Another article in our series on witnessing. This comes from a brother in the business community.
Witnessing. What is suggested by this New Testament activity? It carries the thought of having information and knowledge, and passing it on to another in an enlightening and confirming way. The work of evangelism was commissioned by our risen Lord before His ascension. The disciples were instructed in Luke 24:46-48 to witness to His suffering and resurrection, and to preach repentance and remission of sins in His name among all nations. In the Acts of the Apostles, Luke sets before us numerous occasions when the responsibility of witnessing was carried out according to this commission. Stephen is described as a martyr, or one who witnessed and died for the cause (Acts 22:20).
The Apostle Paul commended the Thessalonian believers for sounding out the Word of the Lord. It went forth like a trumpet for all to hear in their region. In a public meeting, the gospel is to be preached by gifted men as an assembly activity. Let’s, however, briefly look at personal responsibility which includes brethren and sisters alike. Witnessing isn’t just for full time workers but should be the personal exercise of every Christian. Andrew witnessed to Simon saying, “We have found the Christ,” and Philip said to Nathaniel, “We have found Him of whom Moses and the prophets did write” (John 1:40-45). Legion was told by the Lord to go to his friends and speak to them about what the Lord had done for him (Luke 5:19). The Samaritan woman of John 4 went to the city and said to the men, “Come, see a Man that told me all things.” The men went from the city to Christ as a result of her witnessing. The scope of our witnessing to relatives, friends, and to society is seen in these examples.
Having established the fact that we are responsible to witness, is there a need for preparation and to be properly equipped? The following comments are not to raise a standard that would cause some to feel unqualified to witness, but rather are an encouragement to be a vessel that’s usable (2 Tim 2:21). The first of three things to be mentioned is our enjoyment of our relationship with God. If we’re not in communion with Him, we will have no spiritual strength to tell others about Him and our acquired joy. We can’t function manward if we are out of fellowship with our Lord.
Second, we need a genuine love for the lost and perishing. Paul’s exercise was stated in Romans 10:1. He had a sincere and heartfelt desire for souls to be saved. His love for the unsaved moved him as he prayed for the eternal welfare of the unconverted. We should never be ashamed to convey to the lost our interest in their spiritual well being.
Finally, we should have a good testimony. Paul speaks of “a good report of them which are without.” While this is a qualification for an assembly overseer, we should all diligently aspire to this righteous standard. If the unsaved recognize inconsistency in our life, they will not accept our words of witness.
Now, after considering personal conditions for witnessing, let’s look at the activity. Each of us differs in our personality and ability, but one thing is certain, we need the Lord’s guidance. When the opportunity presents itself, we need to respond. There also are times we need to make an opportunity. We should always be an exercised person in prayer about these matters.
Consider a few ways and places to witness for our Lord Jesus Christ. In the place of employment and education we should defend the truth and our convictions if we are questioned. We owe that to our work-fellows. It often develops into a deeper conversation as inquiry is made. We should never be bashful about whose we are and whom we serve. Information can be presented by either our personal testimony as to how God saved us or by a gospel tract. It’s good to have some form of literature available at all times.
Business relationships often present an opportunity for witnessing. Transactions that are sterling stand out in a corrupt world. Good and unsolicited ethics stand out in the dark business arena and cause people to ask questions. What an opportunity to shine in a selfish world!
Sisters making payment for bills and purchases can enclose or hand out a tract. Tracts or refrigerator magnets should always accompany a tip along with a pleasing countenance when we eat in a public place. Every Christian has a responsibility in the neighborhood in which they live. Acts of kindness to the unsaved make them feel obligated when witnessed to or invited to a gospel meeting. When hardship and sickness come to unbelievers, prayer and reading of the Scriptures with them is often welcomed (1 Peter 2:12).
Finally, there are occasions when we may try to reach and contact greater numbers. Door to door work doesn’t get large numbers to the gospel meeting but may get one to come occasionally. However, thought provoking conversations may stir a soul to think and respond to the message of the cross. It’s always a challenge to get people to converse about eternal things. Even if there is no profitable conversation, tracts, Via magazines, etc. left in the sinner’s hand or on their door can have eternal results. Booths at trade shows or tracts handed out in malls where large numbers congregate have proven to be used of God. Seed Sower texts are showing up in many homes. The display of these verses undoubtedly will be used by the Holy Spirit to convict and convert souls to Christ. We do well to focus on things of eternal worth and sow in hope.
When there is fruit as a result of witnessing, all glory belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ, and we are pleased. Those who have seen God prosper efforts of others and their own are left with great satisfaction. The joy of seeing a soul won to the Lord can’t be described. However, witnessing and soul winning will be honored and rewarded by the Lord Himself, as He appreciates all done for His honor, glory, and Name’s sake.