Luke 16:19-31 CAN GOD REALLY SAVE YOUR LOVED ONES?
Intro: There isn't a person present this morning that doesn't have someone
whom they love that is lost. It may be a spouse, a child, a parent, a sibling,
or it may be a friend or some other relative, but there is someone you care
deeply about that be in Hell if they were to die today. If you are like me, you
are deeply disturbed by that thought and would like to see them saved and
have a strong relationship with the Lord. In fact, you would do everything in
your power to see them come to know the Lord, wouldn't you?
This is the predicament that the rich found himself in when we realized
that he would never be delivered from his own damnation in Hell. He
remembered the fact that he had 5 other brothers who were also headed to
Hell, who needed to be saved. With the terrible knowledge that they were
doomed to join him in Hell, he tried to do something to change that fact. I
believe that his greatest torment in Hell was the knowledge that those he
cared about were on their way there to join him.
Now, it is true that we all have loved ones headed to Hell. It is also true
that we cannot save them. However, I would like to give you some hope
concerning their salvation. We may often find ourselves confronted with the
question, "Can God Really Save My Loved Ones?" That question may
haunt us and burden our hearts, but the simple answer is this, "God can!"
Allow me to give you some insight into the truth that God can save you
loved ones. He can even save you if you are hear today and have never
been saved. God answers our concern about our loved ones by telling us
in no uncertain terms that God can save our loved ones. Let me show you
why I say that.
I. V. 29 GOD'S PAST EFFORTS TO SAVE YOUR LOVED ONES
(What are the things God has already done to save them?)
(Ill. There are great gifts of God which are already in place to prove that He
is concerned with the salvation of your loved ones. Allow me to share 3 of
them with you.)
A. The Word Of God - In John 5:39, Jesus uttered these words,
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life:
and they are they which testify of me." One of the greatest gifts
ever given to man is the Bible! In the pages of this perfect Book,
God gives a revelation of Himself to mankind. In the pages of the
Bible, we are able to read of the love of God for sinners and the
plan of God to save sinners. The Bible was given to man for the
express purpose of revealing God to man. That is why I say that
the Bible is proof positive that God has made efforts in the past to
save those you love. He took 40 different authors from various
walks of life, who wrote over a 1,600 year period of time and
brought it all together in this book we call the Bible. And, in its
pages, men can see themselves, James 1:23-25, and they can see
God. (Ill. Everyone please lift your bibles high over your heads!)
These books are the proof that God wants to save your loved ones.
B. The Work Of God - When we look back across the landscape of
times past, we can see the hand of God as reaches out of eternity
into time to perform His mighty works. All of which were and are
designed to bring men to a saving knowledge of Himself. We can
see in the great works of God the fact that He is interested in saving
your loved ones.
1. In Creation - Even the creation that exists all around us stands as
proof of God's great desire to bring your loved ones to himself,
Psalm 19:1-4. All around us stands the proof of God's existence
and love for men. God has done everything in His power to reveal
Himself to man through His creation. Only those who would be
wilfully blind cannot see Him when they look around! Or, as the
Psalmist says, perhaps they are simply fools, Psa. 14:1.
(Ill. Because nature is clouded by sin, it gives only an indistinct
picture of God. Much of His great wisdom and marvelous design,
however, can still be clearly traced. For instance, the earth rotates
on its axis at approximately 1000 miles per hour. If that had been
100 miles per hour, our days and nights would be 10 times longer,
and our planet would alternately burn and freeze. Under such
circumstances vegetation could not live!
If the earth were as small as the moon, the power
of gravity would be too weak to retain sufficient atmosphere for man's
needs; but if it were as large as Jupiter, Saturn, or Uranus, extreme
gravitation would make human movement almost impossible. If we were
as near to the sun as Venus, the heat would be unbearable; if we were
as far away as Mars, we would experience snow and ice every night
even in the warmest regions. If the oceans were half their present
dimensions, we would receive only one-fourth the rainfall we do now.
If they were one-eighth larger, our annual precipitation would increase
fourfold, and this earth would become a vast, uninhabitable swamp!
Water solidifies at 32 degrees above zero. It would
be disastrous if the oceans were subject to the law, however, for
then the amount of thawing in the polar regions would not balance
out, and ice would accumulate throughout the centuries! To prevent
such a catastrophe, the Lord put salt in the sea to alter its freezing
(Ill. Who can contemplate the magnificence of the universe without
acknowledging the greatness of God? His handiwork can be seen
in the intricacies of this complex world. Consider these facts about
the precise design of our amazing planet:
*The distance of the earth from the sun, approximately93,000,000
miles, is just right to sustain life. One hundreds miles in either
direction would be disastrous to human life.
*The 23 1/2 degree tilt of the earth on its axis ensuresseasonal
changes, without which much of the earth would bedesert.
