Finding it a bit of a challenge to witness to the lost? You’re not alone.
I think the biggest challenge to witnessing today is the notion that everybody is “saved”. People have developed their own definition of salvation, even if not in alignment with Biblical truths, and walk in this confidence of being “right in their own eyes”. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, commanded by Him to go into all the world and preach the gospel, I sometimes find it a challenge to carry out this mandate. Not because of fear, but because I find the Word is not received by those who already profess “their own” salvation. Paul warns us not to take a condemning approach but rather to become all things to all men that we may win them for Christ. Admittedly, it may be that I don’t want to offend as this causes defensiveness and when people are defensive, they are deaf. Herein lies the conundrum.
My first approach to witnessing is usually to ask people if they have accepted Christ — the response from believers and heathens alike is often a resounding “yes!” How then do I proceed? It is much easier to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to someone who acknowledges their sinful state and who wants to know more about what it means to become a disciple of Christ. But, how quickly arguments flair from those who feel they’re “ok” and have already accepted THEIR definition of salvation. I once saw a bumper sticker that read: “Born OK the first time!” These kinds of responses or attitudes can cause you to feel defeated in your witness, before you even begin. But be reminded today that though you may plant the seed and someone else may water it, only GOD can bring the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6). Meaning, none of us can “save” the other, only God can do that. And that may be the underlying issue — the REAL challenge we have in witnessing — the idea that WE want to win souls and if OUR message is rejected, then WE feel rejected. Like I had to be reminded, I remind you today – This never has and never will be about YOU.
So, here’s the solution I’ve settled in my heart, with the divine help of the Holy Spirit…. Are you ready for this? Ok, brace yourself……
GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL!
Isn’t it funny how God takes you right back to a simple mandate you’ve tried to complicate with reasonings and deliberations? I can personally attest to the fact that too much reasoning leads to confusion. So, my resolution in this walk with Christ is just to tell as many people as I can about Him (2 Timothy 2:24-26). If they’re not saved (and they know it), they’ll hear the truth. If they’re not saved (and they don’t know it – that is, they profess some other kind of salvation that isn’t based on Biblical truths), they too will hear THE truth. Regardless of their spiritual profession and outward confession, my resolve is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. The response can either be: “I’ve never accepted Him, tell me more”, “I don’t agree” (and I’ll tell them more), or “Yes, I’ve already received Him” (Which will just trigger a quick testimony service!)
If you’re like me today and have found it a challenge to witness based on the presenting issue, do it anyway! Philippians 2:13 states, “For it is GOD who works IN YOU, both to WILL and to DO for HIS good pleasure.” He’ll give you the grace and strength…. and more importantly the discernment to witness in these last (and increasingly complicated) days.