Summary: Our challenge then, from Isaiah 56, is to be a faithful witness, pray, and let God be God.
GOD’S PROMISES FOR EVERY NEED: UNSAVED LOVED ONES
INTRODUCTION… The Most Important Decision You Ever Make (p)
We all make decisions. Some decisions we make are bigger than others. I was thinking about the biggest and most important decisions we make. I am pretty sure that whether or not to get married and who we marry is one of the biggest decisions we make as people. Marriage for most is the most significant relationship we have and so it is tied to children, in-laws, money, morals, and just about every aspect of life. Where we live is also a huge decision. We can choose to live where we were raised near family or go where the job takes us or we can even choose to be homeless. Tied to that is buying a home or renting or living in an apartment or living with family or “living in a van down by the river.” Where we live seems pretty important. Because we just had an election, who we vote for seems quite important because who we vote for determines the direction of the country we live in, tax levels, immigration policy, foreign policy, funding of the armed forces, and even who is appointed to different offices.
I am sure we could come up with some other big decisions. I happen to think that all of those decisions are not “the most important” decision we ever make. I believe that the decision to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is the most important decision that any person can make. That one decision has impact in eternity, but also in this life. A decision to follow Jesus impacts every other decision we make… or it should… including who we marry, how we spend money, our jobs, our friends, how we spend our time, what we find entertaining, and may even impact where we live. Jesus is an all-encompassing decision.
THE NEED OF UNSAVED LOVED ONES
Our sermon series that we are working through is “God’s Promises for Every Need.” The need that we are going to talk about this morning is a tender one. It is tender because it is tied to eternity and destiny and choices that we all make as human beings. It is tender because it is tied to our love and care and concern for other significant people in our lives. I hope you believe that the decision to follow or not follow Jesus is the most important decision you will make and also the most important decision people you love will make. It is the most important decision everyone makes.
Maybe you have already made that decision to follow Jesus.
Maybe someone you love has NOT decided to follow Jesus.
Therein lies the need and the tension and the tender issue that we will discuss today:
* What do we do when we are believers, but our spouse is not?
* What do we do when we raise our children to love Jesus, but they walk away from faith?
* What do we do when we are a Christian, but our mom or dad is not?
* What do we do when the children of our children do not believe?
* What do we do when our most significant friend is not a Christian?
It is a big deal that these people are important to us and they do not believe the same things about God and Christ that we do. This creates a fundamental difference between us. It is such a difference that the Apostle Paul warns us that if we are already Christians, we should not yoke (2 Corinthians 6:14) ourselves with non-Christians. This difference creates a need in us for them to believe in Jesus and be saved and to know that a relationship with Jesus is all important. This need can create worry, shame, concern, doubt, and guilt in us.
Let’s read from the Old Testament, from the book of Isaiah today, where God speaks through Isaiah about the salvation of others in our lives.
READ ISAIAH 56:1-8
This is what the Lord says: “Maintain justice and do what is right, for My salvation is close at hand and My righteousness will soon be revealed. 2 Blessed is the one who does this— the person who holds it fast,
who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps their hands from doing any evil.” 3 Let no foreigner who is bound to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely exclude me from His people.” And let no eunuch complain, “I am only a dry tree.” 4 For this is what the Lord says: “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, who choose what pleases Me and hold fast to My covenant— 5 to them I will give within My temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will endure forever. 6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to minister to Him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be His servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it