WITNESSING IN SUCH A TIME AS THIS
I was what parents affectionately call, an active and imaginative child. The phrase is code for; He has a genius for finding danger. Not surprisingly, of the 7 in my family, I was a leader in hospital stays, trips to the ER, and number of stitches—all badges of honor for a little boy.
It is possible I would not be here today were it not for the watchful eye of my mother, who often prayed for me to play quietly, and then panicked when it became too quiet. There were times she saw me heading for adventure (toward a cliff of some sort), and called me back just in time. Typically, when my mother was aware that I began to move toward danger, an enticing campfire, for example, she would quietly caution, “Stay here, don’t go over to the fire pit.” If I took an additional step or two in that direction, her voice would elevate and grow stern, “Do not get close to that fire!” If she saw me running toward the fire, she would jump up, run toward me and shout as loud as she could, “Stop! Stop right now!” Her actions changed when the situation became more serious. When danger was imminent, she could not remain comfortable in her chair, nor be silent—she sprung to action and sounded a warning. This is love, and this is the call of a Watchman.
We are living in a time when the return of the Lord is imminent. Those who do not know the Lord are running headlong toward the fire. It is not enough for believers to sit in our chairs and know the truth that many will soon be left behind when the Lord returns to rapture His church. True love requires that we spring into action, raise our voice, sound the alarm, and rescue those closest to the fire.
Good Watchmen are good witnesses—they know how to share their faith, and do. They know what to know, and they know what to do.
WHAT TO KNOW
- All are called to serve and share. Acts 1:8 notes that individuals receive the Holy Spirit so they can effectively “….be [His] witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and the uttermost parts of the earth.” Remember, you are empowered and saved, to serve and share. God expects us to share the knowledge, insight and grace we have received from Him. I refer to this process as praying it forward.
- The time is short. In most sports, if the clock is about to run out and points are needed, the coach will call a play requiring risk in an all-out effort, to secure the win. Friends, it is important to realize that the hour is late. The return of Christ is not just sure; it is imminent. Prophecies associated with the last days and birth pains (Matthew 24) are being fulfilled. This indicates that time is short. Jesus said, “When you see these things happening, you know that it [His return] is near, right at the door” (Mark 13:29). Note: more prophecies have been fulfilled in the last 70 years, than in the 500 years leading up to 1948 (Please see the Bible Prophecy video vimeo.com/IAmAWatchman for more information on this exciting and vital topic).
- Hospitality and service are open doors for witnessing. We are to share the Gospel whenever and however the Lord leads. Opportunities can come at any time—we are called to be ready for these unexpected opportunities to share. However, you can create excellent opportunities to share by showing initiative in the areas of hospitality and service. You can create an opportunity for spiritual discussion by inviting a person to a café for a cup of coffee, offering to help with a project or need you know an individual has, inviting a neighbor to a BBQ, sharing a home-made baked-item or gift with someone who is ill or sad, etc. Leading in kindness often leads to opportunities to share the Gospel.
WHAT TO DO
- Pray for and spend time building relationships with those who are not saved. We tend to listen well to the people we know well. This means, our evangelistic message will likely be best received by people who know us and trust us. This also means we must make time to build relationships with those who do not know the Lord to be well positioned to win them to the Lord.
Certainly, believers are to be ready at all times (“in season and out”) to witness and share, but there are likely a few individuals that God has put in your circle of influence so you can witness to them. Pray and ask God to reveal to you who those people are in your life. Ask God for wisdom to know how to spend time and build relationships with those who do not know the Lord.
If you do not know any ‘lost’ individuals, then widen your social circle. To some extent, this can be done online, but consider first whether or not God may be leading you to meet new people by taking or teaching a class, joining a club, sharing in community events, supporting a program that provides a community service, etc. Prayerfully consider how God might use your experience, skill, abilities, hobbies, and resources to connect with (and witness to) individuals who have not accepted Jesus into their heart as Lord and Savior.
- Share what you know. It is tempting to reason that you should leave witnessing to the experts, or defer personal evangelism until you feel more comfortable, memorize more Scripture, acquire more training, or have more answers at the ready. The desire to learn more is commendable, but do NOT allow that desire to keep you from your duty An amazing witness does not need to be astoundingly articulate; A powerful witness does not need to be extremely polished—the message just needs to be true, point to Jesus, and come from the heart. Jesus invited Andrew to learn more by simply saying, “Come and see” (John 1:39). The Samaritan woman in John 4 was a powerful witness by simply telling others about the amazing things Jesus did. The blind man in John 9 did not have theological training or know much about spiritual things, but his witness was powerful when he testified of how the Lord had been good to him saying, “One thing I do know. I was blind, but now I see!” Share what you know. Practice sharing your testimony—a short version (less than 90 seconds), and a longer version. Look for opportunities to share, for when you seek them, you will see them.
