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JESUS IS LORD!!

GOD SAVE THE FAMILY

Chapter One: God Is Determined to Save Families

Be encouraged. It is God’s will to save your family. You can use your faith and God will see to it that not one member of your immediate family will go off into Eternity without first accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Dr. Kenneth E. Hagin once said he discovered that his faith would work quite effectively for his family members, out as far as a first cousin. Beyond that, he said someone else was going to have to believe for them.

You can use your faith and God will save your grandparents, parents, siblings, children, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

God is so determined to honor your faith and to save your household, that He is actually tolerating His enemies and delaying His judgment on all the rebels of this Earth until everyone who can be saved will be saved. (Hebrews 12:2-28; 2 Peter 3:9; Revelation 20:7-15)

Someone once said, “There is nothing you can do about your family’s salvation. God has already predestined, or predetermined, who will be saved and who will not be saved. There is nothing that can be done about the ones whom God has predestined to not be saved. It even says so in the Bible.”

The verse of Scripture in the Bible misused by those who believe this error of “predestination” is right here in Romans chapter eight.

“For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified.” (Romans 8:29-30)

This verse is not saying that God has pre-determined ahead of time who He was going to save and who He was not going to save. This verse is saying that God “foreknew” or knew ahead of time who was going to accept His salvation plan and who was going to reject His salvation plan.

The ones whom He foreknew would accept His salvation, He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. Those whom He knew would reject His salvation, He did not predestine to be conformed to the image of His Son.

So simply put, God foreknew who would accept Him, and He predestined that they would be assigned to Heaven as a monument to His love.

He also foreknew who would reject Him, and He predestined that they would be assigned to Hell as a monument of His severity upon the rebellious. This is why the Bible says, “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness:” (Romans 11:22)

This is what Paul is teaching regarding foreknowledge and predestination.

So, if you have heard the “predestination” error and have been concerned that your loved ones have been predestined to Hell and there is nothing you can do about it, be encouraged. It simply is not true.

God knew you were going to pray for your loved ones’ salvation, and He planned well ahead of time to answer you. As a matter of fact, the Bible even says that God knows what we are going to pray even before we pray it, and He moves immediately to answer our prayers.

“And it shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24)

Understand that God is even more concerned with your family’s salvation than you are. He has made a way where through your faith in action and without violating their God-given free will, He will influence them for good in a greater way than Satan can influence them for evil.

He will send laborers to them, even Angelic laborers if He determines that is necessary, to continually impress upon their hearts their need to call upon His Son, Jesus, for their salvation.

If you will not give up and withdraw your faith, God will not give up and your loved ones will not go off into Eternity before accepting Christ as their Savior. If you will make up your mind like Joshua made up his mind, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord,” God will jump over a million others who will not use their faith for their families just to get to your family. (Joshua 24:15)

In some cases it could possibly take right up until moments before their passing, but getting saved late in life is a far cry better than not getting saved at all.

Either way, God will get the job done.

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Deathbed Confessions & Water Baptism

Some have said, “God does not accept deathbed confessions. If you don’t live for Him here, you won’t arrive safely there.”

Well, that is just not true according to the Bible. Of course, living one’s life for Christ on the Earth is far better than a deathbed confession, but deathbed confessions are acceptable to the Father of Mercies and the God of all Comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3)

Did not Jesus Himself say to the man on the cross beside Him, a man who lived his entire life as a criminal right up to within minutes of his death before confessing Christ’s Lordship, “Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise”? (Luke 23:43)

If that is not considered a deathbed confession, what is?

In the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, Jesus also made it clear that no matter how late one comes along before accepting the invitation to work in the vineyard, he will receive the same equal reward as those who came much earlier – salvation. (Matthew 20:1-16)

Thankfully one need not be water baptized to be saved because if that were the case, one who makes a deathbed confession has no time to be water baptized.

A further word about water baptism would be appropriate here. If it were necessary to be water baptized in order to go to Heaven, the thief on the cross never made it to Heaven because he was not water baptized. Yet, Jesus said he did make it to Paradise.

Water baptism is simply an outward expression of something that has already occurred on the inside – the New Birth. Jesus’ Blood saves, not water. If water saved, everyone who drowned in Noah’s flood will be in Heaven and we know that is not true.

