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A "witness" is someone who attests to a fact, so in order to be an effective witness for Christ, one must have firsthand knowledge of Him. John the Apostle speaks of this in 1 John 1:1-3, when he s...
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Your desire is good, created in you by God. This is the Spirit of the Son in you. To manifest God to the world and to give the world a good picture of Him, that they might not meet us, but Him. That they might encounter His love and grace, and in seeing Him come to know Him. Your desire was given by God and as He is the Alpha and beginning of it, He is also the Omega, the End and goal, and all in between. So here is the hard truth, you cannot testify of God. The Bible is very clear on this, saying: 'I receive not testimony from man' - John 5:34 And in another place, speaking of the Holy Ghost: 'He shall glorify me' - John 16:14 Testimony of God, is and can only be given by God. This is first and foremost. Now, your testimony does not need to be a ten point sermon. Your testimony is first and foremost, your life. Your renewed life in Him, led by His Spirit (2 Cor 3:3) The first practical step is to quit 'seeking' to tell Him to the world, and start seeking Him. Seek His presence and face. And when He, the Holy Ghost fills you, then, you will walk like Jesus, talk like Jesus, care like Jesus, have compassion like Jesus. This is first and foremost. 'For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.' (Rom 8:14). And the entire world cries out for this exact thing! Indeed, all of creation groans waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. We need His Spirit, the Spirit of the Son, the Holy Ghost. And filled with Him, Jesus will be manifested to the world as a testimony unto them. The love of God will pour out from you and you will be like a tree growing up by a river of flowing water, who yields its leaves every season. And those leaves are for the healing of the nations. As our Lord said 'He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water' (John 7:38). You are called to be a Son (Rom 8:15-16). Your ministry is prayer, intercession and reconciliation. Now, march forward in that truth, as a son of God, looking to and adoring THE Son of God, and, being filled with His Spirit, His Love, you are free to love a dying and lost world. Free from looking for anything in return and free from expectation of re-payment. That is how the world loves, expecting something in return. That is not how we love. We love even our enemies and those who would smite us and use us, indeed, we are to love and forgive even those who crucify us, as or Lord loved and forgave us who put him on the cross (Luke 23:34). This is the kind of Love we need to fill us, and His name is Holy Spirit. He is that eternal Love, always existing between the Father and the Son. And this Love no one can take away from us, for they are not the ones who gave Him. So love unashamedly, love boldly. This is first and foremost. Secondly, allow His Spirit to fill you up and change you, fashion you, and remake you. Then, and only then, and only after you have loved on those around you so much they begin to ask you, 'why do you do these things?', 'why do you act like this?', 'how can you forgive this?', etc. THEN, then tell them, tell the world of your hope. Share the Love you know so well. Share the Love that has changed you! But know this, if what you are sharing has not changed you, know it will not change them. Finally, be full of faith. He will come. He will testify. He has begun the work, He has given you the true desire. He will not now, after beginning the work, leave it unfinished. 'Be confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ'. I rest on one word: 'and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple' (Mal 3:1) Even so come, Lord Jesus.
All we can do is preach the gospel. John 3:16-18 First Corinthians 15:1-4. Romans 1:16. First Corinthians 1:18 and First Corinthians 1:21. John 3:18. First John 2:2. Since Jesus died and paid the sin debt of everyone in the world, and you believe it, where will you go when you die? Heaven is the only answer.
Jesus gives us the 4 steps to being an effective witness in Matthew 5:7-10: 1) Blessed are the merciful for they will receive mercy 2) Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God 3) Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called Sons of God 4) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven When we are merciful, that is, delivering unconditional love to other people, God is pleased to pour out his mercy upon them to soften their hearts towards him. When our lives have been transformed by the Spirit of God, our holiness shines like the sun and God is pleased to open their eyes to see what he is truly like. When we are committed to our mission of reconciliation, God will give us the words to speak that will enable people to make peace with him, to receive his salvation. When we are zealous for God’s kingdom to come into our world we will fight for justice, righteousness, love and faithfulness, then God is pleased to bring people into our circle of influence, so we can show them mercy and purity and peace with God. People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. People won’t believe that becoming a Christian makes any difference until they see a transformed life right before their eyes. People won’t know how to respond until we present them with the gospel and explain biblical truth with the words provided by the Holy Spirit. People won’t believe our message is the truth until they see how much we are willing to suffer to bring honour and glory to God and see what a difference his kingdom brings upon the earth.
