Evangelizing Lost Family Members and Old Friends

Perhaps the most difficult witnessing that any Christian must do is to our lost family, old friends, and acquaintances. I hope this testimony is an encouragement to the body of Christ to witness to all no matter what the personal cost to themselves or their relationships.

Matt 10:36-38 “…and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

As Christians we should count the cost of following Christ which may be the approval/fellowship with our earthly family members or even worse! Brothers and Sisters I exhort you not to wait another day, go and testify of Christ and His love and His eternal judgment against sinners even though they may be very close personally to us.

Luke 8:20-22
And it was told Him by some, who said, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You. But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”

Do we really believe the doctrines of Jesus that tell us that it is a narrow and difficult way that leads to life?

Matt 7:13-14
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

As followers of Jesus do we practically believe this doctrine?  Do we act like few are finding the way and most are going to an eternal destination of darkness, torment, fire, gnashing of teeth, loneliness, desperation, hopelessness forever, and ever, and ever?  I have over my eighteen years as a Christian been faithful to witness for my Lord Jesus Christ to every member in my family at least two times or more calling each of them to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  The first eight years of my walk I was zealous without knowledge in how I should properly speak to my family about these very important matters.  I would explain that Jesus loved them, they would reject Him explaining that it was nice I found ‘religion’ but they did not want to hear any more about it.  Sometimes I would be so bold to say the consequences of their rejections which would be hell fire.  This of course, led them to react emotionally decrying, “Who are you to judge me?”

James 4:4-5
 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

I remember the day of my salvation Saturday, August 3rd, 1996.  After over eight months of conviction of the Holy Spirit about my dreadful life of sin, I came out of my bedroom and falling on the floor face down making my confession of sin and my profession of my desperate need of Jesus to save me.  I was finally broken hearted about the love that Jesus showed me on the cross, though I had rejected Him most of my life.  After a few hours of prayer, I got up at the assurance of the Holy Spirit that I was forgiven.  I immediately called every family member I could contact to ask them if they knew Jesus and were they forgiven of their sin.    The only one who professed Christ was my sister Cynthia who was overjoyed and told me she had been praying for me for ten years!  Praise God for her faithfulness.  Sadly, I fear she is not even walking in the Spirit as of this writing 18 years later.

I must share some background on my family for the reader’s understanding.  They are mostly Roman Catholic by profession but certainly not practice not that it would help them with Jesus.   They are all sin loving and defending hypocrites that are in rebellion against a Holy God.  It seriously grieves me to think that most if not all of them will end up in God’s eternal justice.  That is not God’s will nor my desire to see any end up in that horrible place of justice, fire, and torment which is why I want to talk with them about these very sober matters.

My mother’s Stephani Brennan’s birth/death information:  Born Nov 24, 1940,  Death Date Feb 23, 1974  Age 33
When my mother died when I was 13 years old my world was shattered.  Our father had left us three children in ’66 to the care of the social services while our mother was in and out of the hospital with various physical and mental breakdowns trying to be a full time mother and work outside the home to support us.  At her funeral I asked my grandmother Ruth where she was and she replied that she was in a better place.  I had been reading the Bible pretty regularly from the time I was ten until her death. I cried out against God, blaming Him for her death.  I knew that she had led a sinful life and knew that she wasn’t a Christian as I understood that to mean.  Within months I was leading a very sinful life which would continue for the next 23 years.  When I was born again of the Holy Spirit one of the first things He dealt with me about was my mother’s spiritual condition and that I could not forsake God again because of my love for her.

I had attempted to witness three times to my earthly father after my new birth, he was very cold to me every time.  When I was retiring from the Navy in Apr, 2001 he attended an Easter church service with us and asked me if the Pastor meant that if he wanted to be forgiven that he should walk to the front.  We did go down together, and I sobbed out a prayer for him.  He never prayed at all and unfortunately mocked God within weeks after this event.   I have no assurance that he died abiding in Jesus Christ.

My father’s death announcement:
John E Mcglone III was born on Wednesday, December 4th, 1940 and died on Tuesday, May 20th, 2003 at the age of 62. John is a member of the Mcglone Family. JOHN ‘s last known place of residence was (Murfreesboro, Rutherford County, Tennessee) .

When the Lord led my family and I to leave Hawaii in 2007 to go into full time ministry, He led us to go to North Carolina where most of my earthly family lives to minster to them.  He especially put my two sets of grandparents on our hearts as they were nearing the end of their long lives.  Geographically, one set lived on the east coast in Atlantic Beach, NC and the other in the mountains of Asheville on the western end of NC.   We moved to Fayetteville and ministered to my maternal grandmother Ruth and grandfather David regularly at her care home in Morehead City visiting, singing hymns, handing out tracts to everyone, and generally witnessing about Christ.  We also would travel to the west to see my paternal grandparents who seemed full of vigor and life despite their age.   They did move into an assisted care home but my grandfather still drove his Cadillac, though a little physically limited, they were very much mentally capable.  Everything seemed wonderful for them except they were practicing Roman Catholic idolaters on their way to a fiery eternity.

