Since the beginning of time, God commanded mankind to love and honor their father and mother and to obey them in the Lord (Eph 6:1-4). God commanded a man to love his wife (Eph 5:25) and for the wife to love her husband (Tit 2:4). God commanded parents to love their children and to provide for them (1 Tim 5:8). Even so, God does not want us to love our family more than we love God. Our family does not possess the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Salvation belongs to God and to God only, and to obtain it we must love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mk 12:30). And if we love God, we will obey God (Jn 14:21).
Many can’t accept the gospel of Christ because they feel that would condemn their mother or father.” Perhaps the individual’s parents are deceased and he knows that they never were baptized in order to have forgiveness of sins. Therefore, they are unwilling to obey the Lord in baptism because they feel that their obedience would be a testimony against their own mother and father.
Our actions will not change the destiny of our deceased parents. If our departed parents are rejected on the day of judgment, it will be their fault, not ours. When death overtakes anyone, he has either prepared or failed to prepare for judgment and eternity. No one’s acceptance of the truth will alter the destiny of anybody whose life on this earth is already completed.
Our actions may help to save our living parents. If our mother and father are still living and have not obeyed the gospel, we may be able to guide them through our own example and by teaching all who will give ear.
Each one must give account for his own life. Whether one’s mother and father are saved or condemned, or possibly one is saved and the other is condemned, every person is individually responsible before God. It is absolutely foolish to refuse to be baptized into Christ because one’s parents refused to do so. “Everyone of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12).
Refusal to believe and obey the truth will condemn one’s own soul. Instead of saying, “I cannot accept what you preach because it would condemn my mother and father,” one should realize that if the truth is being preached, the reaction should be, “If I do not accept this, I will condemn myself.”
God must come before our parents, for Jesus said, “He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. . .” (Matt. 10:37). Luke recorded, “ If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Lk 14:26)
Some by their attitudes show more reverence for their parents than they show for God. The thoughts of their earthly father carry more weight with them than the thoughts of their heavenly Father. To please the Lord, we must to love Him more than we love our father or mother, our brother or sister, our husband or wife, even our own self. If we can’t love God above everyone else, we can’t be a Christian and thus we can’t be saved. And if we love God, we will obey his commandments. (Jn 14:15) Jesus commanded the entire world to believe and be baptized in order to be saved. (Mk 16:16) If we love our parents more than this commandment, we shall be condemned!