Every now and then I task myself with a very scary thought, it goes like this:
When you're in a shopping centre have a look around at the many people around you and ask yourself, how many of these people are probably Christians? In response to this, ask yourself what happens to the others? What happens if they die before taking Jesus as their personal saviour?
The Bible is very clear about the end result for these people. Here is a harsh reminder: From Revelation chapter 14: "He will be tormented with burning sulfur... And the smoke of their torment rises forever and ever..."
A while ago I was reading a very scary passage on this matter. It was Ezekiel chapter 33, and talks about Ezekiel being a watchman. When I read it, I was quite taken at the severity of our responsibility to watch over others and consider them. The passage talks about the responsibility of a watchman to warn others of coming danger, and if they fail to do so, they are held accountable.
Ezekiel was given this role of Watchman of Israel, and I believe as this was said to Ezekiel, so are we watchmen over the people God has placed in our lives.
Whilst we aren't under the same Law as Ezekiel (if we are Christians that is), we are still given a responsibility to let people know about Jesus and be a witness in order that they might be saved from punishment.
How do we witness?
So the question is: how do we witness to the people God has placed in our lives? How do you even start a conversation? My answer is to have a think about this one personally, or, not even think about it and just do it, though this second one requires a bit of boldness and courage which takes a bit of character.
But also seriously, we are told "seek and you will find"in Matthew chapter 7. If you truly seek out ways in which you can approach people, God will provide you with this answer. A while back I gave a tip to someone who was working in a formal office environment, wondering how to start a conversation about God, especially with office politics being present. I gave the same advice that was given to me: just jog along!
Just jog along
We often feel that sharing our faith has to be a chore and awkward, but that isn't always the reality. Just treat the person you are talking to as a person, and be friendly and considerate of them and their opinions too! So going back to my recommendation, I gave a nice one-liner to a common question that can lead to an opening in conversation: I said when someone asks you what you did on the weekend, say that you went to church! And if possible, continue a conversation on this topic.
Just a few pointers before I wrap up:
- Always walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. Without God, we can do nothing, so don't try and accomplish the impossible without Him! On this point, ask God for guidance for when and who to talk to, and also for the words to say. I rarely know anything beyond "Hello" when I start a conversation, so learn to rely on God for the right words.
- Don't get too concerned with results: leave these to God as only he can perform the miracle of someone moving from death to life by asking Jesus into their life; simply sow the seed.
- Don't get bogged down when you make a mistake. God knows that we aren't perfect in our own right: That's why we need Jesus! Simply confess these mistakes to God and move on—take in faith that you are forgiven.
- And again, jog along! Try to share a few key points of Christianity from the Bible, and do so with the authority we are given from God himself, but still remember to be considerate and work with where the other person is at.
You're good to go! I have written about similar topics a few times before because this is so important to both us and the people around us. God has given people the job of spreading the good news to people, so take on board this role, have a bit of fun with it, and get a bit excited to overcome the nerves—God will do amazing things through you!
Tim Robertson is from Sydney, and likes to write about recent learnings in the hope that other people may also benefit from them.
Tim Robertson's previous articles may be found at www.pressserviceinternational.org/tim-robertson.html