Hello, my name is Larry and this is an excerpt from a little
pamphlet; I felt led to write, for equipping Christians to witness.
The full study can be found at: http://www.insidetheweb.com/usr/local/itw/docs/messageboard/mbs.cgi/mb589170
Also, please see my Testimony at the end.
Shortly after becoming a Christian, I was watching a TV news
show, about a man who filmed forest fires. He was with a fire
fighting crew, getting great footage of a huge wall of fire roaring
down a hillside. Suddenly the wind shifted and the wall of fire
was now heading towards him. This was Pulitzer Prize material.
Men running for their lives, scrambling into trucks. At the last
moment he jumped into the back of an awaiting truck. As he poised
in the back to film a narrow escape the sound ru-ru-ru-could be
heard, the truck wouldn't start no time to run, all he could do
was shove the camera under a toolbox in the back of the truck
and try to cover up. What the camera
recorded in the next few moments is permanently etched in my mind. As the wall of fire passed over his body he screamed and kicked and flailed, in the flames with every breath he screamed OH GOD! OH GOD! OH GOD! Then as quickly as it came, the fire passed. I had seen the fate of the lost, only not for seconds but eternity! The next thing they were back in the studio interviewing him. This man whom had cried out to God in the fire was now smugly taking credit for his bravery and giving credit to the fire suit he had worn.
Then God reminded me of an incident ten years earlier while still unsaved myself I was in a car crash, the last thing I said as my body left the seat and headed for the windshield at forty miles per hour was OH GOD! The steering wheel and the sun visor kept me from going through the windshield. My leather jacket cushioned the blow. The truck was totaled, and I had a broken nose. As I surveyed the damage I thought to myself "that was some scare, I even called on God, oh well, its over now". Then I proceeded with my life as if nothing happened.
Needless to say I had a great time in prayer.
God had given me a sense of compassion and urgency to reach the lost, only problem was I didn't know how to go about it. I tried everything I could think of. I figured if salesmen can use the phone I can to, so a tried calling people out of the phone book, guess what? I sounded like the Christians that use to try to get me to come to church. I tried tracts, tracts and more tracts. I just couldn't seem to find the one that worked.
Then through the providence of God I heard an Equipping Evangelist.
Ephesians 4:11-12 you can say whatever you want but you've got
to admit. There are people on Church Pews all over the country,
that don't have the slightest idea how to approach the subject
of witnessing. By witnessing I mean biblical witnessing. We as
the church have missed something along the way. My prayer is that
God will use this to help bring this something back to the hearts
and minds of his people.
How to approach someone in a public place? Try this simple spiritual exercise: "GO". We are on the go all the time, if you are not at home you must be going somewhere. So why not go prayed up, with the intention of witnessing, if you get an opportunity? If you do, you will end up looking for and creating opportunities.
In my younger days, I felt compelled to exercise my first amendment right to bear arms. Some of the best advice my dad ever gave me was "Son if you go around carrying a gun with you, sooner or later, you are going to end up shooting somebody." I took his advice. The same holds true in the spiritual realm, if you go packing the WORD, sooner or later your going to end up witnessing to somebody.
Carry a small KJV Bible, (not so small you cant read it).
If you don't have a Bible on you, that's no excuse not to witness. After all, as a Christian, you have or should have the WORD hidden in your heart. I can't find anything in the Bible that teaches that you have to pack around a Bible to be a witness. The Bible wasn't even complete at that time. In any event, God has proven time and time again that he uses Christians, proclaiming his WORD, to reach the lost. No matter if the words are quoted from the heart or read from the Bible, it's still the WORD. I like to carry one because I can always "quick draw" and show someone what the WORD of God has to say about something.
I recommend carrying tracts. Try to have different tracts for
different situations. One to minister Grace to the humble, one
for the proud of heart, one with a simple yet solid presentation
of the facts of the Gospel and for those confused by false teaching,
tracts that teach sound Doctrine.
You may find tracts aimed towards children or the elderly or a novelty tract for breaking the ice.
Just be sure that whatever you use is doctrinally sound! I suggest carrying at least three different tracts and not more than six to avoid confusion.
If you go door knocking, it will help to first place yourself
in the place of the person you are visiting.
You are enjoying a relaxing evening at home, supper is almost ready and you are watching the TV News when there is a knock at the door. Three questions immediately come to mind. First, who is it? Am I safe? What do they want?
You want answers. You deserve answers; it's your home after all.
There are several things you, as the stranger, can do to answer these questions. Don't look like a criminal. Dress neatly, but not so neat that you look like a salesman (they're out to get you too). Do stand back, draw an imaginary line between the door and you, three feet should do. This is the safety zone, not your safety zone but the homeowners. You would want to feel that you could get the door closed just in case the stranger wants to do you harm.
