Go and Tell

Loving People Enough to Tell them the Truth!

Acts 20:18-21


March 16, 2014 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.    Introduction


A.    Jesus defines the goal of the Christian life (Matthew 22:35-40):


1.      To truly, passionately love God

2.      And to  truly, passionately love our neighbours


B.     Love is more than a word – it is an action, a risk you take, a way of life


1.      Sometimes it is kindness and compassion, like the Good Samaritan showed

2.      Sometimes it is paying someone else’s debt, just for no other reason than to show love

3.      Sometimes it is giving a gift

4.      Sometimes it is allowing someone ahead of you in a line

5.      Often it is a commitment to another person, beyond their worth

6.      And sometimes, it is telling someone the truth, even though they may not want to hear it


C.     How do you tell this world about who Jesus is – who He REALLY is?

D.    How do you tell them He is the only God, and the only Saviour of mankind?

E.     How do you convince them that the Bible is true and vital for life?

F.      How do you let them know that God is THERE, and that He cares, and that He is LORD of every situation, and working things out the right way?

G.    This entire coming week, I want us to love our neighbours through the giving, not of money, or of random acts of kindness, but by giving them our testimonies!

H.    The goal of advertising is to get people to make certain choices. And any advertiser knows the benefit of having real people come on TV or on the radio and give real life “testimonials” about how such and such a product revolutionized their laundry, and how so-and-so’s insurance company saved their home, etc.

I.       Well, I’m telling you, nobody can beat the testimony of a sinner’s salvation!

J.       You see, this world is turning to US for a testimony – a reason for hope (Lk 21:9-13). Do you offer any? It comes only to those who follow Jesus. This world desperately needs to see living proofs of God’s grace! They desperately need to know if Jesus is really there!


II.    Background (Acts 20:18-21)


A.     Paul had an open life as a Christian – everyone could easily see he was different (18)

B.     He actively served the Lord, at a high cost to him personally (19)

C.     But he didn’t just do it quietly… he testified (20,21)


1.      Which means, he taught people publickly, and in every house he could get into

2.      He taught pagan Greeks, and hyper religious Jews…

3.      Repentance towards God

4.      And faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ


D.     That was his life!

E.      That was his testimony

F.      That is Christ’s will (Acts 1:8) for every believer (Ephesians 6:19)!


III. Message


A.     What is a Christians Testimony?


1.      Not an opinion, or an idea that you just have

2.      But, it is “A solemn declaration or affirmation made for the purpose of establishing or proving some fact.”

3.      In other words, It is what you KNOW happened to you, spoken for the benefit of others who do not know it yet for sure.

4.      Usually testimonies are used by Laundry commercials, new Car commercials, deodorant commercials, denture commercials, weight-loss commercials – because they help sell things

5.      But Christ asks us, His followers, to tell our world, to help PROVE to our world, that He lives, and that He can save and fix absolutely anybody!


B.     Examples of Testimonies


1.      The Woman at the Well (John 4:5-19, 25,26, 28-30, 39) – what was her testimony?


a.       5 failed marriages

b.      Living with a man that was not her husband

c.       In a false religion in Samaria – not Jewish

d.      Did not know God

e.       Then one day, Jesus found her

f.       He told her about herself, and answered all her questions

g.       And offered her a drink of “living water” - eternal life – forgiveness from all her sins!

h.      And she took it

i.        And she has never been the same!

j.        And THAT simple testimony, when told to the people who knew her, her neighbours even, it drew THEM to knowing and following the very same Saviour!


2.      The Demon Possessed Man of Gadara (Mark 5:1-20) – What was HIS testimony?


a.       A man FILLED with filthy, unclean demonic powers

b.      Used to live in tombs amongst the dead

c.       Angry and yet totally depressed

d.      Crying day and night

e.       Hated himself - Cutting himself – constantly attempting suicide

f.       Absolutely NO one could help him

g.       Then Jesus found him!

h.      And Jesus conquered every last demon in his life – thousands of layers of problems

i.        And from that day he was a different man


1)      Fully clothed

2)      Sitting at the feet of Jesus, no longer in rebellion, no longer angry and depressed

3)      But in his RIGHT MIND

4)      Listening, and learning, and growing in his own understanding of who Jesus is


j.        And from that day on, he went everywhere, TESTIFYING


1)      At home, and to friends and neighbours

2)      Just how great are the things that the Lord had done for him

3)      And most of all, how the LORD had compassion on him

4)      And offers the SAME compassion on anyone who would come to Him!


k.      Now THAT simple testimony of ONE MAN affected an entire COUNTY for God!


