Encounters of a Spiritual Kind
In the following examples from Scripture we try to learn ways and attitudes which will better enable us to witness of our Lord to others. These examples are drawn from a casual perusal of the Gospels and Acts. It is by no means exhaustive. As with the basketball strategy of ‘one on one’ we are looking at examples of one witnessing to another individual. We are not considering what was said to individuals already in the faith, though that is applicable. We are not considering what was said to groups, though that also is applicable to a witnessing technique. We are considering these various situations where it is one on one and the one witnessed to was in unbelief.
Not all those individuals witnessed to then believed. But the point we consider is that they were witnessed to. We know God’s power and mercy. We know His Word will accomplish what He wills. Is.55 We should not be disturbed if some and even many do not believe when witnessed to. We know man’s stubborn and rebellious heart.
We should be disturbed though with ourselves if we do not make every effort to reach out with the Law and especially the Gospel that the Spirit may work. Our laziness, fears, indifference, and doubt may and do interfere so often. We are unprofitable servants and people of such little faith. Through these examples we seek to build ourselves up in our witnessing desire and ability.
The ultimate goal in all witnessing is to be like John the baptizer and point to Christ saying that He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. And while we try earnestly to develop our skills in this area, we don’t want to forget John’s motto of “He must increase, but I must decrease.” No matter what gifts we have and how we develop them we are looking not for glory for ourselves. We are looking to have a prospect join with us in glorifying our God.
Hungering and Thirsting after Righteousness – Lk.19:1-10
Certainly we all yearn to meet those people who hunger and thirst after righteousness. These are people who have sought the answers to life’s questions in all the wrong places and have found the answers either nonexistent or severely wanting where they looked. They have been brought to the point of not looking within themselves for the solution. They have a conscience that yet speaks to them so that they feel a guilt and even an emptiness.
Zacchaeus had certainly heard to his face and in whispers behind his back what a wicked man he was. This must have had, over a period of time, a crushing effect. Though he had power and wealth being a higher echelon tax gatherer, he was not looked up to. His own people generally despised him showing this in linking his office with the status of open sinners. How might the supreme Roman authorities view him? Doubtless in no better light. They knew the Jews and how they were. And the tax gatherer was looked on as a
lackey. Zacchaeus knew very well how many times he had abused his office and cheated in the gathering, as he later admits. To this man in this situation the Lord comes. We should not thing that this was just an idle stroll of our Lord. Far from it, for our Lord wanted Zacchaeus to know His love, this one who was anything but loved by all around him. In this we should remember for ourselves that it is our Lord who likewise purposefully sends us. He puts us into situations in which we may show His love. He purposely gives us the opportunities along life’s way to reach out. Our Lord looks up into the tree purposely and speaks. He reaches out.
The Lord centers His attention on Zacchaeus. Kind attention is centered on one generally despised. Every soul is precious to our Lord. Our Lord came into the world to save sinners, and here was one very obvious one. The love of God is beyond our human imagination. Aren’t we supposed to be kind to those who are kind to us? Don’t we just do for those who would do for us? The love of God, on the contrary, means to pray for your worst enemy. The love of God means to return good for evil. The love of God means to pay attention to the unloved and despised. There are so many lost, afloat on a dark sea of life with no rudder and no oars. We come to them with the Gospel rudder and oars.
Beyond giving attention to Zacchaeus on the road, the Lord would go to his house (and this done with the obvious disapproval of others). Outreach is beyond the comprehension of the hypocritical world. Where just might we find ourselves at times to reach out with the Word?
The immediate reaction of this prospect was, “He made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.” By the demonstration of loving attention this prospect believed. “Today salvation has come to this house…” Zacchaeus shows that he repents and believes, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold.” He does better even than the law of restitution. Such is the power of the Gospel of the living Christ.
Not only was the Lord standing before him, but He was living in his heart. Although in this encounter there is not much recorded of what was said, yet we see the attitude of love that is a prerequisite for witnessing. We see also that the church of our Lord is not just for the outwardly upright. How many times haven’t you seen some bum or disreputable person and never dreamed of him sitting next to you in worship? Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. When we reach out to the despised of this world we pray that the attention we center on such will raise hope within his heart that he will listen to our words. And in this example we see what an attitude of love we must begin with.
