All Christians Are Called to Be Witnesses
By Mike Gendron
How many of you would respond to this recruiting ad? Men and women wanted for the difficult task of building Christ’s Church. You will face constant attacks from an invisible enemy who will try to distract you from your objective and destroy your effectiveness. You will be persecuted, mocked and ridiculed by his ministers of unrighteousness. You will often be discouraged and misunderstood by apathetic and lazy people working with you. Whenever you are persecuted for the sake of your King, you will be asked to leap for joy. The results of your labor and your full reward will not come until after all your work is completed. You will not be able to boast or take pride in what you do and it may cost you your life. However, you will enjoy compelling advantages over all competition by tapping unlimited resources from your headquarters’ support team. The fruit of your labor will last for all eternity. And most importantly, the incomparable retirement program is out of this world.
This recruiting ad is an accurate description of what every Christian experiences when they devote their lives to the Savior and His great commission. Tragically, many who are called by Him have not reported for active duty but have gone AWOL. Oh, they will gather in holy huddles on Sunday morning, but when the play is called, they go sit on the bench to watch others run the offense. They say they are too busy or not equipped or fearful. What they really need is some divinely inspired motivation to get them actively involved in building Christ’s church. Following are seven motivational truths that should inspire every Christian to become a more faithful witness for the Lord Jesus.
Witnessing Glorifies Our Great God
Each time we proclaim the Gospel we pro- claim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9). Even if we do not see many conversions while laboring in the fields white for harvest, we are still glorifying our great God and Savior every time we proclaim His Gospel.
Of course we must also live our lives in a way that reflects the matchless love and heartfelt gratitude we have for our Savior. Our actions provide another notable testimony to unbelievers. When they see our good works, our heavenly Father is glorified (Mat. 5:16). For this reason, Paul exhorts us: “you have been bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20). Jesus said the mark of a true disciple is one who glorifies God by proclaiming the fruit-bearing Gospel. “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples” (Mat. 4:19).
Witnessing is a Divine Command
The Lord Jesus gives a command for every Christian to obey. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” The Greek word for “go” is “poreuomai” which means “on your way” Christians are to make disciples (not decisions) as they go from place to place. Jesus has given us this great responsibility of making His last command our first concern. When you break up the word “responsibility”, we see it is our “response” to His “ability.”
Witnessing is a Royal Privilege
All Christians are given the awesome privilege of being ambassadors for the King of Kings. One of the highest honors for an American is to represent our country as an ambassador. In the same way, the highest honor for a Christian is to represent King Jesus and to take His message of reconciliation to a lost and dying world. Every man in Christ is a new creature who has been given the ministry of reconciliation. God has recreated them for the privilege of reconciling the world to Him through Christ (2 Cor. 5:17-20).
Witnessing is a Great Act of Love
I believe the primary reason many Christians do not faithfully proclaim the Gospel is be- cause they do not grasp the sheer horror of hell. If we fully understood the reality of the everlasting torment and suffering that awaits those who die without Christ, we would do everything in our power to reach our loved ones before it is too late. Jesus lamented over Jerusalem because He knew the dreadful terror the Jews would endure for rejecting their Messiah. Jesus said those who reject Him will be eternally punished in an everlasting fire (Mat. 25:41, 46). Paul, the compassionate evangelist of the first century warned unbelievers when he wrote: “Those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus…will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord” (2 Thes. 1:8-9). It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31).
Giving the good news of Christ’s substitutionary atonement is indeed the greatest act of love we could ever do for those who are perishing. We have all heard of other great acts of love, such as when people donate one of their organs to another. As great as this sacrifice is, it only takes care of their temporal problem. When we share the Gospel with them we are giving them a cure their eternal sin disease.
Our love for the lost is often coupled with our deep compassion for them. The word “compassion” is not a passive word but a word of action. It means “sorrow for the [pending] sufferings of another accompanied by an urge to help.”
Witnessing is also a compelling demonstration of our love for Jesus. Our love for God should reflect His merciful love for us. God demonstrated His love for His children by sending His only Son to die in their place (Rom. 5:8). “He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Cor. 5:15). One of the most consistent ways we can show our love for God is live for Him in obedience to His word by proclaiming His Gospel (1 John 2:5).
We Have the Only Message of Hope
Peter proclaimed, “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). There is no other Savior, no other mediator and no other Gospel (John 14:6; Gal. 1:6; 1 Tim. 2:5). If there were many ways to paradise then the Gospel message would not be that important. However the Gospel of Jesus Christ becomes the most important message anyone could ever hear because it communicates how sinners can receive the greatest gift ever offered – everlasting life in the presence of our gracious Creator and merciful Savior. Those who do not share the Gospel are only helping the devil’s cause. Satan uses everything in his power to thwart access to Scripture because he knows that the living and abiding word of God is the imperishable seed that brings forth eternal life to those he is holding captive with his lies (1 Pet. 1:23).
Witnessing is Evidence of a New Life
Christians are born again to reproduce! Whenever I see repented sinners respond to the Gospel in genuine saving faith, the very first thing they want to do is share the good news with all their loved ones. One dear lady in particular, who exchanged her Catholic religion for a relationship with Jesus, put together 17 three-ring binders with all the Scriptures that we shared to set her free. She immediately sent them to all her family members in the hopes they too would follow Jesus in the newness of eternal life.
Another friend, who left the Catholic Church after trusting Christ as her all-sufficient Savior, asked if we would start teaching her son and his fiancee all the Scriptures we shared with her. This new life, that is given by God as a gift, will indeed be evidenced by a de- sire to see others come alive in Christ. Paul wrote, “Every Christian has been created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:10). A most important work God has prepared for us to do is to build His church by making disciples of Jesus Christ.
Followers of Jesus Will Fish for Men
Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Mat. 4:19). Jesus gave this command to those who were professional fishermen. They had been successful in catching fish that were alive, now they were being asked to catch men who were dead. The only way to catch men who are dead in their sin is with the life-giving power of the Gospel (Rom. 1:16). A disciple of Jesus will follow Him and to follow Jesus is to be a fisher of men.
There is no greater cause for rejoicing than to see those who had been enslaved to Satan, sin and death, be set free by the power of God! The redeemed rejoice and all the angels in heaven rejoice when sinners repent!
May Christians everywhere develop a greater desire to glorify God through the proclamation of His Gospel. As our love for our Savior grows, might His wondrous mercy, sovereign grace and unfailing love flow from our hearts to our lips. And may we never refrain from proclaiming our Lord’s sin-repelling holiness, His inescapable justice and His perfect righteousness that is required for entrance into paradise. In the power of the Holy Spirit, motivated by our matchless love for Jesus and to honor and glorify His holy name, let us all emulate the early church: “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 5:42).
As we go from place to place through each day we can ask people two simple, yet pro- found questions: “Do you believe in heaven?” and “How do you hope to get there?” You will be pleasantly surprised how easily people will share their opinion about spiritual things. When their response is not “by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,” you can ask them if they would like to know what The Bible says about God’s one and only provision. If they say “yes” you can leave them our Gospel tract, The Greatest News Ever Told About the Greatest Man Who Ever Lived Who Offers the Greatest Gift Ever Given. It is a 6-page fold out that contains only the Word of God which has the power to convert the soul!