My sister Cynthia whom I mentioned earlier does not approve of our evangelism and theology.  We had a serious division between us when the Lord led me to confront my sister’s beliefs about eight years after I was converted.  I tried to speak to her about the false teachers she was promoting; Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, etc.  She became unreasonable denying the opportunity for us to speak on any future spiritual matters, ever.  She has been a carnal comfort to everyone in my family, not warning anyone of sin, righteousness and Jesus’ judgment to come.  She will pray for them, speaking many smooth words of peace.  I often wondered about the ten years that she prayed for me because she knew the wicked life I was living.  Yet she never spoke of Jesus’ love, death, burial, resurrection, justice, mercy, etc as a testimony to me to repent.  She has been accepted by this world, but God has found this unacceptable.  We are praying she repents before it is too late for her.

1 Thess 2:4-5
But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts. For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness—God is witness.

Let’s for a moment consider what the word witness means.  The Greek word is martys in the New Testament, is one who brings a testimony, usually written or verbal.   A witness is one who properly bears the truth in a court of law, for the authorities(judge, prosecutor, and victims) and against the criminal/s.  This could cost you at least your reputation, money, fame, health, and maybe even your life.  Think of witnessing in an earthly court against the mafia who will have your head or harm your family for your testimony against their criminal activity.  This is akin to the sinners, who bear grudges and murderous hearts against you for no good reason except you are exposing them to themselves and everyone around them.  God of course already knows their rebellion against Him.

Prov 15:3  The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.

My step Grandfather died in Jan 2009.  His health had deteriorated very quickly with intestinal cancer.  His death announcement read, Born:  May 5, 1917, Connecticut, USA  Died:  Jan. 10, 2009 Arden, NC – Col (Ret.) C. Dennis Biondi, 91, born May 5, 1917, in Connecticut, died Saturday, January 10, 2009 in Arden following a short illness.

Col. Biondi retired from the US Army following 30 years of service and was a two time Purple Heart and three time Legion of Merit recipient along with numerous other medals and decorations.   Following his retirement he worked in Paris for the American Newspaper Publisher’s Association as their International Representative.  Surviving are his wife of 62 years, Margaret E. Barrow Biondi.  A memorial service will be held and Inturnment at St. Margarets Roman Catholic Church in Maggie Valley at a later date.

I attended my step grandfather’s funeral at this Catholic church in their beloved Maggie Valley.  At the reception following the service I asked my grandmother Maggie if I could speak to the 4-5 dozen people attending.  Amazingly, she granted that and I gave a clear call to the Kingdom, to confess to the Great High Priest, obedience to the Gospel and enduring to the end for over 30 minutes.  The atmosphere became quite uncomfortable for most of them but the Spirit was moving in my testimony to them.  I was thrilled the Lord granted me the privilege to lift up the Name of His noble Son in that spiritually dead place.

When I had moved my family to central KY in early 2009 I found it very difficult to get over to my maternal grandmother to visit with her, especially with all of our children.  I did have a few more visits before her death in Feb, 2012.  Her obituary read,  Ruth H. Sipes, 88, Morehead City , died 02-20-2012. Arrangements: Brooks F.H., Morehead City.  I was informed by my youngest sister Melissa of her death.  I  asked her about the reception to which she coldly told me there would be none.   The funeral service would be for an hour with no graveside service.  I knew in my heart why this had been arranged this way.  No one wanted the uncomfortable experience of having to be around myself and what I would likely express to them.  I began praying and the Lord was leading me to do something that I had imagined in my mind but trembled at the thought of.  He wanted me to go to the funeral and preach as I do in the open air.  He told me not to consider what I would say beforehand and that He would give me the words to speak and when to speak.  He asked me if my family was more special than other people’s families.  Then God drove home the point to me, “If I called you to preach to the whole world, why are you excluding your family?”  Brother Pat came with me at my request as I knew that I would be going into a lion’s den at the funeral. I was tempted to prepare before hand many times what I would say to them. Praise the Lord I obeyed His Word and will not to consider this beforehand. Upon arrival I signed in, my family was already seated. My preaching shirt did raise some eyebrows. After the singing, I decided to just stay standing after the last direction of the ‘pastor’ to sit down. He began to speak, I was seeking the Lord when to address them with the message that I believed the Lord would give. When this wolf began to speak of nothing separating us from the love of Jesus I could not hold back any longer. I would ask Christians as they view this video to try and pick out how many Scriptures I gave this assembly of spiritual zombies in this short proclamation. You can watch the video here:

 

My paternal grandmother died Oct, 2014.  Her death announcement read:

