Because Jesus is the savior of the world, life on Earth is too short to keep him to yourself. When I first began teaching at the college level, I taught a course on evangelism. One day, as I was walking out of class, I noticed one of my students sobbing her eyes out. I stopped to see what was wrong. Through bitter tears of regret, she told me that she just found out about a high school friend of hers who had been killed in a car accident. Over and over she said, “I never talked to her about Jesus!” I was reminded of how I felt when, as a student in college, I heard that a high school friend of mine had been killed in a car accident. I had been friendly with Brad, had played baseball and basketball with him and joked around with him—but I couldn’t ever remember having directly talked to him about Jesus.
A few years ago I attended a funeral visitation for a young man who had died in a motorcycle accident. His life had mostly been about partying; everyone was well aware that he had no relationship with Jesus. Attending that visitation was one of the saddest things I have ever done. Behind the facade of photographs and memories of this young man stood a harsh and hopeless reality: He died with no hope beyond the grave. I left mourning for him and the members of his family, some of whom were dedicated Christians. I also left with feelings of regret, wondering whether I could have done a better job witnessing to him. I had talked to him only on a couple occasions, and I don’t remember having ever mentioned Jesus to him. Life is too short to live with regrets about our testimony for Jesus Christ.
Every Christian is called to be a witness for Jesus Christ. Doing so is not optional. Evangelism is not only for those who have “the gift of evangelism.” Testifying about Jesus Christ is difficult in a society that values pluralism. Christians make absolute claims about life and death and salvation—claims that come directly from the mouth of Jesus. No one can misunderstand his clear statement “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). The Apostle Peter told the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem that “salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). I believe we can be bold and unashamed of Jesus in our witness for Him and at the same time be wise and humble in the way we approach people. Life is too short to keep Jesus to ourselves.
REFLECTIONS: Think about all the people in your circle of influence who don’t know Jesus. What keeps you from witnessing to them? Ask God to show you people in your life to whom he wants you to testify about Jesus. Ask God to give you boldness, wisdom, and humility.
You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth