Witnessing: Vital Needs

Vital Needs from a Veteran Vet

A witness gives public affirmation by word or example. We have both the precept and the pattern in the Word of God: “Ye shall be witnesses unto Me” (Acts 1:8), and “From you sounded out the Word of the Lord” (1 Thess 1:8). I would like to look at three aspects of our witnessing in this present evil world.

Our LIFE is what speaks the loudest to our family, our neighbors, and our community. The honesty, generosity, compassion, purity, and joy that are manifested in a vibrant Christian walk are attractive to a sinking world. As we face each day knowing we are ambassadors for Christ and that the world will measure Christianity by what it sees in us, each moment is invested with meaning and purpose. It should not be a surprise for someone to ask, “Why are you always so happy?”

There are those in our assembly that are known by the good deeds they do for those in the community. Someone needs a lawn mowed or a furnace looked at; another needs a ride to the doctor. These saints are ready to assist. Is it any wonder that they are able to invite souls for a Lord’s Day evening, or when a gospel series is held? In a way, those who have been helped are compelled to come. A LIFE consistent with what we profess is a great witness.

But after we have the confidence of an unsaved person, we must use our LIPS. We must be ready to give an answer to every one that asks a reason of the hope that is in us (I Pet 3:15). I will never forget the day Paul Elliot, an evangelist from Iowa who is now home with the Lord, stopped by my office. I had four clients with their animals and my secretary all in the reception area and I was in an exam room with another client and patient. Paul spoke to every one of them, just a brief word, and gave them each a tract. They all listened, took the tracts, and were smiling! He was always ready and was always looking for an opportunity to tell people about his Savior. Mr. Elliot never saw those people again but he didn’t miss his one opportunity to speak about the Lord Jesus and their need of Him.

I am grieved by another day that I talked with a soldier that I worked with when I was in the service. I spent two hours with him one afternoon. He had been a motorcycle test-rider. We spent the time talking about the thrills of motocross. That night he tried to get another thrill by sniffing chloroform. They found him dead in the morning. I was one of the last people he talked with, and I didn’t speak a word about his need and my Savior. Here was an opportunity, but he is a lost soul forever.

Not only do we need to look for opportunities to speak but also we must have wisdom in what to say and how much to say. We need to know our Bible and have memorized Scriptures or, better yet, SHOW them what God says about them and their need. We need to know when to stop and let the Spirit of God use what has been said. Remember,” Salvation is of the Lord.” Sometimes our opportunity is brief and we don’t have the time to speak. Every toll booth, store transaction, and dinner at a restaurant is an opportunity to leave a gospel tract. The written Word of God can be used by the Holy Spirit as well as what we say. You will be surprised how many conversations a tract will start. The last aspect of witnessing is probably the most important. Do we really LOVE those that are dying in their sins around us? Do we really care? Are we content to live our little lives here isolated from the world, keeping the lost at a distance, having gospel series, sending out invitations, but never really loving and putting ourselves out for those around us? All we have to do is remember how much God loved us, and remember that there were others who loved us enough to tell us about the Savior or we would still be in our sins. When we meditate and dwell on how great the love of the Lord Jesus is for us, when we look up at that cross and hear His words,” Father forgive them for they know not what they do,” and then look at those around us dying without the Savior, our hearts should be melted with compassion toward them. The love of God will melt the fear of man. We were once in their shoes, without God and without hope. We may be THEIR last opportunity. So dear reader, how is it with you? Is your LIFE attractive? Are your LIPS ready to speak a word in season? Do you manifest the LOVE of God to the poor sinners around you? If so, there is a “well done, good and faithful servant,” awaiting you in heaven.