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A lesson by Dr. C. L. Cagan
given at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Afternoon, February 18, 2018

“One of the two which heard John [the Baptist] speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus” (John 1:40-42).

Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist. He heard John the Baptist say that Jesus was “the Lamb of God” (John 1:36). And so he “followed Jesus” (John 1:37). Andrew became a Disciple of Jesus. He went to his brother Simon Peter and brought him to Jesus. Peter became a Disciple himself. Later Peter was converted and became the great Apostle who preached on the Day of Pentecost when three thousand souls were saved.

It all began when Andrew brought his brother to Jesus. Andrew didn’t know much. He wasn’t converted himself yet. But he knew to bring his brother to Jesus. And that is what you must do to win your relatives to Christ. How should you do it? What method should you use? Why, the same method we use in evangelizing everyone else!

In our church we don’t go out to lead people in a “sinner’s prayer” on the street. That method doesn’t work. The people are not converted on the street. They don’t come to church. We tried it. It doesn’t work.

God showed our pastor, Dr. Hymers, a method that works. Jesus said, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in” (Luke 14:23). Dr. Hymers developed the method we use in our church based on that verse. We invite people to church and ask them for their first names and phone numbers. We telephone them and arrange a ride for them to come to church. When they come, they have a good time. They make friends. They eat with us. We have lunch after every morning service and dinner after every evening service. When they come, they hear the Gospel preached. A few people trusted Christ the first time they came, like Dr. Chan and Mrs. Hymers. Most people come for weeks or months before they are converted. This method works. It actually brings people to church and into the church so they can hear the Gospel and trust Christ. Almost everyone in our church is here because someone used this method and invited them. It works!

And that’s how you can evangelize your family. When you speak to them, use the method that Dr. Hymers developed. Use the method that works. Don’t talk about religion. Don’t argue about religion. Don’t try to pray a “sinner’s prayer” with them in their house. Instead, bring them in! Bring them to church! Let them have a good time, make friends, and enjoy being here. Then bring them back! Talk to them just like you talk to anyone else you invite.

Don’t be mean. Be kind. If you argue with your relatives, you will not win them. If you try to correct all of their errors, you will not win them. You will only make them angry. Do not raise your voice. Do not be defensive.

Be a good example to them. Let them see the way you live as a Christian. Let them see that you are happy. Let them see that your life is better. And bring them in! When they see that it has helped you to be a Christian, they will think differently about you. When they see that you are doing better in school, they will think differently. When they see that you haven’t made a mess of your life, they will think differently about you. Then they may be open to coming to church and hearing the Gospel.

Tell your family how happy you are at church. Tell them that we talk about how to study in every service. Tell them how your grades have improved. Tell them about the friends you’ve made in church. Give them a reason to come and see for themselves!

They may talk bad about you. Your non-Christian parents may say that you’re not a good son or daughter because you go to church. They may say you’ve become a fanatic. Your Buddhist relatives may say you’ve betrayed your ancestors because you don’t pray to them. Don’t pray to your ancestors, but don’t get into an argument. Be polite. The Bible says, “Honour thy father and thy mother” (Exodus 20:12). Be nice to your family, even if they talk bad about you.

But don’t give in to your relatives. Don’t stop coming to church to please them. Don’t cut back on what you do for Christ. They may want you to go to church only on Sunday morning – or not at all. But remember that Jesus said, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37). Yes, you should love your family – but not more than Christ. Be nice, but don’t give in. When they see you are better because you are in church, they will think differently about you.

When should you bring your family? You can bring them any Sunday! But it will give them a good introduction to our church if you bring them on a special occasion with a banquet, such as Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Invite them as early as possible, before they make other plans. Your relatives know when the special holidays are. They will be planning to do something else. Doesn’t your mother know when Mother’s Day is? And don’t all of your relatives know when Mother’s Day is? Don’t they know that too? If you invite people right before the event, it will be too late. They will already have something planned. Talk to them early.

After they come, bring them back! Don’t wait until the next holiday. People who come only on special holidays never get saved. Bring them back. Don’t expect them to be converted if they are not coming and hearing the Gospel every week. It is a terrible mistake to be content if they come only two or three times a year on special holidays. Their souls will be just as lost as if they had never come to church. Coming a couple of times a year will do them no good at all.

