Motives for Witnessing:
Why witness anyway? Here are some real reasons.
1. Joy. Luke 15:5 says
"When the shepherd finds the lost sheep he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing."
There is no greater joy than to see someone born of God right before your eyes. "The
joy of the Lord, (this joy) is your strength" (Neh 8:10)
2. The joy it brings others. Luke 15:6
says He calls others and says, "Rejoice with me." I led a man to Christ in a
service station at 2 a.m. He said, "Wait until I get home. My wife is a Christian and
has been begging me for 15 years to get saved. Wait until tell her I got saved this
morning." Wouldn't I have loved to have been there and seen the rejoicing? Wouldn't
you rejoice if someone led your lost loved one to Christ and they came home and told you
about it? We need to do the same for others.
3. The joy it brings to God and those in heaven.
"Likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth" (Luke
15:7). Wow, that should be reason enough to witness every day! It is staggering that we
sinners, saved by grace, can win someone to Christ and please God so much that there is
joy in Heaven! That is awesome.
4. Wisdom. "He that winneth souls is
wise" (Prov 1:30). Someone said, "He that does not win souls is foolish."
Feed the hungry, and that is good, and he dies and goes to hell, you haven't done much for
him. Win him to Christ and it will last forever. Too many are majoring in trivial pursuit.
It just makes sense, it is wise, to win people to Jesus. All the presidents and kings of
the world do not have the answers, we Christians do and it is the best kept secret in the
world. Let's graciously get the gospel to ever person with whom we have that moment of
5. Obedience. Jesus said, "Why do
you call me Lord and not do the things which I say" (Luke 6:46). People say to me
often, "If I had your burden for souls, I would witness too." People have the
funniest ideas. I do not walk down the street and warm feelings come over me to witness.
Heavens no! I share the gospel because Jesus is Lord and tells us "preach the gospel
to every creature" (Mark 16:15). Do you really believe that verse? Do it out of
obedience to a Holy God and it will transform your life.
6. To make a difference. "If any man
be in Christ, he is a new creature" (2 Cor. 5:17)
A college girl led a lady to Christ. The womans husband was an atheist and a
radical. The girl asked me to go see him, for she was praying for him. When I got there,
God had worked in his heart so much that he was reading the Bible. Any one could have led
him to Christ, he was so ready. I gave him the gospel and he prayed with me to receive the
Lord Jesus. Today the man is an evangelist and has led a ton of folks to Christ.
We can make a difference in the world, one by one. The early Christians
"filled" their Jerusalem with their doctrine and "turned the world upside
down. Let's do it again. We must, or our friends and our nation will perish.
7. The love of Christ. "The love of
Christ constrains us" (2 Cor. 5:14).
Stay in love with Jesus and you will love lost people and be constrained to share the
gospel. Almost every person I have seen trust Christ as Savior has that "first
love," so that they want to see a loved one or friend come to Christ also. That
hunger, that yearning, that love, comes from God and we must not quench it. We should
respond in obedience. You do not lose that first love you leave it (Rev. 2:4) by
turning that love to other things. You get it back by repenting and "doing the first
works" (Rev. 2:5). Haggai 1 verses 12 and 14 give the order and an example when
Zerubbabel "obeyed the voice of the Lord" and "the Lord stirred up the
spirit of Zerubbabel" and "they came and did the work." Do it God's way. We
pray "give me a burden for souls and I will witness." No! Obey God and then He
will stir you up. Multitudes of times I have given out a tract and it opened the door to
share the gospel and then the burden and love flooded in as I saw God at work. Oh, what
joy that is!
8. The terror of the Lord. "Knowing
the terror of the Lord we persuade men" (2 Cor. 5:11).
That poor lost person doesn't know the terrible end to life without God, but we do.
"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb. 10:31).
The awful final and frightening words "depart from Me, I never knew you" (Matt.
7:23) should persuade us to persuade men to come to Christ. Meditating on these facts can
rekindle a fire in your soul to share the gospel. I do this often and it encourages me!
9. The thrill of it all. When the
disciples had caught the greatest catch of fishes of their life, Jesus said, "Fear
not, from henceforth, thou shalt catch men" (Lk 5:10). That makes me tingle all over
just to think about it. Catch the most fish, the largest fish, a prize fish, and that is
rubbish compared to "catching men." There is absolutely no thrill in the world
like seeing God open someone's eyes and they become born again right before your very
eyes. That thrill drives me to witness more than if someone offered a great sum of money
to witness. Oh, that every believer felt that thrill. It will change one's life.
10. To please God! When the Lord
Jesus himself obeyed the Father and was baptized, God said, "This is my beloved Son,
in whom I am well pleased" (Mat. 3:17). Pleasing God should be one of the highest
motives in the world to share the gospel. A believer, who walks in the Spirit, will have
his heart burning with a desire to please the one that loves him so much. It is a tragedy
when a believer has this desire and then quenches the Spirit by disobeying and failing to
11. The eternal rewards witnessing brings. The
Bible has much to say about rewards as motives in the Christian's life. The very last
words of the Lord Jesus were, "Behold l come quickly and my reward is with me to give
to every man according as his work shall be" (Rev. 22:12). To be sure, we are going
to leave everything else behind when we leave here. The rewards, we are told, are
treasures and trophies. Remember how Paul said, "What is my crown of rejoicing? Are
not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?" (1 Thes. 2:19).
The trophies we get we will cast at Jesus' feet to give Him all the glory (Rev. 5:10).
What a tragedy it will be when many will have no trophies to lay at Jesus feet. We are
told to lay up our treasures in Heaven. Rewards are a very valid motive to witness.
12. For Finances. When the disciples were
confronted about paying taxes, the Lord Jesus said "go thou to the sea, and cast an
hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou
shall find a piece of money; that take, and give unto them for me and thee." (Matt.
17:27). God sent me to pastor a church where they had started a new auditorium, built it
half way, and ran out of money. Like the Bible says, it became a scoffing. My first Sunday
I said, "Let's forget the building and go after souls and get the gospel to every
person we can." In a year's time our church had led seven contractors to Christ and
an eighth one had come to our church already saved. We called a building committee with
eight contractors on it. They jumped in, finished the building, and saved us the
equivalent of a million dollars at today's market. Churches need to go fishing and the
money will come from the souls that are won.
13. To Fire You Up! Remember when the
disciples went into Sycar to get some food and left Jesus alone? The woman came to the
well and the Lord Jesus told this woman, who had been married 5 times and was now living
with a man and not married to him, about the water of life. She took a drink, got saved,
and ran into the city to tell everyone how she had found the Messiah. When the disciples
returned with the food, the Lord Jesus said was no longer hungry and said, "I have
meat to eat that you know not of." When He saw the whole city coming out to hear Him,
He was so fired up that nothing else mattered. Today, when you see God open someone's eyes
like He did hers and see them born of God right before you eyes, it will keep you fired up
too. At 76 years of age, people ask me all the time how l stay so fired up. That's how.
Just witnessing and seeing people born of God right before my eyes.
14. To Fill the House of God. It does not
matter how large the auditorium is, God wants it filled. Remember the story in Luke 14
when the Lord said to the servant, "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel
them to come in, that my house may be filled?" The obvious is that we are to fill
God's house so people might hear the gospel and have a chance to go to Heaven. Paul
expected the unbelievers to come into the house of God and get saved as he indicated in 1
Cor. 14:23-25. I came to Christ because a 16-year-old boy, at four o'clock in the morning,
invited me to go to church with him the next Sunday. God honored his obedience, and
burdened me to go. I went and I got saved. We do have the answer for man's needs. Let's
get the gospel to people and get people to the gospel while we have time.