Children, young men, young women and the elderly started running out of their homes at the sound of drums. As the congregation marched and danced joyfully out of the church premises, two men who stood in front began to lift up a banner with utmost dexterity while everyone sang in Efik language, “Emenede, emenede, mbufo emenede Christ Kenyon” meaning “Let’s keep lifting up Jesus Christ.” The ‘brothers’ wore white trousers and shirts with a blue neck tie while the ‘sisters’ appeared in white long gowns with blue belts and scarfs to match. On this day, I danced with excitement as it was my first time to join this group called “The Witness Movement” of a church denomination I attended with my parents about two decades ago. After singing and dancing for about two kilometers from the church premises, we assembled in one of my town’s market squares to preach the gospel and lead unbelievers to Jesus Christ. I always looked forward to this periodic open air soul winning event.
Like the lyrics of the Witness Movement’s song, Jesus said, “..If I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”(John 12:32) The Greek for “lifted up” is exalted. It takes sacrifice, passion and zeal to lift up Jesus Christ. God’s witnesses are earthen vessels endowed to lift up Jesus Christ (See 2nd Corinthians 4:7). I have come to realize that being God’s witness goes beyond wearing white garments to march and dance periodically on the streets because it is a daily responsibility for every child of God no matter the age, career, business or profession. Every witness must lift up Jesus anywhere and anytime to save family members, friends and neighbors who are yet to embrace Christ and to positively transform the society at large. Jesus Christ came, died and resurrected over 2,000 years ago and most Christian believers of this age were not born then, so how come God has made them His witnesses to defend His interest or validate His claims on earth? Let’s look at who a witness is.
A witness is one who has knowledge about a matter – one who sees an event happening and could provide a testimonial evidence of everything that happened. As believers, aside from being sons and daughters of God and joint heirs with Christ, our primary responsibility is to bear witness to Christ. Jesus is known as the faithful witness (See Revelation 1:5) because He came to prove that God is indeed love, The Great Physician, The Great Provider, to name but a few qualities. Everything Jesus Christ did during His time on earth was seen or heard by His followers and people around Him. So, believing God’s Word and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior makes believers God’s witnesses.
“[We are writing] about the Word of Life [in] Him Who existed from the beginning, Whom we have heard, Whom we have seen with our [own] eyes, Whom we have gazed upon [for ourselves] and have touched with our [own] hands.” (1st John 1:1 Amplified Classic)
Every Christian with the Spirit of Christ becomes God’s witness with the primary responsibility of demonstrating every promise and good acts of God while representing His purposes on earth – “But you will 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) As God’s witnesses, believers are meant to bring God’s Kingdom to full expression in the lives of people who desire the touch of God. So, if an unbeliever or believer asks, “Where is this God that gives joy to the depressed?” God will come up to say, “Where are My witnesses?” Moreover, every Christian believer should advance the principles, character and integrity of God in business, career and any other arena.
The ultimate assignment of God’s witnesses is to win lost souls (unbelievers, sinners) to Christ. They have the ambassadorial ministry of reconciling sinners to God (See 2nd Corinthians 5:18- 20) because He doesn’t desire that anyone should perish (See 2nd Peter 3:9). There is joy in Heaven when a sinner is saved and begins to think, talk and act like Christ. I have carefully looked at the word “witness” and outlined these characteristics in line with the biblical responsibilities of God’s witnesses.
W– wins lost souls
I – intercedes for lost souls and new converts
T – testifies of God’s mighty works
N – never gives up on lost souls
E – empathizes with lost souls
S – shares the Word of God with lost souls
S – searches for lost souls
We will discuss the word “witness” in the reverse order as the ultimate commission is to win lost souls and make them to be part of God’s family by the help of the Holy Spirit – “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16)
Searches for Lost Souls
God does not love only Christians (John 3:16). He wants the atheist, traditionalist and people of all nations and religions to be reconciled to Him in Christ. For this reason, Jesus asked every believer to go into world to declare and demonstrate the love, grace and power of God.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19 – 20)
Despite this great commission, many believers seem to behave like the Prodigal Son’s brother who was comfortable with the palace life and refused to search for his brother (See Luke 15:11-32). God wants every believer to behave like the shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep, goes for one lost sheep and joyfully brings it back home (See Luke 15:3-7). However, we cannot search for lost souls by our own power but by the help of the Holy Spirit. The same way the Spirit of God asked Philip to meet the Ethiopian Eunuch (See Acts 8), He orders the steps of those with passion for soul winning. So before embarking on a soul wining mission, it is important to ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to every soul that is ripe for harvest. Some years back, I went out for soul winning and the Spirit of God guided me to locate a gathering of youths who were smoking and drinking and I led them to Christ. If believers fail to go and search for lost souls in line with Jesus’ commandment, sinners are likely to miss the privileges of God’s Kingdom.
If you want to be God’s witness, you need to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Say this prayer of salvation: Lord Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my Lord and Savior; I believe that You came, died for me and rose again to save me. Conform me to Your likeness. I declare that I am born again. Amen!