Respect for Religion but with Doubts – Lk.7:36-50
There are many in this life who may respect our Christian religion and yet not believe in our Lord. This Pharisee showed respect for our Lord. He invited Him to his house and provided food. There it ended. There was not saving faith. Simon, the Pharisee, even doubted if Jesus were much of a prophet.
The Lord did have Simon’s ear so He told the story of a creditor and two debtors and related it to Simon and the woman. Simon had the typical attitude of a Pharisee which was self-righteous. This leads inevitably to a ‘holier than thou’ attitude. Simon showed it when he said to himself, “who and what sort of woman this is…a sinner.” Our Lord does not tear into Simon. He has his ear. Though Simon is self-righteous, yet he listens to the Lord.
The Lord uses what we could call the oblique approach. He does not confront Simon with his sin and demand repentance. Instead our Lord tells a story in which Simon must decide a question. That question – Which of them will love him more: the one forgiven fifty or the one forgiven five hundred? Simon is bound to answer “the one forgiven five hundred.” This reminds us somewhat of Nathan’s story to David by which he then showed David his sin. The response of David was immediate and it was repentance. With Simon we do not have it recorded. Were our Lord to use a more confrontational approach and demand repentance, Simon would likely bristle and balk. Whether Simon at this time repented and believed or not, he did have a very simple, clear story by which the Spirit could show him later the point.
We can learn from this to use the oblique approach when we have a prospect who is willing to listen to us, who has respect for our belief. Very true, the hypocrisy and self-righteousness of the Pharisee was and is disgusting. Why alienate a willing listener though by stomping on his toes so to speak, such that he rejects listening to you before you get your point across? The Lord further gets the point across by turning to the woman and making he comparison of Simon’s lack with the woman’s tears and wiping His feet with her hair and kissing His feet and anointing His head with oil. The lesson is well taught to Simon of true love emanating from forgiveness of sins. We don’t know if Simon was one of those who said, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” He must have at least thought it.
As Simon is left with something to think about, we would also want to leave those we witness to with something to think about. In Simon’s case he was left with what was necessary for the Spirit to convict him of sin. And he also was left with the Gospel in his ears as spoken to the woman. In our witnessing we want to be clear in our message as the Lord is here. We also want to give something simple to remember as with our Lord’s story. There are many illustrations in Scripture we could use as well as thinking up some out of daily life. It is good to have some illustrations in one’s mind when witnessing. The illustrations could be geared to the different situations we meet. And finally it is practice that makes perfect. The more we witness, the more we will feel comfortably in doing so and the more will be the passages and illustrations that the Spirit will call to our mind.
Willing Inquirer Attracted by Something –Mk.12:28-34
Mark records how after Jesus had answered the Pharisees and Herodians who were sent to entrap Him, that He then answered some Sadducees. The scribe coming upon
Jesus ’refutation of the Sadducees is pleased at Jesus’ answers. Undoubtedly, the scribe, too, disagreed with the Sadducees’ teachings and attitude. He sees in Jesus a kindred spirit. And it is not just the wisdom of the Lord’s answers, but the content. He then puts a question to Jesus.
Upon Jesus answering the scribe’s question the scribe acknowledges their agreement. There is a common ground between them. In our witnessing it is important to have a base upon which to build both our witness and our relationship with the prospect so that he is willing to listen. The scribe knows the law but as yet not the Gospel.
In this case the scribe was attracted to Jesus by our Lord’s wise answers. We always hope that others may hear our testimony to the hope that is within us and ask us about it. Yet there are other things which may also attract an inquirer. For instance, are our good deeds visible, or in other words are we doing them? Is our moral character such that our life is a principled one not willing to compromise with the high standard of God’s Word? If this is the case this may attract an inquirer. One thing is for certain, wickedness not only does not draw inquirers, but even repels them. Why should any want to inquire after evil? After all we all know how to do that already. Why should any want to inquire after compromising a principle? That is the ever present, pragmatic way of the world.
