2 IntroductionSome do not want to obey the gospel because they believe that they will condemn their loved one if they do.They may verbalize it by saying, “If I accept your teaching, I will condemn my loved one to hell” .This can be a great problem in teaching lost souls.How can we Scripturally answer this emotional argument?
3 You do not have the power to save or condemn your loved one’s soul. Only God Can Save or Condemn through the Words of Jesus Christ, Not ManThe bad news for all of mankind is that we are guilty of choosing to sin against a righteous God and are deserving of His wrath (James 1:13-16; Romans 1:18ff; 3:23)But the good news is that you can be saved through obeying the words of Jesus Christ. (Rom. 1:16; 5:9; Mark 16:16)You do not have the power to save or condemn your loved one’s soul.
4 The dead are not affected by your choice. Only God Can Save or Condemn through the Words of Jesus Christ, Not ManMaybe you have guilt because you influenced your loved one to sin or failed to teach them the truth when you had time and opportunity when they were alive.All you can do is obey the gospel to receive the forgiveness of sins or if you are a Christian to repent and confess your sins (Acts 2:38; 8:22; 1 John 1:9)The dead are not affected by your choice.
5 Man’s Destiny is Sealed at Death The Bible teaches that after death comes the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).Just as a will is sealed up after death so that it cannot be changed, you cannot change the record of the sins you committed which will go before God to the judgment (1 Tim. 5:24).After death, the rich man or his 5 brothers could not change the agonizing torment he was in because of the great chasm fixed between him and Lazarus in Hades (Luke 16:23ff).
6 Man’s Destiny is Sealed at Death Do you suppose any of the 5 brothers of the rich man could have used the argument,“If I become a Christian, I will condemn my brother to torment?”If they did, would it have made any difference to his soul’s condition?If you are honest, you would realize that it would not.
7 God Will Judge by the Objective Standard of His Word Jesus said it would be the words that I have spoken which will judge him (John 12:48) and not the subjective words of man.If each individual will be judged by His word, how will it help your family member if you also disobey the words of Christ? (2 Thess. 1:8; John 3:36)There will be no prayers, emotional pleas, or baptisms on behalf of the dead which will save him.
8 Your Loved One’s Condition Cannot Change Bible Teaching Whatever the Bible teaches today, it was the same thing that was taught in the 1st century since the word of God abides forever (Ps. 119:89; 1 Peter 1:22-25)God’s plan of salvation hasn’t changed. It still includes baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:36ff)
9 Your Loved One’s Condition Cannot Change Bible Teaching God’s plan for righteousness hasn’t changed. We must live holy lives to go to heaven (Titus 2:11-14; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)God’s plan for worship hasn’t changed. If we follow the teachings of men, our worship will have been in vain (Matthew 15:7-9).God’s plan for faithfulness has not changed. We must be faithful until death to receive the crown of life (Revelation 2:10).
10 Your Loved One Wants You to be Saved Just as the rich man got evangelistic and wanted his 5 brothers to be saved after he died, if your loved ones are in torment, they would want you to be saved also (Luke 16:28ff).If his brothers were going to be saved, they needed to heed the word of God.But the rich man thought they would be persuaded to repent if someone rose from the dead (a miracle).
11 Your Loved One Wants You to be Saved Some today think that the only way they could be saved is by some miracle from God but it can only happen by hearing and obeying God’s word.Your loved one wants you to be saved and not come to the place of torment or somebody to talk to you to wake you up to your true spiritual condition! Will you listen?
12 Who is hindering you from obeying the truth? (Galatians 5:7) ConclusionThose who argue “if I accept your teaching I will condemn my loved one to hell”, will it persuade people to obey or disobey God?Jesus Christ demands that we love Him above our spouses, parents, or children (Matthew 10:34ff)Who is hindering you from obeying the truth? (Galatians 5:7)
13 ConclusionThe apostle Paul didn’t let his family hinder him from being baptized and neither should you. (Galatians 1:16; Acts 22:16)All the arguing, emotional pleading, and excuses will not work with the Lord on the Judgment Day (Matthew 7:21-22).He will not change His verdict if we have not done the will of God (Matthew 7:23)
14 “But you’re condemning me and my family when you say these things.” Conclusion“But you’re condemning me and my family when you say these things.”When we quote what Jesus says, we are only repeating what the Judge has already spoken.The devil wants to deceive you into believing a lie that you can actually send your loved one to torment because he wants you to be condemned! (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)
15 ConclusionThe devil will use emotional arguments in order to get you to believe a lie, while God uses rational arguments so that you might obey the truth!Today is the day of salvation! Obey the Lord while you still have time and opportunity (2 Corinthians 6:2)