Core scripture: “And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.’” (Mark 16:15-16)
Message: Do you believe the above scripture to be true? Kinda scary isn’t it. Questions flood my mind when I wonder about how well I am “proclaiming the gospel.” How often do I tell others about Jesus? Do I ever shy away from it? Avoid it? Am I proud of Him and what He did to me when I was saved seven years ago? Do I tell that story enough? How can I use my testimony for God’s glory without hurting some that are close to me?
And then I go here … Where are those people going who do not have a personal relationship with Him?
Very rhetorical. If you are a believer, you know the truth. They are going to hell. We never want to think about that, do we? The words that describe hell in the Bible are downright scary. There will be plenty of weeping and gnashing of teeth. Hell is punishment. The lake of fire. Burning sulfur. Have you ever heard of Bill Wiese? Just ask him about hell. He wrote a book about his experience of being trapped there. It makes me want to visit the public library tomorrow to see if they have his book 23 Minutes in Hell.
Man, what an uplifting thought, Clint! Sorry to be a Debbie downer, but this stuff is on my heart tonight. Summer allows time for conversations with neighbors outside on the front lawn. I have been searching for opportunities to witness to my neighbors and friends, but nothing has transpired as of yet. Little progress is being made. The events that I am inviting them to are being negated for many reasons. But I ain’t giving up. As a matter of fact, I feel convicted the Lord is telling me to turn up the heat.
Otherwise my friends and neighbors might be experiencing a heat unthinkable. A heat so intense it would singe the fur off a dog from miles away. This heat you cannot escape from once you are there. There are no second chances. Not everyone can be a Bill Wiese and come back. Bill was and still is a believer. I wonder if God allowed this to happen to Bill so he could witness to others about the experience. Check out the video where he explains it below.
Speaking of witnessing, how are you doing there? If I were to rank myself on a scale of one to ten, I would say I am a solid five. Right smack dab in the middle. Witnessing is kinda like your golf score; there is always room for improvement. Tonight I improved. So much in fact that I felt compelled to write about it tonight. And here’s the thing. I have this plan to reach out to two specific friends. We’re keeping it hush hush right now. Otherwise Satan will try to thwart it like he has done so cleverly before.
Summer give teachers a blessed opportunity to reach out to others. Friends. Family. Neighbors. Heck, even strangers on the street. They can all be witnessed to. This list is as much for me as you. I want to try something I have never attempted before. What if I listed as many ways to witness to others as I could muster up, and THEN asked you guys, my faithful followers, to add your own ideas? Genius. Sheer genius. Ladies and gentlemen, in no particular order, I bestow upon you yet another list: ten secrets of witnessing.
- Find common ground. Maybe it is golf. Fishing. Antiquing. Pokémon. Gardening. Use the common ground to connect with your friend and form a deeper bond. Once that bond is established, they will be more likely to listen to you.
- Promote church events. Our church is throwing a Night at Black Bob Bay event on July 21. It is a cookout, absolutely free, followed by a trip to the local public swimming pool. What? You live in Olathe and want the info? Read about it here: https://lcc.org/ol-blackbob/
- Get outside! Meet those neighbors. Have conversations to find out what makes them tick. If you cannot name more than five families on your block, you are not doing your job here. You should know everyone’s name on your block. That, my friends, is your mission field!
- Organize a block party. Summer is the optimal time for this. Pass the word around. Do a pot luck. Roast s’mores over a fire pit. Let the kids chase fireflies, ride scooters, shoot hoops, and let the adults sit back and bond together. Once again, the bond will strengthen in time, making them more apt to take you seriously. Want to be taken more seriously? Share your food. Just like the original believers did in Acts 2:42.
- Make use of the service your church offers on a different night. Our church is trying something new by offering a Thursday night service in the summer. What does this do? It hits your travelers and your folks that have to work on Sundays. Throw in a pot luck dinner like my church has, and you have quite the deal! Invite a friend to try this out. I want to give it a shot myself!
- Twist conversations to the spiritual. If you can find the way to insert words like “church” in conversation, you can casually ask generic questions like, “Do you all attend a church?” This is a non-threatening question that they can answer without being offended. Give it a shot.
- Talk to strangers. Yeah, your mom told you otherwise, but I am telling you, I get more joy out of talking to people in line that I ever would just playing on my phone. Where have conversations gone these days? They have all gone digital. There is something called talking. Try it sometime. Once you warm someone up to you, you can dig into deeper topics and attempt number 6.
