Why Most Christians Are Not Witnessing as Commanded

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Why do the vast majority of Christians fail to witness to the lost as Jesus commanded?

The Great Omission

When God Is Silent

Why do the vast majority of Christians fail to witness to the lost as Jesus commanded? I start with asking myself, “Do I witness enough as some in the early church did like Peter, John and Paul?” I must say no, but at least I do share Christ with some, although it’s never enough. Today it’s more like the “great omission” than the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20) in the church. We are called to be ambassadors for Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:18-20), and what do ambassadors do? They tell others about their nation and about their customs, laws and society. Ambassadors represent their country in a foreign land and that’s what we are; pilgrims in a world where we’re just passing by. But while we’re here, we tell others about a far, far greater country…a new Kingdom, the New Jerusalem that is coming (Rev 21:1-4). We have the greatest news ever, yet the majority of believers say nothing. We should feel compelled to share Christ, but tragically, the last I read, only about 2% of believers shared their faith. That means in a church of 100, only two people there are witnessing and obeying Christ’s imperative command (Acts 1:8). Why!?

Fear of Man

Why do most Christian’s remain silent about Jesus Christ? For most people it is the fear of rejection, scorn, ridicule; the very things that bring God’s blessings! Or, it is the fear of man that overrides their fear of God. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for utheirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:10). The Apostle Peter said if you are persecuted for your faith, and “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Pet 4:14). Don’t you want that? Fear of man causes us to lose God’s blessing and being disobedient to the Great Commission, while losing out of the blessings of God, or as Jesus said, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for jso they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt 5:11-12).  Fearing man creates a stumbling block for believers (Prov 29:25).

Bible Verses About Feat

Fear of God

When our fear of man outweighs our fear of God, then we are disobeying God and losing blessings from God, but when we fear God over man, we will have peace with God…but so much more. Dozens of times in Scripture, God tells us that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov 1:7).  To even begin to have knowledge, you must start with fearing God.  The fear of God is not a fear of being struck dead at any moment. The fear of God is a holy, reverential fear or deep respect for God and for His Word, the Bible. Those who reject Christ have real reason to fear…to fear the coming judgment of God since they really have no excuse for denying His existence (Rom 1:18-23; Rev 20:12-15). Those who have rejected repentance and faith in Jesus Christ have done so “Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord” (Pro 1:29). Fear is a good thing.  I don’t like long extension ladders or getting up on roofs for fear of falling. A good, healthy fear keeps us from hurting ourselves, but I pray the fear of God keeps others out of hell. I pray the fear of God’s judgment would make them run to the cross for safety through Jesus’ shed blood.

Witnessing and Martyrs

The word “witness” actually means martyr, so the word is one and the same. If you are being a witness, you are being a martyr, but not all martyrs are killed for their faith. Many have their names slandered or their reputations lied about and ruined, so in a way, they have died…died to themselves and they now live for Jesus Christ. They are daily being crucified with Him as His witness or martyr. The Author of Hebrews writes about many who were martyrs and did lose their lives. Sometimes they died by choice because they refused to renounce their faith in Christ, their Lord and Savior (Heb 11:25). You think you’ve been persecuted? Consider all those who “suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated” (Heb 11:37-38). All of these who suffered did so because they were unwilling to renounce their faith in Jesus Christ. They willing suffered because they were obeying Him and being His faithful witnesses (Matt 28:18-20). And by being vocal about their faith, they were displaying proof that they love Christ because obeying Christ shows we love Christ (John 14:23). The fact is, they could help but speak for Him and about Him (Acts 4:20).

An Act of Love

Cleary we are loving our neighbors as ourselves when we share Jesus Christ with others. We must be the first to show them love just as God loved us first (1 John 4:19). That is, God made the first move in saving us, so we too must make the first move in being used by God to share the gospel. Like the Christian hymn says, we must be about our Father’s business and, as the song says, “Rescue the perishing, Care for the dying, Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen, Tell them of Jesus the mighty to save.” Do we even care that our family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances are headed to hell? I know we do, but we must act and be used by God to warn them of the wrath to come (Rom 2). Dr. John MacArthur said, “You gotta get em’ lost before you can get em’ saved.” The only regrets I may have in heaven will not be, “I wished I hadn’t embarrassed myself by sharing Christ with my aunt” or “I should not have talked about Jesus as much because they hated it.” No, my regrets will be, “Why didn’t I share Christ with more while I had the chance.” There’s no evangelism let for us in heaven.

Last Appeal

I wished I could say or write something to make you more evangelistic. Nearly 160,000 people die every day, most ending up being separated from God forever, and yet only 2% of Christians share the gospel. Maybe Billy and Cindy Foote’s lyrics and version of Rescue the Perishing will help soften your heart (and mind) to what breaks the heart of God.

As we’re playing our songs
While we’re singing them well
Have we forgotten the lost
The reality of hell
If we say we love God
Wanna see His will done
Will we offer our lives
Or just the songs we have sung
Do we even care
When will we care


I pray you have put your trust in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ because if that’s not happened, you are in real, mortal danger of hell fire. You’re one breath, one heartbeat…one accident away from eternity when it will be too late to repent and trust in Christ. Today is the best day to believe (2 Cor 6:2) since tomorrow is no guarantee for any of us. If Jesus Christ came right now, it would end badly (Matt 7:21-23). That’s why I plead with you to repent today and put your trust in Jesus Christ. If not, prepare to face God’s judgment after death guaranteed (Heb 9:27), or at Jesus Christ’s appearance (Rev 20:12-15), either of which could happen at any moment.

Here is some related reading for you: I’m Shy So How Can I Witness For Christ?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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