Why do we keep forgetting about Jesus' last words on earth?14 Feb 2017
“You will be my witnesses, in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their eyes… (Acts 1:8)
These were Jesus last words to his disciples on earth… you will be my witnesses, you will tell people about my death and resurrection. You’ll bear witness to people around you, and people in the furthest corners of the earth. This was kind of like his last wishes, except he’s not dead.
Yet this crucial task can be forgotten, obscured, or pushed aside.
People forget. People get busy with other things. People don’t care. People don’t feel it’s worthwhile or possible.
Even as someone who’s been living the full-time missionary life for the last 6 years, I can forget. I can get busy with other things. I can lose faith in the importance and the possibility of this task. It happens to me again and again and again.
It’s so easy to lose the sense of urgency, faith and excitement about being a witness. We can forget that the lost are real people. We can forget Christ’s compassion for them.
We think there are other things, other ministry activities that are more important. But what could be more important than Jesus’ last words to us on earth?
Of all the things we need to be busy with… why isn’t this a priority? Why is finding people that never get to meet a Christian and bearing witness to Christ not first on our list of things to do? Why is getting to some unreached country, learning a language, and talking to people about Jesus not considered a real goal in life, or a proper “ministry job description” by many? Why are many churches disinterested in seeing lives laid down to witness?
I think the enemy works to bury, to cloud out, and to belittle this precious task that Jesus gave to his followers. He works to fill out minds with doubt that it’s even worthwhile to talk about Jesus with others. (See this video).
To keep stoking this flame of passion for bearing witness we need to do 3 things:
- Keep interacting with Christ in prayer.
- Keep getting out and meeting lost people.
- Keep encouraging and spurring each other on.
Just getting out there and looking for chances to bear witness to Christ: It’s worth your whole afternoon. It’s worth years of language learning. It’s worth your whole career.
2000 years later, we still haven’t been witnesses to the very ends of the earth. There are still millions who never get to a single person who’s seen Jesus. He’s waiting. Let’s waste our lives on this. Let’s GO!