Do you have a dear friend or a member of your family who you constantly worry about and pray for because he or she is not saved? A Philippian jailer once asked Paul and Silas “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:31 KJV) For years, I have told folks who come to me voicing this concern to memorize Acts 16:31 and take it as God’s promise to them. I do this knowing full well that nine out of ten bible teachers will say that this particular promise was only for the Philippian jailer and his family and will give many bible scriptures to prove it. I realize that by doing so, I may be theologically incorrect and may be misrepresenting God’s word. Because of it, I have asked the Lord to forgive me if that is the case, believing that He would, in one way or another, convince me to stop this erroneous practice. He hasn’t yet.
I do not believe that God will be displeased with me for telling folks who wrestle with this question to take Acts 16:31 as a promise. Apart from His word, I also trust in His character. I choose to believe as the old gospel song says: : “what He’s done for others, He will do for you.” I choose to remember that God has no favorites. (Acts 10:34) I also take I John 5:14 as a promise. It says: “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” Is it not according to God’s will that no one perish? Does the bible not say in 2 Peter 3:9 that “He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”? God is more interested than we are in the salvation of our loved ones.
Over two thousand years ago, a Canaanite woman who was pleading for her daughter’s demonic deliverance heard Jesus tell her that He had been sent only to the lost sheep of Israel. He added: “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” (Matthew 15:26) In her desperation she replied: “yet the little dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Did Jesus rebuke her? No, He commended her for her faith and answered her prayer. God forgive me if I’m wrong, but maybe its not such a bad thing to be theologically incorrect from time to time. Of course, people have to believe in Christ and receive Him in their hearts before they can be saved. That’s what you’re praying for in the first place, isn’t it? And when God answers your prayer, that is exactly what will happen. That person, who many considered hopeless or too far gone, will do just that. Amazingly, he or she will turn to Jesus, ask His forgiveness, and invite Him in. Believe it! Take it as a promise!
God’s word for today: (Psalm 13:5) “But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.”