6 Questions to Ask your Aging Parent Who Doesn’t Know God

6 Questions to Ask your Aging Parent Who Doesn’t Know God

My father passed away recently. Unfortunately, we were estranged most of my adult life, which made our last days together even sadder. With God's grace, our relationship mended before he passed, but his departure was bittersweet. We were talking but we both knew the time was short. There was so much to say, and there were so many questions I wanted to ask before the time was gone. The most important question I needed to ask: Do you know Jesus?

The time was gone before I asked. Maybe I should have known the answer to this question before the end of my father's life. Honestly, we never talked about it. I assume and hope the answer is "yes," but I am not entirely sure, which is more regrettable than missing the opportunity to ask. Do you know the answer to this question and other questions about your parents’ faith?

If you have aging parents who may not know God, now is the time to ask these questions. If they do not know God, asking questions about faith allows God to "quicken" and enlighten their hearts to His love. Now is the perfect time to start the conversation that may lead to salvation.

To get the conversation started, here are questions to ask your aging parent who may not know God.

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  • 1. How was the universe formed?

    1. How was the universe formed?

    It is difficult to stare into a clear night sky full of twinkling stars and not believe that a higher power is at work. The truth is, God is at work. Science explains what we see, but Scripture tells us who made it. In the first chapter of Genesis, we see God creating the universe, creating the stars, the animals, the fish, and even man. God created everything out of nothing, and God formed all of creation's magnificent beauty for us. The blue of the sky, the green of the trees, are all made for us and enhance our existence. How can this beauty and wonder be random?

    The unexplainable beauty and the amazing design of the universe and the world in which we live are evidence itself of God. "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). Ask your mother or father how randomness can be responsible for the universe? It cannot. The only answer is a loving and creative God.

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  • 2. Do you believe God exists?

    2. Do you believe God exists?

    Almost everyone knows who God is supposed to be, and either they believe He exists, or they do not believe God is real. But to "know" God is not only to agree that He is real and lives, but it also means a relationship. To believe God exists is to have faith without proof that He is all-powerful, is ever-present and sovereign over all. “The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 40:28).

    To know God is real is to trust His word, His faithfulness, His holiness, and, most of all, His love. To know God is to believe in His Son, Jesus. As a believer, you might follow this question with a testimony of your life since you have known God. Encourage your mother or father to consider who God is, to believe in His Son, and make the decision to "know" Him. “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17).

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  • An old person holding a Bible, WWII veteran starts a prayer chain for a spiritual revival

    3. Who was Jesus?

    Many unbelievers agree Jesus was a real person, but not much more than that. They will consent that Jesus lived but was merely a good man, an example by which to live. The truth is Jesus was God incarnate. In Philippians, Paul, a man who studied and understood the scriptures of the Old Testament, knew who Jesus was and wrote about Jesus saying, “Who, being in very nature God” (Philippians 2:8).

    Knowing who Jesus is and having faith in Him is the cornerstone of salvation. There is no other way to a relationship with God. Jesus said, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus died a horrible death in our stead that we would have eternal life. Will your mother or father consider Jesus as the way to freedom from sin and death?

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  • 4. Have you ever done something which you feel God could not forgive? 

    4. Have you ever done something which you feel God could not forgive? 

    Often, the reason people deny Jesus and run from God is they feel that God could not forgive their sins. Whatever that sin, they believe it is too heinous for a loving and holy God to forgive. The enemy uses this self-condemnation to keep a person in shame and regret. John 3:16, says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This promise was not meant only for those with seemingly insignificant sin. 

    He died for every sin. And, according to Romans 3:22, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” everyone is a sinner. Not one of us is perfect; only Jesus. But, there is no sin too great that God cannot forgive. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Remind your mother or father there is no sin so great that God could not forgive. But if we admit we are not perfect, God is faithful and forgives.

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  • 5. How do you live a morally right life?

    5. How do you live a morally right life?

    There is a misconception that living a good life and righteous life depends on being kind and not committing some kind of capital offense. True, living within the confines of the law and considering others is part of living the best life, but even our best is not enough. Being moral or good on our own strength does not make us righteous. It is impossible. None of us is good. According to Scripture, “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins” (Ecclesiastes 7:20).

    Our outward actions may be noble, but our inward thoughts, our hearts, are always selfish and self-serving. In Philippians, Paul wrote about his many accolades. A Hebrew of Hebrews, he called himself. He knew the law and lived it to the letter. Yet, Paul admitted that it was all trash compared to knowing Jesus. Paul confessed, “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me” (Romans 7:21). Only through knowing Jesus did Paul have a chance to live a righteous and good life. We cannot escape our selfish nature. Your parent may live a good life, but no one can live a moral, righteous life without Jesus. No one.

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  • 6. What happens when you die?

    6. What happens when you die?

    We do not know precisely what happens when we take our last breath. Some suggest nothing happens. Believers in Christ, however, know that when our time ends here, our lives begin in eternity in heaven. We trust this because Scripture promises, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11-12). If we have faith in God's promises, the best is yet to come. Does your parent definitively know what will happen when they die? Will they simply stop existing or go on to eternal life with Christ? The time to decide is today. “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

    As Jesus ministered to the people he encountered, He asked questions of them. Jesus used questions to draw out the truth of what people believed. Take the time now, before it is too late, to ask your aging parents these questions. Be ready to share the truth of God's love and eternal life through Christ. Be prepared with an answer that leads to eternity.

    Tamela Turbeville wants every woman surviving abuse to know God loves them, and that they are worthy and wanted. Most of all, healing is possible. She began Living One Word to write and share how God redeems the lives of survivors and you can read more about Tamela and her healing journey at www.livingoneword.com, on Facebook, and Instagram.

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