“Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him. (Luke 8:39)
Here is some advice that may save you a great deal of grief. As a new Christian, I did almost irreparable damage by acting like a wild bull in a crystal showroom. I bullied my mom, my dad, and many of my friends into making a “decision for Christ.” I was sincere, zealous, loving, kind, and stupid. I didn’t understand that salvation doesn’t come through making a “decision,” but through repentance, and that repentance comes through godly sorrow over sin (2 Cor. 7:10). The Bible teaches that no one can come to the Son unless the Father “draws” him (John 6:44). If you are able to get a “decision” but the person has no conviction of sin, you will almost certainly end up with a stillborn on your hands.
In my “zeal without knowledge” I actually inoculated the very ones I was so desperately trying to reach. There is nothing more important to you than the salvation of your loved ones, and you don’t want to blow it. If you do, you may find that you don’t have a second chance. Fervently pray for them, thanking God for their salvation. Let them seeyour faith. Let them feelyour kindness, your genuine love, and your gentleness. Buy gifts for no reason. Do chores when you are not asked to. Go the extra mile. Put yourself in their position. You know that you have found everlasting life—death has lost its sting! Your joy is unspeakable. But as far as they are concerned, you have been brainwashed and become part of a weird sect. So your loving actions will speak more loudly than ten thousand eloquent sermons.
Therefore, when you share the gospel with your loved ones, make sure you have knowledge that will guide your zeal. Using the Law will help you to gently address the conscience and bring the knowledge of sin inoffensively.
Although it would be nice to have a loved one say, “Tell me about your faith in Jesus Christ,” that may not happen. You may have to gently and lovingly makean opportunity to speak to them. You may have only one shot, so pray for wisdom and sensitivity to God’s timing. Keep your cool, or you may end up with a lifetime of regret—believe me. Continue to persevere in prayer for them, that God would open their eyes to the truth. In the meantime, witness to other Christians’ unsaved loved ones, and trust that God will have some faithful Christian witness to yours. I have seen this happen in my own experience. God is faithful to the faithful.