Summary: We learn from Paul in the book of Acts the performance of a true or real witness.We will consider seven things a true witness does.
A TRUE WITNESS
If you take a Bible Concordance and look up the word, witness, or witnessing or witnessed, you will find they are mentioned 33 times in the book of Acts.
The early Church had no Church building, no Sunday school literature, no radio or TV, no vans or buses, yet had a powerful Church. The reason being, 33 times in the 28 chapters of Acts, we are told that they were a witnessing Church. Scholars tell us for the first 12 months, they added to the Church over 30,000.
In our modern churches, we have many people who are workers, but few are witnesses. We have many people who are leaders, but few who are witnesses. Many people are Christians but few are real or true witnesses for Jesus.
A poll was conducted by a church directory service a few yrs. ago. Asked: "Why did you choose to come to this church?" Results: 18%--Prior denominational ties; 9%--Pretty bldg.; 3% because minister came to visit; Well over half came for one simple reason--somebody invited them!
Let us look at the Apostle Paul today and see what a true witness look like.
I-A TRUE WITNESS IS ONE WHO ENGAGES IN WITNESSING:
You cannot be a witness without witnessing. You can say all day long, I am a witness, but if your are not engaged in witnessing, you are not a true witness.
A person can go off to school and study how to be a doctor and get all the knowledge that is available but he is not really a doctor until he put what he knows into practice.
In this chapter, Paul is before the King, he is not begging to be set free, but is a witness to Him.
In 1992 on a vote of 43% newly elected President, Bill Clinton declared that he had a "Mandate from the people to change how government does business" Our mandate has a higher authority and God gives it 100%
ILLUSTRATION-One night during a campaign, Alexander couldn’t sleep and left his tent to walk around the camp.He came across a soldier asleep on guard duty—a very serious offense. In fact, the penalty for falling asleep on guard duty was, in some cases, instant death; the commanding officer sometimes poured kerosene on the sleeping soldier and lit it. Well, this particular soldier began to wake up as Alexander the Great approached him. Recognizing who was standing in front of him, the young man feared for his life. "Do you know what the penalty is for falling asleep on guard duty?" Alexander asked. "Yes sir," the soldier responded in a quivering voice. "Soldier, what is your name?" demanded Alexander. "It’s Alexander, sir." Alexander the Great repeated his question, "What did you say was your name?" "My name is Alexander sir," the soldier repeated. A third time and more loudly, Alexander the Great asked, "WHAT is your name?!" And a third time the soldier meekly said, "My name is Alexander sir." Alexander the Great then looked the young solider straight in the eye and said, "Soldier, either change your name or change your conduct."
Well, I don’t think we should change our name. "Christian" which means "little Christ" is a very appropriate name for followers of Jesus Christ like you and me. But I do think that if we are to REACH in the NAME of Christ we need to change our conduct.
ILLUSTRATION: I heard about a preacher who got embarrassed at café because the preacher he was with witnessed to the waitress at their table. He said, if we don’t witness to her, who will?
II-A TRUE WITNESS IS ONE WHO IS EVERYWHERE WITNESSING:
Vance Hancer said, today’s Christians are "Churchified Christians", that is, as long as they are in God’s house, they act one way, but outside of His house, they act another way.
Notice where they witnessed outside the Church in the book of Acts, Synagogues, river-side, jail, market place, house to house, on the roadside, and In palaces.
Paul never shut up talking about Jesus until they took his head off and he did it everywhere he went.
ILLUSTRATION: It was the seventh game of the 1962 World Series. The San Francisco Giants had a man on second base, which put him near New York Yankee second baseman Bobby Richardson. When the Yanks decided to change pitchers, Richardson, who was a Christian, saw a unique opportunity. While the new pitcher was warming up, Bobby asked the runner on second if he knew Jesus as his Savior.
ILLUSTRATION-Tom Malone: I was preaching in Springfield, Tennessee. A lot of people got saved. One lady came forward often, bringing people down the aisle. I asked who she was. They told me she was Mrs. Abi Burr, cashier for the First National Bank in Springfield. Every service she won people to Christ.