Time is Running Out
Have you ever known someone who passed away and you weren’t quite sure of their salvation? I have, and it always leaves a very disturbing question in my mind: who in my life am I allowing to slip through the cracks? Ask yourself that same question- how many of your co-workers, teachers, acquaintances, friends and even family members are missing out on eternity with God? I’m sure every one of us could name at least one person we are directly/indirectly related to who is not a believer. I think many of us have become either calloused or scared of sharing saving grace with those closest to us, but why is that? Why are we often more passionate about a stranger spending eternity without God, than our own loved ones (or maybe not so loved)? WE SHOULD NOT BE OK WITH THIS!
Is it really that difficult? Just to be clear, I am not claiming sainthood on this one. I can probably safely assume that there are at least a few in my extended family that do not have a living relationship with the Savior. It is frighteningly amazing to me sometimes how little I seem to be bothered about this fact, and I do not believe I am alone in this either. I think there are two main reasons we do not actively try to reach out with the Gospel to those closest to us:
- I believe since we don’t know for sure, we just assume everything is ok. This makes us happy and we don’t have to be the one to “stir up trouble” in the family. Plus, we still have to see them again at the next reunion even if they reject what we say. I live in the most Bible-saturated part of the nation, the south… in what is lovingly referred to as the “Bible Belt”. Because of this, people often just assume everyone knows everything about Christianity and so they must have already prayed for salvation. This is a horrible and dangerous assumption.
- I believe that we don’t know how to approach people who more than likely know the facts, just maybe not the Father. It seems easier to us to tell someone in an undeveloped country, who may not have ever heard of Jesus, the good news of Salvation but much harder to tell someone who has more than likely heard it their entire life (and may actually believe they are saved). There are countless books explaining countless ways to share your faith, but you could even start with the simple “I just wanted to know” type of questions like; “Granny, when did you pray to get saved?” Or, “Uncle Tim, how old were you when you knew you needed Christ?” If you get a deer in the headlights look, that may be your answer as to whether they know Him or not. If they’re all on board with the conversation then you’ll have some wonderful family history to pass on! If these conversation starters feel too presumptuous then maybe the simple question; “Dad, what do you believe happens when you die?” Usually you will get a very telling answer that will clue you into their heart.
It’s hard to think about, but let’s remember that we may be someone’s last lifeline. We cannot begin to know God’s ultimate plan for each individual or a person’s heart… but everyone needs salvation and God only gives us a certain number of chances. We’ll never know how many a particular person has, so we have to act as though they may not get another, and pray that whatever we’re able to share with them on behalf of Christ will take root and lead to saving grace.
“He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” –Acts 4: 11-12 (NASB)