Mike Novotny - How to Talk About Jesus When My Friend's Parents Aren't in Heaven?
I got one of the toughest questions I've heard in a long time the other day. The question was this. "How do you talk to someone about Jesus if you're pretty sure that their parents, who are deceased, are not with Jesus"? Like you might have a friend, a girlfriend, a boyfriend, a roommate, a co-worker that you really want to share the Gospel with, but the people that they know and love the most who have passed on, didn't believe the Gospel. And I'm guessing that the question comes because the question is gonna pop up in their minds too.
What does that mean for my dad? For my big brother? For my best friend? Wait, wait you're saying that if I believe in this book, the Bible, and the things that Jesus said, that they're lost forever? That there's no second chance? That they're separated in a place of darkness and fire where there's weeping and gnashing of teeth? That's a fair question. And if Jesus was right that the road to destruction is wide and many people walk it, and the road to heaven is very narrow and few people find it, then this is a real question for all of us. So what's the Bible's answer? The Bible's answer is this. That it is worth it to save one even if you can't save them all. It's a sad reality that because of the world we live in that's broken by sin that many people don't believe in Jesus.
And many people will take their last breath without faith in Jesus. But God still says it is so worth it to save one even if we can't save all. Do you remember the stories that Jesus told in Luke, chapter 15? He told a story about a lost sheep and a lost coin and a lost son and he kept coming back to this. There is more rejoicing in heaven over just one when just one is found. And so I want you to share the Gospel with your friend. Let the Holy Spirit calm the conscience and overcome obstacles because that person's eternity is at stake. Does it grieve the heart of God that their father died without Christ? It does. And it would grieve his heart even more if he lost another precious soul because Christ was not shared.
So that's real. Be compassionate. Be patient. Weep with those who weep and remember it is only this message that saves. And don't you think that Jesus had to deal with this? He shared the good news of the kingdom not just with little kids who had living parents but with grownups. And in the first century where people died much younger, many of them probably had parents who had passed on. And he comes with a new teaching. A teaching of grace and mercy. A teaching of free forgiveness. That those who humble themselves before God will be exulted. What did his audience think? Now, I'm not sure if they thought about their parents. But I do know this. That Jesus did not let that stop him. He preached with compassion and love.
Let me leave you with an analogy. If there was suddenly a cure for cancer and your friend had cancer and both of her parents had died of cancer and you knew about the cure and she didn't, would you share it? And the answer is, of course I would. I wish I could have gotten it sooner to save more lives but the fact that I can do something right now, there's good news, there is a cure. That means it's worth sharing. So let me reiterate. With all the compassion you can, share the Gospel. Whoever believes it will be saved. And the angels in heaven will rejoice even if God's gets just one.