SECTION 1: More Witnessing Tips
Perhaps you have already tried to witness but you’ve been discouraged by lack of success, or difficult questions.—Or perhaps you’ve been reluctant to even try, for one reason or the other. We’re going to spend a few minutes looking at ways of witnessing and overcoming some of the difficulties that you might face.
If your life is full of the Lord, it will flow out on to others
You will naturally talk about what you believe in:
John 3:11—Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.
Acts 4:20—For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
If you have the love of Jesus you cannot hide it!
Matthew 5:14–16—You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. (15) Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. (16) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.
“I love to point him out!”
Some years ago two boats glided past each other on the Mississippi. An aged man was conversing with a friend on the deck of one of the boats when suddenly he said with zest, “Look! Yonder’s the captain!”
Asked the friend, “Why are you so enthusiastic while you call my attention to the captain?”
The grateful man replied, “Well, sir, years ago, as we were going along like this, I fell overboard. I couldn’t swim and I began to sink, but the captain rescued me. Since that day, I just love to point him out!”
When we were still lost in sin, the waves of sin all but overwhelmed us. But the Captain of our salvation, Jesus, rescued us. Should we not joyously “point Him out” to others?
Be sold on the product!
2 Corinthians 4:13—And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak.
Psalm 107:2—Let the redeemed [saved] of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.
Were you ever faced with a salesman who was trying to sell you something and you’ve asked them: “Well, do you have one?—Do you use it?—How does it work for you?—Do you like it?—Are you sold on it?” If they enthusiastically rave about how good it is and how it really works for them, you just might buy it!
Fill your heart beforehand
Prepare to give answers by studying the Word beforehand:
2 Timothy 2:15—Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.
1 Peter 3:15—But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.
If you’re full of the Lord’s love, His Spirit, His Word, and you want to really get it across, when you open your mouth He’ll fill it, and it will come right out of your heart.
Matthew 12:34—Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
It’s the Holy Spirit that wins!
When trying to express the wonderful love Jesus has for people, our words often seem to fall short. But the Holy Spirit can nevertheless use our words to speak to people’s hearts so they understand what you are trying to express. Like Paul said:
1 Corinthians 2:4–5—And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, (5) that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God..
If you’re in the right spirit and are sincere and trying to do your best, the Lord will bless your witness! You don’t have to be afraid of making a mess of things, because whatever you say to try to share the truth of the Word, the Lord’s going to bless it. His Word is not going to return unto Him void and His sheep will hear His voice.
Isaiah 55:11—So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
John 10:3–4—The sheep hear his [the shepherd’s] voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. (4) And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
You don’t have to know all the answers!—Jesus is the Answer!
You don’t have to answer all people’s questions and their confusion and their doubts about things. If they ask you a question you don’t know the answer to, just tell them that’s something you’re not sure about yet and you’re still learning. “The Bible is a big book and it takes a lifetime of study to learn all the neat things in the Word. But one thing I do know, I sure know that the Lord answers prayer and He’s my Best Friend and He really works!”
You don’t have to feel bad if you don’t know all the answers! Just talk about something you do know! Give them some Scriptures you do know! (You can also try to arrange to meet them again later, and in the meantime research the Word or counsel with your teacher or someone experienced in witnessing and in studying the Word, to find answers you can share.)
You can give them your own testimony; you can tell them what the Lord has done in your life.
The blind man that Jesus healed was a perfect example of that. When the scribes and Pharisees came up to him and asked him about his healing, he said he didn’t know too much about the details, but this one thing he knew: once he was blind but now he could see! (John chapter 9).
John 9:25—He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”
Just preach Jesus!
A young minister in a college town was embarrassed by fact that many in his congregation were more educated and seemingly wiser than himself.
He sought counsel from his father, an old and wise minister, saying: “Father, I am hampered in my ministry in the pulpit I am now serving. If I cite anything from geology, there is Professor A—teacher of this science, right before me. If I use an illustration of Roman mythology, there is Professor B—ready to trip me up for my little inaccuracy. If I mention something in English literature that pleases me, I am cowered by the presence of the learned man that teaches that branch. What shall I do?”
The sagacious old man replied: “Do not be discouraged, preach the Gospel. They probably know very little of that.”
Answer sincere questions honestly and show those who are really interested the truth. If they want to know, God will show them. But beware of those who ask questions, not because they want the answer, but because they’re only trying to trap you, like the self-righteous Pharisees whose minds were already made up and didn’t want to be confused with the facts, and rather tried to trap Jesus with His own words.
Luke 11:53–54—And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things, (54) lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him.
2 Timothy 2:23—But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.
Titus 3:9—But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless.
So what about Hell?!
Fred was witnessing to Steve. The first thing Steve wanted to do was argue about Hell:
“Do you believe there’s a Hell? What about Hell? Blah, blah, blah!”
Fred said, “You want to talk about Hell? You want to argue about Hell? I’ll tell you what, you let me talk first, and then when I get done telling you about Jesus, then we’ll talk about Hell, okay?”
