By Dr. David Jeremiah, Crosswalk.com
We have been instructed by Jesus to "occupy till I come" (Luke 19:13). But how are we to be occupied? The answer is clear in Jesus' last instructions to His disciples in Acts 1:8, "You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." We have been left on this earth to lead others to Christ. Witnessing makes the wait worthwhile.
What then keeps so many of us from witnessing about Jesus Christ on a regular basis?
Roadblocks to Sharing Your Faith
Proxies. Someone who is authorized to represent you is called a proxy. In the church, we've developed a convenient system: "If you cannot go to spread the Gospel, you can send someone in your place." It is important to support our missionaries. But institutional missions was never intended to replace individual missions. God wants everyone to go somewhere.
Professionalism. You might ask you pastor, "What do you mean you want us to witness? Isn't that what we pay you for?" According to the Bible, it is the pastor's job to equip the people of God so they can do the work of evangelism. Witnessing is not only the job of the pastor; it's your job.
Pessimism. Many hold a pessimistic view of witnessing because they don't want to be viewed as being too aggressive or narrow-minded. We live in an age when people believe that all roads lead to God, as long as you sincerely believe. How many of you know you can be sincerely wrong? Jesus didn't say, "I am one of the ways." He said, "I am the Way" (John 14:6).
Panic. Just the thought of witnessing creates panic in many people. Many of us fear witnessing because we don't feel ready to share our faith. Preparing to witness is kind of like taking a CPR class. People learn CPR in order to resuscitate someone physically if necessary. You don't have to be a medical doctor with years of training to perform CPR. You just have to learn a few basic principles. In the same way, we ought to know some basic principles of witnessing so we can spiritually resuscitate someone.
The following steps will show you how to perform "spiritual CPR" and share your faith.
Sharing the Road to Salvation
Be Enthusiastic. Are you enthusiastic about your faith in Jesus Christ? A contagious Christian is doing something that's got them excited, something that gets them out of bed in the morning.
Be Authentic. People don't only read the Christian literature we give them; they read our lives. It's nearly impossible to ignore someone who authentically lives out his or her convictions. But it's easy to discount someone who says one thing and does another.
Be Looking for Opportunities. In the past month, how many of you have had dinner with an unsaved couple or individual? Witnessing presents a real challenge if we are always around believers.
Be Prepared. Prepare yourself for evangelism by praying and studying the Bible. Begin on your knees by asking God to touch your unsaved friends through the power of the Holy Spirit. Even if you don't see your friends come to Christ right away, keep praying!
Be Christ-Centered. Acts 8:5 tells us that Philip the evangelist went down to Samaria and preached Christ. He went right to the core of the Gospel message. We must be committed to preaching Christ's death and resurrection.
Finding Worth in the Wait
As you wait for Christ's return, is witnessing a priority in your life? Nothing can compare to being God's instrument to lead one person out of the kingdom of Satan into the glorious life of heaven. If you have never had that experience, or you would like to be more effective in your witness, God can use you starting today.
This article was taken from Turning Points, Dr. David Jeremiah's bi-monthly Devotional Magazine. Call Turning Point at 1-800-947-1993 for your complimentary copy of Turning Points. If you enjoyed this article, we'd like to recommend Dr. Jeremiah's series entitled Escape the Coming Night, a chapter-by-chapter study of the Book of Revelation.