Summary: A message about earning the right to witness to someone. What does it take?
Title: Earning a hearing
Theme: Having a life worthy that one would want to listen to you.
In John 4 we read the story of Jesus witnessing to the Woman at the well. It this story we learn that Jesus earned a right to be heard. Here are some tips to earning a right to be heard.
“A man of good reputation”
I have titled this message today, “Earning a hearing”. It is important to understand the call and priority of witnessing. It is important to know all the techniques. But all of this will do you no good unless you earn a hearing before the people.
Notice how I use the word earn. It is not that you deserve. Yes we have the authority of Christ, yes we are spirit-filled, we may even know the Bible backwards and forwards and even have memorized the plan of Salvation (which is suggested), but to this world we are just another person trying to sell something to them that they don’t know if they need. But when we earn, that means putting forth the sacrifice before them. When we earn that means giving in on some of the arguments. When we earn, that means not being arrogant and condemning but loving and patience, then those around us will desire to hear our message.
Let me reiterate what I am trying to say. You can have all the language of witnessing down pat, you can know all the techniques and what to use in the particular situation. You can even know the scripture but if you have not earned a hearing then you will do know good and actually will do more to hurt the gospel than to help it.
So how do we earn a hearing.
I. By being qualified to witness.
A. Must be a thorough Christian
Jesus said unto Peter, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (Luke 22:32 AV). In other words Jesus was saying that Peter himself must be straight before he can witness to his brethren. He must be converted and saved.
Although God has used unconverted people, such as ministers, to win the lost it is always the exception not the rule.
We must apply the principle of Matthew 7:5 “First cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye”.
B. Must be a spirit-filled Christian
In witnessing it is the spirit that does most of the work. Telling us who to witness to, when to witness, the convicting, the guiding. So shouldn’t it be our priority as a witness to understand as much about the spirit as we can. So we can listen to the guidance of the spirit. We should be spirit-filled
Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. (Acts 8:29-31 AV)
Phillip listened to the spirit and when he got his call he “ran” to the one whom he could witness to. He know that only the Spirit would do the work and if he called him to witness to a person then the Holy Spirit had already began to do the work.
C. Must be a man or woman of prayer
In prayer is when God gives us his work to be done. In prayer are we more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. It was in prayer that Peter got the call to go the house of Cornelius. Acts Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (Acts 1:11 AV)
I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me: (Acts 11:5 AV)
And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man's house: (Acts 11:12 AV)
1. Pray for God to lead you to the right person
2. Pray for God to enable you to speak the right words
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (1 Corinthians 3:6 AV)
3. Pray for God to continue the work.
This had been the desire of Paul when we read from the beginning of his letters he remembers his converts. Eph 1, Phil 1, Col 1