So Fred started talking about Jesus, and before you knew it, Steve was asking Jesus to come into his heart. When they finished praying, Fred asked:
“Well, now what do you want to know about Hell?”
Steve said, “Oh, I don’t care anything about Hell now, I’m not going there!”
The printed Word—giving out literature
Don’t underestimate the power of the printed Word! Giving out tracts and other Christian literature is a wonderful way of sharing the message. The literature will remain after you are gone. There are countless testimonies of people finding the Lord only through the written Word, never having received a personal witness!
Try to have a selection of tracts with you at all times. You can give a tract to anyone, even if you don’t have an opportunity to talk with them: The ticket collector, the sales assistant, the beggar on the street.
Psalm 119:105—Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Let the Lord speak! You’ve got the greatest Speaker in the universe to speak to them!—The most eloquent, the most expressive, the most discerning, the most beautiful, the most wonderful! Give them the Word! If you have a good tract or a poster that presents the message with the Word and scriptures, you can let them read that. Let the Lord speak to them personally and directly.
A good tip some of us have found regarding books or something more substantial that you want someone to read: The best way to get people to read a book is not to give them the book, because then they may just put it on the shelf and plan to read it someday. But loan them the book and then they feel obligated to read it and return it.
The tract that went “astray”
From Philip and Meekness, Namibia
A few months ago, 18-year-old Marcus found a crumpled piece of paper on the street. It turned out to be one of our tracts, which had somehow made its way to the town where Marcus lives, 800 km away, near the Angolan border. He wrote to the address on the tract, and asked to enroll in the free correspondence Bible study course that we had advertised.
Our correspondence began, and before long Marcus was asking for Family posters and tracts—”especially ones about the Endtime”—to pass out to his friends and acquaintances. “There are lots of youths in my city, and I want to do something for them,” he wrote.
Since then, Marcus has given out about 1,000 posters and over 1,200 tracts single-handedly. He has witnessed to his classmates and teachers, and as a result 15 others from his school are also taking our Bible study course.
Yesterday we were able to meet Marcus and two of our other correspondence-course students for the first time. It was wonderful for all of us! We gave them another big box of posters and tracts to distribute.
How many people do you suppose will be in Heaven as a result of what Marcus and his friends are doing?—All because one little tract made it into the right hands!
The Bread of Life
Sadhu Sundar Singh (a famous Christian from India who lived 1889–1933) was distributing Gospels in central India. He came to some non-Christians on the train and offered a man a copy of the Gospel of John. The man took it, tore it into pieces in anger and threw the pieces out of the window. That seemed the end. But it so happened, in the providence of God, there was a man anxiously seeking for truth walking along the railway line that very day, and he picked up, as he walked along, a little bit of paper and looked at it, and the words on it in his own language were “The Bread of life.”
He did not know what it meant, but he inquired among his friends and one of them said, “I can tell you it is out of the Christian book. You must not read it or you will be defiled.”
The man thought for a moment and then said, “I want to read the book that contains that beautiful phrase!” and he bought a copy of the New Testament. He was shown where the sentence occurred—our Lord’s words “I am the Bread of Life”; and as he studied the Gospel, the light flooded into his heart. He came to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and he became a preacher of the Gospel. The little bit of paper through God’s Spirit was indeed the Bread of Life to him, satisfying his deepest need.
Just one tract in Burma
A son of one of the chiefs of Burdwain was converted by a single tract. He could not read, but he went to Rangoon, a distance of 250 miles, where a missionary’s wife taught him to read, and in forty-eight hours he could read the tract through. He took a basket full of tracts, and with much difficulty preached the Gospel in his own home, and was the means of converting hundreds to God. He was a man of influence; the people flocked to hear him. In one year 1,500 natives were baptized in Arrecan as members of the church. All this through one little tract!
Bible or dinner?
In the islands of New Guinea, a chieftain sat peacefully reading the Bible, when he was interrupted by a French trader. “Bah,” he said in French. “Why are you reading the Bible? I suppose the missionaries have got hold of you, you poor fool. Throw it away! The Bible never did anyone any good.”
Replied the chieftain, calmly, “If it weren’t for this Bible, you’d be in my kettle by now!”
The miracle of music
Somebody once wrote, “Music is the speech of angels.” The witness contained in a song is a powerful way to get across the message. We have many witnessing songs that you can learn to sing and play and they will wonderfully augment your witness. What inspires people about our music is that it’s happy music and makes them happy. It’s good music and makes them want to be good. It’s friendly music and makes them want to be friendly. It’s godly music and makes them want to be godly. It’s saving music and makes them want to be saved. It’s enjoyable music and makes them want to join in. It has good fruit and makes them want to do good and be good!
Psalm 40:3—He has put a new song in my mouth—praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.
Acts 16:25—But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
Be a sample of love
Your personal example is an important aspect of your witness that will help to win others.
Philippians 2:15–16a—That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, (16a) holding fast the Word of life.
1 Timothy 4:12b—But be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
2 Corinthians 3:2—You are our epistle [letter] written in our hearts, known and read by all men.
Titus 2:7–8—In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, (8) sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.
