(Photo: Dan Delzell)
If you have not yet trusted Christ to save your soul, a lot is riding on your upcoming decisions. It is not only your soul at stake here. It also involves the souls of your loved ones.
The very fact that you are reading this article means that God is giving you yet another opportunity. He loves you very much. He loves your relatives very much. If you don't reach them with the Gospel, who will?
The Bible tells believers, "Snatch others from the fire and save them." (Jude 23) But what about unbelievers? Can unbelievers snatch their relatives from hell? Only if they first see to it that their own soul gets saved.
Parents have the influence to lead their children to heaven or to hell. Parents who lead their children to heaven do it intentionally. Parents who lead their children to hell do it unintentionally. Make no mistake about it. Your decision about Jesus will reverberate throughout your entire family for generations to come. You can become the link that leads some of them to heaven, or you will make decisions that do nothing to get them off the path to hell.
Many believers and unbelievers have some things in common. They love their family members. They want their family members to be safe and secure. They would never want their family members to be left all alone in a burning house with no one there to rescue them.
Christians know some things that produce a heavy load on our hearts and minds. Christians know that heaven and hell are real places and people go there forever. This is why you likely have known some Christians who have expressed a strong desire for the well-being of your soul. You may have even wondered, "Why are they taking this so serious?" Let's be honest about it. They have been much more concerned for your soul than you have been, right?
If you are apathetic towards Christ and your need to be saved from sin and hell, then you are in grave danger. AND....your relatives are in grave danger. It's not all about you. It's about them too. If you don't wake up spiritually and then go back into the house to snatch them from the fire, they will likely remain in harm's way.
If you are an unbeliever, this is what I am saying. Your rejection of Christ is hurting your family every bit as much as it is hurting you. Christians love you and your family. We would be hypocrites to sit by and watch you race toward hell and not try to warn you. We want you and your relatives to come with us to heaven. We want you and your relatives to experience a loving relationship with Jesus in this life too. We cannot sit by and say nothing. That would be completely selfish and uncaring on our part.
Here is the deal. Jesus shed His blood to pay for your sins. God commands you to repent of your sin. (Acts 17:30) He has the right and the authority to make such a command. He also has the love to forgive your sins if you will trust Jesus to cleanse you with His blood. That is why He died on the cross. To save you. And then to have you help your unsaved relatives get out of that burning house and experience salvation. You can only assist your relatives while they are living. At the moment of their death, their eternal destiny is sealed.
Can unbelievers snatch their relatives from hell? Only after they first come running out of the burning house and trust Jesus. If you die in your unconverted state, you will be eternally condemned to hell. And your relatives will not have the benefit of your prayers and your witness for the salvation of their souls. You didn't ask for that "burden" to be put on you, anymore than Jesus asked for the weight of the cross to be placed on Him. It is what it is.
If you are a believer, then you NOW have an incredible opportunity to reach your unsaved loved ones? Have you come to terms with how critical this need is for them? God loves each one of us. He will help us to be "firefighters" for Him. Our prayers and our Gospel witness will be used by the Holy Spirit to snatch others from the fire and save them. Can you think of a higher priority for those who follow Christ?
I began this article by referring to your "upcoming decisions" if you are an unbeliever. Here is one of them. Your decision in this moment will bring you close to Jesus, or it will make your heart even harder toward Him. That's the thing about the Gospel. When it gets presented, people are never the same. You can't remain the same. You get bitter or you get better. Just observe how one of those two outcomes will manifest itself in your life every time you say "yes" or "no" to Jesus.