More Thoughts on Unsaved Loved Ones

Posted on October 19, 2021

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By David Ettinger

A Familiar Topic
This is a familiar topic as I have written about it quite a bit – either in posts dedicated entirely to the subject (links below), or referenced in other blogs.

I return to this theme again after reading an excellent post by my blogging friend Vickie, “Pause and Think.” In it she contemplates the question, “If you knew you only had 30 days to live, would you change how you live?”

For me, the answer is instantaneous: I would again appeal to my son to accept the Gospel I raised him on.

Heartbreaking Reality
The heartbreaking reality is that Aaron – age 37 and my only child – has rejected the lordship of Jesus Christ. Interestingly, Aaron does believe OF the God of the Bible and even believes in the reality of the biblical Satan.

His main issue is similar to that of multiple others: If God is good, why is there so much evil in the world. No need to argue further with him; he’s sticking to that.

Though rejecting Christ, Aaron is not vehement in his disavowal of Him or in his rejection of Christianity. He is a great husband to his wonderful wife Kati (also an unbeliever), and an excellent father to my grandson Zac. He has a great job and a very nice home. Yet, he is devoid of God, and therefore devoid of salvation, and therefore – for now – destined for eternal damnation. I say this dryly, but it is tremendously painful.

I raised Aaron in church, and together we read through most of the Bible (all 66 books, but not every chapter of every book). He assured me when he was about 20 that he had made a profession of faith in Christ, and I believe him.

However, consider Romans 10:9, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” There are two parts here: Confessing and believing. Aaron did the first, but not the second.

As Aaron advanced through his 20s, he made no more attempts to either convince me or himself he was a Christian.

The Rest of the Family
This month is my 35-year anniversary as a Christian. My parents died long ago without knowing the Lord, and my 3 siblings do not accept Christ. Nor do their children – my 5 nieces and nephews. When I came to know Jesus in 1986, I never thought 35 years later I’d STILL be the only member of my Jewish family to do so.

Therefore, if I truly had 30 days left to live and knew it, yes, I would make one final concerted effort to bring the Gospel to my family. Why aren’t I doing so now? Because I’ve tried, and they no longer want to talk about it. At least my siblings don’t. My son would talk about it, but he’d say something such as: “Dad, if you want to talk about it, I’ll be polite and listen, but you’re not going to change my mind.”

And I suppose this is the key: Believers really can’t change anyone’s mind. What we can do is witness to others, and if the timing is right and in His will, God will change the mind and heart of the hearer. In the meantime, I pray daily for my unsaved loved ones in the hopes the Lord will open their hearts and minds to their utter depravity and absolute need of the Savior.

It’s a work which only God can do, and I pray with all my heart He will do so soon – especially the heart of my son Aaron.

What about you? Are there unsaved loved ones you care to mention here for whom we can pray? May God give us the grace to endure the heartache.

“The Perfect Prayer for Unsaved Loved Ones”

“In Heaven, “Will You Remember Unsaved Loved Ones?”