Study 7 WINNING OUR LOVED ONES
WINNING THE LOST TO THE SAVIOUR
by Francis Dixon
In the four Gospels there are many instances where parents or friends brought their loved ones to the Lord Jesus and asked for His help. We see one example in Mark 5:22-23, 35-43, where a father was concerned for his child who was dying, and where the Saviour granted full restoration to the child.
Are we concerned for the salvation of our loved ones? They are far more needy in a spiritual sense than this child of twelve years of age, for they are not dying, but are dead already - look up Ephesians 2:1. Have we faith in the Lord’s power to give them eternal life, or are we full of unbelief, like some in the story? Are we pleading to the Lord for them, as the father pleaded for his child?
This subject should appeal to us all, for all have loved ones or friends who are not Christians. It is our privilege and responsibility to pray and work earnestly for their salvation, and in a special sense they are ours to win. What qualifications are required to win these loved ones?
1. There must be A POSITIVE FAITH
We must believe it is God’s will to save them. Sometimes, when folk have been praying for loved ones for a long time without seeing any results, they have said, ‘Perhaps it’s not God’s will to save them!’ Well - it is God’s will to save them, as we see from the following scriptures:
- Read about NOAH in Genesis 6:1-8, 13-22, and then notice 7:1 and the words, ”…and your whole family.” Then compare 7:7. It was God’s will to save the whole of Noah’s family.
- Think of ABRAHAM, and read Genesis 18:17-19, and notice verse 19 and the words, ”…his children and his household” - that is, his whole family.
- Turn to Exodus 12, and read of the institution of the PASSOVER, and notice verse 3 and the words “… a lamb for his family” -that is, for each whole family.
- Read about RAHAB, in Joshua chapter 2, and notice verse 13. Then compare Joshua 6:23-25, and note the words in verses 23 and 25.
- Take the case of JOSHUA, and see what Joshua 24:15 says.
- Read LUKE 19:1-10, and notice in verse 9 the words, “… this house” – that is, this family.
- Read JOHN 4:46-54, noticing verse 53 and the words, all his household.
- Read ACTS 10:24,44; 11:14.
- Read ACTS 16:13-15 – “… of her household.”
- Read ACTS 16:30-34.
- Now turn to ACTS 18:8.
- Finally, look up and compare John 3:16; 1 Peter 2:24; 2 Peter 3:9.
What convincing evidence we have in the Word of God that the Lord desires whole families to be saved! Our first step towards winning our loved ones is to have a positive faith in God concerning His desire for them - look up 1 John 5:14-15.
2. There must be a DEEP CONCERN
We must feel concerned for these souls, and if we are not concerned the remedy is two-fold:
- Begin to pray for them regularly and definitely, and concern will soon come.
- Read in the Bible about their spiritual condition and imminent danger - in John 3:18; 3:36; and Luke 16:19-31. To read what God says about them will surely give us a concern for their salvation.
3. There must be A PURE MOTIVE
What is our motive for wanting our loved ones to be saved? If it is a selfish motive then our prayers will not prevail, for our asking will be with wrong motives (James 4:3), and our efforts will be in vain. We should long for the salvation of these loved ones first and foremost in order that our Lord Jesus may be glorified; but if we want them converted so that they will be easier to live with, or for some personal satisfaction alone, then that is not a pure motive.
4. There must be a CONSISTENT LIFE
Compare Luke 8:39 with Mark 5:19; we must ’show’ before we begin to ‘tell’; in other words, our lives must tell before our lips begin to tell; what we say must be backed up by what we are. The most powerful factor that the Holy Spirit will use for the salvation of our family is our Christ-like living day by day in the home, and especially in the difficult situations of life. Look up 2 Kings 4:9.
5. There must be A DETERMINED EFFORT
We must work for the salvation of our loved ones. We must be willing to speak to them (Psalm 51:15), to take them to some place where they will hear the gospel faithfully proclaimed (Luke 4:16-19), and we must seek the prayers of others on their behalf (Matthew 18:19). When we really begin to put ourselves out to win them they will be impressed by our concern and earnestness, and thus a channel will be opened through which the Holy Spirit will work.
6. There must be a SPIRITUAL CONFLICT
When we set out to win a soul from Satan’s bondage (Ephesians 2:2), we shall find that he is resisting us at every turn; he is very reluctant to release those whom he holds captive (2 Timothy 2:26), and never does so without a bitter struggle. It is particularly as we pray for our loved ones that we shall find ourselves up against the powers of darkness - but prayer is our most powerful weapon! Look up Ephesians 6:12, and remember that we may be “more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
7. There must be A GLORIOUS ANSWER
Yes - there must be! If we are faithful along the lines suggested above, the answer to our prayers will surely come - perhaps gradually, perhaps suddenly. Nevertheless, our desire will be granted and our prayer will be answered, and the miracle that is recorded in Acts 16:34 will be repeated for us.