So you say you’d like to witness?
To “witness” is to present the Gospel –present it through our lives, our words, our expressions, our deeds, our love, and our time. And to make sure we stick to only the truth.
The Gospel in a nutshell is: “Repent, turn to God, and prove your repentance by your deeds.” (Acts 26:20) And “Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)
What IS “the Gospel” (which is also called “the good news”)? Well, that can be summed up in 1 Cor. 15:3,4 –“That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” And “He loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood.” (Rev. 1:5) And that we are to “walk in the light” and “walk as Jesus did.” (1 John 1:7 & 2:6)
Why did Christ have to “die for our sins”? Because God is holy; we all have at least one dot of sin; God cannot be around ANY speck of sin; therefore we all are under His wrath against sin; we need to be saved from this wrath; salvation comes to those who turn from sin and believe that Jesus paid everyone’s sin debt by His blood sacrifice, then entrust their eternal and earthly lives to Him by obediently and lovingly following Him now –in THIS life– thus proving they have sincerely repented of sin, died to self, and bowed to HIS rulership; then He will take us into Himself (and His kingdom) now (Col. 1:13) –AND forever. (See 1 Thes. 4:17 & John 14:3). It can’t be “forever”, if it is not for “now”. Many so-called “Christians” believe that they can “believe” and that that is enough. It is not enough. James 2:19 says that even the demons believe. Of course they do. They actually know. But believing or knowing doesn’t save. Believing in, trusting in, abiding in, fellow-shipping with, and following Jesus / The Word obediently –is what saves.
“Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” (2 Tim. 2:19) “Turn away” means a life of constant turning AWAY –not towards. For even a dot of sin is “wickedness” to the Perfect Holy God.
So, it is only the one correct exact Gospel that saves. No speck of arsenic in The Truth glass is allowed! Or it will kill you. 1 Cor. 15:2 says, “By this gospel you are saved, IF you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. OTHERWISE YOU HAVE BELIEVED IN VAIN.”
So unfortunately, people are deceiving themselves when they don’t obey God’s Word, and to obey God’s Word, people must know what it says. And to know what it says, people must be READING it. So that’s what I “witness” about– that’s what I proclaim: THE BIBLE. And I quote exact words from the Bible. To quote other men’s words or ideas, even “theologians”, is to give people –not what God is saying, but what some man thinks God is saying. There’s often a huge difference.
James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. DO what it says.” For “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead… [and] useless.” (See James 2:17-24) That’s why I continually say, “It’s not about hearing the word and believing it intellectually; instead it is about OBEYING the Scriptures! In many passages the Bible speaks of the necessity of “doing the will of God” (which is another way to say “obeying the will of God”.) Otherwise that person is not going to “live forever”. (No, they will be “dying forever” instead.)
Here’s some verses to support that:
**1 John 2:17 –“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”
**Matt. 7:21 –Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but ONLY he who does the will of my Father…”
**Matt. 13:41,42 –“The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will weed out of His kingdom everything that causes sin and all who DO evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. [That’s called ‘eternal death’, for if people are annihilated, they certainly won’t have time to weep and gnash their teeth.] Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” ……………..SO MANY ARE NOT HEARING CORRECTLY!
Many so-called “Christians” want to rest in sin as they spout verses that say we are not saved by works. Well, that’s true; we certainly are not saved by works! If someone is handing out $20 gift cards to everyone passing through a doorway, did those people EARN the gift? No. But did they have to reach out (in faith believing the card to be valid) and TAKE the gift? Yes. And once they have it, will it be anything but useless unless they USE it? All this is similar for us. Christ died and rose, paying the ransom for everyone’s sin debt. But we have to believe that, put our faith in that, and in so doing we die to self (once AND daily), and take His life into us. That is why 1 John 3:6 says, “No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning…” and v. 9 says, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s nature abides in him. He cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.” Therefore, actions –yes, works– will prove that we own the gift (–the gift being Jesus!) So obedience to Christ is the proof that we have Him. (Rom. 8:9) Furthermore, obedience to Christ’s words WILL determine our eternal destinies. (2 Thes. 1:7-9)
So many are deceived on these points. Let’s be sure we read what God’s Word says in regards to this, not what lukewarm, sinning, false teachers say.
So, about praying with others to receive Jesus as their Savior, Lord, and King… giving Jesus the reins of their life… be sure that they understand that they are surrendering their whole selves in complete and lifelong committed obedience to Him. That –just like a marriage– unfaithfulness is not an option. Ask them if they are ready for that, and if they say no, do not pray “a conversion prayer” with them. Otherwise it will only be a FALSE conversion which will then cause them to be deceived into thinking they are getting to Heaven –when they are most certainly NOT!
By the way, I hardly ever invite someone to “ask Jesus into your heart” or “life”. Why don’t I? Because usually people are not ready for that. If they are, then they can ask me to help them in a prayer of repentance. No, most of us are just “seed planters.” Jesus says in Matt. 5:13-16 –“You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world… let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” So we witness by making others thirsty (salt makes you thirsty) and by shining out The Light (Jesus in us)… –so that WE get praise? No. So they will praise our Heavenly Father –because of His light they see in us.
Well, there’s a few tips in evangelizing. But the main way to get the zeal, boldness, and desire to do so, is to soak yourself in the Word of God, in fervent prayer for others, in singing praises to the Lord, in being observant of the spiritual hunger all around us, and in just stepping out! When we are full of Him, we open our mouths and out will come His words. (Ps. 81:10) When we’ve been abiding in Him, His love for the lost will overwhelm us, and we will hardly be able to hold ourselves back from proclaiming His Gospel. The witnessing will come naturally. And it will be effective!
So step out in courage. He will honor your faith and come alongside you.