*The balance of oxygen (21%) and nitrogen (78%) in
the air webreathe is perfect for supporting
*An ozone layer in the atmosphere shelters our planet
fromdeadly ultraviolet rays from the sun. These
all speak of a God of order, design, and greatness. Even more amazing
is the fact that God has taken a personal interest in us.)
2. In Christ - Not only does the created world speak loudly and
clearly that there is a God in Heaven Who is interested in man
and his salvation, but the very fact that God sent His Son into
the world in proof that God wants to save your loved ones. The
Bible tells us, that in Jesus, we find proof positive of the love of
God for the lost, John 3:16. The Bible also says that Jesus is
the perfect revelation of the Father, John 10:30; John 14:9. The
very fact that God sent His Son to reveal Himself to mankind is
proof, at least to my mind, that God wants to save the lost, and
that includes your loved ones!
3. In The Cross - When all of the works of God are taken into
account, none more clearly proves the heart of God to save the
lost than the death of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary. Paul
tells us that this event is the plain expression of His love for us,
Rom. 5:8. When we stop for a minute and think that everything
Jesus suffered, He suffered because of you and me, Isa. 53:5.
Every lash of the whip, every drop of spittle, every blow to His
face, every word of mockery, every peel of laughter, every
disgrace and indignation Jesus suffered, He suffered because
He loved us and was taking our penalty upon Himself, 2 Cor.
5:21. Even in the midst of His sufferings on that cross, God the
Father judged Jesus in our place, Matt. 27:46. The work of
Christ at Calvary and the work of the Father at Calvary prove
beyond all question the truth that God wants to save your loved
ones! Why? Because when Jesus died, He wasn't dying for
Himself, but for all those who need a Savior, 2 Cor. 5:14-15.
C. The Will Of God - There is yet another proof from the Bible which
teaches us that God wants to save the lost. This truth is found in 2
Pet. 3:9. This verse tells us that God wishes for no one to go to Hell,
but that He wants all to be saved. In keeping with that wish, God
has done everything in His power to make a way for salvation. It is
His will that your loved ones be saved!
I. God's Past Efforts To Save Your Loved Ones
II. V. 29-31GOD'S PRESENT EFFORTS TO SAVE YOUR LOVED ONES
(What is God doing right now to see that they come to know Him?)
(Ill. As thankful as I am for all the things God did in the past, I need
assurance that God is working right now to save my lost loved ones. Ill.
Often, we pray and we pray, yet we see no change in their life. Then, we
may become discouraged and think that nothing is going on in their hearts.
I ma glad that I can tell you that God is working in this present day and that
He is actively perusing your loved ones to bring them unto Himself.)
A. The Conviction Of The Spirit - God is capable of doing something
that you and I cannot do. We can nag our loved ones, we can plead
with them and we can beg them, but we can never touch their hearts
in conviction. That is, we can never show them that they are sinners
and that they are lost without the Lord God. Only God can do that,
and that is what He has promised to do - John 16:8. (Ill. You never
know when and how God is working on the hearts of your lost loved
one. Therefore, do not give up on them, but pray and live Jesus in
front of them at all times and God will do His part to save them!)
B. The Change In The Saints - One of the greatest things God does
to touch the hearts of the lost is to make a drastic change in all those
who some to Him for salvation, 2 Cor. 5:17. The change is so
drastic that 2 Cor. 5:17 describes it as literally becoming a new
creation! When a sinner is saved, they are changed and when they
are changed, their friends and families can see the difference and
that will speak volumes to the sinners heart. You see, whether the
lost person will admit it or not, he is deeply bothered by his sin and
by his life. Then, when he sees what God can do for another person
just as bad, or even worse than himself, it touches his heart and
shows him that God can make a difference for him too.
(Ill. The greatest witness to the power of looking at the serpent for
healing in Num, 21 was the witness of those who had looked and
lived! Therefore, be diligent to live godly every minute of every day
before your lost loved ones. God will use your life to touch their
C. The Challenge From The Scriptures - As I mentioned earlier, God
has given us the perfect revelation of Himself in His Word. This
Book, as it is preached and as it is lived out in society will have an
enormous impact on the lost. God has promised to take His word
and use it as a sharp sword, Heb. 4:12, to touch the hearts of men.
The Gospel which we preach may seem as foolishness to those who
do not know the Lord, but when the truth is applied to their hearts by
the Spirit of God, then conversion can take place. All I am saying is
that God is busy trying to save your loved ones today!
I. God's Past Efforts To Save Your Loved Ones
II. God's Present Efforts To Save Your Loved Ones
III.V. 27-28YOUR PERSONAL EFFORTS TO SAVE YOUR LOVED ONES
(What can you do to see that they come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as
their personal Lord and Savior?)
A. You Should Be Concerned About Them - That is, you should have
a burden for those who love. A burden to see them saved and living
for the Lord. I realize that many of you have wept many tears over
those you care for who are unsaved. My challenge to you is that you
do not quit! God will honor those tears, Psa. 56:8, and He will
certainly honor a broken heart, Psa. 51:17.
