If You Have Family Members Unsaved, Don’t Give Up! Keep Praying!
A testimony shared by Sammy Tippit at "Heart-Cry for Revival" Conference.
In my family, I was the first person to come to know Christ. It was before I was married. The night the Lord came into my heart and saved me, I knew He had a call on my life to preach, and I surrendered two nights later to preach the Gospel. I have been preaching ever since.
My father was very ill. One day some men came to our home and shared the Gospel with my father and he gave his life to Christ. He died not long after he received Christ.
But my mother and my brother and my sister were not believers. My mother became very angered at what I had done. When I tried to witness to her and share Christ with her, she told me, "Don’t you ever talk to me about God again. I don’t want to hear about Christ, and don’t ever speak to me about God."
What do you do when you cannot talk to your mother about God? I will tell you what I did; I talked to God about my mother. I prayed for my mother, and I prayed and I prayed – for over twenty years I prayed that my mother would come to know Jesus Christ.
One day I received a letter from a man inviting me to preach an evangelistic crusade in a city in Tennessee. The letter indicated that a committee was wanting to have a city-wide youth evangelistic meeting. My sister was studying in that particular city so I thought, "That will be great. My sister might come out." I accepted the invitation. When I arrived there I found that this was not something arranged by the churches in the city as it had been presented to me, but it was one man’s idea. He was a wealthy business man and had enough money to rent a huge auditorium that would seat several thousand people.
That night at the auditorium there were five people present: two were my wife and myself; two were my sister and her friend; and the fifth was the man who had invited me to come. I stood and preached like there were five thousand, and I gave the invitation. My sister and her friend gave their hearts to Christ! God saved my sister in a wonderful way.
But my mother was so contrary to the Gospel, and so hard. It was so difficult during the Christmas season when we would go home to visit my family. After about twenty years, I received a phone call from my mother.
She said, "Sammy, I have been a proud woman. And I have been a bitter woman. And I am tired of my pride and tired of my bitterness. I need God; I need Jesus; I need help."
I said, "Mom?" for I could not believe it was her. But right there on the telephone she prayed with me and gave her heart to Jesus. About a year later my mother phoned again. She said, "Sammy, your brother wants to talk with you." He got on the phone and he said, "Sammy, I went to church Sunday, and I gave my heart to Christ."
My mother passed away not many years thereafter. The last few years of her life, her favorite thing to do was to go to the prayer meeting. She was no longer opposing me, but she became one of the greatest prayer supporters I had in my life and in my ministry. God saved my whole family. All I could do was pray, but God answered prayer and saved every member of my family!
A Marriage Dedicated to God
When my wife and I married, we decided to dedicate our marriage to Jesus. We gave to each other for a wedding present a Bible, and we took that Bible on our honeymoon. We read that Bible and prayed and read that Bible and prayed and we dedicated our marriage to Jesus.
When our son came along, still in his mother’s womb, we dedicated him to the Lord. When our daughter was still in her mother’s womb, we dedicated her to the Lord. We gave them back to God. God gave us a promise that He would use our children. Both of them went through a time of rebellion and of going away from the Lord. But God is faithful, and God answers the prayers of His people.
Our son graduated from college and he would say to me, "Oh, Dad, I am going to be a businessman, make lots of money and support your ministry."
I said, "Well, if that is what God says for you to do, just do whatever He says." We did not tell him God had given us a promise that He was going to use him in the ministry.
Our son received a degree in finance and international business and he was in the process of starting an international business, but the deal fell through. The day after the deal fell through, he received a phone call from a young lady who was going to a discipleship missions school. She said, "I want you to come up here and just visit this."
He told me, "I went up there and, Dad, I believe God wants me to go to that school." He went to that school and God began to do a deep, deep work in his life. He had become a Christian through our family devotions, and our daughter the same way. But during that time in discipleship training, God worked deeply in our son’s life. We would go to visit him and he would be broken, weeping over sin and things in his life. You could see God doing a purifying process.
That school had six months’ discipleship training and three months overseas. They left to go to Mongolia. While in Mongolia, my son phoned and said, "Dad, God is calling me to preach the Gospel." Now my son has started a discipleship ministry with young people. Our daughter has served with him. We are excited as we have seen God work in a mighty way.
I want to encourage you, if you have children, if you have family members that are not saved, do not give up! Pray! Keep praying! God is a God who answers the prayers of His people.