Jude 1:22, 23:
(NIV Bible) “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”
Effective witnessing saves people from God’s judgement.
What is meant by “witnessing” or “witness”? According to The Free Online Dictionary, a WITNESS is “one who can give a firsthand account of something seen, heard, or experienced. [b] One who furnishes evidence.”
We WITNESS as true believers to some through our compassion and kindness; to others we WITNESS as if we were snatching them from eternal fire.
My dad retired as a City of San Diego Fireman many years ago. At the age of 98, he still enjoys reminiscing over his experiences of fighting fire for over 31 years on the job. I can remember growing up, when dad would come home in the morning after being on duty for 24-hrs.. I could smell the smoke permeating from his hair and skin. Even his uniform sometimes reeked from an early morning brush fire. Dad wouldn’t have time to take a shower after the fire, so he would wait until after work and at home. Mom made sure of that; there wouldn’t be the SMELL OF SMOKE in the house on this particular day! I guess you would have to know my mom.
I like the way The Message Bible reads.
Jude 1:22, 23:
(The Message Bible) “Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.”
To hate “even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh” means that we are to hate the sin, but we must witness to and love the sinner. Unbelievers, no matter how successful they seem by worldly standards, are lost and in need of SALVATION. We should not take WITNESSING lightly–it is a matter of life and death.
In trying to find some common ground…
It is good to find some common ground with those who don’t see, or want to see their final destination in eternity. However, in trying to find something in common, we must be careful not to fall into the quicksand of compromise. When reaching out to others, we must be sure that our own footing is safe and secure. Be careful not to become so much like non-Christians that no one can tell who you are or what you believe. Influence them for Christ–don’t allow them to influence you to sin!
There Is A Simple Choice to Make–
“I call heaven and earth to WITNESS this day against you that I have set before you LIFE and DEATH, the blessings and the curses; therefore CHOOSE LIFE. that you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19 AMP).
GOD wants all to make that “simple choice”; Life or Death? He wants us to present His choice to unbelievers today in this world surrounded by the fires of life. GOD, because of His love for all (sinners included), wants for them to choose life. But He is a righteous God, full of justice, and the penalty of sin is eternal death (Romans 6:23).
Equipment for Witnessing:
Before a fireman can approach a pending devastating disaster, he must be equipped: knowledge, application, protective equipment (helmet, mask, fireproof clothing, etc.). As Christ’s WITNESSES, we also need to be equipped. EQUIPPED with the power of the Word of God.
1. MAN is a sinner by nature. (Romans 5:12).
2. MAN is a sinner by choice. (Isaiah 53:6).
3. Sin is appealing to ALL MEN. (Ephesians 2:1-3).
4. Sin alienates man from GOD. (Isaiah 59:2).
5. Sin produces spiritual death. (Romans 6:23).
6. GOD will eternally condemn the unrepentant sinner. (Luke 13:3).
7. GOD desires that ALL SHOULD BE SAVED! (2 Peter 3:9).
8. GOD completely forgives the repentant sinner. (1 John 1:9; Isaiah 43:3).