Are you familiar with the poem “The Clock of Life”?*
- “The Clock of Life is wound but once,And no man has the power
- To tell just when the hands will stop,
- At late or early hour.
- To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed
- To lose one’s health is more,
- To lose one’s soul is such a loss
- That no man can restore.”
Thirty-nine people entered eternity in the short time it took you to read that poem. Every hour 5,417 souls on average pass into eternity and meet their Maker.
The Bible speaks of two roads; one narrow and one broad. One leads to eternal life. The other leads to a place apart from God and apart from Christ.
The Bible is a rich resource that speaks of Heaven and Hell. In the United States the vast majority of Americans believe in an afterlife. A growing number have begun to doubt or deny the existence of Hell.
Some suggest there is a place of temporal punishment but are reluctant to embrace the notion that Hell may be a real place or a place of unquenchable fire or memory or regret (See Matthew 13:41-42 and Mark 9:43).
Does the Bible teach that Heaven is a real place and that Jesus is preparing that place for His faithful followers (John 14:1-6)? Does the Bible teach that Hell is a real place and that the Gospel is in fact the glorious message that broken, fallen, sinful human beings have been granted an opportunity to experience forgiveness of sins and hope of eternal life?
I want to encourage you about the power of personal testimony in bringing people to Jesus.
In John’s Gospel we read the story of Jesus calling his first disciples. In the first chapter we read the story of John the Baptist and how “John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me’” (John 1:15). And “Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked , he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:35-36, NKJV).
Most conservative Bible scholars suggest the two Disciples mentioned in John’s Gospel are the apostle John and Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. These young men were John the Baptist’s followers before they followed Jesus.
They heard John the Baptist’s message about Jesus; “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me’ and ‘behold the lamb of God!’.
In the Bible people come to Christ by one of three methods:
1. They hear a preacher preach the Gospel and respond to the Gospel.
2. Someone loves and cares about a person and is willing to share their testimony and point that person to Jesus. This is called personal evangelism.
3. Jesus himself shows up and convinces and convicts people of sin and the truthfulness of the Gospel message.
In the opening chapter of John’s gospel all three methods are used. Both Andrew and John hear John the Baptist’s message and follow Jesus (John 1:37). “The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.”
Later in the chapter we read (v.40) “One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. (v.41) “He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated the Christ). (v.42). “And he brought him to Jesus…”
How did you receive Christ? Did you hear a preacher preach a message? Did a relative or family member or friend point you to Jesus?
Or were you like like Philip? (v.43) “The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.”
Sometimes Jesus shows up. It may be in a prison cell. It might be in the darkness and blackness of an empty and unfulfilled life. I have heard repeated testimonies of Muslims and others who have had Jesus show up in dreams and visions and point people to the message of the Gospel in the New Testament. Broken and alone people cry out to Jesus and Jesus comes and saves them!
How about you? Was it a preacher? Or a friend? Or Jesus?
Try an experiment. Ask everyone you know who claims Christ as Savior and ask them this question; “How did you receive Christ? A preacher, a friend or Jesus showed up”
It has been my experience that the vast majority of people who come to Christ; come because someone loved them and cared about them; willing to share the gospel with a friend.
Have you ever wondered how God could use you and your testimony to bring people to Christ?
Have you ever wondered how you might overcome your fear or shyness and use your testimony to bring others to Christ?
Three Things We Need to Be a Good Witness
There are three things you need to be a good witness. Imagine you saw a crime or an accident. A police officer or an investigator asks you what you saw. In order to be a good witness you would need;
1. A knowledge of the facts.
2. A reputation for honesty.
3. A willingness to tell the truth.
Did John the Baptist have a knowledge of the facts? What did he know about Jesus? Did John the Baptist have a reputation for honesty? When Jesus was asked about John the Baptist he said; “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11).
Jesus affirms that John the Baptist’s ministry was to point people to Jesus. John’s ministry was to announce the King and invite people to enter that Kingdom. Sadly that King and that Kingdom was rejected by many of the religious leaders and most of the people in Israel. John’s reputation for honesty was great; he pointed out the sins of Herod and it cost him his life. John knew the facts about Jesus, had a reputation for honesty and was willing to tell the truth.
How about you? Do you know the truth about Jesus? Do you have a reputation for telling the truth? Are you willing to tell the truth about Jesus? Then you have the essential ingredients to be used by God to point people to Jesus.
What is your testimony? Could you in three minutes or less tell someone the truth about Jesus?
Let’s do another experiment. Sometime in the next few days take a few moments and write out your testimony about how Jesus saved you.
Where do you begin? Talk about your life before you came to know Jesus. Talk about the people and circumstances that God used to bring you to Christ. Write or talk about how Jesus has changed your life. Tell the truth about Jesus. Post it on your web site or Facebook account or other social media! I think you will be surprised how God might use your testimony.
*This article was originally written/published by the author under the title, ”The Power of Personal Testimony.”