Witnessing to family members.

“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.

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A shallow life philosophy until…

The reality of death makes this life futile—until we come to know God through the new birth (see John 3:3–8). Sadly, many of the godless have a shallow life philosophy until they are at death’s door. See Rom. 8:20–22 for further details on this futility.

Ecclesiastes 1:2“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”

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No reverence for God.

The covenant of the Law was given that we might fear God. Those who preach the gospel with no reference to God’s Law will reap “converts” who have no reverence for God. Verse 5 underscores the Third Commandment, which demands reverence for God’s holy name.

The end of these “converts” can be seen in Matt. 7:21–23. They continue to practice “lawlessness” despite doing religious works in His name. The genuine convert, however, will have the Law of truth in his mouth. He will magnify God’s Law and make it honorable (see Isa. 42:21). He has named the name of Christ and departed from iniquity (see 2 Tim. 2:19). Iniquity is not found in his lips, and he turns many away from iniquity because his preaching makes continual reference to the Law that sinners have violated.

Jesus rebuked the lawyers, those who should have been preaching God’s Law to bring the knowledge of sin to Israel. He said, “You have taken away the key of knowledge (Luke 11:52). It is the key of the Law that leads to the door of the Savior. It is a “tutor” to bring us to Christ (see Gal. 3:24).

If you want sinners to be saved, don’t be afraid to confront them with the Ten Commandments.

Malachi 2:5“My covenant was with him, one of life and peace, And I gave them to him that he might fear Me; So he feared Me

And was reverent before My name.

6The law of truth was in his mouth,

And injustice was not found on his lips.

He walked with Me in peace and equity,

And turned many away from iniquity.

7“For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge,

And people should seek the law from his mouth;

For he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.

8But you have departed from the way

You have caused many to stumble at the law.

You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,”

Says the Lord of hosts.

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God wrote them.

“We call it the ‘Mosaic’ Law, but it has been well said that the Commandments did not originate with Moses, nor were they done away with when the Mosaic Law was fulfilled in Christ, and many of its ceremonies and regulations abolished. We can find no trace of the existence of any lawmaking body in those early times, no parliament, or congress that built up a system of laws. It has come down to us complete and finished, and the only satisfactory account is that which tells us that God Himself wrote the Commandments on tables of stone.” D. L. Moody 

Joshua 8:32And there, in the presence of the children of Israel, he wrote on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written.

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Fleshly pleasures for a little time.

“Do you esteem the pleasures of sin so sweet, so solid, so lasting—that it is your interest to run the risk of intolerable, eternal misery, rather than part with them? Can you form such an estimate as this while in your senses?

“No! he is a mad-man with whom fleshly pleasures for a little time, the sordid pleasures of sin—outweigh an eternity of perfect happiness. He is certainly not in his right mind—who would rather be tormented in hell forever—than lead a holy life, and labor to escape the wrath to come!” Samuel Davies

Luke 15:17“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

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“The 3rd or the 6th hour?”

Mark tells us that Jesus was crucified at the third hour. But skeptics claim there is a contradiction because John says it was at least three hours later, since at “about the sixth hour” Jesus was still with Pilate before the Jewish crowd (John 19:14). Matthew (27:45) and Luke (23:44) also have Jesus already on the cross at the sixth hour, so they, too, appear to contradict John’s account.

So what time of day was Jesus crucified? This has a very simple explanation. Matthew, Mark, and Luke used the Jewish system of keeping the time, where the day was reckoned as starting at 6 a.m. (sunrise). John, on the other hand, used the Roman system, which (like our time) counts the day as starting at midnight. In both cases, Jesus was crucified at 9 a.m.

Mark 15:25 Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.

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As bad as it gets.

For believers, life here on earth is as bad it gets; for those who refuse Jesus as their Savior, life here on earth is as good as it gets.

“Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.” C. S. Lewis 

 Matthew 25:46And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

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