Many wrongly believe that although their loved one was Born Again, they did not go to Heaven because they were not water baptized. This is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that remission of sins occurs only by application of Jesus’ Blood, not by submersion in water. (Hebrews 9:22)

For further clarification on the mystery of water baptism, see Addendum, “The Seven Baptisms of the Bible” at the end of Chapter Four.

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A Joyful Revelation

A woman once told us the following. She had believed for many years for her father’s salvation. No matter how she prayed, believed or confessed the Word of God over him, he would not believe. No matter who witnessed to him or how effectively, he simply would not believe.

For years he would not budge off of his quiet refusal to accept Christ as his Savior until finally one day he died. Her heart grieved that she had believed for her father’s salvation and that it did not come to pass. She struggled, believing God had let her down, allowing her father to go off into Eternity having rejected Christ as his Savior.

One day, sometime after her father’s passing, she was at home watching a video of a Church play she and her children had performed in. She had actually written the play. At the end of the play an altar call was given. During the altar call the performers had their heads bowed and were not able to see across the congregation.

However, the video revealed something she had not seen because her head was bowed. As she watched the video, she noticed her father had lifted his hand and prayed the sinner’s prayer with the Minister. He never said anything to her about it. She found out only after her father’s death while watching the video.

This woman wrongly assumed God had let her down and did not answer her prayer. She was happily mistaken. God was faithful to do exactly what she had asked of Him.

Without violating her father’s free will, He gently impressed upon him through everyone and everything that witnessed to him that he must not leave this Earth without accepting Christ.

You may or may not have opportunity to have your loved ones’ salvation confirmed to you by video as this woman did, but that does not mean that they did not say, “Jesus, You’re my choice,” before leaving this Earth.

Possibly you had been believing for a loved one’s salvation and they left this Earth before you could receive confirmation of their salvation. Be encouraged. God heard your prayer and He answered your prayer. Somehow, somewhere your loved one called upon the Name of Jesus. If you have no evidence to prove otherwise, you would be better off believing this way.

God is faithful. You gave Him access to your loved one and He took full advantage of it. The Bible says if we ask God for something that is promised in His Word, He hears us. If we know He hears us when we pray, we can know we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15)

Certainly a loved one’s salvation is something that is promised in Scripture as we have seen. Therefore, you can have confidence that if you prayed for your loved one’s salvation and they have left this Earth, God saw to it that they were saved before leaving.

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All Things Are Possible Only Believe

I say the following constructively to help the reader. In this life I have never had a greater enemy than my own flesh and blood mother, the woman who gave birth to me. For some reason, as far back as I can remember, my mother could not find it in her heart to love me. She was quite cruel to me and at times violent with me.

It seemed to me at times that her first priority in life was to turn my father against me with every given opportunity. I lived a life of my mother constantly lying to my father about me, deceiving him into becoming violent with me himself and harshly punishing me for things I did not do. Even when I became an adult she found ways to be sure he lived his life angry with me. It was absolutely demonic.

For some unknown reason my mother was determined that I would not have a relationship with my father and she was quite successful indeed. I loved them dearly but both my mother and my father were my greatest burdens in life.

Even when I became a Christian and was delivered from drug and alcohol addiction they were not happy for me. My father told me he would rather I were dead than I become involved with Jesus. Because of my conversion to Christ they refused to speak with me for a period of seven years.

One day I came across Acts 16:31 where the Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. You and your household.” Something leapt in my spirit that day and faith came into my heart for my parents to be saved.

To make a long story short, after seven years of reminding God of that verse, I was able to lead my father to the Lord. My mother came sometime after.

Sadly, they never grew in the things of God and they continued living lives of deceitfulness and hatred. But they did both individually confess Christ as their Savior before dying unnecessarily tragic deaths.

There were times in the natural where it seemed like it could never happen, but I would not allow the devil to steal the faith out of my heart that came to me the day I read Acts 16:31 for the first time. Because I would not quit and withdraw my faith, Holy God made it possible for me personally to lead both of my parents to the Lord.

You may or may not be the one to lead your loved ones to the Lord. Either way, they will be saved if you believe. God promised you that in Acts 16:31. The Lord may tell you to not even witness to them with your words. He may have someone else preach to them while you live a life of love and faithfulness to Christ before them.

