How Can I Share My Testimony?

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

2 corinthians 5:20

This past summer I had an amazing opportunity to travel across the world and share my faith with those who have never heard the name of Jesus. I gradually learned how to effectively share my testimony so that others would see the forgiveness of sins that is in Jesus Christ. I learned a method that I shared with many believers in remote areas who needed to be discipled.

This method is simply called the 2, 3, 4 method. There are 2 parts to the Gospel: Your story and the story of Jesus. Remember that your story is only a part to the whole, much like a slice out of an apple. While your story is important, keep it in the context of Christ. Your story includes 3 parts.

Telling Your Story

  1. Your life before you met/accepted Jesus into your life. Tell the people you are talking to about who you were and how you acted before you accepted Jesus into your heart. In Acts 26:4-11 you can see Paul’s life before Christ.
  2. Next you share about how you met Christ and your transformation. Paul talks about his encounter with God on the road to Damascus in Acts 26:12-18. Many of us probably don’t have a story like Paul’s where God appeared to us on a road and blinded us, but some of us do. The way you met Jesus is just as important for Paul as it is you and I.
  3. Finally, the life you live after you accepted Jesus in your heart is what you share. Compare it to your previous life before Christ. Tell how you were once dead in sin, but now have assurance of eternal life. This part of Paul’s testimony is in Acts 26:19-23.

Sharing your testimony is crucial when you are trying to share the gospel with a neighbor or friend. Your story may be similar to theirs. They may be able to relate to your life before Christ, which may spur them on to learn more about this Jesus you are telling them about. Constantly practice sharing your story with friends and family so that you will be ready when God presents you with an opportunity to share your testimony.

Now, the second part to the Gospel is Jesus’ story. There are 4 parts to the story of Jesus.

Four Parts about Jesus

  1. Judgement- We all face judgement for the sins in our lives. Romans 3:23 states that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are all born with a sin nature and can do nothing on our own to fix this issue. Hebrews 9:27 says that “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” We will all be judged.
  2. Repent– Jesus taught us that we must repent- turn away from the sin in our lives. We must realize that we are all sinners and chose to run from that sin. In Matthew 4:17 Jesus said “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Without repentance, their cannot be turning away from sins, and therefore no forgiveness.
  3. Death– Through judgement and the knowledge that we have all sinned, it is then evident that this will lead to death. We all deserve death, both spiritual and physical. Romans 6:23 says that “The wages of sin is death.” The Bible tells us that Christ died for all; in Romans 5:8 it says that “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ took death so that we don’t have to, he brings us hope!
  4. Resurrection/ New Life- Christ did not stay dead. He rose from the grave, conquering death and sin, enduring the sin so that we don’t have to. If we chose him, he will stand for us on judgement day, taking our sin and shame so that we can spend eternity in heaven with him. John 3:16 says that “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life. We have an inheritance in heaven with Jesus.

It is always important to talk about the story of Jesus when sharing the Gospel and your testimony. Make sure who you are talking knows that your new life is only possible because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, taking our sin and our shame.

Apply It!

Pray that God would give you 3 people this week that you could share your testimony and the Gospel with. Practice sharing your testimony with your family to figure out what you will say. Take courage and remember that God’s word will never return void! Follow his voice and share your story with those around you. If you don’t tell them, who will?!

How “Creed II” and Philippians 3:8 Connect

“He’s got nothing to lose! As a fighter, when you got nothing to lose you’re dangerous!”

~ Rocky Balboa, Creed 2

From Caleb,

I want to take a second not to answer a question, but rather to share something that has been on my heart recently. I hope this challenges you, spurs you on in your faith, and encourages you to share about the goodness of faith in Jesus Christ and make more disciples.

In the movie Creed II, Adonis Creed is the son of former fighter Apollo Creed, whom Ivan Drago killed in Rocky IV. Ivan Drago’s son, Victor Drago, comes to America from Russia to fight Adonis. This was such a big deal because Victor’s father had killed Apollo Creed in a fight years ago.

Rocky, former fighter and trainer to Adonis Creed, knew that in his young ambitious ways, Adonis will jump on the fight, even though Rocky knew it wasn’t the wisest decision. Rocky warned Adonis by reminding him that Victor had nothing to lose, and because of that he was a dangerous fighter. Adonis was angered by Rocky telling him this, because he implied that Adonis wasn’t a dangerous fighter. This scene in a way rocked me.

As followers of Christ we must identify ENTIRELY with Christ; He IS our identity.

