“AND YOU SHALL BE MY WITNESSES”
Here are some of the actual and most prevalent remarks I have heard when teaching on or discussing “witnessing” to others about Jesus:
“I believe that ‘witnessing’ turns people off. How I live will tell others about the Love of Jesus”. – D.M.
“Witnessing makes you like a ‘bible thumper’. It is offensive and runs more people away from the Gospel than if you show the Gospel by how you live”. Jack W.
“I believe ‘lifestyle evangelism’ is more effective than telling people about Jesus, that is, unless they ask”. – D.J. “I don’t have the gift of evangelism. It makes me uncomfortable. Sometimes I will invite people to church”. – Linda J.
“If God wants someone saved, He will draw them to Himself. I don’t think personal witnessing makes much difference unless a person asks you first”. William B.
Witnesses: Greek = μάρτυρες, martyres,
(a) “martyr” — martyr, record, witness.
(b) in an ethical sense those are called, who after his example have proved the strength and genuineness of their faith in Christ by undergoing a violent death
WHAT IF THE DISCIPLES THOUGHT LIKE YOU?
Hear the Words of Jesus:
Matthew 28:18. “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Go, Make Disciples, Baptize, Teach,
Matthew 10:7 “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. 9“Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, 10or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support. 11“And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city. 12“As you enter the house, give it your greeting. 13“If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. 14“Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. 15“Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.– Go, Preach, Heal, Raise the Dead, Cleanse, Cast Out Demons
THE APOSTLE PAUL’S TESTIMONY
2 Corinthians 11:12 “But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. 16 Again I say, let no one think me foolish; but if you do, receive me even as foolish, so that I also may boast a little. 17 What I am saying, I am not saying as the Lord would, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I will boast also. 19 For you, being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly. 20 For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face. 21 To my shame I must say that we have been weak by comparison. But in whatever respect anyone else is bold—I speak in foolishness—I am just as bold myself. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham?
So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. 24 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; 27 I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.”
Now tell me, do the instructions and commands of Jesus, and Paul’s testimony sound like some kind of tacit, socially awkward, politically correct, ultra-polite lifestyle evangelism?
So, which is it? Are you DOING what Jesus did and said we should do? Or have you found a ‘better way’?
Is our postmodern attitude a type disobedience to Jesus’ instruction? Perhaps we are fearful – or lazy – or just indifferent? Or are we just being dishonest with ourselves?
Simply put, most self-professing “Christians” do not witness the Gospel or testify to Christ.
Alarmingly, “roughly 174,000,000 million people, those between the ages of adolescence to the age of 40 years, are the largest un-reached people group in the US today. About 152 million of these people do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. One in five high schoolers have never been in church. (Paraphrased from a presentation by author, pastor and teacher, Dr. Robert Petterson.)
It would appear that our Nation goes as goes our witness of the Gospel of Christ. It is disappearing. It would also appear that we are on a steady march into the slavery of godless communism.
It need not be this way. But, we, the people of God, must take up our banner, make our stand and be His soldiers of the cross!
Your Brother and Friend,
PS: I have these cards for conversations starters. I will give some to you on request.