Bible Ballistics: Vol. 9 No.03 Eyewitness Or Tale-Bearer???
“But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20
We can only share what we possess. We live in a culture of presumption and greed. ‘Name-It-And-Claim-It’ theology has lead many believers to focus on self instead of Christ Jesus and it has produced a “Christian” culture that is totally focused on self—self-promotion, self-gratification, self-aggrandizement, resulting in a self-first focus. All this “self-focus”, is replacing our call to being and living as children of God, children who put God first, and are devoted to The Father and The Son, willing to suffer loss of all things to bring glory to our Lord Jesus! Jim Elliot caused great stir when he and several others forsook all to take the Gospel to those who had never heard; to those who could present an imminent threat to their lives; those in fact, who did take the lives of five godly missionaries. Jim Elliot’s answer to those who would question his purpose and resolve rocked the world then, and still does for those who will grasp its simple power today: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot.
What a mighty statement and reminder of the fleeting nature of earthly life, especially when contrasted to the eternal nature of God’s Kingdom. God’s Kingdom, which can only be entered into through the blood of The Lord Jesus Christ and His substitutionary, atoning death alone. And we can only share that truth if we have received Jesus as Savior and Lord, and entered into that kingdom. Many people can’t share the Gospel because they don’t know Jesus, except as a by-word or a magic potion to be pulled out in emergencies or crises. Paul so aptly reminds us of something so simple, yet so profound—we can only give what we possess.
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:” 1 Corinthians 15:1-5
Jesus died for the sins of the world, and just like Saul (Who became Paul after his conversion), only those who receive Him as Lord and Savior will ever know the freedom of being saved “from their sins”! It’s why He came. Jesus saved and changed Saul into the Apostle Paul, and HE is still saving and changing lives today. How about you? Have you received Him personally?
“.… and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21b
When Jesus saves us form our sins, He makes us “children” of God; joint heirs with Himself, The Son. But to be His, we must come to Him in repentance and faith, receiving the “life” which He came to give—we experience a new birth in Jesus, through HIS blood. Jesus imparts real, vibrant and abundant life in and through Himself and His Spirit. Life transforming power that is worth sharing!
“He was in the world,
and the world was made by him,
and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own,
and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him,
to them gave he power
to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born,
not of blood,
nor of the will of the flesh,
nor of the will of man,
but of God.
14 And the Word was made flesh,
and dwelt among us,
(and we beheld his glory,
the glory as of the only begotten
of the Father,)
full of grace and truth.” John 1:10-14
Until we behold “his glory”, we will never have anything to share. For only Jesus gives life, abundant life that is worth sharing: life that is powerful enough to change others when we share HIS truth and glory, calling others to Jesus. But only when we have His salvation, know Him and posses His eternal life, can we do that which is truly pleasing to God. We can choose to be an “eye-witness” to the wonder and glory of the Redeemer and Lord, Jesus Christ, or we can simply be content as talebearers. Telling about that which we have never truly seen and heard in our own hearts. We can only give “hearsay” testimony not the real, vibrant and pulsing life of Jesus that dwells in those who genuinely come to Him in repentance and faith. Then we will have the power to fulfill His purpose for our lives.
“I am the vine,
ye are the branches:
He that abideth in me,
and I in him,
bringeth forth much fruit:
for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5
His own child/brother/sister, abiding and devoted to the Him who is the only One who can and will give His life to those who come to Him! And only those who see and recognize their own emptiness and futility will ever come to Jesus. Until people see their lostness without Jesus, they will never see the need for The Savior.
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10
The Gospel of The Savior came to one who was hated and despised by men—a tax collector, a publican! Zacchaeus, the wee little man of children’s song, ran ahead of the crowd to climb up into a tree to see this traveling preacher and teacher, and when Jesus called to him, he responded in repentance and faith (Read the whole story in Luke 19 for yourself!). What an amazing situation to those witnessing this encounter, that Jesus would save such a great sinner (As the world judges things!), yet Jesus clearly proclaimed that He came for sinners! And until we see our own sin, we will never have any desire to come to Jesus. We can choose to justify our actions to others, and ourselves or we can hear the voice of God speaking to our hearts and respond in the same kind of repentance and faith that brought salvation to Zacchaeus! You can become an eyewitness—or you can remain in your sin and continue to not know Jesus or His power in your life.
Will we stand with Peter and John and declare that we must share what we “have seen and heard”? Will we continue in our own ways, our own sins, our own choices and consequences? Or will we come to the only One who can and will save those bow before Him. And I must remind you that the question isn’t “Will you bow?” for the time is coming when “every knee shall bow”! Well, if “every knee shall bow”, why are we having this conversation? Because it is a life or death subject—we can choose to bow before the Lord Jesus Christ in this life and know Him in redemption and salvation, or you WILL bow before Him as the final judge with no option available for salvation.
“And I saw a great white throne,
and him that sat on it,
from whose face the earth
and the heaven fled away;
and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead,
small and great,
stand before God;
and the books were opened:
and another book was opened,
which is the book of life:
and the dead were judged
out of those things
which were written in the books,
according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead
which were in it;
and death and hell delivered up the dead
which were in them:
and they were judged
according to their works.
14 And death and hell
were cast into the lake of fire.
This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written
in the book of life
was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11-15
The choice is yours, but don’t wait too long, for none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Are you an eyewitness of what Jesus has done in your life? Or are you a talebearer, speaking only that which is second-hand news, or even ‘fake-news’? The choice is completely yours, but choose wisely, there is a test at the end! Don’t waste your opportunity; God’s grace won’t always be available! My calling, as His child, is to speak “the truth in love” and remind us all to be ready, for the Lord and King is coming—and very soon, I believe!
“We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” 2 Corinthians 6:1-2
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
I pray that you will hear the voice of God’s Holy Spirit speaking to your heart and bow before Jesus today, calling on the name of Jesus, and through His blood receiving the forgiveness of your sin, and redemption of your soul. And if you already know Him, will you join me, in bowing before our King, asking Him to search our hearts and cleanse us; bringing us anew to the place of “first love” service and relationship with Him. (See Revelation 2:1-11) I want to be HIS eyewitness not just a “tale-bearer” trying to work up something that will impress the world. May our desire ever be to seek Him and bring glory to Him in all we do? How about you? Where are your priorities? May we faithfully be the light of the world as Jesus works in and through our humble surrender to Him, a light before the world, that those who see us will recognize that we have “been with Jesus”(Acts 4:13)! Oh, may that be my epitaph when my days are over. God saved me by His grace, through the blood of Jesus, and I want to be found faithful before Him. My Redeemer and the One who has forgiven my sin, and made me HIS child—will you join me as an eyewitness to HIS saving grace!!!
“And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” John 17:22-24
Thank Him today.
Shine for Him today.
Be a real, genuine eyewitness.
Leave the tale-bearing behind, and follow the one who has delivered, transformed, redeemed and forgiven all who will come to Him in repentance and faith! As John told us so clearly:
“But as many as received him,
to them gave he power
to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name” John 1:12
Amen and Amen.
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:12-14