We all know that it's God's will for all to be saved. God's Son died for the sins of all. 1 Timothy 2:4-6 KJV-Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. God's heart is made clear and plain here, but what is also plain is that it's up to the individual to confess Him as Lord; it's a freewill decision.
As ambassadors for Christ we can present the truth in word and deed; then the ball is in the unsaved man's court. All that being said, what do you do when an unsaved family member, after hearing the word for decades, still wants nothing to do with Christ? Obviously you look for other opportunities to present God's truth.
You can try my former young and full of zeal technique; "lead the horse to water and make him drink". ( I know, that's not how that saying goes.) Well after several attempts and you're standing there with a spiritually pulled muscle and that horse is looking at you like your crazy. Then what?
Not too long ago that's where Deb and I were in regards to her father. Here he was, hospitalized, at 87 years old, and in a bad condition. They were telling us he might not live. Her Dad, Fred, was a very intelligent man but when it came to Jesus Christ he would adamantly shut the door when you'd try to speak to him about it. The thing that kept our faith up was that we knew that God desired salvation for Fred more than any living being.
So, we sought Him for wisdom and that's where this story begins. After spending some time in prayer we felt that God was telling us to pray against those demonic spirits that were preventing him from hearing what was being said. Fred was hearing sound but not content. So we prayed that Fred would hear to the point that he could examine what was being said. Yes it was a free will decision but he had to examine what God was setting before him. "We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers..."as God tells us in Ephesians.
Now let me lay out the rest of story and the cast of Christian characters involved. I'll try and lay out the order of events the best I can remember. First enters my eldest sister. I gave her a call and asked her to pray for my father-in-law's health and salvation. She promised she would.
Second- My eldest daughter called. (By the way, all these people involved are states apart) My daughter knew about Fred's condition and had been praying for him. She told me she felt that God was telling her to write him a letter about accepting Jesus Christ as his savior. Having only met Fred once when she was a very young child, she didn't really know him well. Nonetheless she felt instructed of God to share her heart with him. Of course I encouraged her to go for it.
My daughter sends the letter to my sister in law who then takes it to the hospital with her, to see her dad. She gave the letter to Fred's housekeeper, who read it to Fred. Fred's housekeeper had previously asked her pastor to come by and talk to Fred about accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord.
Well, low and behold, this pastor ,who had never met Fred before shows up just after the letter was read. He leaned over and spoke into the only good ear that Fred could hear. He said "It's time Fred. It's time to accept Jesus as your Lord." He then begins singing that childhood song, "Yes, Jesus Loves Me", gently into Fred's ear. It happened to be one of the only Christian songs that Fred knew.
Fred, with tears in his eyes, bowed his head and accepted Christ Jesus as his Lord. It was a wonderful victory both for Fred and for our awesome Lord! Two days later Fred passed away.
Allow me to back track here, and add just one more wonderful God note. Deb and I had asked the Lord to please let us know some how, if Fred ever got saved.
On the day that he passed, I spoke with my sister on the phone. I told her, that before he died, Deb 's dad, Fred, had accepted the Lord. My sister, who up to that point had never heard his name, exclaimed "Deb's dad's name is Fred?!" "It's Fred?!!" She then went on to explain that when she was in the shower praying for Deb and her dad, the Lord spoke to her and said "Don't worry about Fred. He is okay". My sister then asked, "Fred? Who's Fred?" She was absolutely thrilled when I told her his name! But, we were even more thrilled, by the gracious way the Lord had confirmed that it wasn't just "lip service".
This news also brought my wife's' sister into joy filled tears, when we shared it with her. She had witnessed the exchange between the minister and her dad, and wondered if it had been genuine.
We learned some important lessons from this. Never ever give up on praying and standing in the gap for your loved ones... because your loved ones are loved more deeply by our heavenly Father - than anyone else in the universe.
So take His loving hand in yours and come for a walk with the Father.
About the Author: I've been married to my wonderful Debbie since 1975. We have two grown daughters. When we've relied upon God's extended hand of grace offered through Christ Jesus it's been victorious. We live in Idaho where we are presently running a home church. We believe our God is light and in Him is no darkness, at all. Not even a smidgen. We believe that through Christ, we've been called to an Abba Father relationship. I've written an e-book which is available through Amazon.com titled, Come Walk With The Father. You can find me on the web at http://comewalkwiththefather.com