No question but that we see here the importance of having some things in common, or common ground on which to build the witness and relationship. We should even try to establish some things in common. I remember on a canvass once noticing a fine rose garden as I approached a door. I don’t remember whether it was before or after I spoke of my purpose on the canvass that I referred to the rose garden, mentioning that it reminded me of the rose garden my father had and how I was in charge of it. I didn’t just compliment the person on the fine rose garden, but tried to let him know that we were both admirers of fine roses. From this the person can look back to that visit of mine in a more favorable light, in a more friendly light. He can also remember back to that if I approach his door again. It seems like a little thing. Yet it can go a long way in establishing a relationship, avoiding the icy attitude of stranger to stranger. This is also something else to remember. In our selfish , self-centered day there are not that many people who genuinely inquire about others with a real interest. We as Christians should be so genuine not alone with ulterior motive of witnessing sooner or later, but truly interested in people for whom Christ died. Isn’t this part of love?
It is also noteworthy that this encounter ends on a positive note, though not with conversion. Jesus said, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” The scribe had understanding up to a point. Why not give credit where credit is due? With this encounter you can imagine a later meeting of our Lord with the scribe and a good discussion ensuing. We of course should want to leave our witnessing encounter with a positive note. That is not always possible. For instance when the person exhibits impenitence, rejection and even ridicule then no positive note could end that. We would be false to what we should say then by giving the man to believe that it is fine how he is. But this
scribe did not evince any such negative reaction, so that our Lord spoke as He did. Another thing to take note of is that in the encounter there is nothing wrong with a compliment to the prospect if he is correct on something. We just guard against any fawning. An honest statement or appraisal as given by our Lord here is in order.
So in order for an encounter like this to happen, seek to speak, and do and live each day God’s will. And pray that others may see your good works and speak to you with the result that they may join you in glorifying the Lord for His grace and mercy.
The Shocked- Jn. 8:3-12 Those on whom or near whom judgment has fallen,-Acts16:23-34 Those shocked by love.
We can imagine the woman’s feelings as her accusers have her red-handed. Stoning is the proper punishment for adultery. And not only does she face that, but before the judgment is to be carried out a public spectacle is to be made of her. It would have to be a very hardened individual who would not cringe before all this. Judgment is about to fall.
Our Lord knew well the hypocrisy that drove the Pharisees to drag this ‘sinner’ before Him. A lesson must be taught them. And with that lesson for them comes the woman’s release. Can you imagine the gloom gradually lifting for her as one by one her accusers went away, from the eldest on down? What relief! Yet she knew well how she deserved judgment. But she was to have another chance. When she says, “No one, Lord,” it is hard not to see more in that ‘Lord’ than mere respect for a good teacher.
Our Lord speaks the Gospel, “Neither do I condemn you.” Then He reminds her of the obedience of faith, “Go, and do not sin again.” Our Lord of course could read hearts and knew her repentance. We are not privy to the feelings of another’s heart and must go by what is said.
There is no question that a judgment or disaster of some kind makes a person reassess his life and doings. Many years ago after a flood in a city it was noted that attendance at church was up considerably. People were shocked out of their sinful complacency. Upon reflection of how people died and property was destroyed in a flood, there were those who sought a change in their lives and thus increased church attendance.
In our encountering people in this situation we want to not let them think they escaped because of their uprightness or innocence (remember we are considering unbelievers) or any good in them. The woman was ’caught’ in adultery. She knew her guilt. So we want our prospect to grasp the fact of his unworthiness. Then we want to point out the mercy of God that He spared such a one. The woman was guilty, but she was delivered from the judgment. Our thrust, as is ever the case, is to proclaim the undeserved love and unmerited favor of our Lord. With an individual in this mood of the sinful woman the law has evidently done its job, so our speaking the law is less. We want to communicate what our Lord said in v.12 “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
And then there is that one shocked by a demonstration of love not in connection with a falling judgment. One could say that the jailer escaped the judgment that would have fallen on him over escaped prisoners. The main point we consider though is that Paul and Silas stayed in the cell; an unheard of action by those incarcerated. It was not the case that Paul didn’t escape because his wounds kept him incapacitated. It was not certainly uppermost in Paul’s mind that he would stay so that on the morrow the city authorities might exonerate not just him but the cause of Christ from any shame and disgrace. That thought was there certainly. But uppermost had to be Paul’s concern for the jailer, who undoubtedly would face execution for losing the prisoners.