It really got me thinking: it’s the same way with Christians and following Christ. Jesus called anyone who wanted to be a one of his followers to give away all that he had and follow him (Luke 18:22). We need to be ready to sacrifice everything we have because this life we live isn’t ours. As followers of Christ we must identify ENTIRELY with Christ; He IS our identity.

We Should Fear Nothing

Christ is our identity; when we allow that to fuel us, we will fear nothing. When he is our complete identity, we have all that we need and ever will need. Accepting this, cherishing this, and making this your identity is the exact thing Christ calls us to do. We are his, and just as Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

When we accept and live in this true identity as Christ followers, we are “dangerous” to the world around us, because then we will have nothing to lose; we have all that we need. Then, we will truly able to make an impact and be effective in evangelism. This is how Christ designed it to be; however, sometimes we get distracted and manipulated by the world into thinking that we have something to lose.

The world wants you to think that you have so much to lose: your family, your friends, your possessions, your money, your job, or even your life. God tells that all the world has to offer is worthless compared to knowing Christ and serving in his mission (Philippians 3:7-8). But again, the world wants to convince us otherwise. When we accept the truth that when we find our true identity in Christ we have nothing to lose, we are dangerous to the Kingdom of Darkness. But what happens when we start to believe we have something to lose?

What’s the result of thinking we have something to lose?

When Christians think they have something to lose, we end up losing sight of Christ’s mission. We lose our heart for lost people and for the mission of reaching the nations. To those around us we appear as just an ordinary Joe-shmoe; we lose the fire that obviously marks us as a follower of Christ.

To be dangerous for the Kingdom of God we must remember we have nothing to lose; this world has nothing to offer us. Stay focused, having eternity in mind, so that we can always be ready to share about the goodness of Christ.

How Trials Will Grow You

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

Psalm 42:5

From Carly,

During the writing of Psalm 42, most believe it was the time of Absalom’s rebellion, and David, the potential author, was facing the consequences. David’s enemies persecuted him, spitting lies and forcing doubt into every area of David’s life.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to dehumanize the “heroes” of the Bible. I think they’re better than me. No temptations, no mistakes. The perfect example to live by.

I may be right about one thing. They’re a great example of how we should live. Though David lived many years devoted to the Lord, seeking and serving wholeheartedly, he also went though seasons of doubt, fatigue, grief, and sin.

The wonderful thing about tragedy is that what results from such mess, turns out to be the most beautiful story of healing and spiritual maturity. You’ve heard it before. The Lord puts us through trials to come out the other end changed. Of course, as Christians we know this, but no one is battling for the first spot in line to face impending tragedy and persecution. Tragedy doesn’t just come and go in a weekend, it usually doesn’t even stay for a week. When faced with such important trials, they can rule your entire life, wreck your worldview, causing doubt and fear to fester.

At the time, David was facing such oppression and desperation, that doubt began to win.

“My tears have been my food day and night, While they say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?'”

Psalm 42:3

He was questioning whether the Lord was with him or not, whether he would come out of this situation sustained with the life-breathing hope and salvation he once had. I’m guessing we’ve all been in David’s position, or a similar circumstance, at one point in our lives. We always pay attention to the aftermath of such devastation, but what matters most to our God, is how we handle things during the oppression. 

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”

Psalm 42:1-2 

David thirsted, hungered, longed for the Lord. To be near Him, to be healed by His presence. This is how he dealt with his grief. Though times were tough and nothing made sense, he knew the only way to get out meant full reliance on the Lord. Nothing more, nothing less.

Doubt can creep up, fear can envelope our soul. It’s what we do during those times that matters the most. Do we solely seek the Lord in our suffering, or do we cower in our misery and surrender to the pain?

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

Psalm 42:11

What tenacity it took to realize his soul’s depravity. To repeat the very words he proclaimed previously. He commanded himself to place his hope and trust in the Lord once again. He vowed to praise his Savior and God. What an example. If David wrote this, we catch a glimpse of how entirely human he really is, not the perfect biblical hero without fault. David was just like you and me, faced with inexplicable tragedy during his short life. If he can resolve to hope in the Lord, to destroy his once-doubtful soul, then we can too. In fact, I encourage you to hunger and thirst for Jesus as much in peaceful times as you do in turmoil. May not only the aftermath, but also the time of oppression be what grows you, what causes you to lean on Him. 

Sustain Us Lord!

“As it is written, ‘man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.'”

