Thoughts on Witnessing

York R. Jessip

It All Started with a Visit

A Sunday School teacher, a Mr. Kimball, in 1858, led a Boston shoe clerk to give his life to Christ.

The clerk, Dwight L. Moody, became an evangelist. In England in 1879, he awakened evangelistic zeal in the heart of Fredrick B. Meyer, pastor of a small church.

F. B. Meyer, preaching to an American college campus, brought to Christ a student named J. Wilbur Chapman.

Chapman, engaged in YMCA work, employed a former baseball player, Billy Sunday, to do evangelistic work.

Billy Sunday held a revival in Charlotte, N.C. A group of local men were so enthusiastic afterward that they planned another evangelistic campaign, bringing Mordecai Hamm to town to preach.

During Hamm’s revival, a young man named Billy Graham heard the gospel and yielded his life to Christ.

Only eternity will reveal the tremendous impact of that one Sunday School teacher, Mr. Kimball, who invested his life in the lives of others.

An Ant’s Example

A man once laid a piece of chocolate candy on a table. Then, picking up an ant, he put it near the delicious bon bon. He was surprised to see it take a single bite and then hurry off to inform the rest of the colony. Soon the little creature returned, followed by a long train of other ants who enjoyed the treat with him. Many Christians who have tasted that the Lord is good can learn a lesson from that little insect. Having found God’s rich supply of grace, they ought to spread the glad tidings to others.

Be Persistent

Perhaps you recall the story of a man who distributed tracts for many years on a street corner. Finally, seeing no visible results, he gave up. When he returned to the same spot two years later, he saw another
individual handing out Gospel leaflets as he had done. Striking up a conversation, he discovered that the man had become a Christian through a salvation tract given him on that corner about two years before. The convert added, “Many times I’ve come back here to find that earnest worker and thank him, but he never returned. I decided he must have died, and so I’ve taken his place!” The first man suddenly realized that his work had not been in vain. Much encouraged he went back to giving out tracts the very next day.

It takes many blows to crack a hard boulder; and if one stops too soon, all his previous efforts go to waste, for the work of the sledge is cumulative. It is the constant pounding on the same spot that weakens the stone.

“If evangelicals stop trying to convert others, they will be rather lonely, for advertisers, New Age pitch-persons and advocates of every other therapy and worldview are aggressively making their pitches.”
– Martin E. Marty, in The Christian Century, 2/15/89

Ready or not? Millions of American are conversions waiting to happen.- Lowell Streiker, The Gospel Time Bomb

One of the saddest statistics of our day is that 95% of all church members have never led anyone to Christ. – Dr. D. James Kennedy

The late Roland Q. Leavell in his book, Evangelism: Christ’s Imperative Commission, stated that of all the reported Church members:

5 per cent do not exist,
10 per cent cannot be found, 20 per cent never pray,
25 per cent never read the Bible,
30 per cent never attend Church services,
40 per cent never give any money to the church, 50 per cent never go to Sunday School,
60 per cent never go to Church Sunday night, 70 per cent never give to missions,
80 per cent never go to prayer meeting,
90 per cent never have family worship, and
95 per cent never win a soul to Christ.

If these statistics are correct, they simply mean that as far as evangelism is concerned only 5 percent of the Church members are obedient to Christ. In my experience I would judge that this figure is actually high.

Christianity is something which is meant to be seen. As someone has well said, “There can be no such thing as secret discipleship, for either the secrecy destroys the discipleship, or the discipleship destroys the secrecy.” A man’s Christianity should be perfectly visible to all men. -William Barclay

A Voice from Eternity

You lived next door to me for years
We shared our dreams, our joys, our tears,
A friend to me you were indeed –
A friend who helped me when in need.
My faith in you was strong and sure
We had such trust as should endure,
No spats between us ever rose
Our friends were alike, also our foes.
What sadness, then, my friend, to find
That after all, you weren’t so kind.
The day my life on earth did end
I found you weren’t a faithful friend…
For all those years we spent on earth,
You never talked of Second Birth,
You never spoke of my lost soul
And of the Christ Who’d make me whole.
I plead today from hell’s cruel fire
And tell you now my last desire,
You cannot do a thing for me,
No words today my bonds will free.
But do not err, my friend, again,
Do all you can for souls of men,
Plead with them now quite earnestly
Lest they be cast in hell with me.