“When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, ‘Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.’” Vv.27-28 The jailer hade done evil to Paul. He had treated Paul with no concern at all. Now Paul had a great concern for the jailer. Paul returns good for evil. ”Bless those who persecute you…Repay no one evil for evil…’if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom. 12:14-21 This we find in the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount also. Peter likewise reminds us in I Pet. 3:9. This is Gospel pure and simple. It is love which the wicked of this world cannot understand. When this love is demonstrated to the individual he may well be “trembling with fear”, shocked into a sense of his own wickedness and unworthiness.
The jailer inquired, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul then spoke the Gospel command, ”Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…” That night the Gospel which had been demonstrated in the act of love was then verbalized as Paul and Silas went to the jailer’s house even then baptizing the whole family. This is one of those encounters we yearn for. But notice that the shock that woke the jailer up from his sleep of spiritual death was the act of love. It just cannot be otherwise. And it just cannot be underestimated that words so often are not enough. Our words also can be easily contradicted by our actions.
The love of our Savior from the cross forgiving His very executioners and forgiving a criminal, none of whom deserved it, must permeate our soul as we seek to announce His forgiveness.
The Disinterested –Jn. 4:7-39
This is one of the most studied examples of witnessing because our Lord’s conversation with this woman is recorded in such detail. Naturally, too, it is an appealing study because of the immediate positive results. Here Law and Gospel are articulated. Our Lord is casting the net of the Gospel and drawing in this prospect for His heavenly kingdom. And
the thing to take note of at the outset is that she is not interested. She did not come to the well to see Jesus and to inquire of Him. But the Lord came for her. It all starts with a request for a drink of water. The Lord moves the conversation from the physical and material to the spiritual. Here we have to learn from Him. How many times haven’t we wondered how to change a conversation from the mundane to the spiritual?
First of all His request takes her off guard. She was not only a lowly woman but a Samaritan at that and He talked to her. He treated her not as an inferior. All are valuable to our God. There is joy in heaven over just ones sinner who repents. God would have all men to be saved irrespective of who they are. Jesus shows this concern in His treatment of her. How are we when we witness? Do we convey the idea of ‘now just sit down and listen do me’? Are we pedantic or caring?
Jesus transforms the conversation from earthly water to the water of life. In our everyday surroundings there are examples galore from which to then spiritualize. Our Lord’s invariable use of nature’s examples are well recorded and well-known. Lilies of the field and birds of the air conveyed in image form God’s preservation. The loving care of the earthly shepherd reminded of the infinite care of the heavenly Shepherd. Bread, a door, fishing and so on were used by our Lord to illustrate His truths. The reason why we have trouble moving from an earthly example to the spiritual is because we don’t have our minds so firmly set on the spiritual and consequently can’t see the corollaries and illustration examples.
An integral part of our Lord’s encounter with the woman is the preaching of the law to convict of sin. “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband…” The sinful flesh detests hearing how wrong it is. It easily bristles. We have all had those times when we had to tell someone that he was doing wrong only to have him turn on us. Likely this causes us to back off from being as they say ’judgmental.’ But it is in love that we rebuke, reprimand and expose sin. As long as we approach another with humility, knowing how sinful we are, we should not hesitate to speak the law. An important point here is that Jesus says it to her privately.
When she exposes to Him what religious knowledge she possesses, He then seeks to correct it and expand on what she knows. We should likewise, but in a spirit of gentleness and humility. Jesus moves onto the end things. We want to give people perspective also on the end of all things. People get so wrapped up in their little world that they lose sight of beyond. We want to, as our Lord did, move the conversation to eternal life and eternal death. She is definitely interested and He does just that culminating in the Gospel, “Messiah…I who speak to you am He.”
This example of the Lord hooking her as He cast the line and drew her in is of course by the Master Fisher of men. This is a skill that we must be working on lifelong. Know the
Bible, know the Bible, know the Bible. Then it is that the Holy Spirit will give utterance with the Word.
The Third Party-Acts 13:5-12
This is what could be called a spiritual tug of war. With Paul on one end, Elymas on the other and Sergius in the middle. It is also confrontational. The confrontation though is not with Sergius, the object of the witnessing, but with the opponent Elymas. Here Paul must hurl the law at Elymas who is interfering with Sergius who “sought to hear the Word of God.” In away this reminds one of the Leipzig Debate where Luther was not so much trying to win over his opponent at the opposite podium as to influence those observing the debate.
