By Scott Pauley
This week I had the privilege of speaking at a special conference for revival and evangelism. My heart has been stirred and my hope renewed. Christ is still “able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” (Hebrews 7:25). The gospel has not lost its power, it remains “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16)! God’s ability has not lessened and His promise has not expired.
The problem is not with Him, but with us. A thousand and one excuses arise as to why we are not sharing Christ. The devil and our flesh will make sure of it. Here are 7 of the most common and an answer to each…
- “I don’t know what verses to use.” Choose ONE gospel verse, commit it to memory, and share that! There is power in a single portion of Scripture (Hebrews 4:12). John 3:16 would be enough. You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to be a Christian witness.
- “I don’t know what to say.” Simple: just give your story. Tell your testimony of how you came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and what He means in your life. Share the basic gospel truth that was given to you. The Lord doesn’t expect you to give what you don’t have – only what you have already received (Romans 1:15).
- “I don’t know how to answer their questions.” Many years ago as I witnessed to man of a different religious background I was deeply convicted that my job was not to debate or out talk him. Rather, our task is to simply lift up Jesus. Point them to Christ and the Holy Spirit will do the rest (John 12:32).
- “I don’t know how they will respond.” God is not going to hold you accountable with their part, but with yours. Their response is not our responsibility. You and I are called on to give the gospel in a spirit of love with the power of the Holy Spirit. God gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6).
- “I don’t speak well.” Moses said that too. Whether you are a good speaker or not, the power is not in your ability to speak. The power is in the message itself. It is the truth that sets people free (John 8:32).
- “I don’t know where to start.” Begin right where you are! Start with your family, your neighbors, your co-workers and school mates (Matthew 5:16). Every day we cross paths with souls who need Christ. Be on the look out for divine appointments and you will find them.
- “I don’t have much time.” Carry gospel literature with you and learn to make witnessing a part of your daily life (Matthew 10:7). One kind word and seed planted may bring much fruit. It is the greatest thing you will do with your time because it counts for eternity.
Recently I heard of a man who came to know Christ as his Savior. He had little church background but he wanted to share his newfound faith with his friends. He began a Bible study at work with the only Bible verse he knew, the verse that had been used to lead him to the Lord, Romans 10:13. God will use you if you let Him! Begin where you are with what you know and believe that He will do the work you cannot do.
You will notice that each of the excuses on our list begin with “I don’t…” God’s work is not about what we can do. It is about what God WILL do as we obey His command. What we really mean is “I won’t…”
Witnessing is a matter of the will. Will you?
Scott Pauley was raised in the mountains of West Virginia. At a young age he came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. As a twelve year old boy God called him to be a preacher. He attended The Crown College in Powell, Tennessee, and upon graduation served in the ministry of the Temple Baptist Church as Director of Student Ministries. From 2004 to 2015 he served as Vice President of Crown College and an assistant to Pastor Clarence Sexton at the Temple Baptist Church. Dr. Pauley now travels full time in evangelism. His passion is to preach the gospel and he has a burden to influence this generation for Christ. He and his wife Tammy have three children: Morgan, Lauren, and Grant.