Last night while I was preaching for Overflow, we were talking about friends and family members that we need to reach with the gospel. I was suddenly convicted because several years ago while we were doing the Impact meetings, God had brought a couple of uncles to my mind to pray for them. Well, I prayed for them at the time, but did nothing to reach out to them. You see, we don't really have a current relationship because they live out of town and we just aren't very close. But they are still family and God wants them all to be saved!
During the service, while the students were in their small groups, I texted my mom to get their phone numbers. She replied with one phone number and I immediately went to my office to call my uncle. As my heart was racing and I anticipated what I might say, the call went straight to voicemail. I left a message and said I would try to call again tomorrow. My heart sank because I wondered if I might have been too late. I kept thinking, "What if I didn't share the gospel with them and they died tonight?" Then I was reminded about 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." Thank God for His patience and all of the chances He gives us to respond to Him.
I made the phone call again today. I got to talk to both of my uncles and found out that one of them was already saved and gave his life to Christ a few years ago before he was about to be operated on to remove a tumor from his throat! The other uncle laughed when I asked him the question and said, "That's the reason you called me?" I was sincere and shared the gospel with him. He wasn't ready to receive and said he was set in his ways and didn't want to change. He grew up in a children's home and learned about the Bible and he believes in the Bible and in Jesus, but wasn't willing to confess Jesus as Lord. He said he'd had religion shoved down his throat too many times. I tried explaining to him that religion isn't the way to heaven and that the people who had forced it on him were wrong. While he didn't pray the prayer, he did let me pray for him before we ended our call.
I hate religion. It has warped the view of God for so many people and well-meaning believers have turned people away through their tirades about people getting their lives right before they come to Christ.
Nevertheless, I was finally obedient and made the call to share the gospel with those family members whom God had placed on my heart. I know I've done my part and I believe God will continue to work in the lives of my uncles.
Do you have some family members or friends that you are unsure of whether they will go to heaven or not? How about you ask them right now? Go look up their phone number and give them a call! What's stopping you?