Bible Society of South Africa
Benescke Janse van Rensburg

New hope (Part 2) – Day 1

New hope ... when praying for the salvation of our loved ones

Bible text(s)

4They do not believe, because their minds have been kept in the dark by the evil god of this world. He keeps them from seeing the light shining on them, the light that comes from the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

2 Corinthians 4:4GNBOpen in Bible reader

43Jesus said to him, “I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with me.”

Luke 23:43GNBOpen in Bible reader

Are you praying for the salvation of a loved one? Do not give up hope for a breakthrough. God hears your prayers. This is what one reader and her family experienced:

Mariëtte: “My 89-year-old granddad lived an active life until he fell ill last year. He still drove around by himself and had a girlfriend whom he regularly took to the theatre or restaurants. However, as a family, we knew that my granddad did not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. From a young age, my mother told me to pray for his salvation. Every time someone dared to speak to him about the subject, he rebelled and highlighted all the mistakes that the church had made in the past. His heart was hardened and only God could change it.

“When my relationship with Jesus Christ deepened, I realised the reality of heaven and hell. How would I ever live with my conscience, knowing that my granddad died without Jesus? I started praying with greater intensity for his salvation.

“In the middle of last year, my grandfather fell ill. We did not realise the severity of it as he lived a healthy life and still managed to walk faster than my mother did, if they went for a walk. This time, my grandfather’s health deteriorated rapidly. We got together as a family and began fasting and praying for his salvation.

“During my first visit to the hospital, after our fast, I was slightly nervous. I gathered all my courage and asked the question: Grandpa, would you like to accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour? I expected him to rebel, but he calmly looked at me and said, ‘Yes.’ I was overwhelmed with shock and prayed with him.

“A few days later, I went back to the hospital. My grandfather was weaker than before. During our conversation, I dared to ask him: Grandpa, do you remember that I prayed with you last week and that you accepted Jesus as your Saviour? This time, he could not remember it. My heart sank while I had to fight the thoughts that he was too tired and that he had said ‘yes’ the previous time, just to get me off his back. I cast away the doubting thoughts and continued with a smile: Never mind, Grandpa, but would you like to accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour? Again, he answered, ‘Yes,’ and I prayed with him for a second time.

“During my third visit, my grandfather was very weak and he barely spoke. I wanted to make sure that he would not miss out on eternity with Jesus, so I asked him again: Grandpa, would you like to accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour? Where he lay in his bed, I could see that he gathered all his courage and strength to speak and with a loud voice, he replied, ‘Yes!’ With tears streaming down my cheeks, I prayed with him. In my heart, I knew he was serious about his decision this time.

“A few days later, I was with my parents at home when my aunt phoned from the hospital. My grandfather was dying. My mother and I immediately joined hands and prayed for God’s protection and peace over him. In my mind, I saw a picture of black figures, who tried to steal my grandfather’s soul. When they got close to him, they suddenly stood back with expressions of shock and disappointment on their faces. I did not understand their reaction. While still praying, I declared that my grandfather accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour and that he belonged to the kingdom of light. He died shortly afterwards.

“That night, during my quiet time, I asked God what the picture meant. In my heart, I experienced that he wanted to give me peace of mind about my grandfather’s eternal destiny. Until the end of his life, there was a constant battle between light and dark for his soul. The demons came to fetch his soul but, with shock, had to realise that their strategies that had worked for 89 years, failed in the end. My grandfather was saved! At age 64, my mother experienced the answer to prayers that she started praying when she was only 16 years old! God is wonderful and all glory goes to him!”

Mariëtte is right. Satan and his demons constantly try to blind the minds of unbelievers. In 2 Corinthians 4:4 we read: The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. Yet, there are second chances when we repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour. In Luke 23:43 Jesus spoke to the sinner next to him on the cross saying: “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Let us continue to pray for our friends and family who do not yet know Christ. In this way, we can ensure that we will spend eternity together in heaven! God bless.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
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