“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is when good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
I seldom have people witness to me about their Christian faith, though many have confessed their faith after I initiated a conversation. It’s highly true that the vast majority of Bible-believing Christians don’t witness to others about their faith in Christ. We may invite our friends to church, but the majority don’t win others to Christ, and many of us are guilty.
Our Lord Jesus commissioned each of us to share the Good News and “seek the lost.” He said, “Go and make disciples of all nations”; and “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Matt 28:19; Mark 16:15).
This is our greatest calling, which is to share His love and forgiveness with those who have never received Him as their Saviour and Lord. This command, which we call the Great Commission, wasn’t intended only for the eleven remaining disciples, or just for the apostles, or for those in present times who may have the gift of evangelism. This command is the responsibility of every man and woman who professes faith in Christ as Lord.
All people from every tongue, tribe, and nation are truly lost without Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6). God’s Word reminds us, “There is salvation in no one else! Under all heaven there is no other name for men to call upon to save them.” (Acts 4:12, TLB)
We often think the people of the world aren’t interested, but they’re truly hungry for the Gospel. Cultural pressure makes us hesitant and we assume that witnessing creates intolerance. Perhaps you have heard these comments or even said them yourself before you became a believer – “I think a man’s religion is so personal we shouldn’t discuss it.”; or “I don’t like people who are dogmatic and fanatical about religion. They try to force their views on everybody they meet.”; or “Well, I’ve my own religion, and I’m happy with it.”
Being in ministry for 40 years and having gone through the mountains and valleys in my own Christian walk, I’ve found no biblical rationale to justify fearing those responses as a reason for not witnessing. In fact, people need to hear the Good News of God’s love and forgiveness because it’s a matter of life and death.
Before the Lord Jesus ascended into heaven, His last words were, “You shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Witnessing was a command, not a choice. And a witness testifies to what is seen or heard and verifies what is true. For us Christians, baptism is a witness when we confess in identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus (Rom 6:3-5).
Our Father God is a witness and He testifies to the veracity of His Son. Jesus is a witness of Himself and the Father of His Son by His words and actions. The Holy Spirit is a witness to Jesus. The Scriptures are a witness of the Trinity. The Law and the Prophets were a witness. The apostles gave witness. The angels witness. Our actions are a witness against ourselves. The human conscience is a witness of the laws of God. And believers are to be witnesses of the Gospel to the whole world.
Today, we’ve experienced this new life in Christ, and we must give an account of His love and forgiveness, both verbally and the way we live our lives. The Cornerstone Care initiative is an excellent manifestation of the love of God and the mercies we’ve now received.
The cross of Christ is foolishness to those who don’t believe, the Scriptures say, and the fear of losing friends will silence our witness or the insecurity of not having the right answers for other religions will also prevent us from sharing our faith.
In many parts of the world, persecution is a threat. But, more often, it’s this lack of conviction that people are lost which prevents us from witnessing. However, none of these obstacles can compare with the tragedy of Christians doing nothing as people on every side enter eternity without Jesus Christ.
When God commanded us, He also empowered us to be His witnesses by giving us the Holy Spirit (Matt 4:19 and Acts 1:8). In the story of Philip, God put the timely Scripture in the hands of the Ethiopian before He sent Philip to share with him. When the seed of God’s Word is planted in a prepared heart, it produces fruit – a new believer in Christ (1 Pet 1:23).
Our testimony may not always be accepted but, through the Holy Spirit, we can receive power to live a victorious Christian life and serve Christ effectively. Witnessing is a vital part of the Christian life and, by His grace when we live a consistent Christian life, we won’t negate but become a convincing witness.
Jesus said, “The fields are ripe unto harvest.” And, with the greatest gift available to mankind in our possession – eternal life received from Jesus Christ at our spiritual birth (John 3:16) – may God make us all faithful witnesses!
Christ is risen! We serve a living Saviour!
Ps. Daphne Yang