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Acts 16:31, "Believe on the
Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."
verses are continually distorted by being misquoted.
People when quoting this text often leave off the last
Mr. Moody for one is counting on these last three words.
says, "Believe on the Lord, Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy
It teaches that if a man believes
God for the salvation of his soul, he will be saved,
BUT this text also teaches that if he believes, God will
also save his household!
This text expressly declares it
is the will of God that the whole family should be saved.
And the condition of their being
saved is for believers to ask and believe that God will save their household.
anyone comes to God and asks God to save him and he [in Spirit‑given
faith] believes that God that very moment does so, he can go from God's
presence knowing of a surety that he is saved.
He can know absolutely, positively that he is saved! Why?
Because God says so.
God says, "Believe and thou shalt be saved."
Now, if, that same person asks
God to save his family and he expresses the same kind of faith which he
believed when he believed for his own salvation . . .
that is, he believes God for their salvation
(believes that God, in His own
time and in His own wonderful way, will save them)
. . . he can knowing of a surety
that God will save them.
Why? Because God says so!
God says, "Believe and thy house shall be saved."
course, God won't save a family member, unless they have faith for themselves.
Their "believing" is not our part, that is God's
Our part is to ask God to save them and believe that He
will do so.
God's part is so to move upon
them in such a way that they are convicted of sin, will see their need as they
never saw it before, and, of their own free will, will be saved.
that this text does NOT say, "If we pray for them to be saved," but,
rather, it says, "Believe ...and they shall be saved."
It is not PRAYER
ALONE that saves them, it is believing-prayer.
The believer must ask in faith, believing.
Only when he prays believing for their salvation, has God
promised to save them.
think that I am misunderstanding this verse?
Then let=s compare Scripture with
SALVATION IS IN HARMONY WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THINGS ON EARTH
God has set
mankind in families. God said, "It is not good
that man should be alone."
the ordinance of marriage and He looks on the family as a unit.
The children in
a family are part of the father and mother.
When people are
saved, it is God's desire to save their family.
It works both
If a son believes
God for the salvation of his parents, God gives him the same promise.
turn the heart of the father to the children, and the heart of the children to
their fathers" ‑ Malachi 4:6
happens in every genuine revival.
begin praying for the unsaved children and the believing children began praying
for their unsaved parents.
is a member of a family.
Why should it
be thought so incblackible that God gives a promise for the salvation of a
families and He wants to save families.
SALVATION IS IN HARMONY WITH THINGS IN HEAVEN
Heaven is built
on the family principle.
God speaks of
Heaven above as a "home."
Jesus said, "in My Father's house."
describes the church as a family.
It states, "The whole family in heaven and earth." God's people are called, "The
household of faith."
We are taught
to pray, "Our Father, in Heaven."
We are told
that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob . . . father, son and grandson . . . "will all sit together in the kingdom of Heaven."
It is God's
stated desire to save the whole family of a Christian so that the family as a
unit will be together in Heaven.
God wants the
Christian's home on earth to be a miniature Heaven
and, to make
this possible, He promises to answer believing prayer and bring this to pass.
Do you believe
that this promise in Acts 16:31 is given to you?
We grant that
the first part of this verse is ours, "Believe on the Lord, Jesus Christ
and thou shalt be saved."
Then why can't
we believe that the second part of this verse (". . . and thy
house.") is for us also?
"You, and your house will be saved."
God has joined
us, and our household, together.
What God has
joined together, let no man put asunder.
"I don't have that wonderful kind of faith to believe for my whole
You have faith,
or you would never be saved.
The Spirit of
God imparted faith to you at your conversion.
Where is your
God gave you
the faith, you put it to work and it saved you.
Why do you
think that God gave you faith? ‑ Merely to save yourself? No!
He gave us
faith for our own salvation first and then for the salvation of others,
beginning with our household.
SALVATION IS TAUGHT ALL THROUGH THE SCRIPTURES
truth is not isolated in just one passage of Scripture.
The Bible is
full of it.
The marvel is
that this truth is so little known.
Look at the
first invitation given in the Bible, "And the Lord said unto Noah, `Come
thou and all thy house into the ark'" (Genesis 7:1).
Right at the
very beginning of the Bible, God lets it be known that His will is not to save
a man alone, but all his house.
So did Noah
Noah prepablack an ark to the saving of his house" He 11:7
God gave him
every member of his family, "for eight souls were saved through the
The very first
example of family salvation in the Bible included the in‑laws, those
brought into the family through marriage
Look at the
Passover (Exodus 12), a divine illustration of faith for a family.
Israel that night by families.
The father was
to "take a lamb for an house"
blood on the door
and, because of
his faith, the whole family would be saved.
2) is another example of family salvation.
She lived on
the wall of the doomed city of Jericho.
She was given a
promise of salvation because she helped the Israeli spies.
But Rahab did
not want to be saved alone!
Who wants to be
That would be
"I pray that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren,
and my sisters, and all that they have."
She pleaded for
her family=s salvation, including all they had.
their wives and husbands, their children and their children.
What did God do
about that? What was His response to her believing prayer?
