Mike Novotny - What if My Family Doesn't Believe in Jesus?
What should I do if my family doesn't believe in Jesus? That was the question that someone recently asked me. A parent said, "I'm concerned for my kids, for their spouses. I know I should pray but according to God, is there anything else that I should do"? Now, before I answer that I just want to slow down and feel the weight of that question. If as a Christian, you believe that Jesus is the only way to eternal life, that confessing your sins and trusting in his cross and in his love, like, that is the way to be happy forever and to avoid all the guilt and shame and condemnation and darkness that we call hell.
If you believe that like I do, then maybe you feel the weight when people you love don't love Jesus. Now, it's one thing to say that not everyone is gonna be saved but when it's your son or your daughter that's walking away. When it's your son-in-law or your daughter-in-law that really isn't interested in coming on Sunday, this question has weight. I know for myself, there was one person that I prayed for every Sunday for 20 straight years. So this is personal. What do I do? I pray all the time for these people, their salvation. Does the Bible say anything else? And the answer is yes. There's so much to say.
Let me give you three quick passages and three quick points. First of all, pray for an open door. In Colossians, chapter four, the Apostle Paul was stuck in jail but he still wanted to share his faith. And so he said to the Colossians, pray that God would open a door and pray that God would give me courage to walk through it. So if you're concerned about your brother's salvation, your son, your daughter, your best friend, don't just pray for them to be saved. Pray that God would open a door for you. Pray that God would give you the courage to walk through it. Pray that some random conversation would somehow take a spiritual turn, that you'd notice a spiritual need and you could walk through and bring the good news of all that Jesus is and all that Jesus has done.
Second, talk about Jesus. In Romans, chapter 10, the Apostle Paul has this logical progression. He says, "How can people be saved without Jesus"? They can't. And how can people meet Jesus if they never hear his word? They can't. How can they believe in the message that saves them if no one tells it to them? And so Paul says, "Go! Be the kind of people that talk about that". So praying for someone will never save them. Sharing the Gospel with them will. And sometimes when that door opens, we gotta come through. We gotta take a deep breath, take a chance and have a heart to heart conversation. Hey, I love you. Heaven is gonna be so amazing. We won't suffer, we won't hurt, there won't be drama, stress, tension. We'll rest. We'll see the face of God. And I want you there.
And I know I'm kind of the religious one but can I tell you what gets you there? Ask for courage to share the Gospel. Third and finally, live the most Christ-like life that you possibly can. There's this fascinating part in the Bible that I find myself going back to often. It's in 1 Peter, chapter three. And it's actually written to wives who are Christians who have husbands who aren't. And Peter answers the question this way. He says. When you live a selfless life, a pure like Jesus kind of life, when you're generous and kind, when you look for ways to put people first, even if they don't share your beliefs and faith, in this selfish, sinful, self-centered world, that stands out.
And it might not happen today and it might not happen tomorrow, but your character, your willingness to serve someone for years might open that door. So when they go through that moment in their lives, they're willing to listen. They have ears to hear. And you can share with them the one message that saves. That Jesus died for you, was raised from the grave for you, he is the way for you to get to God. If you love people who don't believe just yet, just like I do, that's what the Bible says you should do.