How To Be a Better Witness Matt 11: 19 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Perhaps, you need to be a better friend. The answer to this question may seem to be a little hokey at first, but if you think about it, you might understand how true this simple answer really is. If there is one thing that characterized the life of Jesus as it concerns his dealings with sinners, he was friendly. Matt 11:19 shows us that Jesus had the reputation for being “a friend of publicans and sinners.” He wouldn’t have had that reputation if he weren’t spending time with them and being friendly to them.
Even when Judas Iscariot came to betray Jesus in the garden ofGethsemane, Jesus called him “Friend,” (Matt 26:50). Jesus’ disciples were certainly his friends (Lk 12:4; Jn 15:14-15). John the Baptist and Jesus were friends (Jn 3:29). Jesus Christ and Lazarus were friends (Jn 11:11). When Jesus was getting ready to go to the cross, he said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” (John 15:13).
Far too often in attempting to lead souls to Jesus Christ, Bible-believing Christians have a tendency to be too harsh and too impersonal. They approach soul winning with as much tact as a prophet pronouncing the last judgments on Jerusalem right before the captivity (Jer 15:20). While we certainly preach about the coming judgment in hell, we do not neglect to use wisdom in presenting this fact (2 Cor 12:16; Matt 10:16). Seriously, some Bible-believing Christians can be downright hateful.
We have met Christians who can present the gospel very thoroughly and who can handle most of the scriptural questions related to the common heresies. They even get souls to pray a sinner’s prayer and profess to be receiving Jesus Christ. But they can never get those souls into church and they can rarely ever get back into their homes for discipleship because they have been too pushy and they appear to be too arrogant.
Paul was not like that. When he led the Thessalonians to the Lord, he was gentle with them (1 Thes 2:7). Those folks were dear to Paul and he gave them a lot more than the gospel; he imparted unto them his very soul (1 Thes 2:8). Even when Paul’s love was not reciprocated, he continued to love his converts more abundantly with time (2 Cor 12:15).
One of the most effective ways to see souls come to Jesus Christ, therefore, is to befriend them. At some point you can invite them to your home or to come to church with you to hear the preaching and teaching of the words of God. Frankly, they are much more likely to join you at church if you are friendly (Prov 18:24). Gal 6:10 shows you that there is absolutely nothing unscriptural about doing something good for a lost man in order to give him a chance to hear the gospel.
While it is true that the Bible is a hammer (Jer 23:29) and also a sword (Heb 4:12), it doesn’t have to be used as either one of these to lead a soul to Christ. Honestly, the Bible is also honey (Ps 19:10) and apples (Prov 25:11) and bread (Matt 4:4) and milk (1 Pet 2:2) and meat (Heb 5:12-14) and so forth. So, why must you always present it to lost souls as a weapon, when the Lord’s interest is to save them not to destroy them (Matt 18:11; Lk 9:55-56; Eze 33:11)?
Take a lesson from men who are seeing souls saved regularly and whose churches are growing. Make an effort to approach soul winning like Christ did. Become a “friend of publicans and sinners.”
Hope this helps,
Pastor Bevans Welder