Ye Shall Be My Witnesses

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blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

1. From your experience and your interactions with other Christians, what would you say is the number 1 (2 or 3) reason why we as Christians don't witness more than we do? Fear? Lack of faith? Ashamed of Jesus? Other?

2. For those who have seen improvement in their lives in the area of witnessing, what's your 'secret'?

3. Do some people just have a gift to witness?
 

awretchsavedbygrace

Puritan Board Sophomore
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

1. From your experience and your interactions with other Christians, what would you say is the number 1 (2 or 3) reason why we as Christians don't witness more than we do? Fear? Lack of faith? Ashamed of Jesus? Other?


I think its a matter of fear. "How do I start? What can I say, What if I dont present it correctly"?, I think those are the questions that hinder from witnessing.


2. For those who have seen improvement in their lives in the area of witnessing, what's your 'secret'?

Just be real. There is no secret. I guess it depends where your witnessing. On the street passing out tracts, or in malls? You approach a person, ask them for 5 minutes. Ask them questions, and share the gospel. At work, you just do it. They'll notice that your different than others, and im sure the time will come up when they'll ask you why your different or why you dont act like everyone else..theres your chance.

3. Do some people just have a gift to witness?

Gift? I guess its just the calling of some people to witness on the street. I still believe its every believers duty to witness.
 

MarieP

Puritan Board Senior
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

1. From your experience and your interactions with other Christians, what would you say is the number 1 (2 or 3) reason why we as Christians don't witness more than we do? Fear? Lack of faith? Ashamed of Jesus? Other?

2. For those who have seen improvement in their lives in the area of witnessing, what's your 'secret'?

3. Do some people just have a gift to witness?

1. I think the number one reason is that we are selfish and don't want to take the effort to do the hard work of sowing seed. The second may be that we just don't care.

2. My "secret" is praying for God to fill me with His Spirit and give me a heart for the lost ;) In Jan. 2008, after a period of spiritual declension, the Lord used a sermon on Acts 1:8 to revive my prayerless, unconcerned heart. So, prayer, asking for the Spirit to give you boldness, that's my secret. And proclaiming the Gospel to myself! If I have an abundance of the Gospel in my heart, that will I speak, as Jesus said.

3. Hmmm. Perhaps we can say some are more gifted in this area than others? It's certainly a gift to be able to witness in the first place, and the Spirit that testifies to Christ surely is a gift! We all have different ways of doing it: some are more comfortable witnessing to strangers, others more so with friends and relatives. Also, I think that it's hard to tell who is "better" at it because we don't always know what effect our words will have on others.

My pastor taught two excellent Sunday School lessons on evangelism:

Hindrances to Personal Evangelism

Motivations to Share the Gospel
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I think many have bad views of what evangelism is.

It's like when some get motivated to evangelize, then they are determined to do it, even if it is not natural and will force Jesus into every conversation. i.e., they determine that "today I am going to talk about Jesus" and then, instead of Jesus naturally flowing forth from their lives, they appear to be selling used goods and giving a spiel to disinterested victims.

It is sort of like they turn on the evangelism switch and they stop being who they normally are.

However, we get it (prayer is part of it I am sure) we need an evangelism that flows naturally.


I think I've got a summary: We need to BECOME evangelistic, not merely DO evangelism.
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
I think many have bad views of what evangelism is.

It's like when some get motivated to evangelize, then they are determined to do it, even if it is not natural and will force Jesus into every conversation. i.e., they determine that "today I am going to talk about Jesus" and then, instead of Jesus naturally flowing forth from their lives, they appear to be selling used goods and giving a spiel to disinterested victims.

It is sort of like they turn on the evangelism switch and they stop being who they normally are.

However, we get it (prayer is part of it I am sure) we need an evangelism that flows naturally.


I think I've got a summary: We need to BECOME evangelistic, not merely DO evangelism.

Amen, brother.
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
:lol: Yeah but that's okay since when you get them you must really have said something good. Other folks gets 'Amen'ed so much that it hardly has any meaning left.


"Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, John Piper said something!!! AMEN! Preeeaaacccchhh it brother!"
 

jambo

Puritan Board Senior
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

1. From your experience and your interactions with other Christians, what would you say is the number 1 (2 or 3) reason why we as Christians don't witness more than we do? Fear? Lack of faith? Ashamed of Jesus? Other?