Do let them see your hands. Either in front of you or at your side, holding a King James Bible. (Be wary of those who use "modern versions")
Get the thought out of your mind, that, you want to get in
the door. People can read you from a mile off, remember you want
to witness first and foremost and that can be done on the porch
just as effectively as the couch. Some people have bigger safety
zones than others, if someone seems standoffish just take a step
I remember times when the door got slammed in our face, and my partner and I would console each other with "It's not you they rejected but Jesus" or "Shake the dust off your feet brother" when in reality we had violated someone's safety zone.
If you don't want to get a door slammed in your face, keep your face out of the door!
Tell them who you are. Hello I am Larry and this is Michael, we are from Hopewell Baptist Church. Present your credentials, a Bible and a Gospel Tract.
Number two leads right to number three "we would like to give you this" or "did you get one of these?" as you give them the tract. If it is necessary to step forward to hand them the tract, do so then step back. If they refuse it, simply and offer them one of a different collar. I can't begin to tell you how many times the counter offer has been accepted and things went on to be a productive encounter.
Say something like "it has an important message for you," or "Do you know the Lord?" listen to them.
Ask permission to continue "could we talk for a moment?" or "I would really appreciate an opportunity to talk with you" as you make your request, let them see your eyes. The eye is the window to the soul and they have every right to look at you eyes as they judge your motive. Remember you are at there home. Don't make a move towards the door unless invited, and then use discernment, if it doesn't seem right it isn't right.
Don't step into a snare of the devil. Think about jealous husbands or teen-age girls at home alone! I would hope you have enough discernment about you to stay out. Too many times I have gone with the idea that to be successful I must get in. Success is when and only if you have given a Biblical presentation of the Gospel.
If they don't want to talk, apologize for the disturbance, thank them for there time. As you move back tell them that there is a phone number on the tract and to feel free to call any time. Ask them to read the literature you left and is there a more convenient time you could visit.
Often, when they sense that you are not going to force yourself on them. The level of comfort has now reached a point where they would be interested in hearing you out. A good way to tell is if the door is opened wider now. If you think another request for their time is warranted give it a shot.
If you have been granted permission to continue, change gears.
Speak slowly, not sales pitch like, make a little small talk,
find something to begin a conversation. Children or pictures of
children are a good choice; The Lord never made a child who didn't
have something worth complementing. What you are doing is letting
the person get to see that you are not crazy.
Be real, be friendly, if you are relaxed then they will relax. At some level, whether it is a child, dog the house it doesn't really matter as long as you are truthful and relax them.
As the conversation goes on, silently, ask God to show you a good opportunity to bring up a spiritual topic. Often questions such as "do you have a Christian background?" will help in this matter. As a rule of thumb don't cut them off, let them tell you anything they will. After you have heard them out you have earned the right to speak.
Be real, give your testimony, people won't get offended when you bring up sin especially if it is your sin you are talking about. This also lets them know that you don't think too highly of yourself. It also is helpful in defining sin, 1 John 3:4, Involve the at least three of the Ten Commandments in your testimony, Galatians 3:24.
Explain how you felt when you realized that you were a sinner
and God was holy and Just and that you would have to stand before
him one day condemned and deserving punishment for your crimes.
Relive the moment you realized that God became flesh and suffered
and died on the cross as payment for your sins. This isn't the
time for pride.
Don't be afraid to cry as you explain that when Jesus cried out My God My God why hast thou forsaken me it was because your little white lies and your lusting and all the other sins you so flippantly committed were being placed on the shoulders of the son of God. As the father turned his back on his only begotten son. He that knew no sin became sin and paid in full the penalty for sin.
Let them see the glory in your sole as you tell them of the resurrection. Relive the day Grace reached you, when in your heart you turned your back on sin and pride, and placed what little faith you had in the Lamb of God. When like the woman caught in adultery you found yourself at the feet of Jesus a trembling condemned sinner, and then hearing the words thy sins are forgiven thee. Remember the day when like doubting Thomas you cast yourself at the feet of Jesus and cried my Lord My God!
Ask them if they understand what sin, righteousness and judgment are. Because we have sinned and God is righteous He must execute judgment
Explain that the deepest theological term they need to understand is when God looked at Jesus on the cross He didn't see the perfect life Jesus lived, He saw my/your sin and that because Jesus took the place of sinners, Justice has been satisfied. God can now offer mercy to anyone "whosoever will" come in contrition and repent of their sin placing his or her faith in Jesus and Jesus alone.
