Effective Christian Witnessing
Wimps for Christ
I was raised in a Church that discouraged their members from witnessing. We were taught in Sunday school that we should not witness to the lost unless we could do it perfectly through the Spirit of God. My Sunday school teacher taught us that if we ever made any mistakes, it would be our fault that person went to Hell. Because of this teaching, we became afraid of controversy and would not proclaim Jesus to the lost. This unbiblical teaching caused our church members to remain "babes in Christ." Hebrews 5:11-14 called us "babes." Babies are wimpy because they can't feed or take care of themselves. We really were "wimps for Christ" because we were not trusting God to be with us to go witnessing for Him. I tried to get out of this mode in my twenties but it wasn't until I was thirty-one that I made a new commitment to be bold publicly for God no matter what the consequence. I wanted to have better answers for my non-Christian friends so that I could help them come to know the real Jesus and thereby go to Heaven.
I met Dr. Walter Martin, who became my Christian hero. He studied God's word in order t " show himself approved as a workman who was able to rightly divide the word of truth" in public debates (2 Tim. 2:15). He didn't need to be timid or ashamed because he knew the truth and represented the true God of the Bible with uncommon boldness. He not only studied the truth, but he studied false religions so that he could develop answers for their errors. He showed the opposites so clearly that no one had an excuse for not accepting the truth from the Bible. In debates, he boldly proclaimed the biblical truth and contrasted it with their errors with such accuracy that he very seldom could get anyone to debate him in his later years. Like Jesus and his apostles, Walter had, through the years, developed absolute answers to most any question. Before he died, he told me, "If you learn the answers to the twenty most asked questions, you essentially have become a 'biblical expert.'" This is because, for most questions, few Christians have adequate answers. Most Christians in America have limited experience witnessing to the lost and the cults.
Walter taught me that the best witness is a witness of absolutes. For each topic and every issue, there are weak answers and better ones; but only a few ... are absolute. Walter encouraged me to become the best witness that I can be, for God. I started looking for absolute answers. Although I have found quite a few of them, I am continually looking for better answers. I want to have "a witness that is absolute." I want to know the questions that no one can answer and I want to know the answers that no one can question.
One of my favorite examples of an absolute answer in the Bible is Solomon. As a young king, Solomon prayed to God for wisdom in judgment to be able to rule the kingdom with proper discernment. Two prostitutes came to him for a judgment. Each had had a baby, one of which died. Both now claimed the remaining live baby as their own. The King said, "Bring me a sword." They brought him a sword, then he said, "Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other." When the mother of the living child heard this she said, "O my lord, give her the living child, and don't kill him." But the other said, "Let it be neither mine nor hers, but divide it." The king's decision was so absolute, "Give her the living child, and in no way kill him: She is the mother." All Israel heard of the judgment and recognized that Solomon had the wisdom of God. 1st Century Effective Witnessing (Book of Acts)
In the book of Acts, Peter, John, Stephen, Paul, and other disciples boldly gave an absolute witness, quoting the scriptures and testifying about Jesus. Paul's absolute answers before King Agrippa and Festus proved that he was totally innocent and forced them to consider Christianity (Acts 26).
The Devil came to Jesus and said, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." Jesus answered, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on a pinnacle of the temple and tested him, "If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning you: and in their hands they will bear you up, lest at no time you dash your foot against a stone." Jesus answered, "It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God." Then the devil took him up to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and said, "All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me." Jesus answered, "Satan, you leave, for it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve." The Devil left. Notice that both Jesus and the Devil quoted scripture. Obviously, Jesus knew the scriptures and could use them properly. Jesus recognized the Devil's errors in his application of scripture and corrected him from the scriptures. The Devil couldn't handle Jesus' absolute answers and he left.
...The Pharisees with the Herodians asked, "Master, we know that you have integrity, and you teach the way of God in truth, neither do you care for the opinions of any man: for you don't regard the person. Therefore tell us, what do you think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?" But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, "Why do you test me, you hypocrites? Show me the tax money." They brought to him a penny and he said, "Whose image is this and whose inscription?" They said, "Caesar's." Then he said,"Therefore give to Caesar that which is Caesar's; and give to God that which is God's." When they heard Jesus' absolute words, they marveled and left.
The same day, the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, said to him, "Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed to his brother." Then they told of a woman who married seven brothers one by one as they each died with no children. Their question was, "In the resurrection which husband will she be married to?" Jesus' answer was absolute: "You error, because you do not know the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God ..." When the crowd heard his absolute answers, they were astonished.
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, one of them questioned him, "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it, You shall love your neig- bor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Jesus' questions and answers were absolute. He never gave anyone wimpy answers! Jesus' questions and answers were so absolute that there was no answer. Matthew 22:46 records, "No one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did they dare ask him any more questions". Jesus had truth and wasn't afraid topublicly own it. We should take courage to own God's truth.
"Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks a reason of you for the hope that you have with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." (I Peter 3:15-16)
"Study to show yourself approved of God, a workman who doesn't need to be ashamed, handling God's scriptures correctly. (II Tim. 2:15)
"...I felt I had to write and urge you to earnestly contend for the faith that was once and for all entrusted to the saints. (Jude 1:3)
"I pray that you may be more active in sharing your faith so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ."( Philemon 1:6)
1. First we must be on God's team.
2. Then we must pray to Him for His answers.
3. We must study God's word, the Bible.
4. We need to go out in faith and start witnessing even though we don't have all the answers.
There are reasons behind having wimpy answers. It may be that we don't have awesome answers because we have not committed ourselves to studying God's word or going out witnessing. Do we really have faith to trust God? Just like Solomon, if we ask God for His awesome answers, having faith working through our actions (witnessing), He will give us His awesome answers.
We can give absolutely awesome answers to those who ask us about the Hope that is in us. (I Peter 3:15)