An amazing event took place at Philippi while Paul and Silas were there. They were falsely accused, beaten and thrown in prison. The jailer was instructed to keep them safe. So, he threw them into the inner prison and put their feet in the stocks. Read what happened: “25. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. 27. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. 28. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here” (Acts 16:25-28). Can you even imagine having a song in your heart after being falsely accused, beaten, and locked in stocks in prison? Yet they not only had a song in their heart, but they sang praises to the Lord loud enough for all of the prisoners to hear – for none of them escaped when their doors opened in the great earthquake. Because the keeper of the prison was responsible for those prisoners with his life, he decided to take his own life himself (probably so other Roman soldiers would not kill him!). See his reaction to seeing that none of the prisoners had escaped. “29. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30. And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:29-30). He wanted what Paul and Silas had – Jesus! “31. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house” (Acts 16:31-32). Notice that they told this jailer and all of the people in his house. It was important that they hear the Gospel message. Each person has to hear and respond to the Gospel message. What was their response? “And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house” (Acts 16:34).
This event should be an encouragement to anyone who has chosen to believe the Gospel message, yet that Christian’s family has not yet believed. If one is a Christian but their family is not, it is a sad thing. Christians want their friends and family to have the same salvation that they have found. They would love to have them join them in the journey of the Christian life as they learn and grow. However, it is a personal call and an individual choice. As much as one may share that faith and want them to join, one cannot make them follow. They must believe and follow Christ on their own. This is an important thing to understand. God calls each person into the Christian life, and that individual must respond to that call in affirmation. God calls individuals. Each individual must take action by responding God’s call. However, God wants the family to come to Him. Therefore, it is Christian’s duty to share with his or her family the Gospel message, warning them of the wrath to come. Most importantly, that Christian must live his faith out before them.
In daily life, we learn that some people come to believe the Gospel message easily, while others have a more difficult time coming to the realization that they are a sinful person who needs a Saviour to deliver them from sin. Nevertheless, they must hear the Gospel message!
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).
Have you believed on the Son?
Have you shared your faith with your family?