When I was 20 years of age I had a good job as a draftsman. Because they were working a weekly schedule of 52 hours, I made almost as much money as my father. I had a nice Oldsmobile convertible and many of the things youth think are so important. However, my life was empty. One night returning from a party, I looked up at the beautiful summer sky. It seemed as though I had to cry out, "God there must be more to life than what I am experiencing. I don't feel I'm involved in anything that really matters."
While continuing to think this way, it became clear to me how a person would receive the gift of eternal life. I reflected upon this information, but then realized my greatest need depended upon my commitment toward receiving eternal life.
Then, I made my decision and received this gift. Since receiving eternal life, I have had fulfillment rather than emptiness. I believe my life for these 40 plus years has been involved in the real purpose of life. Since that commitment I have known for certain if I were to die, I would go to heaven.
That's my 60 second testimony. In all of the evangelism training events
today, they emphasize learning to give a testimony in 60 seconds. In our
text Jesus gave a man a great testimony. A challenge comes to each of us
as we see how this man's sharing can relate to this day.
When his neighbors saw him, some recognized him and others did not. He had a regular spot from which to beg and many people regularly noticed him, but now there was change. In the later part of verse 9, the Greek tense brings out that he continued to say, "I am he." He defiantly had a testimony to give. He received something he had never had. Sight was given to him. He would not have to remain a beggar. What a testimony to share with neighbors.
One day my mother talked with a neighbor as they stood at the fence. This lady shared how their church never emphasized salvation and that the pastor had indicated he did not believe certain parts of the Bible. My mom shared her testimony and gave a word of praise for our pastor and church. Our neighbor then attended our church. Salvation came to that home. The husband later became a deacon and the oldest son a minister of the gospel. In fact, Will Pollard is now the Editor of the Ohio Baptist Paper for the State Baptist convention of Ohio.
Yes, this man has something to share with his neighbors. In verse 10, they ask how did you get your sight? We who name Jesus as Lord have received spiritual sight and we have something to share. It should be shared with neighbors. We must share how it can happen to them. Please notice the second point.
We must realize many in religious circles are more concerned about religion than Christianity. Some one has said, "We have too much Churchanity and not enough Christianity." No one should concern themselves more with the traditions of man than the Word of God. No one should be concerned about keeping religious traditions to the exclusion of spiritual healing.
When I pastored in St Louis Joe Gibbs was an assistant coach of the St. Louis Cardinals Football team. A professional football player got involved with the police through the loan of his automobile and a drug charge. In the following days and weeks many Christians shared the gospel with him. He was born again. I heard him on two occasions give his testimony. He went back home to share his experience with family and friends and then the minister of the home church. This pastor told him he could not have experienced what he shared because it didn't match the teachings of their church.
That's a sad story. But, many people today don't really know what the new birth is, even though they are very religious. They close a deaf ear to the gospel message because of their traditions. We need to share our testimony with them. Please note point three.
They answer two (1) He is our son, (2) He was born blind. But, for the third question they say, "Ask our son." So the boy gives his testimony in the presence of his family.
I know many families where one family member needs to share their testimony. Sometimes it comes as a shock to realize how lost and indifferent to the gospel message sons, daughters, brothers and sisters can be. I shared with my dad. He was not receptive and it was very hard to share, but I did. I hope he responded inwardly after we talked. All of us have some relative who needs to hear a testimony.
Right now, can you think of a relative who needs to hear a salvation
testimony? Will you pray for them? Will you take every opportunity to learn
to share your faith? The family needs to hear the testimony of those transformed
from spiritual blindness to spiritual sight. Look further at the fourth
Archie, Parish worked for Evangelism Explosion Ministries. He developed several pieces of the literature they used in early years. I heard him share that he went to visit one night with only the name of a lady. When he knocked on the door a man answered. Archie asked for the lady whose name he had been given. The man responded he was her husband and his wife was not home. Archie asked if he could share with the man. When he walked into the family room he saw pictures of famous philosophers. This man taught philosophy at the community college.
The man told Archie he was an agnostic and very much involved with the thinking of the great philosophers. Archie continued to share the gospel requesting this man to give an evaluation of the message. When he completed sharing the gospel he asked, "Does this make sense to you?" The man began to get tears in his eyes and he said, "it makes more sense than anything I have ever heard." He then received the Lord Jesus into his life.
When I heard that, I got tears in my eyes. It also has challenged me to never try to decide who will or won't hear and respond to the gospel message. We don't elect anyone for salvation. However, we should nominate everyone regardless of perceived doubts or criticism. Yes, we need to share our testimony everywhere. Please follow the fifth point.
This man with brand new eyes is willing to believe in the Messiah. He trusted the Lord Jesus to lead him to this man. When Jesus indicates He is the Messiah the man says, "Lord, I believe." It is very interesting to note the next phrase, "And he worshiped him." There is a theological controversy today related to a term "Lordship salvation." I believe this man would place his name with those like myself who believe in acknowledging Jesus as Lord and as a result you receive salvation.
But, this man shared his testimony with neighbors, religious people, family and doubters. he had a personal encounter like no one else before and perhaps since. His congenital blindness was transformed into sight by the Lord. But, in spite of these true testimonies, this may was spiritually blind. He was lost, He had not been born again.
I attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The president, Dr. Robert Naylor, preached in chapel several times a year. On one occasion, he preached to a packed house of probably 1,500 students. His text was, "Ye must be born again." He noted some might think that was an unusual text for a seminary chapel, but Jesus had spoken it to a teacher named Nicodemus. Dr. Naylor gave an invitation and as I recall several were saved.
You see it's possible to have an inspiring testimony and not be a Christian. It can seem that your prayers have been answered and God has done the miraculous for you. But, the bottom line has to be : "are you saved?" Do you know for certain you're going to heaven? That must be the major point. It will be the theme of a testimony Jesus gives.
If you have never acknowledged Jesus as Lord please pray this prayer.
I know I am a sinner who cannot cleanse my own sin by works I do. I
believe Jesus' death on the cross is the only way my sin debt can be paid.
I confess Jesus as Lord of my life and commit myself to Him,. I repent
of my sin and desire to live a Christian life through the power You give.
Right now I invite Jesus into my life. I yield completely to Him believing
He will do what His word says He will do and that is to give me salvation.
Thank you for your free gift. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.