Witnessing: A Christian’s Privilege and Responsibility

The purpose of this article is to offer some advice on why and how Christians should be faithful witnesses to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

The word witness is interesting, since it denotes something we are and something we do. One who sees or experiences something is a witness, and one who tells about that is witnessing. It is clear that all who see or experience something are witnesses and it is also clear that not all witnesses are witnessing. If you are a Christian, you are a witness. How good and faithful of a witness are you?

As Christians, we have a responsibility and the privilege to witness to the lost concerning our blessed Redeemer. We have been commanded to “witness to the world” (Mark 16:15) and He has provided us with the privilege of sharing in the delivery of the gospel. Here are a few thoughts intended to help you consider what the Lord has put before us all, and maybe by focusing on one or more of these ideas, you can be a more faithful witness.

The Purpose 

We are to tell others about Him, nothing more and nothing less. We need not be discouraged if there is little visible fruit in salvation shown from our efforts. Our responsibility is to get the message out clearly and in a reasonable manner to those who are willing to listen. John the baptizer specifically “came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through Him might believe.” (John 1:7-8).

The Person

Focus on the Person we represent and the person to whom we are witnessing. We are messengers of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Timothy 6:15), the One who created and sustains the universe. He is the Savior, the One who laid down His life for the lost. He is the Lord and we need not be ashamed in any way. And, to whom are you witnessing? Do you have a genuine care and concern, or are you merely going through the motions? Imagine that you came upon a house that was on fire and someone was in the house and unaware of the imminent danger. Would you do all that you could to save them from a horrible death? Would you pull them from the fire? (Jude 20-23). The people to whom you are witnessing who are lost and on the way to eternity and the fires of hell, and the Lord has placed you in their path to tell them of Him. Do so.

The Preparation

Witnesses are open to questions so it is only natural that you will be asked questions about what you believe. You should be prepared with Bible study and prayer, but do not let your lack of knowledge keep you from witnessing. Be ready to provide answers for what you do know, and to get answers for what you do not know (1 Peter 3:15-16). In John chapter 9, the man who was blind from birth was given sight by our Lord. He was questioned by the Pharisees and he simply told them what had happened to him. When the Pharisees would not believe him and asked him the same questions again he states, “I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? Will ye also be His disciples?” (John 9:27). He did not have detailed answers to all the questions but he could tell them what happened to him. He was clearly not skilled in the scriptures, but was able to tell of his experience. We should be as prepared as possible and we can do that with regular prayer and Bible study (2 Timothy 2:15). But don’t let your lack of Bible knowledge prevent you from witnessing about your Savior.

The Plan

Have a plan and do not do things haphazardly. Are you planning to meet anyone today with whom you can share the gospel or have you asked the Lord to make someone available for you to witness to? Do you carry tracts and other materials to hand out? We are blessed with gifted speakers, gospel meetings, and excellent evangelistic materials. What is your plan today to meet and befriend one who is lost and to witness to them? As you study the New Testament you will see that the Lord sent His disciples out with a specific plan to cover the world with the gospel. We too must have a plan and then follow it to be effective for Him.

The Prize

In 1 Corinthians 9 and Philippians 3, Paul states that we should focus on the prize as a runner does and not the short term pain that we might be suffering. We have another example of our Lord in Hebrews 12:2, where it states that the Lord Jesus, “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Read Hebrews 11 where it is said that Moses would rather suffer with God’s people than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Hebrews 12:1 states that we “are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” that have preceded us. What wonderful examples the Lord has provided us for our encouragement! In Philippians 4:1 Paul calls the brethren “my joy and crown, my dearly beloved.” Clearly, we need to focus on the prize of a soul saved and added to heaven forever, even when we are discouraged or frightened to witness.

In closing let me point you to the account of the servants who were entrusted with the talents by their master. How well did they invest what was entrusted to them? Will you be able to look forward to the words of our Lord and Master – “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:21). Be a good and faithful witness for Him.

Christians, go and tell of Jesus,
How he died to save our souls;
How that He from death might free us,
Suffered agonies untold.

Tell them of the joys of heaven,
Purchased by the Savior’s blood,
How, that they might be forgiven,
Jesus left His home above