- How Can We Become True Witnesses of the Gospel?
Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” It was the last word of Jesus Christ that He said directly to His disciples, and indirectly to all children of God, before the Ascension. Some theologians argue that it is the Greatest Commission of all commands of Jesus Christ. So it is said preaching the gospel as witnesses of Jesus Christ is important all the more. Before the Ascension, Jesus said to His disciples, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised꿣ut in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, whoever believes in Jesus as the Savior receives the Holy Spirit, becomes a child of God and gains the blessing of eternal life from Heavenly Father.
But if there were no one who let us know this good news that Jesus is our Savior, His promise of the blessing would be in vain. Therefore, Jesus commanded us earnestly to do our duties as mentioned in the passage. True children of God were appointed as witnesses to Jesus Christ already, if they welcomed Jesus as the Savior and received the Holy Spirit as a gift. In other words, all Christians are obliged to this duty.
Then, how can we become true witnesses of the gospel?
A. By Obeying God’s Will Fully
Philippians 2:6-8 say, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!” Indeed, Jesus Christ preached the Word of God and followed the will of God in His life. He set the best example to all flock of sheep. Finally, He fulfilled His duty until death by following the Word of God. Therefore, we, who believe Jesus Christ, should obey His will fully by taking after His heart.
B. By Understanding God’s Will and Teaching it
To be a witness of Jesus Christ, we should be able to teach will of God clearly, and for this, we should fully understand spiritual Word. As mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:16, all Scriptures is given by the inspiration of God, and therefore we can deeply understand what it means only by inspiration of God through praying earnestly.
Jesus Christ in those days said to Pharisees, priests, scribes and teachers of law that they are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch. He warned us against interpreting the Word literally or wrongly. Because they were not able to fully understand the Word filled with the will of God, they were spiritually blind. Therefore, they dared to condemn Jesus to be Beelzebub-possessed. Some of them also said, “By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” After all, they committed a folly by crucifying Jesus Christ, our Savior on the cross.
C. By Teaching Spiritual Words By Setting Examples
Suppose that we teach others with God’s Word but do not follow our own teaching ourselves. It is impossible for us to let people see God’ work, for we are liars. Even though we deeply realize the Word, if we neglect obeying it, we become arrogant and will be put to the eternal death. Only after we show our faith by obeying the Word of God, can we have the power and complete faith. James 2:22 say, “You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.” Once we act with our faith and teach others, we are able to let people realize their sin, repent of what they did, and then turn away from their evil ways. That is why God helps us show His power with the Holy Spirit.
Luke 11:46 says, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.” Therefore, we ought to be the good examples by practicing the Word of God, if we are willing to be witnesses to Jesus Christ.
D. By Showing the Shortcut to True Christian Life
An expert traveler will choose the fastest and best way to his destination. Likewise, whoever begins to live a life in faith wants to find out the shortcut to heaven by growing his faith quickly. Therefore, true witnesses should be able to show and lead people, by acquiring the know-how before them.
If they ask a question on how to quickly receive answers to their prayers, we should teach them how we can get answers to their prayer by pleasing God. It is to kneel down, and cry out with all our heart passionately and earnestly with faith. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” We can also find many cases where people received the answers by crying out to God in the Bible. When Elijah cried to God, a widow in Zarephath received her son’s life back. When Jonah prayed to God with crying inside a great fish, he regained his life. Therefore, we should teach them that praying with crying out is God’s will and commandment.
However, some ask back saying, “We do not have to cry out for the answer to our prayer, for God already knows what we want.” Others argue we do not have to cry out, quoting from Matthew 6:6 “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.” In order to realize what it truly means, we need to make sure how they prayed in those days. In the days of Jesus, Pharisees and priests raised their voices in prayer on the street to be recognized by others. Jesus meant to say that prayer to show oneself will not be accepted by God.
Therefore, we should realize that praying with crying out is the shortcut of getting answers, because it makes us concentrate on our praying. Then, we should teach it to people who begin to live a Christian life. We should also know God’s will for Christians and then set good examples to others on not only prayer life but also how to live a good Christian life in all aspects.
E. By Bearing Fruits
Farmers sow seed in spring because they expect to have a good harvest in autumn. But we cannot harvest anything just by knowing this fact, if we don’t sow seed diligently in spring. Even if many seeds are scattered, if we are lazy or if the method of cultivation is wrong, we cannot expect abundant crops. Something must be wrong considering what faith is, if we cannot gain any fruit even after sowing with our deeds.
For example, suppose that we are preaching the Word of God. As much as we teach them, it should penetrate even to dividing the listeners’ soul and spirit, joints and marrow, judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Then, their lives should be guided to the way of heaven to become wheat by changing themselves. However, something must be wrong if there is no fruit in spite of our hard work. In this case, we should quickly check ourselves and improve our spiritual lives. When we extend the kingdom of God bearing much fruit, we can be true witnesses.
F. By Serving First and Giving Proper Guidance
Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” As Jesus came to serve in the world to the very moment of his death as a ransom, we, working for the kingdom of God and His righteousness, should serve all people. Highly as we are placed, we should be more humble and meek than before. If we consider others better than ourselves in humility, we will never be arrogant but serve others first in any kind of situation.
Jesus spoke all things in parables to help His disciples understand and clarify the Word of God easily and fully. Matthew 15:15 says, “Peter said to Him, ‘Explain the parable to us.'” Jesus was pleased to explain in detail. Matthew 24:3 says, “Tell us, they said, ‘when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?'” Then, Jesus also explained to His disciples.
True witness should lead others by helping them realize what is wrong, not by blaming them. We should give hope for heaven and faith to those who live difficult lives without faith so that their faith will grow. If there are people who are disobedient, we should be able to change them into obedient people by serving them in humble attitudes.
G. By Giving Glory to God in Everything Whether Eating or Drinking
Those who do not know God feel and judge who God is and what church is by seeing Christians. Therefore, whether they go to the eternal life or death depend on how well we live as witnesses of Jesus Christ. Jesus said in Mark 9:42, “And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.” Matthew 5:16 also said, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
Therefore, we should be prudent in doing every little thing. So whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, we should change ourselves to do it all for the glory of God. When we visit others for spiritual matters, we should share hope for haven with one another. As true witnesses, we should show every solution from the Word of God for people who are in difficulties and let them know what God’s will is spiritually.
H. By instilling hope for heaven in one’s heart
Though everything is utterly meaningless in the world like a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes, spiritual world is never-changing. So, our lives, having hope for heaven, is so valuable. Although people have knowledge about heaven but no hope for it, they cannot but live earthly lives following their worldly desires. Then, their faith can hardly grow. Therefore, we should support them to have firm faith and hope by teaching them the salvation of Jesus Christ and the will of God clearly. As mentioned in 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin,” we should help them to live in the light as children of God.