35. You shall be my witnesses

 35 • You Shall be My Witnesses

Before Jesus went back to heaven from where He came, He told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem to receive the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:48, 49). Jesus said: ‘You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria and unto the ends of the earth’ (Acts 1:8). This command Jesus gave His Apostles two thousand years ago, but it applies to all Christians too. It has already been fulfilled many times in the world, but it remains valid for each believer in every generation. Each person who has been touched by God and whose sins have been forgiven has a story to tell the world (1 Peter 3:15). You must tell others what great things Jesus has done for you (Mark 5:19, 20)!

If a lame man who was healed in the Name of Jesus when the apostle Peter prayed for him then started walking and jumping and praising God for everyone to hear (Acts 3:1-10), how much more should we praise God for what He has done for us, saving us from eternal wrath through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross (Romans 5:9). In fact, it is impossible to keep quiet if you really know what has happened to you. Many people have been involved in terrible things, and some have a more dramatic story to tell than others. People addicted to drugs, pornography, fornication, lust, homosexuality, prostitution, gambling and alcohol have been set free by Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Others have been set free from ancestral worship, demonic oppression and possession and even from pride and legalism, the worst type of bondage (Luke 20:46-47).

In any case, each one of us who believes in Christ has the privilege to witness about Jesus Christ’s saving power, about His perfect life, His sacrifice on the cross on behalf of us and His victory over death. He took us from the pit of hell, from the miry clay (Psalm 40:1-3) and gave us new life in His Spirit. Just imagine that someone gave you 2, 000, 000 US dollars! Wouldn’t you tell someone about it? Wouldn’t you be happy about it? Wouldn’t you share it with others? How much more, then, when someone’s sins have truly been forgiven, and he/she is delivered from the bondage of sin, self and Satan, has been granted eternal life, has received the wonderful Holy Spirit and an inheritance in heaven and found the Treasure of Jesus Christ, would he/she remain quiet about it and not want to share this good news with others?! Revelation 12:11 says: ‘And they (referring to believers) overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony and they did not love their lives unto death.’ As Charles Spurgeon said: ‘Have you no desire for others to be saved, then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that!’

But we need wisdom (Colossians 4:5) how and with whom to share this good news. Jesus said we should be: ‘…as wise as serpents an as innocent as doves’ (Matthew 10:16). In many places in the world believers can be persecuted or even be put to death because they follow Christ. There are people who would like to kill and destroy the life of God within Christians. But the life of God within His children is indestructible— because God is indestructible. He is the Author and Prince of Life (Acts 3:15; John 1:4)! Because many people are the enemies of God, they will go against His children with force to kill and to steal and to destroy (John 10:10; John 16:33).

Having said this, Jesus warns His followers to speak out, and not to be silent when the opportunity arises. Jesus said: ‘Whoever confesses Me before men I will confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will deny before My Father who is in heaven’ (Matthew 10:33).

 Scripture to consider: Jesus said: ‘Blessed and happy are you if people insult and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be glad for great is your reward in heaven’ (Matthew 5:11, 12).

Read: Luke 24:48, 49; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15; Mark 5:19, 20; Acts 3:1-10; Romans 5:9; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Luke 20:46, 47; Psalm 40:1-3; Revelation 12:11; Colossians 4:5; Matthew 10:16; Acts 3:15; John 1:4; John 10:10; Matthew 5:11, 12; John 16:33.

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