There is a Scripture that states that it is possible for another person to rescue someone, who has become a backslider (who once professed faith) and, in so doing, ensure the salvation of the backslider’s soul for eternal judgment. More than this, though, in bringing back the backslider, the person doing this, actually covers a multitude of his own sins.
- My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20)
From Barnes” Notes and Elliot’s Commentary, we see some some differing sentiment regarding the effect of a person’s prayer for another:
Shall save a soul from death - It has been doubted whether this refers to his own soul, or to the soul of him who is converted. Several manuscripts, and the Vulgate, Syriac, Arabic, and Coptic versions, here read: "his soul." The most natural interpretation of the passage is to refer it to the soul of the one converted, rather than of him who converts him. This accords better with the uniform teaching of the New Testament, since it is nowhere else taught that the method of saving our souls is by converting others; and this interpretation will meet all that the scope of the passage demands. (James 5:20—Barnes' Notes)
What St. James was in word that also was he in deed; for he “prayed fervently” for the pardon and conversion of those who killed him. “Hold,” said some of the by-standers. When the martyr sank upon the stones, “the Just is praying for you!” Stephen’s prayer won Saul for the infant Church: it can hardly be that James’s last breathings of pity were unanswered of God. (James 5.20—Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers)The fervent prayer of the righteous man is effective in breaking the bonds of deception in people.
- Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16)
- This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. (John 15:12-14)
- By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (1 John 3:16)
- But he [Stephen], full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together upon him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. (Acts 7:55-58)
- I am coming soon; hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. (Revelation 3:11)
- Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)
- When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; (Revelation 6:9)
- So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. (James 2:17)
- You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works. (James 2:22)
- I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)
Bear in mind, that the those who cause the NAME of Lord Jesus Christ to be blasphemed among the nations are held accountable, because these people turn the unsaved away from being saved. The fruit of righteousness is bringing people to salvation. Indeed, blessed are those who bear the fruit of righteousness and turn many to salvation. They shall shine like the sun, according to the prophet Daniel.
- Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12:24
- By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples. (John 15:8)
- And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:3)
- Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
- And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’ (Matthew 7:23)
While what a person says is important, more important is what a person actually does, so other people have cause to glorify God. All who give God the glory, because of the light they see in a true Christian, do so because they have a heart filled with faith; by acknowledging the Father, they acknowledge the Son and so are saved—even when on their death bed. Without faith, it is impossible to acknowledge God and please Him.
- For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. (Romans 10:10)
- So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; (Matthew 10:32)
- Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:22-23)
- And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
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Prayers That Make A Difference Originate From Repentance And Faith Towards God