When God looks at a Christian he sees the perfect sinless life
Jesus lived. Offer to answer any questions. Ask if you could pray
If it's OK pray out loud. Thank God for saving you. Oh God I pray for________ Lord give _________ repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. I pray that you would speak to their heart and enable ________ through your Grace to believe to the saving of his/her soul. Then worship God silently in prayer as God does His work.
At this point you are no longer giving information you are
only to ask if there is anything they would like to say.
If they indicate that they have been saved, go back into a teaching mode and tell them about Baptism and Church membership. If they don't indicate anything BACK OFF! If God has saved them then God will tell them!
Pray for and seek out a several like-minded partners. One of
the greatest blessings in my life is the bond I have with my door
The more times you go with someone, the closer you get and the closer you get the better you work together. You learn to keep quiet when you ought to let your partner do the talking and visa versa. If your partner is connecting with the husband and the wife or kids are disrupting things, you know to run interference and he will do the same for you. A partner, who isn't a blabbermouth, is a gift from God.
Biblical Evangelism will get you on Hells Most Wanted List!
Satan deals in subtlety. "Wisdom is a defence" (Eccl 7:12) study Proverbs till you have it down cold! I can't begin to tell you the pain I could have avoided if I had given heed to that advice. Put on the whole armor of God, hide his WORD in your heart, take up your cross, endure hardship as a good soldier and get in the fight!
This is definitely not a complete study on witnessing. At best I hope this has provoked you to study the matter further.
A word about context, Please Please, be sure you read all the verses I have given in context. I have not intentionally changed the meaning of anything, by taking it out of context. But I know from experience that we all can and do at times. If you find contradictions in this, be sure the mistake is mine, the word of God is perfect.
All scripture quotation are from the King James Bible and used with the express written permission of the author. (Ephesians 6:17)
For more information: read your Bible
This is a true story, my name is Larry.
Have you ever had the experience of falling from a tree? Or maybe found yourself on a sharp curve going way to fast? I remember diving too deep in the lake and running out of air before reaching the surface.
There is only one word to describe the situations, we all at one time or another find ourselves in, TROUBLE! Did I say one word? How about remorse or desperation? On second thought, words cannot begin to describe the feeling you get as you desperately grab for a tree limb that's inches out of reach, as the law of gravity mercilessly speeds you toward the hard ground. Or the terror of madly clawing your way towards the surface as you desperately try to hold back the urge to satisfy the burning in your lungs by taking a breath.
I have had plenty of those moments in my life, but all of them put together and multiplied by a million could never come close to the feeling I got on Nov. 21,1994. That's the day I came to the point of acknowledging, what my conscience had been telling me for so long. I was a sinner. I had rebelled against God's Law of sin and death! The soul that sinneth, it shall die."(Ezekiel 18:20) All of the self-righteous "good deeds" in the world could never change the fact that there was a load of sin on my back and the law of sin and death was speeding me towards an impact with justice.
I had pacified my conscience by telling myself that I wasn't a big sinner, just a little white lie hear and there, a little lust, maybe some coveting once in a while, overall I did more good things than bad, that's got to count for something.
My feeble attempts to grab hold of God's favor by doing "good" was as useless as trying to defy the law of gravity.
Now for the good part, when I admitted to myself that I could never reach God on my own I remembered something a couple of people, over the years, had told me. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) it didn't make sense at the time, but now somehow it did. They had told me that Jesus died for sinners and that they were SAVED, and that believing the Gospel saves you. "Moreover brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." (1st Corinthians 15:1-4).
Well that was good for them but what about me? After all the times I had rejected God and His mercy. "If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared." (Psalms 130:3-4) would he have mercy on me?
Then I did something completely out of character for me, I humbled myself and asked God to forgive me, I was so sorry for my sin and humbled that Jesus had taken my place and paid my sin debt. "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." (Acts 20:21).
My faith may have been weak, but it was in Jesus and that was enough. ("But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness¡¨ Rom 4:5) "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Rom 8:1-2).
I'm so thankful God reached down for me.
Hears what you need to do. Judge yourself by the Ten Commandments:
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Have you placed any thing before God?)
2. Thou shalt not make unto the any graven image, (Have you created a god according to your fancy?)
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain (in jest, disgust or without proper reverence?)
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. (Have you ever kept any day holy?)
5. Honor thy father and thy mother
6. Thou shalt not kill. (According to 1st John 3:15, hatred is considered murder)
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. (According to Jesus, lust is adultery)
8. Thou shalt not steal. (The value of an object is irrelevant)
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness
10. Thou shalt not covet
How did you do? According to James 2:10 breaking the law in one point makes you guilty of all.
God commands all men every where to repent because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org please, notify me if you don't want to get anything else from me, if I made you mad in posting this email me and tell me off real good, but as you do, think about what I have said.
Have a nice day