But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” 29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:25-31 NKJV
Most churched people are familiar with the terms “deathbed salvation, sickbed salvation, and jailhouse salvation.” But have you heard of household salvation? I believe that the missing fruit in the latter day church is a lack of oikos (Greek) evangelism, i.e., reaching out for the whole family—the salvation of the whole household.
The Greek word Oikos means household, family; it includes all those under the influence of your house, and all those in relationship with you and those in your household. God has always desired to save, not just the one, but the entire family unit (Gen. 7:1, 7). Paul and Silas also valued the family unit just like God did long ago with Noah (1 Peter 3:20). When the Jailor asked in desperation, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas replied: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Text). This was a simple and right to the point instruction—no churchy or religious hoops to jump through.
It is important to note that there is no implication that the Jailor’s household would be automatically or instantaneously saved if the Jailor believed (See John 1:12-13). Every family member or other person under the influence of your household must stand on his own faith (Heb. 11:6, 7). Nor was it the Jailor’s faith that would save his household. His family members and servants all needed to come to Jesus in faith and believe in the same way. This was true for the Jailor’s household, and certainly, the same principle apply to your household today. God wants the Lamb (Ex. 12:3) to be over every household (John 1:29).