John 13:35—By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
Your greatest witness is love, for the only love of God they can see is the love they see in you. If you don’t show them love they can see and feel, they’re going to have a hard time believing that there is Someone up There whom they don’t know and that He really loves them.
You should always drop a little love into the hearts of those you pass by, even if only with a word, a smile, or a look of sympathy, so they will know that God has loved them that day!
Jesus’ main message was His sample of love!
By His example of kindness, His example of concern for the people, they knew that He must have something that was real and genuine and that love does exist and God does exist. We should endeavor to follow His example:
John 13:15—For I [Jesus] have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
Don’t forget that part of your sample is the joy of the Lord!
Portray the Lord as He is—a happy God, who loves and rejoices in love and happiness. A joyful countenance helps to win others.
When samples speak louder than sermons
People must learn to love you first before they can learn to love your God! The world-famed personal evangelist Dr. Dwight L. Moody used to say that, “The only Bible the World reads is bound in shoe leather!”—Meaning you!
Relating and Adapting
In winning people, you have to inspire their faith in you before they can believe God. Like Jesus said,
John 13:20—Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him [God] who sent Me.
You need to establish points of contact with them. There must be something in common in order for people to communicate. So use the kind of language that will win them. If it takes strong language to get the point across, use it! If it takes sweeter language, use that! But if you use platitudes with the lost, wandering youth, they will reject it! Ask God for wisdom!
James 1:5—If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Proverbs 11:30—The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.
One of the most needed abilities in witnessing is adaptability, being able to be anything to reach anybody and to become all things to all men. This tactic of adaptability was largely responsible for much of the apostle Paul’s soul-winning success. He said,
1 Corinthians 9:20–22—And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
Matthew 13:57—A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.
Sometimes witnessing to those whom you are closest to can be the most difficult of all! If by any chance you have difficulties witnessing to your family or close friends, don’t feel that this means that witnessing to strangers would be harder. You might find it the opposite!
As we talked about in our last class, when it comes to witnessing to your family and friends, a lot of your witnessing can be incorporated into your conversations with them on other topics. You don’t have to start preaching constantly at them.
You may find that your greatest witness to those who know you well is not the words you speak but your sample. As you let Jesus work in your life, you should find that some aspects of your character and behavior are changing. Perhaps you don’t get so anxious or angry when things are difficult, or you are more cheerful or more considerate. Those who are around you daily will notice these changes and will wonder what’s happened to you. Their curiosity may open the door for you to explain the source of the changes.
Don’t give up!
Even though you might not see the results of your witnessing right away, in some way you’re getting results. The Lord has promised that His Word will not return unto Him void, it will accomplish His purpose!
You will not see some of the results until you get to Heaven because you don’t always know the results of the seeds you plant in someone’s heart, how or when they will take root. Perhaps the person you have witnessed to will eventually find the Lord due to something that you said, or your witness will have worked in their heart to cause them to be more open and receptive when some other Christian witnesses to them.
We can’t always expect to be the sowers and the reapers, because the Lord said that some sow and some water, but God gives the increase.
1 Corinthians 3:6—I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.
No matter who you are trying to witness to—those you know personally, or strangers—if you don’t succeed after the first attempt, try again! No matter what happens, when you’re witnessing personally or giving out literature or whatever you are doing, don’t ever give up just because you have a few defeats.
Witnessing never fails! Even if you don’t feel like a success as far as winning converts, you are doing the job that the Lord gave you to do, so you’re succeeding!
SECTION 2: Leading someone to the Lord
Typical questions, with answers from the Word
These questions are not all related to salvation. These are just a few of the many questions you could be asked while witnessing and examples of some verses that could be used in the answers.
I am basically a good person, so why do I need Jesus?
John 3:16—For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 10:10b—[Jesus said:] I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Romans 3:23—For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Why Jesus? What about others, like Confucius, etc.?
Acts 4:12—Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
John 14:6—Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Can’t I get to Heaven through my good deeds?
Ephesians 2:8–9—For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; (9) it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Titus 3:5—Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.
If I have Jesus in my heart, then am I free to do as I please?
Acts 17:30—Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.
James 2:8—If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well.
1 Corinthians 10:23—All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.
1 Corinthians 6:20—For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
If there is a God, how come I have so many problems?
Psalm 34:19—Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
1 Corinthians 10:13—No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Romans 8:28—And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
I did something very bad! Would God forgive me?
Hebrews 8:12—For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.
Psalm 103:12—As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
How can you prove the existence of God?
Psalm 19:1—The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.
Romans 1:20—For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
Why do I have to receive Jesus?
John 1:12—But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.
Revelation 3:20—Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
Can I lose salvation if I am bad?
Psalm 37:24—Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.
John 6:37—All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
What or Who is God?
John 4:24—God is Spirit.
I John 4:8—God is love.
What about the Ten Commandments?
Matthew 22:37–40—Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Why should I love others if they don’t love me?
I John 4:11—Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Romans 5:5—Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.