Many people don’t witness about the night-and-day difference Jesus has made and is making in their lives. Peter tells us we are to do just this…
“But you are the ones chosen by God…God’s instruments to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others the night-and-day difference He made for you…” (1 Peter 2:9 The Message)
We are to “speak out for Him” which is easier said than done if the comedian Jerry Seinfeld is correct. He said: “People’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death…. That means at a funeral… they’d rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy.”
Cute – but , like most humor, it is rooted in actual truth. Most people have a fear of speaking in public. Add to that a concern they may look like a fool, that they may be rejected, that they may not be able to answer any questions should they be raised, that they don’t know enough and that they might not get it right when they do give their testimony and tell others of the difference it has made to be walking with and talking to Jesus – and suddenly you have believers who never tell others about Jesus (witness for the faith). You have believers who, in their whole lifetime, will not lead anyone into a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Of course, this is a serious violation of Scripture and a direct disconnect with the plans of God and the purpose for the Church. When we let fear override obedience to the words of the Lord – it ends up being a serious intentional neglect of the command to reach out and love our neighbours as we love ourselves. And is an indication of the true level of love for Jesus that we have. Jesus did say, “If you love Me, you will obey Me.”
So, what is to be done? Well, learning how to “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints” (June 3) helps. Find out what a Christian believes and how to defend it against the many “isms” that exist in our world today. Praying for boldness as they did in Acts 4 is an excellent step to take. Learning about the beliefs of others and what the Bible would say to those beliefs – learning how to speak truth into error – is also a good step to take. Prayer would certainly be a good step in the right direction. Receiving the power to witness that comes with the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) – absolutely essential.
However, and maybe I am just simplistic, if we say we are born again believers and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ then this should simply be a natural overflow of that dynamic relationship, should it not? I mean, if we are a disciple and thus following the Master, witnessing (speaking in public) will be the “natural” outcome. Jesus said, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) So, just as He came from Heaven to earth to “seek and the save the lost” (Luke 19:10) so must we leave our comfort zones and step out in faith and follow Him – speaking about the night-and-day difference He has made. It is all about following.
I did tell you it would sound simplistic. But then the basic truth often does.