What should Christians do when they’re not only surrounded by unbelievers but live under the same roof? Perhaps you’ve been raised in a secular home, Jewish, Muslim or another religion. It’s difficult enough stepping outside into an unbelieving world, but what if your own enemies are your family?
The Lord Jesus spoke on these issues many times even His own family didn’t believe Him (John 7:5). As believers out in the world if God opens a door to preach Christ there’s always a possibility of them rejecting the gospel and you can walk away. But it’s not that simple when it’s your family denying the only salvation they have.
There are brothers and sisters who’ve had the privilege of being reared in a good Christian home, where the Word of God resides and parents (father and mother) live by God’s Word, where Jesus Christ is the centre of the home and its doors are open and welcoming to all. I’ve never had the privilege of being raised in such a home and at times wondered what it’s like?
Other times I thank God that while it’s a wonderful privilege being raised by Christian parents and coming from a history of saved family members, the fact that I grew up in a non-Christian home makes me appreciate the Lord Jesus even more. I’ll explain.
UNDER THE SOUND OF THE GOSPEL
We know that God is sovereign and when He determines to pull someone out of the grips of death and have true love flow forth from that soul He just saved it’s a beautiful thing to behold. True conversion! There are children who are from Christian families who pray at every meal, talk about the Lord, have members of the family that are concerned with their salvation bring them up in the ways of God. And they’ve attended assembly and Sunday school.
That said because God has always been prevalent in their lives they might take the things of God for granted. A bible on the dining room table has always been “normal” for them. Hearing about Jesus Christ dying on the cross for them because they’re sinners is everyday life. And we have unconverted children living among these wonderful truths and maybe believe because they come from such a home are saved. Hence the reason why parents continuously ask their children who is Jesus Christ to them, praying that they get saved one day. How tragic it would be having being raised under the sound of the gospel and never getting saved.
GROWING UP WITHOUT THE GOSPEL
Then there’s the other side those who’ve been raised with other beliefs, who have absolutely no idea what’s the gospel. Either they’ve been raised in a works based religion or worse they’ve been brought up in a secular humanistic world view. I myself fall into that second category.
Walk around and ask someone who’s Jesus Christ and what does He mean to you and you’ll get mixed reactions. They might say “Jesus I love Jesus” and with the same breath will blaspheme His precious name. If Muslim will say “He’s only a profit”. If Atheist will say “there is no God”. Maybe they worship a false Jesus like the JW’s or Mormons. Others will give you a look as if you’re completely nuts or just don’t know who Jesus really is.
The sad thing is this is the majority of people. For the majority of my life I grew up without God on my way to a lost eternity and I thank the Lord every day that He saved a wicked sinner like myself by reaching out and lighting my dark soul. And many who grow up like me never do come to know the Lord and are in hell wishing they did. That’s why it’s so important for Christians to share the gospel anyway they can.
WHEN THE HOUSEHOLD IS AGAINST YOU
The question remains if you’re the only Christian in the family and they’ve resisted the gospel or reject the only salvation in Jesus Christ how do we respond? This is assuming you’ve already presented the gospel to your family. There are a few ways we can still proclaim the gospel, we can give to prayer that God will open a door for you to share the gospel.
Ask God to intervene in our family members lives and put another believer in their path, in the workplace or a stranger walking by. We also have to be aware that unbelievers are always watching us even when we think their not. And if our priorities are right they’ll see fruit in our lives, reading our bibles and living a godly life (1 Peter 3:1). We believe that because our families know us best and have seen a radical change in us that would be enough to make them believers. The bible says that those who know you best are the ones who will be the hardest to reach (Matthew 13:57, Mark 6:4, Luke 4:24).
I’m learning this myself being surrounded by unbelievers who say eat, drink and be merry (1 Corinthians 15:32), this is how the world thinks, they’re looking at the world through secular glasses. They believe in slogans like “just do it ” the “now” generation of secular humanism. Living without any hope beyond the grave and if that’s the view they take then what meaning will they have in life? Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.
Thank the Lord that He’s faithful and true and pulls us out of a dark lost world and into light. Being that we’re children of light living in a dark world we can expect friction, we are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13). When salt gets into a wound it aggravates and stings! This doesn’t mean go around purposefully aggravating people it simply means that by your testimony and presence you’ll have an effect on those who’re in darkness.
Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
We have to keep our families in prayer asking God to soften their hearts to the gospel. Relying on the Father and remaining faithful is key, the Lord knows what’s best and how to approach all situations. We would love to see our loved ones become saved today homeward bound for Heaven but we also have to remember it needs to be according to God’s timing, His timing is always perfect. God bless.