It would have been my dad’s 91st birthday last week and it caused me to reflect on my Dad’s profession of faith in Jesus Christ, as well as my stepmom Judy’s, two years ago. Their turning to the Lord were the results of thirty years of praying. Plus, there was a bonus: my dad’s hospital roommate also confessed Jesus as Lord. Not only that, I was able to baptize all three of them.

At the time my concern was that they would not be discipled, that is, taught about the things of God nor read the Bible, nor go to a church, nor experience Christian fellowship. That all proved true. They both died last year and as far as I could tell, there was no discernible growth. In fact, my father was downright hostile to the Gospel the last time I saw him, a year after he “became” a Christian.

Then I thought about the Ethiopian eunuch who got saved after Phillip explained the way of salvation to him, was baptized immediately, then “the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Phillip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went away rejoicing.” (Acts 8:39)

The Ethiopian eunuch was not discipled as far as Scripture tells, attended no church, and there was no follow up either. Yet legend has it that he was responsible for a growing church in the first few centuries after Christ.

Same thing goes with the thief on the cross. He believed in Jesus and did nothing else but just hang around. Then there’s the Centurion, the paralyzed man lowered through the roof, the Samaritan woman at the well, Nicodemus, and so many others. Maybe they attended Bible studies; perhaps they were discipled; we just don’t know for sure.

Yet they were all “saved by grace, through faith; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Do I really think that I—or anyone—can keep my dad and stepmom saved?

“The message concerning faith that we proclaim is this: If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”(Romans 10:8-9)

Look at the Christian church as a whole. How many are being discipled and encouraged to grow in the faith? Believer, are you? In my 33 years as a Christian, I have met very few Christians who are being discipled or are discipling somebody. One dear Christian woman said this to me: “Well, they aren’t being discipled the way you disciple them.”

I replied, “You are right. My discipleship program is one-on-one for life.”

The truth is, most who claim the name of Christ don’t even read their Bibles, and few even go to church. Or, if they do go to church, that is the extent of their “working out their salvation.” (Philippians 2:12)

So, are they really saved? Are my dad and stepmom in Heaven with their weak belief?

The bottom line: It’s not my responsibility. I can trust God to finish his work, the work he started, the work he just happened to allow me to be a part of, by his grace. Who knows if they weren’t humble enough, or thankful enough, or repentant enough or if they truly understood what Jesus’ death on a cross meant to them? Do they know the sacrifice God made for them when he stepped out of Heaven and became a man, to die for their sins? Does anybody fully get it when they first hear the Gospel? Are we saved by how much we understand?

“No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Acts 15:11)

With that in mind, I’ll leave God to do His work, and I’ll do mine.

“Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25)

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