Jack M. Bailey
This almost seems a question not worth asking. Why do I witness? Well, let’s turn that around. Why would I not witness? Jesus Christ is my Savior and the Lord of my life. He commanded me to witness. His last words on earth were, “. . . but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NASB). Jesus didn’t instruct us to witness “if it is convenient” or if we “feel like it.” He was very emphatic in commanding us to witness everywhere. I want to follow His instructions because I love Him.
There are so many people who need Jesus! Ordinary people going through life in their homes, on the streets, in their businesses and in shopping centers are hungry to know about Jesus Christ. Matthew 9:37-38 says, “He [Jesus] said to His disciples. `The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest’” (NASB). This has never been more true than it is today. People are searching desperately for real meaning in their lives.
Almost every time the Evangelism Breakthrough class participants go out into the community to witness, people pray to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. A lot is said in our society today about people being hostile and rejecting the gospel message, but only a very small percentage of the people we have approached have reacted in a negative way. In fact, the opposite is true. They are quite anxious to hear the Truth and to invite Jesus into their hearts.
There are a few situations that stand out in my mind as “miracle moments.” One of these happened on a cold January night at the Jimmie Hale Mission. God had orchestrated a divine appointment as I sat down at the dinner table across from a young man. I’ll call him Dale. When I asked if I could share with him he agreed.
“Do you know for sure that if you were to die tonight that you would spend eternity in heaven?” I asked.
“No,” he replied. “In fact, I’d go straight to hell.”
Dale listened patiently and attentively while I presented the gospel message to him. During the presentation I noticed that he kept taking a picture out of his shirt pocket and looking at it.
Before I finished the presentation Dale interrupted to tell me his heart-wrenching story. He used to be a happy man. He had a beautiful wife, a young daughter, a new mobile home, a brand new pick-up truck, and a good job. One day he stopped off at the local bar after work and had too many drinks. He called his wife to tell her he was on the way home.
“You wait there for me. You’re in no condition to drive,” she insisted.
But as she drove to get him at the bar, a collision with an 18-wheeler took her life.
Devastated by the burden of guilt that he felt, this young man left his five-year-old daughter with his mother and hit the road. For months he wandered from place to place, trying to drown his sorrows in a bottle of booze. He said that he had been drunk every day for the past six months, but he had been unable to take a drink for the last 24 hours. He wondered why.
When I finished the gospel presentation, Dale tearfully asked Jesus to come into his life, forgive his sins, give him a new life, and be the Lord of his life. On that night he passed from death into life. He no longer has to face death and hell. He can look forward to spending eternity in heaven with Jesus Christ . . . and you wonder why I witness!
Through the Jimmie Hale Mission, transportation was provided so that Dale could return to his hometown. At last report, he was successfully dealing with his grief. He had a good job and was making a home for his little daughter.
Examples like this are what make me want to witness for Jesus. And I could tell many more stories of life-changing witnessing encounters.
Lastly, I witness because of God’s great love for me and for all mankind. God does not wish for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9b). How will they know that God loves them unless I tell them?