Sergius was a man of intelligence who truly was interested in Paul and Barnabas’ message. Elymas tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith. We of course do not have apostolic power to do as Paul did. But we do have the law to refute and condemn the modern day Elymas. There are those times when in a very small group of three or so we may have one individual who we are trying to witness to, but are hindered by someone else. Then it is that we must turn to that opponent and direct the Word on what he is saying.
I can remember discussions in college in small groups when I would have to refute say a Mormon in the discussion to get through to another listening.
The beauty of this encounter of Paul and Sergius is that the proconsul did believe, “astonished at the teaching of the Lord.” It was the Gospel that Paul then preached that won him over after the interference was eliminated.
The Manifestly Impenitent – Lk.11:45-52
It is a mark of this wicked world that not all who we encounter will be like Sergius, seeking to hear the Word. John the baptizer reproved Herod for his sin, and we know what happened to John. Yet it must be done. Our goal is that expressed by Peter to Simon Magus in reproving him, “Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.” Acts8:22
We notice first of all in Luke eleven that this fellow has not the same attitude as the one in Mark twelve. The impenitent may argue over and at least resent your words. The lawyer would defend the integrity of his fellows. Defend hypocrisy? The Lord of course could read the man’s heart and knew his was no innocent and merely misguided question. While we do not have that ability, we must judge by what the person says and does. There are those manifestly impenitent to whom we, like our Lord here, only speak the law. An early Lutheran circuit rider in the USA by the name of Wyneken once came upon a wicked blasphemer who just would not listen. So Wyneken mounted his horse and left the man with the words, “The go to hell.” The story goes on that the man was so upset
that a pastor would say this to him, that he rode after him with a good result of repentance.
That is our goal also. Our Lord’s words here pin the lawyer to the wall. “You load men with burdens hard to bear and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.” We have no way of knowing how long such an encounter for us will last and so want to peg the sin clearly for the person to think about. Here it is hypocrisy. The Lord points out how they operate with such an unfair double standard.
“Abel…Zechariah…the prophets” Our Lord speaks from His perfect acquaintance with the Word. Ours is not so perfect and has to be worked on, so that we too might speak words readily applicable.
At the end of the narrative the Lord lays upon him the guilt of hindering others. No man is an island. Each influences others. And especially would the respected lawyer be an influence. “You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering. ”Perhaps this would have some weight with one who prided himself on his influence among the people. We could also take this tack depending on the encounter.
But basically it is only law that we speak to those who exhibit impenitence. Such are not prepared for the Gospel. Our witness of the Gospel to such could result in casting pearls before swine who could tear and rend in mockery of the Word.
Looking in All the Wrong Places – Mt. 19:16-24
There were those on the Areopagus who sought the answers to life in their philosophy, speculation and reasoning. It was clear on that mount that they contemplated the products of the human mind. But for those who seek to justify themselves in our Lord’s day or in ours, they appeal to God for their work-righteousness. They would use the Ten Commandments, which they say God gave, as the means for reward after this life. That was the approach of this rich young ruler, “Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?”
To us this is so pathetic. Yet it is the way of the prestigious lodges. This is not just an aberration of the Jews of Jesus’ day. This ‘works’ religion is basic to the largest visible Christian church, the church of the Antichrist. Even among numerous Protestant denominations it has established a beachhead.
The Lord is gentle with this fellow. He is looking for the answer to the question and not just trying to test Jesus or trip Him up. When Jesus refers him to the commandments, the ruler states he has kept them. Jesus does not point out he has not, but moves on to requirement that would show whether the man really wanted eternal life. “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Oh, oh! Where your treasure is there will your heart be
also. The man went away sorrowing because he had great possessions. The immense wealth and prosperity of our society is both a blessing and a curse. We, Christians, have more to give for our Lord’s work. The technology of our society can be harnessed for His purposes. But for so very many wealth is a trap. They fall in and are taken hook, line and sinker. To this materialist we want to speak.
When we do, we must make a clear dichotomy between: Christ ruling life or mammon dictating in effect disaster, eternal life or eternal death, forgiveness from above or work righteousness from man. We don’t want to mince words that one can get the wrong idea so as to serve Christ and mammon. We shouldn’t be daunted if our prospect goes away sorrowing. Conversion can yet happen by the power of the Word.