You will want to consider doing what I did with my parents. I did not attempt to pummel them with the Word of God by overwhelming them with Gospel tracts and books via mail, etc. I imply trusted God to send laborers to them to whom they would listen, laborers who would preach the Gospel to them in a way they could understand.

I did a little thing and used my faith by praying for them and thanking God that they would not go off into Eternity without accepting Christ. I continued to say with the words of my mouth that my family would be saved in Jesus’ Name. God in turn did a big thing, using other Gospel laborers, as well as one recording of my preaching, to minister to them, softening their hearts to the Gospel and ultimately allowing me to lead them to Him.

For the longest time it appeared that they were Hell-bound on a greased pole. But because I would not let go of Acts 16:31, God would not let go of my parents.

One day after seven years of silence, my father called me on the telephone. He was in tears. I asked what his problem was and he said to me, “I need the Lord.” Then and there I led him to Jesus Christ. My mother came sometime after. As I said, they never grew out of the babyhood stages of Christianity and they remained their hateful selves before needlessly dying tragic deaths, but they died Born Again nonetheless.

They are in Heaven today anticipating the relationship Satan was determined we would not have on Planet Earth.

Faith in God’s Word worked for me. Faith in God’s Word will work for you.

God is a family God, so much so, that He requires even Ministers of the Gospel to put their families first in all things. (1 Timothy 3:1-12) This is not to say that He allows Ministers to neglect their Ministries in favor of their families. This is to say that Ministers must never neglect their families in favor of their Ministries. This has happened time and time again to even some of the most well-known Ministers and Ministries.

God is so family-oriented that He has chosen to be our Father, not just our God. And He even requires that we call Him “Father.” (Matthew 6:9) As a matter of fact, this is what life is all about. God is surrounding Himself with a family of Believers who choose to come to Him as a conscious act of their God-given free wills. When the Father is satisfied that His forever family has grown to satisfy His immense love, He will send Christ to catch us away. (2 Thessalonians 4:14-17)

But until that day, it is up to us to put our faith on our family’s salvation, believing and trusting that He will save them as promised.

We are now going to go back, moving from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant, beginning with the Book of Genesis, to see what a family-oriented God our Father really is. It is not possible for us to look at every example, but we will look at enough to cause the reader to see it really is God’s will to save our family members.

God so desires to save your family and the Word of God reveals that He will do just that for anyone who will put their faith on it, believing He will do as promised.

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

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Chapter Two: Old Covenant Examples of Family Deliverance

Noah & His Family Were Spared

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5)

“And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark for thee have I seen righteous before Me in this generation.” (Genesis 7:1)

Holy God looked out across the Earth and discovered the true condition of His human creation. His Divine inspection resulted in Divine dissatisfaction. Man’s wickedness was exceedingly abundant. Man’s entire concept of life was nothing but evil. Every man’s desire was evil with the exception of one righteous man named Noah.

God decided to destroy the Earth and its inhabitants and to start over with Noah. But not just with Noah – with Noah and his entire family. God did not leave Noah’s family out of His plan of redemption and God will not leave your family out of His plan of redemption.

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Abraham & His Seed Were Set Apart

“Neither shall thy name anymore be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham … and I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee.” (Genesis 17:5-7)

When God covenanted with Abraham, He did not just covenant with Abraham alone. He covenanted with his seed, or with his offspring. That is Abraham’s family. God covenanted with Abraham and his family, and God has covenanted with you concerning your family. He is a family-oriented God.

God is determined that not one of your family members will go off into Eternity without accepting Christ as their Savior according to Acts 16:31. Only you must respectfully hold Him to it with your faith.

Remember, your faith, not your fear, is a huge part of this equation. Without faith in what God has promised to do with your family, it is impossible to please Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

It was His idea, not your idea, that you use your faith and accept nothing short of their eternal salvation. It is not rude and it is not arrogant of you to accept nothing short of their eternal salvation.

It is obedience to God’s command to get into faith over your family’s salvation and to stay in faith until the job is accomplished.

Faith is simply expecting God, fully expecting God, to save your loved ones.

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God Has Given the Believer Authority

Why is your faith so important in this matter? Because man, not God, is in authority in this Earth. God initially set it up that way with Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve fell to Satan and lost their authority to him. Jesus came and restored man’s authority in this Earth before returning to Heaven.

