Christ desires for His church to witness for Him.  We are His ordained means for making Him known to His creation (see Isaiah 43:7).  Engaging in this task, however, requires certain commitments on our part.  Let’s examine three prerequisites for effective witnessing.

 

Prayer

is a pivotal part of personal evangelism.  It has been noted that most great revivals can be directly linked to great prayer efforts.   Regarding soul-winning, Charles Spurgeon once said, “The great secret lies, in a large measure, in powerful supplication.”  The great London preacher’s statement is in alignment with the words of Jesus.  Speaking to His disciples, He said, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few.  Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:36-37).  The word “pray” appears as a command in the original language of the New Testament.   A large influx of souls into the kingdom of God is possible, but His people must make requests.  The Lord uses our faithful intercessions in two ways.  First, He responds by working in the hearts of men and women, pulling and tugging on their hearts, convicting them of their need for salvation (see John 16:8).  Second, He uses our prayers to increase our burden for the lost (see Acts 4:31).  It is not ironic that the most fervent proclaimers are usually the most fervent prayers.

Compassion

is another critical concept associated with witnessing.  Those who share the gospel do so because they care about others.  They have a concern about their eternal destination and their earthly joy.  Those who know the forgiveness and life of Jesus will live with God in a perfect place forever.  On top of that, they have a better existence in the here and now, since they have true, meaningful life in Jesus (see John 10:10).  If believers want to become better at influencing others for Christ, they must become more concerned about both the earthly and eternal wellbeing of others.  Jesus Himself had such a concern.  In describing an occasion in which He ministered to a great crowd, Scripture says, “He stepped ashore, He saw a huge crowd, felt compassion for them, and healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14).  The apostle Paul had a similar empathy and pity towards unbelievers (see Romans 9:1-3 and 10:1-2).  When God’s people truly care about others, they will be more motivated to minister.  In addition, others will notice their concern, and potentially become more interested in Christ.

Personal Consecration 

Since the beginning of time, the Lord has ordained that He works mightily among those who live according to His standards (see Genesis 3:22-24).  He cannot compromise His character.  Under the Mosaic Law, only the cleanest and choicest vessels were allowed to be used in worship (see Leviticus 1:3 and 10:8-10).  Still in the church age, God desires to work through clean vessels.  If our lives are stained by sin, others can’t see the image of Jesus within us.  This is why Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by men” (Matthew 5:13).

Dr. Patrick Latham
Pastor

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