- Utilize your relationships on teams, clubs, camps, or any activity for that matter that your kids attend. Do you know if every family on your kid’s soccer team has a personal relationship with Jesus? You should. All you have to do is ask. What do you have to lose? Once again, think about the possibility of seeing these people in heaven. You don’t want them elsewhere.
- Do some recon. Be a detective. I did a little of that tonight with my neighbor’s mom out on her driveway and found out some incredible things. Things that I am keeping secret from Satan. So, shhhhh! Can’t even talk about it here. All I can say is when my neighbor gets home from his trip, I have a story that will blow his mind.
- Pray for opportunities for God to use you. Pray that you would have opportunities to witness. Pray for your non-churched neighbors to be saved. Pray for God to work His magic behind the scenes to move mountains. If God can mold Paul from the number one hitman to kill Christians into arguably the most famous witness ever, he can change anyone.
I could keep going on here, but you get the point. I am literally falling asleep at the keypad here! Try these out. Don’t be spiritually lazy. The Great Commission was Jesus’ last words to His disciples before He ascended to heaven. The most profound, challenging last words ever: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always until the end of age” (Matthew 28:18-20). Quite convicting, huh?
This is real folks. Jesus is right beside you. The Holy Spirit is flooding your very essence. Dig down deep into your soul, and you will prayerfully discover a courage to speak the truth. Be unashamed! You have access to the most important relationship you will ever need. Why not share it with others? Over coffee. Playing golf. Shooting the breeze on a camp out. Or even just waiting in line to get your to-go order from Kansas City Joe’s, the best barbecue in town (Long live the Z-Man sandwich!).
Where do you want others to be? Walking the streets of gold in heaven beside you or burning in a fiery pit that’s flames never get extinguished? You may be the only person to try to get through to someone. It is never too late for a relationship with Jesus Christ. So, I ask you will a full heart tonight, what sacrifices will you make? Who will you talk to?
James 4:14 says, “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” The time is fleeting. Summer is expiring. Don’t allow that mist to puff away before you do something about it.
Challenge: How do you witness? Any tricks we should know about? Share them below in a reply! I want to set the record for most replies ever on my blog. I am serious! As a matter of fact, let’s be more specific here. Tell a story. One or two sentences. What was your most effective witnessing moment?
For me, it was during the 2012-2013 school year. A girl in my class wrote a “hypothetical” story about a young lady who went to a mental hospital because she was suicidal. It was raw. Too raw. We sat down together, and she admitted that girl in the story was her. She had tried to kill herself by suffocating herself with a pillow the week before. And she didn’t know who to talk to.
I quietly told her about how my life was very much the same until I gave my heart to Jesus. She got help. She graduated five years later. And she credited me with saving her life. Another boy I mentored this year had very much the same type of story. I will never take the credit. That credit goes to God. I do not know where their walks with Christ are presently, but I know God will take care of the rest.
Those two kids are alive today because of the power of the Holy Spirit working inside me, coaxing them through troubled times. I never recited a single scripture. All I did was share my testimony with them after asking a deep question: Can I tell you a story? Both readily said yes. No law against that, right? Especially after being asked to tell. The young man begged me to share. He needed it.
I can think of two people who I see regularly that are in desperate need of hearing my story. Who needs to hear your story?
- Serious Mode (the testimony of Bill Wiese): https://youtu.be/L7FkyF4ux70
- Inspiring Mode (the testimony of Colton Burpo): https://youtu.be/W7V6gdpYuUQ
- Laughing Mode (the Skit Guys poke fun at witnessing): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7Ek9jvDge4
Song application: “The God I Know” by Love and the Outcome
And then I threw my hands up, worries down
I remember when He showed me how
To break up with my doubt
Once I was lost, but now I’m found
No strings attached, when He saved my soul
I want you to know, the God I know
Oh, you gotta know, oh, the God I know
Random question of the week: Alright seriously, how many paper airplanes could be made out of one CVS receipt? Much like we will never know how many licks it takes to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop, the world may never know.
Prayer: Father, I am sorry for taking for granted my incredible responsibility of making disciples too lightly. Help me transform others toward you, creating disciples worth multiplying. Amen.
(PS~Oh yeah, and God … forgive me for mocking CVS. They are truly amazing! They probably just like coupons.)