Right now I’m thinking of one lady. Her son invited her to our Mother’s Day banquet. And she came. She came every year. But she did not come to the regular Sunday services. She only came for special occasions. She never got saved. She never became convicted of her sin. She never thought seriously about her soul. She did not come to Christ for cleansing by His Blood. She died without trusting Christ. Her son did not insist on her coming to church. He did not “compel her to come in.” She never trusted Christ. She died and went to Hell.

How will you feel when your mother dies? Young people think their parents will always be there. They were there when you were a child, weren’t they? But they won’t always be there! Your parents will die just like everyone does. If your mother trusted Christ, you will be happy when she dies. Yes, you will feel sad because she is gone from this earth. But you will be glad to know that she is in Heaven and that you will see her again.

But if your mother dies without trusting Christ, you will feel horrible. It won’t help to say that she was a sinner. It won’t help to say that you invited her a couple of times. You will cry because you will know that your mother is in Hell – and you didn’t do everything you could to bring her to church so she could trust Christ and be saved. Your mother will be in Hell, and there will be nothing you can do. It will be too late. You will remember that, over and over again, for the rest of your life.

You are responsible to do everything you can to get your relatives saved. You are a watchman to them, to warn them of their danger and their need for Christ. If you don’t do everything you can to win your relatives, God will judge you for that. God said to the prophet Ezekiel,

“When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand” (Ezekiel 3:18).

No, you can’t make a person trust Christ. But you can try hard. If he dies without trusting Christ, yes, he will die in his sin. But if you didn’t do everything you could to win him, God will hold you accountable. God will judge you. Don’t come before God with your relatives lost – and you didn’t try hard to win them to Christ.

I’m thinking about some other people. These people are still alive. I’m thinking about mothers and fathers of people who come to our church. They came a couple of times, but never more than that. They are not saved. Soon they will die without Christ. You will feel very sad when your mother or father dies and goes to Hell. But then it will be too late. There will be nothing you can do. Go after them now, and keep on after them!

Yes, keep after your family. Be persistent. Be firm. The Bible says, “Compel them to come in.” Tell your aged mother, “Come on, let’s go.” And bring her! What does “compel” mean? It doesn’t mean to use brute force, like the Catholic Inquisition in the Middle Ages. But it means something! It doesn’t mean to casually invite them two or three times a year! It means to keep after them until they come. This requires work and thought and prayer. That’s why people don’t want to do it. And they don’t win their family either! Yes, pray for the person. But that’s not enough. Be nice to them. Do things for them. Show them that you love them and care for them. Think about how to bring them. Work on them. Talk to Dr. Hymers or Mrs. Hymers about it. Put yourself into it. That’s the way to win a soul!

To win your family, you must be persistent. You must persevere. You must keep on and keep on again. Don’t just invite them once or twice. Don’t just bring them to church once or twice. Keep on and keep on some more. Keep on until they die or they trust Christ.

It may take years. It may take decades. But you can win some of them. Dr. Hymers took care of his mother. He prayed for her. He brought her to church every Sunday for twenty years. At the age of 80, she trusted Christ. She is now in Heaven.

My wife Judith took care of her mother. She brought her to church every Sunday for twenty years. At the age of 87 she trusted Christ. She is now a member of our church. Because she trusted Christ, she will go to Heaven when she dies.

Mrs. Olivacce took care of her mother and father. She talked to them. She prayed for them. She brought them to church again and again. She made sure they heard the Gospel. It wasn’t easy. It took time. But her father got saved. Then her mother got saved. They are now members of our church. Because they trusted Christ, they will go to Heaven when they die.

It isn’t easy. It takes time and prayer and work. But it can happen. Think of how it will be to have your mother, your father, your loved ones saved! How happy you will feel when they trust Christ! It will be wonderful when you see them in Heaven. And it will be wonderful when you and they come down to earth with Jesus to reign with Him in His Kingdom!

But you’ve got to make it a priority. You’ve got to go after them every week. You’ve got to love them and care for them. You’ve got to bring them, and bring them again. Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Keep after them until they trust Christ! May God help you to do it. Amen.

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