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Friday, September 3, 2010

Scared to Witness? - Part 3

In Part 1 and 2 of this study we noted Paul’s inspired words, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. 5:20). We have looked at good edifying fear and bad sinful fear. We have looked at the solution to bad fear as the total surrender to God in faith and the empowering of the Spirit to serve God in love. Now we will consider how we might get started. There are a few things we need to do to set the ground work for witnessing. Then we will look at a very simple way to share the gospel.

So you see your calling to be an ambassador for the Lord who shares the gospel. And you have fully surrendered to Him in faith and received the empowering of the Holy Spirit. Your love for the Lord has never been deeper or more powerful. What’s the next step? There are really three steps you need to take from this point on.

First, prayerfully prepare and equip yourself to share the gospel. Make sure you are filled with the Spirit. The empowering of the Spirit is something that needs to be maintained. The early disciples were refreshed in this empowering condition (Acts 4:31). Paul spoke of being continually filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). So start by preparing yourself with daily prayerful surrender to the Lord and reliance upon His empowering. /span>

You need to know what the gospel is before you can share it. If you’re a Christian you know the gospel. It’s the same gospel by which you were saved. Study the word of God to see what the gospel is that saves (e.g. Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 15:1-4). Gospel means good news. Learn God’s revealed way of how to use the Law to bring conviction for sin so a sinner sees their need of a Savior (e.g. 1 Tim. 1:8-11). The Law is a tutor that leads people to Jesus (Gal. 3:24). It is the Spirit who does this work; you are merely His instrument; He will lead the way (John 16:8-11). Use the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20) and use them to question people to show them their sinfulness. Then ask them if they stood before God on judgment day would they be guilty or innocent. When they say guilty, ask them if that bothers them. When they say yes, tell them about the gracious saving work of Jesus who paid the debt of their sins on the cross. Many for the first time will understand why Jesus died on the cross and that He did it in love for them (Rom. 5:8; 6:23).

Now you may be thinking, but what if people ask me questions I can’t answer? This will happen. No one has all the answers all the time. There’s nothing wrong with telling them you don’t know the answer right now but would be happy to get back to them with one later. Getting back to them will demonstrate your sincere loving concern, your reliability, that God really does have answers to life’s questions and solutions to life’s problems. It will also provide an opportunity to build a relationship that will hopefully lead to salvation and discipleship. When I encountered this as a new Christian I made a commitment to never be stumped by the same question twice. In this questions I didn’t know the answer for became an incentive and directive for me as to how to study and prepare.

I want to recommend at this point a resource that is simply the best for equipping people to share the gospel. At Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron have set up a website with video demonstrations, teachings and resources to help you get equipped to share the gospel. Their book The School of Biblical Evangelism is a treasure trove of evangelistic helps that every Christian should have. Fear is often the product of ignorance. If you want to overcome your fear of evangelism, check out these materials and you’ll be well on your way to shining God’s gospel light into the dark scary unknowns and dispelling your fears.

Another great resource is the website of Mark Cahill at . Mark is a personal friend and he walks the talk. You will be hard pressed to find someone with a greater burden for the lost. He shares the gospel literally everywhere he goes. His book The One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven is a classic. It is a great study tool to learn the ins and outs of witnessing. Another book he wrote, One Heartbeat Away is a book you can give to the unsaved. It addresses just about every question an unbeliever might ask and does so in a loving way.

Second, pray for opportunities to share the gospel.
Once you’re empowered and prepared you need to pray for opportunities to share the gospel. When you start praying don’t be surprised if Jehovah’s Witnesses start coming to your door or people start asking you why you’re different or if opportunities just start popping up everywhere. Someone has said prayer is the long range artillery of the Lord. When you storm a beach an artillery barrage precedes your charge. Target people and pray specifically for them. Pray Acts 26:18 for people that God would, “open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.” Start with prayer and then step out in faith.

Third, prayerfully share the gospel.
Step out in faith and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. He will help you to be sensitive to who He wants you to share with and where He wants you to share with that person. If you’re still a bit skittish about sharing the gospel but determined to do it I would suggest you begin by sharing tracts. Don’t underestimate the power of a gospel tract. A tract is a small piece of paper or pamphlet that has the gospel contained in it. It may include the consideration of a certain question that is commonly asked. A tract is great because someone can receive it and keep it to study and contemplation. It’s a fantastic evangelistic tool.

Tracts can do a lot of the evangelistic work for us. Tracts can help you start a witnessing conversation. You can offer a tract to a stranger saying, “Did you get one of these?” In so doing you are offering them something for free and starting a friendly conversation.

Tracts can find their way into places we might not be able to. Tracts don’t get into arguments, they just state their case. And tracts have perfect timing; people read them when they’re ready to and therefore most receptive. You can leave tracts places for people to pick up later. Some good places to leave tracts are: in public phone books under “Abortion,” or “Escorts.” You can leave them amongst the food and packages of a super market. You can leave them in the pockets of clothes in clothing stores. You can leave them in bathrooms. You can leave them with a good tip when you go out to eat. You can leave them at the gas pump, in doctor’s offices, airports, airplanes, ATM machines, movie theatres, stadiums; you can leave them just about anywhere.

Charles Spurgeon said of tracts, they “are adapted to those persons who have but little power and little ability, but nevertheless, wish to do something for Christ. They may not have the tongue of the eloquent, but they have the hand of the diligent. They cannot stand to preach, but they can stand and distribute here and there these silent preachers . . . They may buy their thousand tracts, and these they can distribute broadcast.”

Did you know that George Whitefield, one of the greatest evangelists that ever lived, was saved by reading a gospel tract? Did you know that Hudson Taylor was also saved with a gospel tract? God uses gospel tracts. Not all tracts are equal; some are better than others. I would refer you first to The Way of the Master and Mark Cahill’s websites for tracts first. Another good site for tracts is The American Tract Society at

One last thing, if you choose to use tracts and are just leaving them places, make sure you pray for the Lord to use them.Also make sure you put some contact information on the tract so a person knows where to go for follow up. Pray over your tracts and ask God to show you where to leave them. Remember this is a spiritual war. Prayer is the long range artillery to soften the enemies’ strongholds before we storm the breaches.

Scared of witnessing? I hope and pray this short series has helped you overcome any fear of witnessing you might have had. Pray it all through. God is calling you and every Christian to share the gospel. He will provide the power and faith to help you overcome your fears of witnessing. Then prayerfully follow through and be used by the Lord. And get ready to rejoice as sinners are saved from their sin to the glory of God. Be His ambassador and let Him plead with the lost through you. God bless you.

[1] Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort, The School of Biblical Evangelism (Gainseville. Florida: Bridge Logos Pub. 2004) p. 198. See book for further discussion on tracts and evangelism. Excellent!

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