EL CAJON, Calif. (BP) – Today we’re one day closer to the Rapture of the Church.
We’d better tell someone, warn a loved one, tell a friend, seek to win a soul to Christ. There’s nothing like the doctrine of the Second Coming to motivate us in our witnessing. Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
In Acts 1, when the disciples asked about the return of Christ, Jesus told them that it wasn’t for them to know the times or seasons. Those were under the authority of the Father. But while they waited for the consummation of the ages, they were to receive special power from the Holy Spirit and be witnesses of the Lord Jesus wherever they were, in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the world.
We often forget that the term missionary is simply the word mission with an -ary on the end of it. In the broad sense, that includes every single Christian on earth, every one of us. In His great prayer in John 17, Jesus said to His Father, “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world” (John 17:18).
We are God’s missionaries to this planet, here on temporary assignment, deployed as ambassadors until He returns. I’m not suggesting we all quit our jobs, apply to a mission board, and prepare for overseas service. Some are called to do that, but there isn’t a spot of earth anywhere on this planet that isn’t a mission field. You’re living in the middle of one right now.
One thing to remember is that none of us is engaged in uni-vangelism. That is, we’re not doing it alone. It’s a multiple effort. Virtually everyone who comes to Christ can thank a chain of people who, in one way or another, provided a witness at various times, in various ways and in a variety of places and conditions.
Our obligation isn’t to be “successful.” It’s to be faithful, and God will give the increase. The Bible says, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9).
Here’s how to do it
Time is short, so here’s a quick way of learning to reach people for Christ in these last days.
First, we do it by attitude. First Peter 3:15 tells us that we should have the kind of radiance and joy that will make others ask about it. “Be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you,” advised Peter. Dr. J. Sidlow Baxter used to say, “Lord, make me winsome that I may win some.”¹
Second, we do it by action. Remember the children’s song, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine”? It was inspired by what Jesus said in Matthew 5:15, when He warned us against lighting our lamp and then hiding it under a basket. We should shine it brightly in the darkness. How do we do it? The next verse implies that we let our light shine by our benevolence, our good deeds, our acts of kindness and our generosity. “Let your light so shine before men,” said Jesus, “that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16, emphasis added).
Third, we witness by assertiveness. While it’s essential to display Christ in our attitudes and actions, sooner or later it’s necessary to actually say a word for the Lord. We have to communicate the message of Christ by lip. That might involve something as simple as inviting someone to a church function, or it might be as involved as sharing the plan of salvation, engaging in prolonged evangelistic discussion or counseling a friend through darkness into light.
But there’s no time to waste. The Bible says, “But this I say, brethren, the time is short … for the form of this world is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:29, 31).
Why not speak a word to someone to whom you have put off witnessing?