“It is appointed unto man once to die, and then comes the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)
The world says, “You must do things our way, or else … [some penalty].” Sometimes that penalty is a loss of reputation, scorn, mockery, ridicule, etc. Sometimes, it is death. For example, for many individuals in “closed” nations (e.g. Saudi Arabia), openly declaring allegiance to Jesus Christ and especially making disciples is the same as signing your own death certificate.
Recently, I was in a situation in which I felt rather “pressured” to “keep quiet” about my faith. I was in a lab, and a man visiting from Calgary began helping me. Suddenly — I couldn’t help but accept it — a quiet voice went through my mind, as clear as crystal clear water. “Dave, are you a Christian?” the voice said. I knew it was the Lord speaking to me. Again, it was clear. There was no “compulsion” about it, only, that it was clear. And I knew that what the Lord was asking me to do was ask Dave if he was a Christian. So (after a moment’s hesitation), I did.
“Dave, are you a Christian?”
“I guess not,” Dave replied.
“Jesus said, ‘unless a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven’ (a quote from John 3:3). I gave my life to Jesus 13 years ago, and life has never been the same.” Sensing that that was all I should share (lest I be accused of “pushing” it), I stopped there, and left Dave with having to think things over.
Dave was clearly not offended and that short interchange has not negatively affected our new relationship at all. However, he didn’t respond to my invitation for him to give his heart to Jesus, except for this one thing. In my back pocket, I had typed up a very simple testimony entitled, “Short Testimony.” It was about 500 words long, in which I simply shared the gospel message in a very nice way, and invited a person to seek Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. I took out the “Short Testimony,” and proceeded to pass it to Dave, as he continued on in his work, and simply indicated to him in a very nonchalant way that he might want to read it. (I would never do this unless I felt very comfortable about it, because, as I have mentioned before, I was warned by company officials “not to offend” lest I should lose my job. I have taken that warning very seriously, and make sure to “wait for God” to give me the clear signal before witnessing to individuals during work time).
“It is appointed once to die, and after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) Let’s do all we can, while it is day. Jesus said, “Night is coming, when no man can work.” (John 9:4)