HOW YOU CAN - Witness for Christ
Good News Magazine
May 1964
Volume: Vol XIII, No. 5
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HOW YOU CAN - Witness for Christ
Selmer L Hegvold  

How should you witness for Christ? Wrong witnessing has caused heartache and grief. Learn how you can PROPERLY witness for Christ.

   WHY IS IT that nowhere in the pages of The GOOD NEWS magazine can you find any reference to the Church of God missionaries in China, in the Congo, in Brazil or in the Arctic regions of Eskimo land?
   Are we failing in a major commission from Christ, the Living Head of His Church, when He commanded, "Ye shall be witnesses unto me... unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8)?
   How can the world be alerted to the terrible calamities that are already beginning to occur unless it receives our witness? Will God hold you responsible if you fail to witness for Christ? If so, HOW should you witness for Christ?

Witnesses Continue to Witness

   We know this to be the one True Church of God carrying out the end-time commission to a dying world. Yet many other churches are vigorously engaged in vast missionary programs, expending millions of dollars in missionary expeditions, schools and medical programs for the underprivileged peoples of the world in far-away places. Are these also witnessing for Christ?
   Are the many and varied religions preaching the name of Christ, after all, carrying out the commission for Christ in making known the very name of the Saviour in these areas of the world? Are they really doing God a service, saving the Church of the Living God untold expenses, and preparing the way for The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast in many of these places where ignorance of the name of Christ would have to be overcome?
   The name of Jesus Christ is being carried by these missionaries to all the far corners of the world and still over one-half of the population of this world has never even heard that name! Faced with this astounding fact we should be vitally concerned over exactly what Christ expects us to do about it.
   We know that the end of the age is very close at hand. Are we falling down on this great commission? "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matt. 24:14). That is a direct commission!

The Urge to Witness

   Scores of letters from members in God's Church testify to the fact that God's people are filled with the urge to witness to others. Listeners to The WORLD TOMORROW program the world over are thrilled to report results, both good and bad, of their witnessing for Christ.
   Here's an excerpt from such a letter:
   "My seven-year-old son just finished his first year of school. I teach him against pagan traditions. The teacher had those who had been to Sunday school hold up their hands. He didn't, so she asked him why not. He said it was the Devil's day."
   Consider this person's attitude. She was happy over her son's prompt rejoinder. Was she happy only that her son knew the truth? or was she proud of her son's boldness in "witnessing"?
   The urge to "witness" is a universal urge but it can be a tool of Satan the Devil! Some of us have put ourselves, unwittingly, into his hands.
   "Witnesses" support their proselyting excursions with these scriptures: "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 10:32, 33). Also, "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:9, 10). Again, "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels" (Mark 8:38). Are they right?
   Has God charged each of us to proclaim the Gospel to unwilling ears? We need to understand. What responsibility has God rested upon us as His servants Christians His begotten children? Most are pursuing the wrong way!

The Wrong Way

   A young teen-age girl writes: "Mamma burnt a picture of Santa Claus that one of Daddy's friends gave him and in turn Daddy burnt all of our [Bible Correspondence] courses. I am sorry to have to quit it. I would love to take it."
   Some are incensed to anger over the idolatrous practices of those around, and the anger of this girl's mother exploded into unwise actions. That is not the way to witness for Christ. Though sincere in what she did, the results the fruits backfired instantly upon her!
   Another very enthusiastic follower of Christ, with misguided zeal, writes: "I teach the teen-age class in our church and have discarded our denominational quarterly and have embarked on a study of the Bible as it is written. Would you please send me all of the available publications that you offer, that I might be guided in the right paths. I have the opportunity of helping shape these young minds. Since we have stated this method of conducting our Sunday-school class, enthusiasm has been at an all-time high." From literally hundreds of sad experiences of others we can predict that this man is headed straight for one of the most shocking disappointments that can come to any individual. His days as a teacher of young people in that denomination are numbered!
   These are just a very few examples of over-zealous individuals. There are other far more tragic instances that have wrecked homes and lives.

Ignorance Is Dangerous

   Some have shrugged off persecutions reveled in 3 sense of martyrdom quoting Christ, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household" (Matt. 10:34-36). Ignorance over "witnessing" has caused broken homes, physical violence and even death!
   Known instances are all too numerous in which such individuals have been committed to mental institutions as being fanatically unbalanced unsafe to mingle with society. These are the reported cases! Scores of others are never reported!
   Brethren, we need to HEED! Many thousands of you are suffering unnecessarily. We are forced to conclude that there is hardly a family (in the very Body of Christ) that is free of guilt in this very grave fault. It is NOT too late for change! Turn about! Go the way of Christ! Not the way that seems RIGHT to you (Prov. 16:25)!