WAYNESVILLE — Margaret Elizabeth Barrow Biondi died Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Col. C. Dennis Biondi, U.S. Army (Ret.); son, John McGlone; one brother; and three sisters.  She is survived by her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews and nieces.  A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 31, at St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church in Maggie Valley with a reception following in the church hall.  Condolences can be made online to http://www.ashevilleareaaltern

Her grand daughter and my sister Cynthia Tracy McGlone saw fit to hide Maggie’s death and funeral from me.  I supposed she feared I would come and preach the way I did in Morehead City as you witnessed above.  She called me the day after the funeral, explaining that she thought I should know.  I was shocked and yet not surprised in the same moment.  Admittedly, I was angry that she thinks she has the authority to make such manipulative decisions keeping me and my family from attending our (great)grandmother’s funeral.  But, praise the Lord her poor judgment has led me to write this blogpost to exhort and encourage the Saints of the Most High God.

When Cynthia’s husband Matt died a few years ago she requested that I did not come.  I understood her reasons but was hurt nonetheless. Ironically, I spoke with Matt’s mother a few months  later and she was shocked to learn that my sister had done that.  I explained why I understood that Cynthia would do this as she feared what I might say and do if I came.

Unfortunately, I think my sister has the same problem most professing Christians have in regards to witnessing, a fear of man.  ‘Christian’ cowardice is an oxymoronic statement!

Prov 29:25
The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.

Prov 28:1
The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion.Rev 21:8
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Who are these ‘cowardly’ the bible speaks of in Rev 21:8?  It couldn’t be the lost as they do not fear God at all, nor do they fear men (at least outwardly).  These dear reader are the lukewarm, apostate ‘believers’ who would never stand up for the truth of Jesus, His teachings, or the Bible to anyone.  They will have a horrific surprise for themselves on judgment day if they don’t repent.

I also have a stern warning for parents not to judge your children as saved before you see fruit meet for repentance.  The youth of your womb need to have their own testimonies about how the Lord dealt with their personal sin, His righteousness, His judgments, His love demonstrated with His Son at the cross.  Can they make their own true profession that lines up with the Bible from their own hearts and minds?  Do you or they even know how to simply explain all the necessary ingredients that lead to a person hungering and thirsting for forgiveness from Jesus Christ?  Pray for them to have a true broken heart about their sin, God’s love on the cross, confession, new birth, becoming a new creature in Christ.  You have had natural children, you do not want to have spiritual children that are either still born, or die very quickly because their hearts have not been prepared with all the truths of God’s Word and will for their lives.  I can’t tell you how many hundreds of times I have witnessed to a family and the wife will speak on behalf of everyone including their husband, young adults, and  very small children, “Were all saved, you can be sure of that!!!”
I ask, “How do you know your saved according to Scriptures?”  To wit they will usually get very defensive saying, “I just know!” and then hurry off.  When you witness you can ask one simple question that will test the spirit of that person.  If they died today would they be guilty or innocent?  Most people will answer, “I hope I am innocent.”, or “I’m not sure.”  Now, this is the most important issue for any human being to get right and most people don’t understand or know?  I have to scratch my head at that spiritual carelessness and apathy for someone who professes Christ.

The last point I would want to make about this very important work is that no one’s family members are any more or less important than anyone else’s!  To make our family members of more value than others is to degrade the value of the atonement and other human creatures that God has made in His image.  This also exalts the value of our personal family members, this would be family idolatry.  We are all members of the human family, made from one blood.

Act 17:26-28
And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;  for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’

ruth

From L to R and front to back:  Maternal Grandpa David, Daniel, Sarah, Jenna, Maternal Grandma Ruth, Victoria, Gina w/Kaliq(our grandson), Seth, Caitlin, Nida, Hannah

Would you witness and/or preach to my family members who have hardened their hearts  and will not listen to me anymore?  For those of you that believe I have been too harsh with my family I would as that you hear my Grandmother Maggie’s last call to me in Jul, 2012 forcing me to choose between her and Jesus Christ.  She passed into her eternal damnation on Oct 14, 2014.  Here is the last opportunity that I had to witness to her or any of the extended family on her side.

My Grandmother Maggie’s Rejection of Jesus Christ and Me.

Luke 9:60

Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”

 

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7 Comments

Filed under Teaching

7 responses to “Evangelizing Lost Family Members and Old Friends

  1. God bless you brother! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  2. Dana Madore

    It seems to me that people, family and others, believe that everyone just goes to a better place and is looking down at us. To suggest otherwise ruffles their pride. It’s like, how dare I say they aren’t good enough to go to heaven. Pride is a big problem. I don’t know if we can reach people that refuse to seek God. I do believe we must try to obey God though.

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  3. sherry

    This was a really huge blessing to me. May Jesus reach your family and that minister while they can still be reached!

    Like

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