has fallen for a cleverly devised plan of the angel of light to steal her soul. These are just two examples of how "seeing" with our physical sense seeks to rob us of seeing with our spiritual eyes. No matter what we "see" happening in the lives of those we love, we must continue to stand upon God's word. His desire is infinitesimally greater than ours for their salvation. We must agree with Him and His word, no matter what we see, knowing those whom we love will one day share eternity with us.

Which leads us to an extremely important point to grasp and to ultimately embrace with our entire being. What if their salvation is wrought at their dying breath? Are we content to allow them to continue through this temporal life only to be saved on their proverbial death bed? Poignantly, can we trust God to save them as we continue to believe? I am of the opinion that many souls have been lost to the evil one and his domain because loved ones have given in to unbelief. For instance, "Uncle Charley" has never given any indication of wanting anything to do with Jesus. However, we must never discount the power of the Lord to save souls such as his during their last mortal breath. Or possibly, those previously mentioned have become so discouraged over "Johnny" and "Lucy" not giving their lives to the Lord and sharing the rest of their temporal lives with them as Christians, they have therefore all but given up on any possibility of the Lord saving them. We can often become so fixated on desiring their lives to change upon this earth, yet we disregard how this life is but a vapor which appears for a little while and then vanishes away (James 4:14). We must come to a place of resolution, determining that if we never share in the joy of  our loved one's salvation in this lifetime, we will indeed have all eternity to rejoice in their eternal redemption. That's why we cannot depend on what we behold with our mortal senses regarding their salvation. We must believe with godly tenacity for no other outcome than the certainty of their eternal life.

David tells us in Psalm 27:14, Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD. We must allow our hearts not to falter in unbelief, but through the promises of God, permit our hearts to grow in faith and courage that our loved ones will indeed accept God's great gift. His eternal love toward them and through us will provide perseverance even when we stumble in our faith. However, we must confess our sin of unbelief as we renew our minds with God's promises for their salvation. As we do, He will continue to transform our hearts to accept the inevitability of their redemption as the final outcome. Beloved, we must wait upon the Lord and His timing, even if it means we don't share in their changed lives in this world. However, we must understand and believe that we will dwell with them in all eternity as we all join together in praising God for His mercy to bring them to His eternal home. May God give us the grace and faith to believe Him for all those whom we hold dear to our hearts!

Heavenly Father, help us to never surrender to unbelief for our loved ones. Give us hearts that are resolute to the end, believing You will honor the promises of Your word, telling us to believe for the salvation of those whom we love. May You increase the faith and resolve of all who pray this prayer, knowing you will complete this in Your way and Your timing. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

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