I’m imperfect and know that I’m a sinner, but it's hard to understand what happens when I share Christ with my family. I get emotionally verbally abused, hated and walked away from. Why?
ESV - 34 Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
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Through the centuries, millions of people have joyfully received the gospel message as being the "good news" that its name implies, and have been eternally saved through faith in Christ. However, even in New Testament times, those seeking to share the gospel met opposition, which continues today (as shown by your situation) -- even from those closest to them. In fact, Christ Himself predicted this exact state of affairs (Matthew 10:34-39) when He said that families would become divided because of Him, and that Christians' foes would be those of their own households. Human pride causes people to reject Christianity -- either because they do not acknowledge the existence of God in the first place; or because they are unwilling to admit that they are sinners in need of a Savior; or because they think that they can be "good enough" to earn God's favor through their own actions; or because they refuse to comply with Christ's command that they not love anything or anyone (and that includes family members) in this life more than they love Him. Of course, Christians should make every effort to deal with such opposition in a spirit of love and concern, especially when family members are involved. But when it becomes impossible to both serve Christ and also maintain family ties, loyalty to Christ must take precedence. (That's what Jesus was referring to when He spoke of "counting the cost" of becoming His disciple (Luke 14:25-33). However, as He also said in Luke 18:29-30, "Truly I say to you, there is no person who has left home or spouse or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God who will not receive manifold more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.") I might suggest that you find a supportive church home that shares your beliefs, as well as your zeal for telling others about Christ, and that can assist you in dealing with this situation.
Thank you so much for this timely question! It truly tells us of our interpersonal relationships with our families. We should remember; just because we have accepted Christ into our hearts, we have accepted His Forgiveness, this doesn't mean our family has forgiven us. There may be things they still hold against us. We need to ask God to search our past honestly and find those mistakes we have made that has caused strife, go and ask forgiveness of that family member. I will never forget one year after a long prayerful session, I wrote a letter to a cousin asking them to forgive me for something I'd done back when I was a child. I never handed that letter over to them, but my mother found it and mailed it. (Thank God for meddling Mothers) My cousin received the letter and called me, they had always blamed someone else for the deed I'd committed. My confession released them to forgive that person and bring peace into their relationship. They are both passed now, I hope they are having a great laugh over it all! My point is, a prophet is not honored in their own country sometimes for very good reasons! Only Jesus was sinless. We all have some skeletons our relations know about. Confession and repentance may not bring the instant forgiveness from a human being like it does with God, but at least they can see we are working on getting things "right". Be Blessed Lena
Leading people to Christ could take different forms, such as evangelism, preaching, and educating people about scripture and Christians. The questions possess three separate and important entity about Man and Christ. These are Family (Home management and leadership), Christ, our Lord and Savior, and the People to be preached and informed about the everlasting kingdom of God, Act 5:20, "Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life." 2 Timothy 4:2, "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction". According to the above instruction, to preach the good news one must be adequately equipped in knowledge and wisdom so that the information can easily be observed as beneficial, important and necessary. Therefore, the preparation requires some definite period of time, including the process of sharing the scriptures to people (Educating people). This may possibly reduce the necessary attention for the home and family, but whatever could demand our time beyond the family, God advised us to apply limitations. James 1:12, " Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him". The preacher is also the Church leader, and must be an exemplary person within the church congregation. Hebrews 13:7, "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith". Above all Christ words provides the means to eternity, and every available opportunity to share the Gospel of Christ, similarly allows our closeness to eternal kingdom of God. Luke 12:37-38, "Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants".
In short--IT CAN'T. -- It may not be love. It may be control. It may be fear of rejection realized. If the love is truly for them, it will contain patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, etc... It does not "act unbecomingly or seek its own."(I Cor. 13) If the message is truly for them, it will be kind and respectful. "Can anyone really harm you for being eager to do good deeds? Even if you have to suffer for doing good things, God will bless you. So stop being afraid and don’t worry about what people might do. Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life. Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope. Give a kind and respectful answer and keep your conscience clear. This way you will make people ashamed for saying bad things about your good conduct as a follower of Christ. You are better off to obey God and suffer for doing right than to suffer for doing wrong. (I Peter 3:13-17) "Always be ready to give an answer" implies that you love them enough to wait on God and not try to be God. He knows what it will take for your family and all lost persons to come to him. He wants you and me to "be ready" to give an answer. Wait for them to ask the questions. We also need to build a trust account for that day. By this I mean that we demonstrate the love, gentleness and patience of Christ by loving them faithfully no matter their rejection. When someone rejects Christ, He takes it well. He is longsuffering. I must not take their rejection of Him personally. On the other hand, if I am coarse and unnaturally aggressive in my witness, as if "they must believe now-or else", then my witness is the problem. Consider the wife in the same chapter of I Peter (vvs. 1-2) Love them and win your family in the same way. "If you are a wife, you must put your husband first. Even if he opposes our message, you will win him over by what you do. No one else will have to say anything to him, because he will see how you honor God and live a pure life." One day, God will allow you to draw from that trust account. One day, God may use someone else to win your family member to himself. Pray for such individuals. Until then, be in it for the distance and wait on Him as you are faithful. Love them just as Christ loved and loves you.
Being involved in leading my parent (mother) to Christ, incurred the wrath of the remainder of all family members, the result being a hostile environment whenever invited over by the converted parent. This ultimately wrought an impassable distance or spiritual gulf between all family members and myself. The reason for familial hostility was that there was personally no attempt to hide the Light of Christ but rather to let it shine through behaviour/actions. Those members being in darkness were repelled and enraged by what they perceived as invasion by the Light. Their evil deeds were spiritually revealed. It is one matter to theorize about questions such as this question being posted in this forum. It is quite another to use empirical experience, such as the personal example given here. Jesus says (I'm paraphrasing) it is through doing rather than saying that we can know anything at all. 'Be a doer of the Word rather than a sayer or hearer:' Jesus also says it is only as we do the will of the Father that we will know of the doctrine, whether it's true...'. So, as being instrumental (doing) in my parent's conversion, the Lord showed me the power and truth of His teachings. In Luke 14 Jesus says that no man can be His disciple unless they hate their blood relatives including their own life also. This verse speaks directly to the question posted here in that we are to expect conflict with the unconverted blood family. "Hate" in the Greek rendering means "miseo" which means to 'testify against'. It follows then that unless any man testifies against his own life and unconverted family menbers, he cannot be a disciple of Jesus. Such powerful testimony against family brought about a personal estrangement from them. Many might see this as loss but I see it as spiritual gain in that my mother was salvaged for the Lord.
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