I took a class @ Dallas Theological Seminary called "Evangelism Explosion" with Dr. Thomas Constable as our teacher. It was wonderful. We'd go out 1 night a week and witness in Dallas. We'd use principles Dr. Tom Constable taught us from our textbook of the same title by D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge, FL. You start out with the question, "Say you were to die tonight, and God were to ask you, 'Why should I let you into my heaven', what would you say?" From there, depending on their answer, you present the Scriptures that state all men are sinners, salvation is a gift, not of works, the need for repentance, etc. Dr. Constable has lots of stuff online to use, He was one compassionate professor and was/is from Plano Bible Chapel in Texas.
I think the best answer to this question depends on to whom you're talking about witnessing. I think there's a difference in witnessing "effectively" to a non-believer and witnessing to a believer. Of course non-believers need to hear the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). But believers need "effective" witnessing also. Why do I visit this site, this question and answer web location everyday? I'm already bound for glory; on my way to that kingdom we call Paradise. I don't need to check my status the way I get on line and look at my credit report to be sure it hasn't been tampered with, or to make sure my identity hasn't been compromised. I believe the Spirit of God is able to keep that which has been entrusted to Him (2 Tim 1:12). I'm talking about my eternal life security. So I don't come on this site to make sure Jesus knows I'm still interested in a heavenly home. I come here for encouragement. I come here to hear from God's witnesses, and to witness. I don't do it from compulsion or because of a perceived mandate to do so, I do it because I want to be a part of the construction. Jesus said He would build His church on the perpetuation of the preaching of the gospel, and I like the part of the building project that He gives me to do. I realize that He can do this without me... I'm thankful that He decided to include me in the building and maintenance of the church. All I've just written, in my opinion, is a good word for non-believers. They don't believe they need a Savior. Most of them think that everybody dies and their life is ended. Telling them there's a way to live for eternity makes no sense to an unbeliever. The scriptures make no sense to them. Feeding them the scriptures is like trying to get an infant to digest a rib eye steak. They need to be primed with breast milk. They need to be told they can be of use in making this world a better place to live. That's the witness that just might interest them in joing the cause. It is God who saves souls, not the church. The most "effective" witnessing we do is in situations like right here on this site. We can't get anybody saved... We can be an encouragement to people to take a closer gander at the meaning of life; we might help them to consider whether there is such a thing as eternal life. That's usually the challenge; getting an unbeliever to at least look carefully at the possibility that a glorious life with the Creator is within our reach. That's our job; God has to take it from there. If you're trying to "get someone saved" as a way of proving to yourself that you're an "effective witness," then okay, good luck with that. I think a better understanding of what we can actually do, is that we can cause people to open their own eyes. That's all! God has to shed light on them and cause them to see. People join churches for all sorts of reasons. Sickness, tragedy, aging; and one of the greatest reasons: fear of being tormented in a fiery pit forever. Telling people they will spend eternity being consciously punished is "effective witnessing," is it not? It gets them to at least consider trying to avoid that drama. But does it cause them to know the love of God? I think it causes them to know the fear of God, but not His love. God doesn't want us to have a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and a sound mind (or self-discipline) (2 Tim 1:7). Jesus doesn't try to scare people into "getting themselves saved." I hope I'm "witnessing effectively" right now by speaking my understanding of what I believe to be the truth of the gospel. This I know for sure: nobody's eternal life depends on what I do or don't do; I'm thankful that I know that. I'm thankful also for my small part in the building project. The question isn't 'How can I be stronger in the faith.' It's 'how can I strengthen others?' That's what a good coach does. Do you want to coach Pop Warner or NFL players?
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