That They May Be Saved

Any Christian who shares the heart of God to see all people saved has special concern for friends and family members. We all have people we care about who either have never obeyed the gospel or, if they have, are now not living in fellowship with Christ and his church. Many times such people have a hard time appreciating the concern of one who wants more than anything to see them right with God. While most anyone would be grateful to one who kept them from stepping into the path of an oncoming truck, some often fail to make the transfer from physical danger to spiritual danger. They may meet any expression of concern for their soul with irritation, indifference or even anger. How do we deal with such people? Do we keep right on telling them what they need to do as if we will not take no for an answer? Do we decide we’ll have nothing more to do with them? Do we maintain a polite relationship, being careful to avoid talking about the Bible or Christ and his church? These approaches are neither right nor effective. But don’t throw in the towel. Instead we should focus our attention and efforts on the following three keys that will help bring people or bring people back to Christ.

              First, we need to set the right example. In 1 Peter 3:1-2 the apostle tells the wives who have husbands that “do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.” The principle applies to more than the husband and wife relationship. Those lost loved ones that we want to reach need to see Christ in our lives. Jesus is appealing all by himself. We need to make sure that others can see him through us as through a window. This happens when we maintain a positive and happy disposition. This happens when we don’t allow troubles to turn our world upside down. Such a life paves the road to Jesus. It gives credibility to the gospel. It allows people to see that this faith we want to share is not just for the hereafter but for the here and now. Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven,” (Matthew 5:16). So be a window through which they can see Jesus not a brick wall that obscures him.

              We also need to offer appropriate encouragement. Peter’s instruction above that the lost “may be won without a word” must not be misunderstood. He is advising against nagging and depending only on words. But the wise Christian will be alert for opportunities to encourage others to consider the things of God and come to Christ. We can do this with an invitation to come to church or with the gift of good Christian books. If we’ve set the proper example there will probably be times when these folks we love will seek us out for some guidance or a shoulder to cry on. Such times should be used to direct them to God and his Word. A word of caution is needed here. While it would be ineffective to turn every conversation into a religious one, don’t let that make you mute. Do not apologize for having a concern for that person’s soul and expressing that concern. God has given words by which people must be saved (Acts 11:14). Sooner or later folks have to hear them.

              We then need to sustain our endurance. If we believe that a right relationship with God is the most important thing in the world; if we believe that God and Satan, heaven and hell are real and that all these folks we love so much will have an eternal destiny of one or the other, then we will endure. We will bring their names regularly before God because “the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16). We will keep our attitudes kind and Christ-like and sincerely apologize when we fail. We will be content to leave all judgment to the righteous mind of God. And we will keep on ‘till Christ calls us home.

 Brad Fry

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Published in: on March 8, 2011 at 11:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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