But with the prospect we should offer the opportunity to decide before we depart the encounter. He doesn’t have to. But why not give him the chance? We may have been overly cautious in this due to the error of the Reformed in their ‘decision theology.’ At least we want to leave the prospect with the idea that it is either or. There are so many passages warning us against materialism. Lay not up…the camel and the eye of the needle…into temptation, into a snare…
To his original workrighteous question of “what good deed must I do?” we also have ample passages. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of your own doing, it is the gift of God—not because of works, lest any man should boast.” Eph. 2:8-9 All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…there’s none that does good, no not one…by works of the law shall no one be save. Jesus sought to show the man that his own righteousness was not so perfect as he thought because he would not ‘do good’ by giving up his wealth and following the Teacher.
Wrong Loyalties Jn.3:1-21
While the rich young ruler went away sorrowing, and we do not know the final outcome of his life, with Nicodemus we are certain. Nicodemus also at first went away and did not follow the Lord. Later, we see his faith demonstrated in his work at the burial of our Lord. This example should give us great encouragement in that we may not see the results at first, though over time and out of our sight the Lord can work.
Nicodemus had been brought up in the workrighteousness and hypocrisy of Judaism. This has to account for his not understanding our Lord. But our Lord planted the seeds that the Spirit might later sprout in Nicodemus’ heart. On being born again or anew of water and the Spirit he asks, “How can this be?” He does not at this point see that a break must be made with his past.
The Lord explains how the bronze serpent prefigured the Christ’s sacrifice. This is one of the many Old Testament pictures of the Redeemer. To a man like Nicodemus high in Judaism and therefore familiar with the Word this had to leave an impression. Over and
over again in the New Testament record we read of how what Christ said or did was to fulfill Scripture. Even if the person we are witnessing to is not familiar with Scripture, unlike Nicodemus, we can still use the prophetic fulfillments in Christ to point out how He was the Messiah, the Savior. God promised. God fulfilled.
The Lord gives a warning to Nicodemus not to join in with those who reject the Son, the Light. And it is here that we have that best known passage of the Gospel, Jn.3:16. Jesus does give Nicodemus the Gospel deeming him an inquirer and not one of those who came to test or entrap. We have to make a similar determination with our prospect. And we will know by how they received our witness. One honestly questioning should have the Gospel left with him.
There are many who have loyalty to the wrong thing or person. Nicodemus’ was to Judaism and the Sanhedrin. Paul in witnessing to Felix, Acts 24:22f., came across a man who had a head knowledge of the Way, while his loyalty was to Rome, power and money. Paul tried mightily to show Agrippa the truth of Jesus and forgiveness of sins, Acts 26:1f., only to have the king fall back on his power and the Jewish people who had him for king. It is a matter of Christ or… So very, very often many pick…
With these examples of spiritual encounters we see there is so much to learn about witnessing to our Lord. Yet one thing comes out starkly, we must witness. Like the apostles we cannot but speak. Like the untimely born, woe to me if I don’t. Our conscience should stab us. Necessity is laid upon us. But it is not a necessity driven from without, rather from within. We now love Him, because He first loved us and suffered and died for us. So we speak about Him. There is the inner compulsion.
This propounds in no way to be exhaustive in the study of one on one witnessing encounters in the Gospels and Acts. But for what is here may it serve to stimulate practically. Just to review, consider the following pointers drawn from the studied encounters.
Make a healthy part of the purpose of your daily life to witness.
Really reach out with the Word to those beyond the ones who love you and in turn you love.
Pay attention to people and be interested.
Depending on the situation try to use the oblique approach.
Leave a clear witness with something to think about.
Study the Word and consider illustrations to get your points across.
Try to establish a common ground for a relationship and a willing ear.
End your witness on a positive note if at all possible.
When condemning hypocrisy, don’t be hypocritical yourself.
Demonstrate your love in words and in deeds.
Work to change the conversation from the mundane to the spiritual.
Speak the law to convict of sin, and the Gospel to convince of salvation.
Build on the religious knowledge that the prospect has.
To the impenitent leave the law with its barbs.
Be clear in presenting the contrasts of Christ and mammon, etc.
Be patient knowing the Spirit will work in His own time.
And pray about the encounter, being specific, before, during and after the encounter.
Only one life ‘twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.