Just what God
will do for us today.
God gave Rahab
just what she went after, "And Joshua saved Rahab alive, and her father's
household, AND ALL THAT SHE HAD" (Joshua 6:25).
himself as he stands before Israel and says, "Choose you this day whom ye
will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua
Here was a
public statement of Joshua's faith, that his household would serve God.
How did he know
He knew it by
He is so
certain his family will serve God that he is ready to stand before a whole
nation, in general assembly, and proclaim the fact.
"Suppose they had not served God?"
no such thing.
He believed God
that they would serve Him.
When you really
believe God will do a thing, we do not run around supposing the opposite.
Here is where
many Christians fail to offer believing prayer for their family
and worry" . . . worry and pray.
If they really
believed God was going to save their family, they would pray and praise.
present their supplication "with thanksgiving," knowing for certain that
God would save their family.
because they do not really believe, they pray "worrying."
When we believe
we do not worry and when we worry, we do not really believe.
Joshua did not
worry. He believed God and God honoblack Joshua's faith.
Take the case
of Cornelius in Acts 10.
He was a
centurion in the Roman army, a heathen man who had heard of the one true God.
He prayed for
salvation, and God sent an angel with this message, "Send for Peter, who
shall tell thee words, WHEREBY THOU AND ALL THY HOUSE SHALL BE SAVED."
Why did God
include Cornelius' house?
Because it was
God's desire to save, not this man alone, but all of his family.
So the promise
included his house.
Here we are at
the other end of the Bible, and the same truth stares us in the face.
took God at His word. He went out and "called together his kinsmen and
Now, the angel
of God had said not a word about "near friends," but this man pushed
out the bounds of God's promise to include some special friends of his whose
salvation he desiblack, as well as his own, and that of his household!
And what did
God do about this? He honoblack Cornelius' faith and, while Peter was preaching,
"the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the word."
The same God
who gave Noah
Who gave Rahab
all she had prayed for;
Cornelius, not only his family, but also the friends whom his faith and
beginning to the end of the Bible, we see that it is God's express desire to
save the whole family of a believer.
Not only to the
Philippine jailer, but to others in Bible history and to us today, God says,
"Believe . . . and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."
SALVATION HAS MARKED THE DEALINGS OF GOD WITH MEN ALL THROUGH HISTORY
times God has been honoring the faith of men and women for the saving of their
records, in the fifth century, that a Christian mother went to the Bishop of
Milan and imploblack him, "with tears," to speak to her prodigal son.
marked her tears and with prophetic insight said, "It is impossible that
the child of such prayers could ever be lost."
That mother was
Monica, and her son the saintly Augustine, converted to God by the faith of a
mother who would not let God go.
She gave God no
rest, day or night, until her boy was saved.
is reported to have prayed, "O God, I will not stand before Thee without all
actually not willing to be saved without them.
What was God's
answer to such passionate pleading and faith?
Everyone one of
them was saved and became a preacher of the Gospel
Edwards, in a moment of intimacy with God, is said to have claimed from God
that not one of his seed would ever be lost.
generations, one who had made investigation, could not find one of his
descendants who was not a decided Christian.
Bible Theological Seminary (Use to be just plain Bible School) was founded by
Dr. A.J. Gordon.
His wife said,
"God has given every parent the privilege of claiming his children for
If a parent
would plead and believe God's promise, the child of such faith would never be
God had given
her five children.
birth she claimed and believed God for their salvation.
As the children
grew up, they one by one accepted Christ."
It is faith
like this that God honors.
convicted of this truth, said,
three grown‑up children. One is backslidden, a girl of 18, who is
uninterested in spiritual things, and two sons, who are unsaved."
She saw the
meaning of Acts 16:31 and began to pray with faith.
said, "She herself was a different person. Instead of worrying over her
children, she became filled with joy and peace through believing."
In a week, or
two, the younger of the two boys was converted, and later went to Bible
came back to God. About a year later, the older son was saved, So, the whole
family was united in Christ.
mother began praying for her sister and her family, who lived about fifty miles
One by one,
they accepted the Lord.
Nine members in
two families were saved because a mother took God at His word and believed for
In New York
City, a man arose at the close of a service, and gave a ringing testimony for
He closed by
saying, "Five years ago, a dying mother called her daughter to her bedside
and told her how glad she was that all her children would be with her in
said, AWhy, mother, what about John?@
mother then quoted the words, `Believe and thou shalt be saved, and thy
The man said,
"I am that son, picked up from the gutter by a God who answers
A Pastor in
Chicago said, His father was converted in middle life.
He saw the
meaning of Acts 16:31.
He claimed his
household for God.
He had twelve
children, none of whom was saved.
Five were the
under the age of accountability.
God at once
began to deal with the seven older children and, before long, everyone of them
came to Christ.
As the other
five grew up they too turned to God, until the entire twelve were saved."
A mother heard
a message on Acts 16:31.
She had three
grown‑up children and a husband, all 4 unsaved.
She claimed her
household for God and later testified that her three children were saved
and her husband
was attending church.
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