Have you ever spoken to anyone about Christ, and told them how much He means to you? Have you ever let someone who doesn’t know Jesus see how wonderful it is to be a Christian? This witnessing to others and confessing Him to the world should be a vital part of our Christian life. But I’m afraid many of us would have to answer “no” to these questions.
What is Christian witnessing? It is showing to others the faith that you have in Jesus Christ and the joy that you possess because you believe in Him. This joy comes from knowing that your sins are forgiven in Christ and that you have the promise of eternal life. If you truly believe, God will fill your heart with this gladness, so that you will want to sing and shout and praise Him all the time and tell everyone about Him. Just as a witness in a trial must tell what he has seen and heard, so must we as witnesses for Christ tell what we have seen, heard and felt about Him. This is why witnessing is a very personal matter. You must confess Christ in your heart before you can confess Him on your lips to others.
Don’t get the idea that witnessing is just for “the other person,” because it’s not; nor is it just the work of ministers and missionaries, whom God calls to go into all nations, teaching and preaching the Gospel. Witnessing is the job of each and every Christian. We, too, are called by God in our own special way to tell others about Christ. It may be just a few words to a passer-by, or a friendly gesture to someone, but Christ does have a purpose for all of us. Remember—“Faith, if it hath not works, is dead”. James 2:17. You can have all the faith in the world in you, but if you don’t use this faith to the glory of God, you are a dead Christian.
You may ask, why should we witness? This is an important question, but for me an easy one to answer. It comes naturally to a sincere, regenerated believer. Because Christ fills us with the Holy Spirit when we are born again, we want everyone we meet to have this joy, also.
Christ tells us to be His witnesses in many instances in the Bible. “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen.” Isa. 43:10. God is speaking to His elect Israel whom He used as His chosen people to let others see His power and might. In Rom. 10:8-9 we read, “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved”. Obviously, it is the calling of each Christian to confess God before men.
Many of us now know what witnessing is and that we should do it, yet we really don’t know how to go about it. There is always the direct method of approaching a person on the street or someone you see at school. But often this does not work, for the simple reason that people, including you and me, do not like to be told how bad they are and that their beliefs are wrong. You must know just what to say, so as not to put the person immediately on the defensive. But if you ever get the chance, such as at your job or at school, you shouldn’t be afraid to speak out and say even just a few words to state your position.
You can also witness in many indirect ways. These ways are often more important than we think. By being a good example in your daily walk, you are witnessing your Christian life to those around you.
First, by going to church on Sunday and going to places like catechism and Young People’s Society, you are a witness to the ones there that you are interested in learning more about your religion. Second, you can make sure that the places you go are ones where you think God would want you to go, and that the friends you have are ones that walk in God’s light. You are known by the friends you keep. Being in bad company can be a great hindrance to you in your witnessing. Can you imagine trying to speak to an unbeliever about Christ and having this person say, “Why don’t you practice what you preach? I’ve seen the kind of kids you go around with.” How would you feel?
Another important aspect of personal witnessing is watching your language. People get a pretty good idea of what kind of person you are by the words you speak. A Christian does not take God’s name in vain! You may hear some of your friends using bad language and if you hear it long enough, you’ll be saying it, too.
Christ has told us that we are the light of the world, shining forth His glory in this dark earth. We can’t shine if we sit back and be lukewarm Christians. We’ve got to become alive in Christ, not just in our thoughts, but in our actions, too. “Let you light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 5:16. Just remember that these good works are not ours, but are Christ’s works in and through us.
Do we as Christian witnesses have a reward? We do, but not here on this earth. Our reward is eternal life with God in heaven—not because we were such good Christians, but because God saw fit to send His Spirit to work in us, that we might tell all we have seen and heard about Him. God is really rewarding His own work, because our witnessing is His grace in us. In Rev. 20:4 we read that those who were Christ’s workers on earth are now living and reigning with Him forever. And Matt. 10:32 says, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” What a wonderful reward!
Originally Published in:
Vol. 29 No. 1 March 1969