Resources / Word of Life

Reaching Our Families and Relatives

The aim of evangelism is to reach out the people who need to know that salvation is made ready once they believe that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. The extent of spreading the gospel knows no limit. It is intended for all because God wants everyone to be saved. I Timothy 2:4 tell us that

“God, our savior desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth”.

This is further supported by II Peter 3:9 which says,

“He doesn’t want anyone to perish, but for all to come to repentance.”

In this context, it is clear how merciful and compassionate God is, because He thinks about man’s welfare. Furthermore, he wants us to take good hold of the salvation that we have received from Him as stated in Revelation 2:25

“Hold fast to what you have until I come”

For it is the only means by which we can enter His kingdom. Being the God of peace himself, he longs that His peace might dwell in us also. “Keep on doing the things that we have learned and received and heard and in seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” He instructs that His peace can be attained if we follow what His sent ones have taught us.

Every believer is tasked to go and impart this good news of salvation to all segments of the world. But prior to extending this away from our vicinity, we are encouraged to handover the gospel within the confines of our family first. The Bible has mentioned a few men who displayed a deep concern to other fellow who can’t seem to recognize the right path towards salvation and their divine motives to rescue them from such ignorance.

Apostle Paul, grieved to see the Israelites having no security of their salvation.

“That I have better grief and incessant anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off and banish from Christ for the sake of my brethren and instead of them, my natural kinsmen and my fellow countrymen.” –Romans 9:2-3

He longed for his belong to saved. And out of his yearning to work out their salvation, he addressed it all to God in belief that He alone is able to meet his heart’s desire. Paul cited in his writings:

“Not in your own strengths, for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you (energizing and creating in you the power and desire), both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.” –Philippians 2:13

In the Old Testament, Moses, mediated between God and his people who committed great sin by making and worshiping gods of gold. He appealed to God to blot him out of the book of life in behalf of his people.

“So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now please forgive their sin-but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.” –Exodus 32:31-32

Jesus, during his early years of preaching likened the crowd to a sheep without shepherd.

“When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd.” –Matthew 9:36

He sympathized to their pitiful condition that he then asked his disciples to pray that the Lord would send out laborers in the field.

Cornelius, a devout man who believed in the God of Israel, made an effort to gather his relatives to listen to all the things that the Lord has commanded. This is illustrated in the following verses:

“And on the following day, they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for expecting them, and he had invited together his relatives and his intimate friends. As Peter arrived, Cornelius met him, and falling down at his feet he made obeisance and paid worshipful reverence to him. But Peter raised him up, saying, Get up; I myself am also a man. And as [Peter] spoke with him, he entered the house and found a large group of persons assembled; and he said to them, You yourselves are aware how it is not lawful or permissible for a Jew to keep company with or to visit or to come near or to speak first to anyone of another nationality, but God has shown and taught me by words that I should not call any human being common or unhallowed or unclean. Therefore, when I was sent for, I came without hesitation or objection or misgivings. So now I ask for what reason you sent for me. And Cornelius said, This is now the fourth day since about this time I was observing the ninth hour (three o’ clock in the afternoon) of prayer in my lodging place; a man stood before me in dazzling apparel, and he said, Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and harkened to, and your donations to the poor have been known and preserved before God [so that He heeds and about to help you]. Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is surnamed Peter; he is staying in the house of Simon the tanner by the seaside. So at once I sent for you, and you [being a Jew] have done a kind a courteous and handsome thing in coming. Now then, we are all present in the sight of God to listen to all that you have been instructed by the Lord to say.” –Act 10:24-33

Joshua, as a Father with well-formed principles, chose to serve the Lord forever together with his family. He made good use of his authority to instruct the people, most especially his family, to prefer to be a servant of the Lord.

“Now therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and in truth; put away the gods which your fathers served in the other side of the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the god which your fathers served on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” –Joshua 24:14-15

Lastly, we have Joseph, the second most powerful man in Egypt next to Pharaoh. His life manifests God’s plan of deliverance among his siblings. He has been used and sent by God to spare his family from the agony of long-term famine.

“But now, do not be distressed and disheartened or vexed and angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me ahead of you to preserve life. For these two years the famines has been in the land, and there are still five years more in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. God send me before you to preserve for you a posterity and to continue a remnant in the earth, to save your lives by a great escape and save for you many survivors. So now it was not you who sent here, but God; and He has made me father to Pharaoh and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Come down to me; do not delay. You will live in the land of Goshen, and you will be close to me – you and your children and your grandchildren, your flocks, your herds, and all you have. And there I will sustain and provide for you, so that you and your household and all that are yours may not come to poverty and want, for there are yet five more years of [the scarcity, hunger, and starvation of] famine.”– Genesis 45:5-11

The salvation of the soul is priceless, that even all the wealth in this world cannot be compared to its worth.  The son of God shed blood and died once and for all so that mankind would be redeemed from sin and its wages- death. Through Christ, the reconciliation of God and men is made possible. Now, it is or duty to convey this message of great love, compassion and salvation through the dissemination of the Great Commission handed down by Christ himself. Our relatives, friends, neighbors, and co-workers are just around the corner and they, too, deserve to be informed by the time you first received the Word of truth. Today, God has sent you. Go, preach the gospel.

By Bishop Resting Zonio

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