Bible Verse: “For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:13b)
Scripture Reading: Matthew 9:1-13; 35-38
“Evangelism is a twenty-four-hour-a-day activity for everyone. From home to school, to work, to play, you are constantly sending out a message to those around you with your mouth and your mannerisms.” (Joseph C. Aldrich)
Over the years I’ve heard many Christians confidently voice mistaken ideas about why they are excused from witnessing.
Excuse 1: Good Christians Don’t Spend Much time With Unbelievers
When I was a new believer and just learning to walk as a Christian, Bob, a Christian friend, told me he had a number of close non-Christian friends with whom he spent lots of time. I was shocked. I was certain he was walking on a dangerous path. I was convinced that he should not be dabbling in the company of worldly people and should flee into safe relationships with other Christians. However, if I could talk to Bob today I would say to him, “You were right, and I was wrong.”
If most believers have very few relationships with unbelievers, who are they going to witness to? Jesus came to earth to save sinners. To accomplish that he needed to eat with them, drink with them, party with them, and be touched by them. He had to come all the way into their world, so that’s exactly what he did.
Excuse 2: Only Clergy and Seminary Professors Are Called To Share The Faith
Actually, pastors and other religious professionals may have more barriers than lay Christians do when it comes to witnessing. People tend to be uneasy around clergy and frequently clam up when they know they are talking to a pastor. In addition, pastors frequently have little or no social life apart from relationships with fellow believers. Pastors may have to think outside the box to ensure they have regular contact with those who need to hear the message of Jesus.
Excuse 3: Only People With The Gift of Evangelism Are Called To Share The Faith
Although God may not have gifted all of us to be evangelists, he has still called all of us to be witnesses (Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:19-20).
Excuse 4: Only People Skilled In Apologetics Should Practice Witnessing
In reality, most people we meet are not itching to debate. Many of them are hurting. Some are quite broken. And after they enter into conversation, many are open to hearing about the Good News of Christ. The key is to genuinely love the person, which will be evident in the courtesy and respect given.
Excuse 5: Only People Whose Testimony Is Above Reproach Should Share
Jesus knew from the beginning that our witness of him to a watching world would have to be done through imperfect, sinful people like us. But he told us to do it anyway. Our job is to trust him.
— Royal Hamel in Unmuzzle Your Inner Sheep: Liberating Believers to Share Jesus ©2013. Used by permission.
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