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Household Salvation

    There are two streams of truth in Scripture that in some sense may seem to contradict one another, but yet remain true.  We must be careful not to take one truth to the total exclusion of the other. Therefore, in this article I want to give something of a balance.  The one truth is that man has a free will and must choose salvation on his own.  The other truth is that God is for household salvation.  The balance is that one person may be the key to bringing the whole household into salvation.

I. God established the household unit.
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth" (Genesis 1:27-28).

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Genesis 2:24).

II. Noah prepared the ark for his house.
"By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith" (Hebrews 11:7).
III. Abraham pleaded for Sodom:
"And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake" (Genesis 18:32).  (Abraham bargained with God to bring it from fifty people down to ten).

"And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city" (Genesis 19:14-15).  His two sons in law rejected the plea.

"But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt" (Genesis 19:26).  His wife disobey and started but turn back.

IV. God sent Joseph to save his own family
"And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance" (Genesis 45:7).

"And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land" (Genesis 45:18).

"But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive" Genesis 50:20).

V. Joshua took responsibility for his own family
"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:15).
VII. God instructed Moses to take a lamb for each household.
"Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb" (Exodus 12:3).
VIII. Rahab the harlot asked for the saving of her house.
"Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father's house, and give me a true token:  And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death. And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee" (Joshua 2:12-14).
IX Peter tells of how the Spirit spoke to Cornelius.
"And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved" (Acts 11:13-14).
X. Lydia and her household was saved:
"And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.  And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us" (Acts 16:14-15).
XI. Paul and Silas told the jailer.
"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house" (Acts 16:31-32).
XII. Strong influence of just one individual
"For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy" (I Corinthians 7:14)

"Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives" (I Peter 3:1).

"Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation" (I Peter 2:12).

Some conclusions:

    Ultimately, each person is responsible to God for their own decision for salvation; however, God is looking for intercessors.   You may well be the intercessor.  God knows what way or what pressure to put on an individual to bring the individual to Christ (as Saul on the road to Damascus), if the individual will be willing to do. Again, you may be the intercessor that makes a difference for your family.

"And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none" (Ezekiel 22:30).
    Samuel spoke to the people and said, "Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way" (I Samuel 12:23).

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