This is why Jesus said to Peter on behalf of all of His disciples, “And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and whatsoever thou shalt bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on Earth shall be loosed in Heaven.” (Matthew 16:19)

This is also why Jesus said to His disciples, “All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in Earth. Go ye therefore …” (Matthew 28:18-19)

Here Jesus makes it clear with His command “go ye therefore” that the power Satan stole from Adam and Eve, Jesus had personally reclaimed and was now delegating His authority on Earth to all who believe on Him. He was placing Believers back in a position of authority in the Earth when He said, “Go ye therefore” and take possession of the Earth once again through the preaching of the Gospel.

Because of God’s decision to place man back in authority over the Earth, He will now do nothing to override man’s authority because He is an honorable God.

Now, in order for God to “legally” do something in the Earth, someone must give Him access, or permission, if you will. This is why Jesus said that even though your Father knows exactly what you have need of in this Earth, you must still ask Him for it before He is able to give it to you. (Matthew 6:32; 7:7-8)

This is also why the great 18th Century British Evangelist John Wesley said, “It seems as if God can do nothing in this Earth unless someone asks Him.”

One must now use their faith, asking God for their family’s salvation, giving Him access to them and then fully expecting Him to save them.

How God does that is no one’s business but His own. All one needs to know is God will do it legally, He will do it honorably and He will do it without violating their free will in any way.

This is an area where one must just let God be God and trust in His infinite wisdom.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not to thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

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Eliphaz Offered Some Very Sound Counsel to Job

Job was the son of Issachar. Issachar was the son of Jacob, grandson of Isaac and great-grandson of Abraham. This would mean that Job lived at the same time as Moses. It is believed by some scholars that Moses and Job together wrote the Book of Job. It is also believed that Job died fifteen years before the exodus from Egypt. Job was seventy years old when his trial of suffering began. His suffering lasted nine months and he lived another one hundred forty years in God’s blessing beyond that. (Job 42:16)

Eliphaz was a trusted friend of Job’s. Although he wrongly assumed Job’s suffering was a direct result of some secret sin committed by Job, Eliphaz offered some very sound counsel regardless. Eliphaz assured Job if he would repent for his assumed secret sin, God would be able to use Job’s prayers to deliver even those who were guilty of sin. Here is what Eliphaz told Job.

“Even him that is not innocent shall He deliver; yea, he shall be delivered by the pureness of thy hands.” (Job 22:30 Darby Translation)

The sense of what Eliphaz is saying is the human person who gives their life to God (in the New Testament case through Jesus) becomes God’s child. Because of the connection to God as a child, the saved individual is now able to intercede for lost individuals, including family members, to be saved from the deserved punishment for their sin.

The prayers of the child of God will be heard and answered because of the “pureness” of the child of God. Of course, this pureness which the New Testament calls “righteousness” is a free gift given to all who take Christ as their Lord and Savior. (2 Corinthians 5:17,21)

The prayers of the righteous child of God will be heard and answered on behalf of family members. (1 John 5:14-16) The Holy Spirit and the angels of God will cause circumstances to come about which will lead to the salvation of lost family members – all without violating their free will! (Hebrews 1:14; Psalm 103:20,21)

The sentiment expressed by Eliphaz to Job lines up perfectly with Genesis 18:26 as well.

“If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city I will spare all the place for their sake.”

As we study the Word of God it becomes clear that God is not looking for ways to exclude our families from His Plan of Salvation. God is looking for ways to include our families in Eternal Life! This sentiment is repeated throughout the Holy Scriptures.

The righteous in Christ, the innocent in Christ, the pure in Christ are permitted, even instructed, to pray for others, family members included, as a means of bringing God’s salvation and its benefits down upon them. Through the prayers of God’s children multitudes, including family members, will be saved from calamity here and brought to Eternal Life there!

James the Apostle and half-brother of Jesus knew the power of praying for loved ones. Most of his brothers and sisters, including himself, initially did not believe Jesus was the Christ. But through prevailing prayer he and his siblings became convinced that Jesus was not only their natural brother but their Savior as well. James expressed this in his Epistle.

“The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)

The believer in Jesus Christ should praise God without doubt and without ceasing for the salvation of guilty, perishing people, most especially children and family members, for God promises to save them.

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God Covenanted with the Israelites & Their Offspring

“I call Heaven and earth to record this day against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

God told Israel if they would choose life by choosing obedience to Him, He would bless them in every realm of their existence. God did not force them into surrender or obedience to Him. He gave them free will and allowed them to choose.

