60 Seconds with the General Director
Someone has suggested that SILENCE IS NOT ALWAYS GOLDEN; SOMETIMES IT IS PURE YELLOW. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the area of personal evangelism. Some Christians approach personal witnessing like a “bull in a china shop”—with little love, patience or tactfulness. Most of us, by contrast, face our God-given responsibility to witness with a timidity that borders on cowardice. In the sophisticated twentieth century, we often prefer to call it tactfulness. All too often we have never intelligently shared the good news of salvation with loved ones, friends or business associates. None of us relish the rebuke or ridicule which we may be exposing ourselves to—and that’s natural enough—but we who are in Christ are not called upon to live in the natural realm, but in the spiritual. The Word of God could never condone such reticence. Tragically, as a result untold multitudes remain untold, and even in “Christian” America millions have not examined the person and work of Christ and found Him wanting. They have simply never examined the Christ of the Bible.
Peter and John were commanded by the religious leadership of their day not to preach or teach in the name of Jesus. Their response to this ecclesiastical order was a courageous,
“’Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken into you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard, ” Acts 4:19
These two disciples had an IRRESISTIBLE COMPULSION to witness for their Saviour. It was as futile to command Peter and John to cease their witnessing as to command the sun to stop giving its light or the waves to stop crashing against the shore. Had not their Lord commanded them to be His witnesses?
But Peter and John had something else—something that substantiated their message. They possessed IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE. Sitting in a heap before the beautiful gate of the Temple was a man born lame. Peter and John healed that man through the resurrected Christ.
“And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they (the religions leadership) could say nothing against it.” Acts 4:14
Our transformed lives should be in-efutable evidence to the reality of the message which we proclaim.
The bold witness of Peter and John had nothing to do with any inherent qualities in them. They were men—only men—and not unlike you and me. If cut, they would bleed real blood. They possessed a natural desire to be accepted and a reticence to be ridiculed—to stand alone. But they were not living naturally. They possessed an INEXHAUSTIBLE POWER—a supernatural reservoir of divine power. The biblical text is explicit,
”. . . Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit. . .” Acts 4:8
It was not that they had acquired more of the Holy Spirit, but that the Holy Spirit had acquired more of them. They were under His controlling influence.
If we are to witness effectively to our twentieth century world, we must possess an
IRRESISTIBLE COMPULSION -not timidity
IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE -not supposition
INEXHAUSTIBLE POWER -not impotence.
The hour is late; the need is great. The Gospel is still the power of God unto salvation. We will have all eternity to celebrate—but only a few hours to win the lost.
Though the world may scorn and hate us,
and the devil strong oppose,
We must tell the lost of Jesus that
He died and for them rose!