Study 3 OUR UNSAVED LOVED ONES
by Francis Dixon
Key Verse: “How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?” (Esther 8:6)
About 475 BC, Queen Esther asked the burning question that forms the key verse of this study. She was referring to her own people, the Jews, who were in very grave danger. A decree had been signed that all Jews were to be put to death - look up Esther 3:13. Esther was horrified, and filled with concern for their deliverance. Her words have something solemn to say to us, for:-
1. Some who are near and dear to us are in very great danger.
Esther spoke of the destruction of her family. What is the spiritual condition and position of our loved-ones who are not Christians? Take your Bible, and you will discover that they are:-
- Lost - Luke 19:10; 2 Corinthians 4:3.
- Perishing - John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9.
- Condemned - John 3:18; 1 Corinthians 11:32.
- Under God’s wrath - John 3:36; Romans 1:18.
- Spiritually blind - 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 4:18.
- Spiritually dead - Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13.
- Without… God… hope… Christ - Ephesians 2:12.
Their present condition and their future prospect are terrible indeed - look up John 8:21,24. If our unsaved loved-ones die in their present condition they die in a state of separation from God, from Christ and from Heaven. This is what Jesus taught and what the Bible teaches. Look up 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, and apply these words to those whom you love who do not yet belong to the Lord. It was the thought of the actual danger that her people faced that caused Esther to cry out in an agony - Esther 8:6. Do you feel like that about your loved-ones who are not Christians? Surely, bearing in mind their desperate need:-
2. We should feel a deep concern for the salvation of our loved-ones.
Esther did. She cried, “How can I bear… ”? It was almost more than she could bear. Indeed, from Esther 4:16 you will see that she was willing to die if need be in order that her people might be saved from destruction. What a tremendous love and compassion filled her heart! - compare Exodus 32:32 with Romans 9:1-3. When our loved-ones are in physical danger we are immediately filled with a great concern for them. Do we have any concern in relation to their greatest need, the need for their soul’s salvation? After all, our bodies are only temporal, but our souls will never die - look up Mark 8:36-37; Revelation 20:12-15. How is it with your brothers …sisters… children? Are they Christians? If not, have you any real concern for their salvation? Do you in any sense say with Queen Esther, ‘How can I bear …the thought of my loved-ones being separated from God in eternity when I, through His grace, will be enjoying the blessings of my heavenly home?’ If we have any concern for the salvation of our loved-ones, surely we shall need to do something about it in a practical way:-
3. Concern for our loved-ones should lead us to do something for their salvation.
When Esther realised the danger her people were in, she went into action in three ways. Her concern showed itself in her determination, her intercession and in the co-operation she sought for their deliverance. These are the three ways in which we are to go into action for the salvation of our loved-ones:-
- DETERMINATION. Esther resolved to give herself no rest until her people were saved. How wonderful it would be if every Christian with unconverted relatives were filled with a holy determination like this! This resolve to help her people gripped hold of the Queen! Here is something you can do: make a list of the members of your family and friends who do not, as far as you know, belong to the Lord, and pray daily for Him to work in their hearts.
- INTERCESSION. Esther went into the presence of the king and pleaded for him to release her people. Look, for example, at Esther 8:5. The king had the power to deliver the Jews, so Esther asked him to do it. Here is a picture of a Christian going into the presence of the King of Heaven to plead for the salvation of his loved-ones - look up Romans 10:1. This is what you must do with your prayer-list: pray systematically and believingly for each relative by name. Will the Lord deny such a prayer? - look up James 5:17.
- CO-OPERATION. Esther and her uncle Mordecai worked together for the salvation of their people. We must do the same. We can work together by prayer, as we are encouraged to do in Matthew 18:19, and we can also work together by practical effort, as illustrated in Mark 2:1-5. Why not write a letter to some of your Christian relatives and friends and ask them to join you in prayer and in other practical ways for the salvation of the members of your family circle who are not yet Christians?
Whenever Christians determine to pray and co-operate for the salvation of the members of their own family, the Lord will lead them, step by step, into the ways and means for bringing those loved-ones to the point of decision. Do not limit the power of God or the ability of the Holy Spirit to perform mighty miracles in answer to prayer. At the same time, do not forget that the Lord may be waiting to perform these miracles through your determination, your intercession and your co-operation.
In concluding this Bible study, look up Psalm 126:6; Galatians 6:9, and notice how wonderfully Queen Esther was rewarded - Esther 8:16.