God will not force your loved ones into surrender, for they, too, have free will. But through your prayers and the operation of your faith, God will impress your family members for good more strongly than Satan can influence them for evil, and they will ultimately come around and choose life in Jesus Christ. He promises you this.

But you must expect Him to keep His Word to you. You must be strong and of good courage like Joshua and say, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 1:8; 24:15)

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Rahab & Her Family Were Spared

“And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the Lord: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.” (Joshua 6:17)

Joshua pronounced a curse upon Jericho and its inhabitants for it was inhabited not only with sin but with militant warriors from surrounding areas helping to defend it against Israel. Rahab, however, was exempt from Joshua’s divine curse because she hid Israel’s two spies and would not tell her King where they were. Not only was Rahab spared, but she was promised that her father, mother, brethren, sisters, nieces and nephews would all be spared because of her intervention on Israel’s behalf.

This is just another example of God’s great willingness to become involved with and to help and deliver families, not just individuals. God wants to honor your faithfulness to Him by sparing your family eternal separation from Him.

As a matter of fact, if you will do something, anything to help Israel in her plight today, as Rahab did in her day, God will move on your behalf and on behalf of your family even as He did on behalf of Rahab and her family. (Psalm 122:6-9)

I will go so far as to say, if you want to get God’s attention take a stand for Israel to exist in this Earth as a sovereign free Democracy. Take a stand for Jerusalem to exist as Israel’s Capital. His attention will turn toward you favorably in a New York minute.

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God Promised Jesus to Save the Nations

“Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession.” (Psalm 2:6-8)

In this Psalm of David, we see that God has set King Jesus to reign on David’s throne forever (verse 6).

Jesus, in turn, says, “I will declare the decree” meaning “I will declare the Gospel to the people of the world” (verse 7).

God, in turn, promises Jesus, “Ask Me and I’ll give You the heathen (Gentiles / non-Jews) as Your inheritance” (verse 8).

It is clear in these verses that God is promising Jesus to save the souls of multitudes in exchange for His faithfulness in coming to the Earth to preach the Gospel.

God has also promised you, as we will continue to see, that if you will be faithful to serve Him in the Earth, to support the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to live an uncompromising existence before Him and to unleash expectation for your family’s salvation, that He will indeed ultimately save your family members.

These are just a few examples from the Old Covenant of God’s willingness not only to save families but to save multitudes of people and their families.

As we move into the New Covenant keep in mind that the Bible says, “But now hath He (Jesus) obtained a more excellent Ministry, by how much also He is the Mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” (Hebrews 8:6)

If God was willing to work on behalf of entire families under the Old Covenant, how much more willing is He today to work on behalf of entire families under the New Covenant, a Covenant which the Bible refers to as “a better covenant”?

If God were to neglect your family’s salvation it would not be a better Covenant!

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Chapter Three: New Covenant Examples of Family Salvation

Pray for Gospel Laborers to Go to Your Family

“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:36-38)

Jesus came both to tell of and to demonstrate God’s compassion for humanity in their misery and suffering. When God looks at your family He is not angry with them. He is moved with compassion for them. There is nothing He wants more than to see them come into the Kingdom. You must understand this.

Here Jesus also reveals that if Christians will pray for laborers (preachers / witnesses / soulwinners) to go into the harvest field of lost souls, He will send them. Remember, God is limited to our giving Him access. If He could just send laborers without man’s giving Him access, He would do so. Jesus would not have told us to pray that laborers would be sent to the harvest field if He was unwilling and it was not necessary.

Christians may pray for laborers not only to the harvest field of the Earth but specifically to their own families. Jesus said, “Whatever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it to you.” (John 16:23)

Pray and ask the Lord to send laborers to minister the message of salvation in Christ to your family members. He will do exactly that.

Pray one time for this and then begin to praise Him daily for doing so. That is what faith will do. It will pray one time, believing God heard and believing that God will do as He said. From that point on, to ever ask again would be unbelief. Once the prayer for laborers is prayed, it is time to simply pray the prayer of thanksgiving as follows.

“Thank You, Father, for sending Gospel laborers to my family members in Jesus’ Name. I can worry or I can trust You to do it. I choose to trust You are doing it.”

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