Is There A Good Or Bad Time To Witness?
By Sean Mungin
Reflecting upon this question caused me to immediately remember the Scriptural passage in which Jesus gave the disciples the commandment to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…” (Matt. 28:19). The word, teach, comes from the Greek word, Matheteuo, which gives the connotation of making a disciple or instructing with the purpose of making a disciple. Therefore, when we grasp the meaning of this passage and begin to look at the ministry of the Apostle Paul, we can begin to understand the passion he had as it relates to soul winning.
Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 2:1,
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”
Then in chapter 9, verses 19, 22 and 23,
“For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more…I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some and this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.”
These passages embody Paul’s motive for doing what he so passionately did and the urgency with which he worked until the point of his death.
In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, in chapter 28, verses 23-31, we read of Paul’s ministry while he was a prisoner in Rome. For two years, Paul ministered the gospel message to every one who visited with him. The Scriptures explain that although Paul was incarcerated, he continued to expound and testify about the Kingdom of God and persuaded his audience about Jesus, while using both the Law and the Prophets. Some believed. Some did not. In all of these things, Paul did not allow the rejection of a few to deter him from what he was persuaded that he was called to do.
The one thing that fueled Paul’s passion is that he really believed what he was talking about. Paul was fully persuaded that Jesus was God’s Son. Paul was fully persuaded that Jesus died for the sins of the world. Paul was fully persuaded that Jesus was resurrected from the grave, had conquered death, and defeated Satan and all of the power of evil and was now seated in heavenly places. Paul was fully persuaded that Jesus had granted us access into this same life that He possessed.
To answer the question: Is there a good or bad time to witness?, I would state that it is always a good time to witness. The urgency of the gospel message demands that we respond with a passion similar to Paul’s passion in being completely sold out to obeying the command of Jesus given to the disciples, regardless of the conditions and circumstances by which we may be surrounded. We must, first, become fully persuaded about the things we profess to believe in before we can expect anyone else to believe along with us. However, in our witnessing, as in Paul’s ministry, we will observe that some will believe us, and some will not.
There will be times wherein we will find ourselves in situations wherein we may not be allowed to communicate the gospel message to others verbally, and we walk away, assuming that it was not the right time to be a witness. As a result, we miss an opportunity to be a living epistle and live out a gospel message that speaks much louder and with more clarity than any words we could ever speak. Oftentimes, people would rather observe our walk to determine whether there is any credence to what we are saying.
If our lives do not align with our words, and our words nor our actions align with the gospel message, then any effort we exert in witnessing would be an effort in futility. Nevertheless, we must become all things to all men, by any means necessary, that we might save some. We must use every opportunity presented to us to communicate (both verbally and non-verbally) the gospel to others, regardless of our shortcomings, regardless of our inadequacies, and regardless of our impediments.