"And he (Jesus) commanded us to PREACH unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead." (Acts 10:42 KJV)
The word "quick" there is the archaic form for living or alive; just check your dictionary!
We are called by God and commanded to preach the gospel of Christ once we get saved. This was the main role of the Apostle Paul. Look at his statements in 1 Corinthians 1:17-18:
"For Christ sent me NOT to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."
The word "preach" is in the Bible for a reason fellow believers and that is what we should be doing! It means to "deliver a sermon or religious address; proclaim or expound." So if that is what preach means, then how do we fulfill it? One good Biblical tool you have is your testimony!
Your testimony is the story of your life without Christ and then your life after you decided to trust in Christ as your Saviour and the impact of that decision on your life. I'll give my testimony just for an example:
I grew up believing in Evolution, science fact, and what was real was what I could see, taste, touch and smell, things like that. Sure I went to church as a kid but it was meaningless to me. I fell asleep half the time as it was. As I got older, I developed an interest in the supernatural, like vampires, angels, demons and the like. Mind you I only had an interest in these things and soon began to write stories and novels about them, but never at any time sought to take part in the Goth scene or with witchcraft. They provided great material for stories.
Throughout most of my life I don't recall believing confidently in a God or the God nor did I know very much at all about Jesus. Certainly not a Biblical view of Jesus anyway! After years of suffering through events in my life that should have seen to my death, my life took a turn in search for the meaning of where I should be in life. After travelling the country coast to coast, I ended up in Texas, where I have family, got a great job at a major hospital and a nice apartment. I am still in Texas, still at the same job, in a different apartment, but the greatest change of ALL took place in 2005.
Since 2001, when I came to Texas, some of the people I work with who are born again believers began to tell me about Jesus, one that was foreign to me for sure. They gave me their testimony and told me about the gospel message of salvation by faith alone in Jesus Christ. I am confident that God put it on their hearts to witness to me to move on my heart to begin thinking about Jesus and God more. It was actually the Holy Spirit convicting me and he did so for the next 4 years.
I thank God for giving me a mind that was open to at least listen to what my co-workers said to me. I would always hear them out and then go on. I never really felt one way or the other about religion as it was; I just felt that whatever someone believed was their right. Then in early 2005, my Grandmother died and it really hit me harder than I thought it would. And when I think back on her life, I know she was a godly woman and believed in God, read the Bible, but I have no idea if she was saved in Jesus Christ!
In May 2005, I got involved in a Bible study built around showing who the true Biblical Jesus was. The Holy Spirit showed me in that study that Jesus IS the one true living Lord, God and Saviour of the whole world, who came into the world and died on a cross for my sins. So one night, I had become so convicted that after my Bible study session, I prayed for forgiveness. Not so much that it was the prayer that saved me, but that I was believing in Jesus to save me from my sins.
Now, works comes as a result of salvation in Christ, NOT a cause of it, and so, with the gift Jesus gave me of writing, I am using it to preach the gospel of Christ. I have done a lot of writing over the last 6 months, more so over the last 3 months by having over 40 articles published on this site in just 3 months.
So you see (long story short) that was my testimony: I was an Atheist most of my life, then I became a believer in Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour, aside from doing any good works or good deeds. I DID NOT SEEK RELIGION OR BECOME RELIGIOUS IN ANY WAY because religion IS NOT what Jesus is about! He wants a personal relationship with you.
Our testimony as born again believers is a powerful tool for us to use when we talk to people about Jesus. Anymore these days people get turned off when they hear Jesus' name because they associate it with religion and they associated religion with hypocrisy. God tells us to "preach the Word" so PREACH already! You can preach "to" someone but don't preach "at" them! Don't beat them over the head and cram the gospel down their throat. Just simply preach the simplicity of the gospel of Christ as it is given in God's Word. If you can do that, and any believer SHOULD be able to, then the Holy Spirit comes and convicts the person or people you just preached to and the rest will be up to them.
"For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, NOT with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward." (2 Corinthians 1:12)
Read more articles by Chris Huffman or search for articles on the same topic or others.
Thank you! As a new Believer,
I didn't understand, at first, the meaning of 'testimony'. I
was too self-conscious to
ask anyone in my Christian Bible study. So, I just had
to make up my own definition
of it, 'piece meal'. I think
that Christians need to
discuss it more!