Reflections on the Holy Scripture

One of the things God calls us as Christians to do is spread His Word to other people so that they may know Christ as their savior and therefore be forgiven of their sins (Matthew 28:19-20). This is called witnessing because we are witnesses of Jesus's sacrifice.

Purpose

9 Let all the nations be gathered together,
And let the people be assembled.
Who among them can declare this,
And show us former things?
Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified;
Or let them hear and say, “It is truth.”
10 “ You are My witnesses,” says the LORD,

“ And My servant whom I have chosen,
That you may know and believe Me,
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
Nor shall there be after Me.
11 I, even I, am the LORD,
And besides Me there is no savior.

~ Isaiah 43:9-11 NKJV

We witness to other people so that they may have a relationship with the Lord and be forgiven of their sins. Ultimately, this saves them from an eternal death in Hell, and instead they live an eternal life in Heaven. There is no better privilege than being able to know the one true God, and it is up to us to tell them about Him.

The only way someone can come to know Christ is by first knowing exactly who He is and what He has done. When we give them the knowledge, then the Holy Spirit is able to drive them to the right direction.

The decision to follow Christ is solely up to the person being witnessed to; we have no right to coerce anyone into Christianity. In such a case, it would have been fear that brought that person to the Lord and not love therefore making the relationship tarnished from the beginning. Tell them about the love and then let them accept it or not.

Be especially careful that you don't take any action that could turn them off to Christianity. Some examples would be to threaten them, intimidate them, or give them a bad impression of Christianity as a whole. Such things can implant negative feelings that could arise when someone else tries to witness them.

It is up to us to be the "light of the world", reflecting Him so He may be glorified (Matthew 5:14-16).

Who to Witness to

Witnessing does not have to be in the form of international missionary work. God does call some of us to be missionaries because there are so many out there in peripheral countries who have not heard about Jesus's sacrifice, and they have no way of knowing without the outreaching of missionaries. If God does not call you to be a missionary, then you can do your part by giving offerings in church; the money you contribute can be used to reach more lives.

You can be a witness right at home as well. In fact, right now every Christian is in the full time ministry. We witness everyday simply by living the example Christ lived. People who see how we live should see Christ and His love through us which may open up a discussion that leads them to Christ.

The gospel can be told to anyone who may need the knowledge of God's sacrifice. That includes friends, family, and other people in the community. You should allow your community the chance to hear God's word or to help them realize how important God's sacrifice is.

How to Witness

Oftentimes, the idea of witnessing to someone seems very daunting. When presented with a chance to actually witness to someone, people too often back down, perhaps for fear of being rejected or humiliated. It is important to remember that rejection doesn't mean you are a failure; you have still allowed them to hear the message of Jesus, and now, everything is up to God. And if you are humiliated, remember the words of 1 Peter 3:14-15—

14But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” 15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear1;

NKJV

Every person is hardwired uniquely, and as such, there is no single definitive way to witness to somebody. There are, however, a few key points to remember as you witness.

Be Prepared!

It is never a good idea to plunge into anything without knowing what you are doing. But how do you prepare to witness? One thing you must do is become capable of loving the person you plan on witnessing to the same way God does. This can only be accomplished by building a relationship with Him. When witnessing, allow yourself to be led by God's Spirit; people only get to God through Him, so allow Him to speak through you using the knowledge of His Word.

Pray to God

Praying to God is always a good idea in any part of your life. In witnessing, prayer shows God that you really do care about the person in question. Even if nothing seems to change within the other person, continue praying; God does everything in His own timing, and apparent delays do not mean God is ignoring you.

Daniel 10 recalls when the prophet Daniel prayed to God continuously for three weeks until an angel arrived with an answer. The delay was, in fact, because of a conflict between Satan and the angel. Micheal, one of the chief angels, had to get this angel out of the situation so Daniel could get his answer. It's possible that you haven't seen anything happen because of a similar occurrence!

Presenting God's Plan

Tell whoever you are witnessing to the situation. A basic format for presenting the gospel is here, but it is summarized on this page, too.

  • First, the person must recognize that they are a sinner at odds with God, and the penalty for their sins is spiritual death, an eternity in Hell.
  • Second, that person needs to be told that for everyone who can admit to their sin, their is a Savior—Jesus Christ. The person should be aware that to receive His gift of salvation, he/she must first accept it.
  • God calls us not just to make believers, but to make disciples, as stated by Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV):

19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

NKJV

So, the person you are witnessing to must be aware that God wants him/her to commit their lives to Him through prayer and worship.

Answering the Questions

Many times, people will have questions about Christianity when you present the Gospel to them. When people ask questions, they usually are either trying to push God away and don't want to deal with Him, or they are trying to get closer to God, and they are seeking answers to what questions they have. In either case, it is a good idea to go into a witnessing situation with a good grasp on what the Bible teaches. Some things to remember:

  • Take a steady pace. If you are too forward, people will feel that you are forcing them to become Christians, even if this is not your intent. Take your time and pay attention to what others are feeling.
  • Be tactful. You may have to tell someone something they don't want to hear (the reality of Hell, for example), but don't be condescending; avoid blatantly saying, "You're wrong."
  • It is okay to not be able to answer a question. If the other person is genuinely seeking an answer, you can get back to that person later after you have found the answer. If you need to have a question answered, ask God for help in searching, read the Bible, and ask someone more knowledgeable than you the same question.

Witnessing is how God uses us to bring more people to Him, so it is something we should actively be doing so that as many people can be saved as possible.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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