2. For those who have seen improvement in their lives in the area of witnessing, what's your 'secret'?

3. Do some people just have a gift to witness?

I believe the main reasons people do not witness as they should are:-

1. The main reason people do not witness as they ought is just plain unbelief. More often than not Christians merely pay lip service to their beliefs. If they truly believed God's character as seen in the scripture, there would be no more problems witnessing, praying or worshipping. Compare the disciples in the gospels with the disciples in Acts. You may say the Holy Spirit made the difference but I see the conviction of meeting a risen Christ made the difference. Do we have that conviction today?

2. The second reason is that I suspect some people know that if they witness as they ought then to be consistant would have to make changes in their lifestyle or attitude. And they may not be prepared to do that. Hence it is easier not to witness than to change habits.

3. A third reason is simply to compare the willingness and enthusiasm of a new convert with that of someone converted a number of years. People converted for some time "forget" what it meant to have new life. Like the church at Ephesus we should remember and return to our first love.

4. "He who has been forgiven much loves much" Those who have been brought up in a "Christian Home", although privilaged to be so, sometimes are not always conscious of the change that has taken place.

I am convinced that people do have a gift of being able to witness. I recall in a former church one woman who had a tremendous gift of being able to walk up to people in the street and just start talking about the Lord to them. She always ended up having deep meaningful spiritual conversations with people. Likewise if anyone called at the door asking for directions or selling something then it was not long before she was engaging them in spiritual conversation, and to great effect.

-----Added 6/17/2009 at 06:22:26 EST-----

Actually within a minute of writing that post, I came across a quote by AW Pink:

If we were more occupied with...
God's riches than with our poverty,
Christ's fullness than our emptiness,
the divine bounties than our leanness;
on what a different level of experience we would live!
 

Theognome

Burrito Bill
I think Acts 1:8 is speaking to the Apostles and how the Holy Spirit would work through them specifically. Thus I'm not certain using it as a proof for the general nature of evangelism is appropriate, as the apostolic age is no longer.

Theognome
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
1. I think the number one reason is that we are selfish and don't want to take the effort to do the hard work of sowing seed. The second may be that we just don't care.
Those are at the top of my list, too. I've also (introspectively) been thinking about another reason, I hope not to be the case.

Rom 1:15,16 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.​
Paul was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, and was ready to preach the gospel to those at Rome. How do we tell if we are ashamed of the gospel?

2. My "secret" is praying for God to fill me with His Spirit and give me a heart for the lost ;) In Jan. 2008, after a period of spiritual declension, the Lord used a sermon on Acts 1:8 to revive my prayerless, unconcerned heart. So, prayer, asking for the Spirit to give you boldness, that's my secret. And proclaiming the Gospel to myself! If I have an abundance of the Gospel in my heart, that will I speak, as Jesus said.
Well, now its not a secret any more. Thanks for sharing. I'd never thought about proclaiming the Gospel to myself - interesting,

-----Added 6/17/2009 at 06:51:54 EST-----

I think I've got a summary: We need to BECOME evangelistic, not merely DO evangelism.
How?

-----Added 6/17/2009 at 06:56:10 EST-----

I think Acts 1:8 is speaking to the Apostles and how the Holy Spirit would work through them specifically. Thus I'm not certain using it as a proof for the general nature of evangelism is appropriate, as the apostolic age is no longer.
How does God work through us today?
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Wilhelmus A'Brakel has an excellent discussion about the responsibility of "regular" Christians to "Prophecy" in the section in which he speaks of Christ's office of Prophet in the Christians Reasonable Service (Vol. 1 pg. 512ff).
 

Theognome

Burrito Bill
I think Acts 1:8 is speaking to the Apostles and how the Holy Spirit would work through them specifically. Thus I'm not certain using it as a proof for the general nature of evangelism is appropriate, as the apostolic age is no longer.
How does God work through us today?

Through His Spirit, of course. But the witnessing of His appointed evangelists, which is addressed in Acts 1:8, isn't the same as the witness of the faithful as described in Matthew 5:13-16. The things folks mentioned already in the thread are good and necessary for Godly living, which is what us salts are supposed to do in order to be faithful witnesses. My point was that the verse in Acts may not be the best choice to base such questions about how Christians are witnesses in their daily lives, as it's not talking about that.

Theognome
 
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