(Ill. A burdened heart over the lost will touch their hearts for the glory
of God. How many have I heard testify to the fact that they heard a
mother or father pray for them and they never forgot it? I recall the
wife who was saved and burdened over her lost husband. He was
a vile man and had no use for the church or for God. One time,
there was a revival in the church where his wife attended and she
invited the evangelist for dinner. When she set the table for the
meal, she only set two plates, one for her husband and the other for
their visitor. She did not set a plate for herself. When her husband
brought this to her attention, she replied, "I am too burdened to eat.
How can I eat when I know that any breath might be your last and
that if you die you will go to Hell." She said, "I shall not eat any more
food until the day you come to Christ as your Savior, but I shall pray
for you and for your soul." He responded by laughing at here and
telling her that he would never be saved! It wasn't many days until
the husband became broken over his sins and came to know Jesus
as His personal Savior. Often, getting burdened and broken over
the lost is the only thing that will touch their hard hearts! When they
see the genuine concern and love of another for themselves, it will
touch their hearts!)
B. You Should Be Consistent Before Them - Another thing that in
indispensable in bringing your lost loved ones to Jesus is a
consistent life. What I mean is a life that places God ahead of
everything else. A life that doesn't talk church on Sunday and trash
on Monday. A life that doesn't retaliate in anger, but one that
reaches out in love. A life that is different and one that is separated
and one that is sold out to the Lord. No one will ever win their loved
one to Jesus by living an inconsistent Christian life. The only way to
do it is for you and for me to be as real as we possibly can be. Does
that describe you?
(Ill. Some of the female members of the early church were burdened
about their husbands. Peter's advice to them will work for all of us
in this day and time, 1 Pet. 3:1-4. Peter's advice was that they a
"conversation" that matched their "profession." Folks, that will still
work today! We are called upon by the Lord to live lives that will
always speak well of the Lord Jesus, Phil. 1:27. We should never
expect to win our loved ones to Jesus as long as they hear us invite
them to church on Sunday and then see us live substandard lives
the rest of the week.)
(Ill. To be honest, it's no wonder some men won't go to church! It's
no wonder some children won't follow in the faith of their fathers. It's
no wonder our loved ones don't want anything to do with the House
of God. All they can see is that we are a bunch of hypocrites and
that church has done nothing for us but make us meaner than the
devil! Folks, these things ought not be!)
(Ill. Some of you have blown it in front of your loved ones. You have
messed up and feel that you no longer have any influence with them.
That probably isn't true! What you need to do, if you have blown
your testimony in front of those whom you would like to win to God,
1. Seek forgiveness from God - 1 John 1:9
2. Confess your failure to the persons in front of whom you failed.
3. Ask them to forgive you. Tell them that Christians shouldn't do
the things you did and that you are sorry. Let them know that it
wasn't right and that by God's grace it will never happen again!
4. Share you testimony with them and point them to Jesus. Remind
them of the change Jesus has made in you and what He can do
for them if they will come to the Lord.
They will respect you more for admitting your failure than for
pretending to be some sort of gilded saint who is unable to do any
C. You Should Be Compassionate Toward Them - What I mean
is this, you need to remember when you were in their shows and be
patient with them. If your lived ones are doing things that upset you
and they are living in sin, what do you expect? After all, they are
dead, Eph. 2:1, and they are just doing what dead people naturally
do, they are rotting! We are living in a fantasy world if we think that
we change a lost person and make them live godly lives just
because we want them to. No! That kind of change requires the
power of Almighty God! What should we do? We should be patient,
we should pray and we should wait on the Lord. He will touch them,
but probably not on your schedule.
Conc: As we think about these things, it is evident to me that the Lord has
done everything in His power to provide a means of salvation for your loved
ones and He has done everything He can to point that out to them. He is
even using you to draw them to Himself. All that remains is for them to
turn to God and to be saved. I hope you can see today that God can saved
your lost loved ones. That He wants to and He will if they will respond in
the appropriate manner.
Maybe there is someone here this morning who needs to be saved.
As you have listened to this message, you have thought about someone
who loves you and wants to see you saved. You have seen Jesus in them
and want that for yourself. If you will come to Jesus today, He will save you
and give you a fresh new life.
Maybe there are those who have failed in front of family. You need
to come today and confess that before the Lord and pray fro strength to go
to them and make it right. They will forgive you and God will bless your
effort. Who knows, maybe your witness through admitting your error might
be just what it takes to bring them to Jesus.
Maybe you just have a burden for someone and you want to come
and call out to the Lord on their behalf. Why not come, bring them to this
altar, place their name in the prayer list and watch God begin to work in
I am telling you this day that God still loves sinners! He still wants to
save them and He will if they will only come to Him. It's time to do
business with the Lord. Will you come right now while we seek His face?