Q. I know the word of God tells us not to be afraid and to not worry, but how do I and all other Christians not worry about the salvation of those we love since they have a free will to reject the Lord. This is the one area I just don’t know how to handle. So many family and friends don’t believe in God, and God won’t make anyone love him, so how do we not worry about them? Many people quote Acts 16:31 stating to “believe on Jesus and we shall be saved and thy house” as guaranteeing the salvation of our loved ones, but I don’t agree with that interpretation. I don’t believe there is a guarantee that our loved ones will be saved (accept the Lord), just that the Lord will pursue them as we pray fro them. So, how do I not worry?
A. I appreciate what you’re saying, but as you’ve indicated you can’t solve this problem. It’s beyond your control. The only way to stop worrying about problems we can’t control is to turn them over to God and leave the resolution in His hands. God has already provided a solution to this problem but now it’s up to your loved ones to accept it. If you’ve shared His solution with them, and prayed that He will soften their hearts to accept it, you’ve done all you can.
People who use Acts 16:31 to say that getting saved will guarantee the salvation of our loved ones are misinterpreting Paul’s words. Otherwise Paul would have been contradicting his own advice that if an unbelieving spouse wants to leave the marriage the believer should not try to prevent it, because the believer has no assurance that he or she would ever be able to save the unbeliever (1 Cor. 7:15-16).
No one can assure the salvation of another person. That’s something each of us has to do for ourselves. Therefore in Acts 16:31 Paul had to be giving the jailer a word of knowledge that the example he set by becoming saved would prompt the rest of his family to ask for their salvation as well.