Confused Individuals

   So many in spiritually divided homes are baffled because their mates or their relatives fail to understand the plain Word of God. They preach endlessly to no avail. The literature left lying around is all too obvious, but it fails to rouse any spark of interest.
   One man, now active in God's Work, for years could not be used at all because of his endless devices to "cram his religion down his wife's throat." Her violent reactions brought their marriage to the brink of divorce. Desperate to save his marriage, he yielded to advice wholeheartedly. Thereafter he never allowed religious matters to be discussed under any circumstances in his home.
   He listened to The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast in the PRIVACY of his cur, he arranged his study and prayer time so that it NEVER INTERFERED with any of the family activities. He resumed taking his family to ACTIVITIES that they had formerly loved so much. He began to live once more WITH his family! HIS LIGHT BEGAN TO SHINE. The results were phenomenal!
   No longer was his wife on the defensive. The "din" had ceased. She began to note remarkable changes in his personality, his character. What she saw she liked. His consideration, cheerfulness and enthusiasm became irresistible. The family sparked into new life... tragedy of another broken home averted.
   Within weeks this woman was earnestly studying and preparing for baptism. Needless to say, she is, today, a member in God's Church.
   Mental institutions are full of misguided "witnesses for Christ," incarcerated by equally well-meaning, misguided and concerned relatives. Psychiatric treatment, bodily injury and even death, has come to those who witness wrongly.

Not Up to You to CONVERT Others

   Does witnessing for Christ mean PREACHING CHRIST? The most powerful witness for Christ is YOUR OWN CHANGED LIFE!
   David was such a witness. He served God as perfectly as any human being has been able to do. He did not go about the countryside preaching hour after hour. His conduct, his integrity, honesty and loyalty to his duty as king over all Israel spoke louder than words. He made grievous mistakes, yet God promised him kingship over all Israel in the Millennium. Here was a man after God's own heart (Ezek. 34:23 and Acts 13:22), after he had bitterly repented (Ps. 51:3, 10).
   John said, "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; BUT IN DEED AND IN TRUTH" (I John 3:18). Jesus said, "Go NOT FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE" (Luke 10:7)! That is plain speaking! Those commissioned to preach were to go ONLY to those who were obviously seeking enlightenment.
   Paul said, "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers.... Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers?" (I Cor. 12:28, 29). We find we have far more "teachers" than God ordained to that office! God inspired the Apostle James to warn, "My brethren, be not many masters [teachers], knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.... Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation [conduct] his work with meekness of wisdom" (James 3:1, 13). A teacher of others carries a terrible responsibility. He answers directly to Christ for his influence. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb. 10:31)!

Common Witnessing Faults

   Some refuse to salute the flag of the country that gives them the freedom to worship, to choose their own vocation and to rear their families in the way they choose. That stand is NOT SCRIPTURAL! That is false witnessing. Such as hold this wrong tenet bring persecution upon themselves! The scriptural answer was given by Paul, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers [ruling government under which each lives]... Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour" (Rom. 13:1, 7).
   The call to jury duty often has prompted unwise public statements such as, "My CHURCH does not advocate any human being judging another human being by the laws of men." Such unfortunate statements have brought reproach on this Work of God! (For further information regarding jury duty, write the Letter Answering Department of Ambassador College.)
   More than one has PREACHED to his employer or fellow employee on the subject of the Sabbath, the Holy Days, or the celebrations the company sponsors.
   Lack of wisdom is a shocking reality in the character of far too many of you! This lack has often caused unnecessary unemployment. The reasons have been painfully apparent.
   Never express your limitations to an employer. Point out your favorable abilities. Be honest, but not wordy. Your willingness to work overtime at other times than on the Sabbath, your dedication, your frankness, your loyalty and your good WORKMANSHIP will tide you over any crisis that arises. You need not witness with your mouth to gain or hold a job.

Here Is How

   The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast reaches into every continent on earth over twenty-two million watts of power. That is GOD'S WAY of evangelizing the world! Man's way is to cram religion down the throats of others. Remember! "NO MAN CAN COME TO ME, EXCEPT THE FATHER WHICH HATH SENT ME DRAW HIM" (John 6:44)! God has His way of doing this.
   Your example of radiant happiness and joy; your sincere desire to serve others in menial tasks: your honesty, loyalty, dependability; your cleanliness, your orderliness and your vital zest for living are THE TRUE WITNESS God expects of you! In Christ's words, "LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE BEFORE MEN [not your voice so sound before men], that they may SEE [not hear] your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 5:5-16).
   Here is the proper way to witness for Christ. Can you do this? Christ says YOU CAN!
   "If ye KNOW these things, happy are ye if ye DO them!" (John 13:17).

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Good News MagazineMay 1964Vol XIII, No. 5