Practical Christianity: Part Three
The moment we are saved we are ready for Heaven. Having our hearts washed clean by the blood of Christ, makes us ready for Heaven, and that happens, you know, the moment you believe in Him as your own Saviour. We are just as ready for Heaven after we have been saved one minute as after we have been saved fifty years. Our readiness consists in what Christ is and did for us and not in what we are or do for ourselves.
Why do you suppose, then, that He does not take us to Heaven right away? Why does He leave us here in this world? Surely Heaven is much better than this world, and it would be a great deal better to go there the minute we are saved. But God has a good reason for keeping us here, and the Lord Jesus tells about it in Acts 1:8. He says, "And ye shall be witnesses unto me” That is what He wants each one of us who belong to Him, to be.
What is a witness? A witness is someone who tells what he has seen or heard or knows. As witnesses to the Lord Jesus Christ we tell what we know through His Word about Him. What do we know that we can tell others?
First we know that all men are sinners. Romans 3:23 makes that very plain indeed. Then we know that God loves us, though we are sinners. Romans 5:8 tells us that. Then we know that God's love was so great that He gave His only begotten Son to die for us. John 3:16 is the verse for that. And we know that if men will believe that He died for them, He will save them, and give them eternal life. Acts 16:31 is the verse for this great fact.
If we really know these things, it is our business to tell those who do not know. Some of them will believe, and some will not believe. That is always the way. It is not our work to make people believe, but it is our work to tell them about the Lord. It is only God Himself that can give them faith, for we read in Ephesians 2:8, "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that (faith) not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” We cannot give them faith, but the Holy Spirit will, if we are faithful in our witnessing.
Some people are very successful witnesses. By that we mean that many of those to whom they speak accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
How is it that some are better than others in this work? It is not because some are wiser or more educated than others. It is because some have given themselves more completely to the Holy Spirit. It is His power that makes us good witnesses. Acts 1:8 says, "And ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto Me.” We cannot be witnesses without the power of the Holy Spirit.
When Jesus called some of His disciples to follow Him, they were in a boat fishing. He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). They did follow Him, and they were very successful witnesses. That is what being a "fisher of men" means. At Pentecost, when Peter, one of the fishermen, preached to the people, three thousand were saved. That was because of the power of the Holy Spirit. Peter, by himself, could never have done it. The same Holy Spirit is ready to help us, if we will let Him.
- Why did Christ not take us to heaven right away?
- What is our job here on earth?
- Why does God use us as his witness here on Earth?
- What is the measure of a successful witness for Christ?