Matthew 4:4

From Alex,

There is a lie that is accepted far and wide in the church. It is one that, if by the power of the Holy Spirit, were examined and despised, would lead to the changing of many lives for the good of the kingdom. I believed it, and you might too. I’m scared it is stunting our growth and making the Church incredibly vulnerable to temptation. It seems we’ve convinced ourselves we aren’t in need of armor anymore. We’ve given in to the lie that every Christian can sustain themselves spiritually through worship music, occasional prayer, and small group meetings… but not on the Word of God.

This is what distinguishes the true Follower of Christ from the Christian. The True Follower of Christ is constantly washing themselves in the truths of Scripture, and is in love with the Bible in all its awesomeness. There is a daily desire to get alone with God and chew on the promises He’s laid out for us. There is nothing like cracking open a perfect book full of truths and learning about the One who created all of the veins in your body, the streaks of cloud in the sky, and the mossy dirt beneath you. There is nothing like reading the exact words of God, which are able to bring unimaginable comfort to your troubled body (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).

All of Scripture is infallible. It is without error and should be completely relied upon when making decisions about life and personal beliefs. It can be trusted and is sure to bring its reader closer to reality. The Bible is the true source of Joy and sustenance for the follower of Christ, and it is what we rely upon to grow and mature in our relationship with our Creator (2 Timothy 3:16). Think about how blessed we are to have such abundant access to it now! Not only do we have a large book filled with knowledge about the Author of Life, but for those who personally know Him as Lord, we have His Spirit living within us! How amazing is that! How contrasted that is to the situation of those living in Old Testament times, who had neither (Except maybe a copy of the Law, the first few books in the Bible)! I pray the Lord would turn our hearts in submission to Him in this way. That we would be so in love with Him, the same way a newlywed couple can’t get enough of each other, that no one would have to remind us to read our Bibles! That we would do it because the Holy Spirit of the Almighty God lives in. Our. Bodies.  

Because we want to!

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the council of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”

Psalm 1:1-3

What About Those Who Have Never Heard The Gospel?

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

~ Romans 1:18-20

From Caleb,

Would God really send those who have never heard the Gospel to hell? Let’s talk about it, because this a question that believers and non-believers share alike!

Let’s look at an example…

Hunter: “Do all people really go to hell if they don’t confess Jesus Christ as their Savior?”

Alice: “God makes it pretty clear throughout scripture that all have fallen short of glory and that the wages of sin is death. I would recommend taking a close look at the book of Romans.”

Hunter: “Yeah. I get that. I know all that stuff. But let’s just say, for example, there was a guy on a remote island, and no one knew he was there, so no one could share the Gospel with him. This guy, when he died, would he go to hell?”

Alice: “Sadly, yes. But let me explain why…”

“But let me explain why…”

I’m sure that our friend Alice would answer somewhat along these lines: The truth is yes, and God makes it clear through the apostle Paul why in Romans chapter 1. 

From Romans, we are shown that these people, even though they have never heard about God, have already had the truth and knowledge of God revealed to them through creation by God himself. Because he has so obviously demonstrated himself through everything that exists, God tells us that these people are “without excuse”. 

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This means everyone, no matter the circumstance, is separated from God, and without trusting in Christ to save us from our sins, we will spend eternity separated from him. This even includes the person on the island that has never had the opportunity to hear about Christ.

“Some may think that this is simply a hypothetical situation, its normal, but it’s not, this is real life for 3.14 billion people.”

Some may think that this is simply a hypothetical situation, its normal, but it’s not, this is real life for 3.14 billion people. There are 3.14 billion people that haven’t even heard the name of Jesus, so you need to keep that in mind when answering this question. Most people, when they ask this question are waiting for you to say that they will go to hell, that way they can, essentially, roast you by saying “See! God is an angry, unjust God! How could he call himself good and loving when he does stuff like that!”

Be prepared to answer that response. My reply to that would then simply be that by God doing this, he is able to call himself just and holy. He is just because he puts in place consequences for sin. He is holy because sin cannot exist in his presence. Sin cannot exist in his presence because he is perfect and without fault. He is light, and in him and around him there can be no darkness. However, he has made a way for us to be made right with him. Based on this, you can say that he is both just and good. 

Not only has he made a way for us to be restored back to him, but he has also made it abundantly clear through creation. Because he has made it clear through things such as creation, Paul says these people have no excuse for the sin in their hearts. These people are still guilty of sin, and God cannot be in the presence of sin. As Christians, this knowledge should break our hearts. This should motivate us in our walk to share the Gospel unconditionally with people in our nation and abroad. This is Christ’s grand design!