- Do not be afraid to share, but speak in truth and love. In Proverbs 10:10a we are told, “Whoever winks the eye causes trouble…” Our culture suggests that in the name of tolerance and peace, we should ignore sin. Proverbs 10:10 notes that the opposite is true. Further, Proverbs 24:25 notes that “…it will go well with those who convict the guilty…”
This does not mean condemn, reject, shame, or excommunicate, it means care enough about the wayward brother or lost person to let them know what Jesus expects, and love them into a right relationship with God. One verse later we read: “An honest answer [the truth] given is like a kiss of friendship” (Proverbs, 24:26, NLT). A true friend will share about Jesus and His promised, imminent return. It is not OK to be judgmental, but when the motive is pure and words are spoken in love, it is OK to make judgments about what is right and wrong and voice truth. In fact, this is the calling of a Watchman.
For additional information on this subject, please click this link to an article entitled, Is It Ever OK To Judge? https://iamawatchman.com/is-it-ever-ok-to-judge/
- “Do the ask” Many individuals (even preachers) do a fine job sharing about Jesus, but fall short when it comes to actually asking individuals if they are ready to surrender, confess, and enter into a relationship with Jesus. Watchmen will wisely and boldly do the ask. Pray and strive to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading in this, but always be looking for that open door to ask, “Are you ready to become a Christian?” Then of course, be prepared to concisely and clearly explain what that means and how that can be accomplished.
- Prioritize knowing the Word and knowing how to respond to common spiritual questions. 1 Peter 3:15 notes that believers are to “…Be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” The 1 Peter 3:15 directive is for ALL believers (not just clergy). Believers must study the Word (2 Timothy 2:15), have it embedded in their heart (Psalm. 119:11), and be ready to share it (1 Peter 3:15). It is generally true that the more spiritual answers we can provide, the more compelling our witness will be. Commit to being a lifelong learner. This will honor God, support you in your spiritual walk, and strengthen your witness. Noted below are a few links to video teachings and articles designed to help you know how to lead someone to Christ, and respond to common spiritual questions:
- A document on Salvation: https://iamawatchman.com/how-to-become-a-christian/
- A video teaching on God’s gift of salvation: https://vimeo.com/260646426
- A three-part video teaching entitled, Reasons to Believe:
- Consider if news headlines present an opportunity. More and more frequently, current events are tying into the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Read the free PROPHECY BOOK (download it here) and review the prophecy videos posted at www.vimeo.com/IAmAWatchman to become aware of how current events lay a foundation for or are the fulfillment of, Bible prophecy. We live in an age of skepticism—the vast majority doubt the integrity and reliability of the Bible. We are also living in an age when Bible prophecies are being fulfilled at a pace not seen in over 2000 years. Be aware of current events, and become comfortable sharing how the fulfillment of prophecy proves the Bible is true. It will provide an open door for spiritual discussions and strengthen your witness.
- Use social media to share God’s message. Prayerfully consider how you might utilize social media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, ) to spread the Gospel. Be wise and positive—do not use truth as a club. Look for opportunities to post, comment, correct, inform, exhort, inspire, and encourage, all for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31-33).
- Support a ministry that is outreach-focused and doing a good work sharing the Gospel and preparing individuals for the return of the King. Pray about how God is leading you to provide special support to an outreach-focused local church or a para-church ministry. Then, contact that ministry and ask what their needs are. See if there is a way for you to volunteer your time and skill in support of the good work the ministry is doing. Let ministry leadership know that you will undergird the ministry in prayer. Provide financial aid as possible. Encourage others to join you in creatively partnering in important Kingdom-building work.
- Invite an unchurched person to share in a book or Bible study with you. Free resources are available at IAmAWatchman.com. This is a bold move and requires courage, but remember, God will help you to do what He calls you to do. You do NOT need to have all the answers to lead good spiritual discussions and embark on a journey that leads to spiritual discovery.
- Expect opposition. Satan knows his time is short, and he is in a rage (Rev. 12:12). His minions spy to see who is serving and They will attempt to stop the work. Doubt and discouragement are two of Satan’s favorite weapons. Do not let him steal your joy, slow you down, or hold you back from doing what God wants you to do. Consider this: If you were selected to be on a championship football team, suited up, walked on the field to play, and then came into possession of the ball, you would think it normal that members of the opposing team would chase you, try to tackle you or somehow stop you from completing your objective. And if in the game you were blocked, hit, pushed, or tackled and thrown to the ground, you would not cry foul, pout, run off the field, or tell the coach things were not fair and you wanted to quit. No, you would understand that this was all part of the game. Football players expect to be chased and hit by the opposing team. Believers should expect opposition too. Believers are not promised comfort or ease but are promised victory (1 Corinthians 15:57).
- Expect God to move. James 1:6-7 notes that believers should pray expecting that God will move. Yes, Satan will attack, but God will prevail. God has, and will continue to move on behalf of, and through, His people. We may not always be able to see His working, but we can know He has a plan (Jeremiah 29:11) and He is at work (John 5:17b). Here is a link to a brief video teaching on Nehemiah and the importance of having faith and believing God for a miracle: https://vimeo.com/272877904
- Believe that Galatians 6:9 is true: ”Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
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