(Can Influence Be Overcome?) Bible Question.
“I was married, divorced and have since become a Christian. I cannot be around my ex-husband due to the risk. However, before I was a Christian I was very mean to my ex’s sons (my stepsons). They saw me as a horrible example and even now must think that if I am a Christian, being a Christian is a bad thing. I am now so happy to be saved. But can my stepsons be reached by the gospel, or are they beyond saving because of my bad influence?”
Jesus makes it clear that He cares about how we treat each other. . .
“but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!” – Matthew 18:6, 7 (New American Standard Bible)
The Lord warns us that if we lead others into sin we should be fearful. And this is even more true when those we influence toward evil are the innocent, such as children. Yes, we should always be aware of the example we set and the impact it has on others.
But, you can be forgiven for this sin, just as you can be forgiven for any other sin. When you came to Jesus in repentance and submission, ALL of your sins were washed away, including this one. “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more.” – Hebrews 8:12
As to whether your sons can be saved, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” God’s grace can reach them, but only if they hear the word and respond to it as you have done. When you became a Christian you accepted your sinfulness, turned to God and let Him wash you. If your stepsons do that, they too can be saved. You may have influenced them negatively, but they can be reached. Since you are out of touch with them, the best thing you can do is begin to pray that they will hear the word and obey the word of God.
Pray that other opportunities and people can minister to them. Perhaps, over time, God’s word will open their hearts, just as it did Lydia’s (Acts 16:14), and just as it did yours! Then, the mistakes and poor choices of your past will not only be forgotten by God, but overcome by Him as He works to save your stepsons.
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