3.      Young David (Psalm 40:1-4) – What was young king David’s testimony?


a.       Of a ruined life – when we are honest about our lives, we will admit that we ALL start off ruined, when we finally turn to God!

b.      Of a horrible pit – stuck in it – couldn’t get it no matter how hard he tried


1)      Quit trying to dress up your life!

2)      A testimony starts with an open admission of where you WERE

3)      Horrible pit of sin

4)      Of porn

5)      Of drugs

6)      Of anger, and depression

7)      Of greed and envy

8)      Of hatred, and wrath


c.       Being brought OUT OF that horrible pit!

d.      Set upon a ROCK

e.       Changed his direction – his goings – his life purpose

f.       A new song was put in his mouth – praise to GOD, not to a new drug, or to a new relationship, but to the ONE who did the transformation

g.       And then look at the effect of that one simple testimony (40:3)


1)      MANY shall SEE the changed life

2)      And MANY shall decide to trust in the Lord God too!


h.      David wrote down this testimony, to explain the changes that had happened in his life

i.        You should do the same!


4.      When the great apostle Paul preached, he talked more about his own testimony than anything else! Every time you find him in front of people, he would say, “Let me tell you what God has done for me… how Christ saved ME, a religious lost man, and made ME a child of God!”


C.     Every Christian Has a Testimony of Some Sort (2Cor 5:17)


1.      There are only three different kinds of Christian testimonies: Grace, Grace and more GRACE


a.       Ephesians 2:8,9   Saved by grace through faith

b.      1Cor 15:10          By the grace of God, I am what I am


2.      Listen to John Newton’s testimony in the hymn, Amazing Grace…


a.       I once was lost, but now I am found

b.      I was blind but now I see

c.       God saved a wretch like me!


3.      Okay, maybe your testimony hasn’t been such a straight road


a.       Maybe you have fought long and hard against God before you ever humbled yourself and got born again

b.      Maybe you ran from God for years and years, and wasted most if not all your health and life on sin

c.       Maybe you resisted God’s calling, His will

d.      Maybe you frustrated the work of the Holy Spirit as he sought to finish all the changes needed in your life

e.       So…?

f.       Are you born again now? Saved by the grace and the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ?

g.       Then tell the world that YOU prove that God can save the worst, the vilest, the filthiest, the lowest! YOU are living proof!


4.      And then again, maybe you haven’t gone into such dark sins… PRAISE GOD!


a.       Tell the world, that there is NONE righteous, no not one

b.      That even though you and others have not done some wicked sinful acts, does not mean that you didn’t need to be forgiven of other sins – secret sins

c.       And PROVE to them, that God seeks to save all, because ALL are lost (2Cor 5:14,15)


5.      Just tell them what Jesus has done for you!


D.     The World is Looking to US for a Testimony (Lk 21:9-13).


1.      They might not admit it, but they are tired of the lifestyles of the Madonna’s the Michael Jacksons, the Justin Beibers, Brittany Spears, the Roy Keans, the Neil Prendervills, and a thousand other filthy lives that are paraded across their view almost every day on TV and Radio and Magazines

2.      You see, this world is turning to US for a testimony – a reason for hope

3.      Do you offer any?

4.      It comes only from those who actually follow Jesus.

5.      This world desperately needs to see living proofs of God’s grace! They desperately need to know if Jesus is really there!


E.     How to “Testify”


1.      No two testimonies are the same

a.       There is no competition for who has the more amazing testimony

b.      THEY ALL ARE AMAZING – they ALL are absolute miracles

2.      Just tell people what God has done in your life

3.      Ignore all the physical blessings at first

4.      Talk about being forgiven (Eph 4:32)

5.      Talk about the peace that passest understanding Philp 4:7

6.      Talk about getting a sound mind back

7.      Tel people that God Almighty broke your heart, and softened it, and made it new again

8.      Describe what it is like now to get up and live for God, instead of for drugs, and for friends, and for drink, and for depression, and for money, and for fear!

9.      And then tell them HOW it all happened! How somebody came along and found you – and gave you a Gospel leaflet, and loved you enough to tell you the truth


a.       That sin was winning and would send you to hell

b.      That RELIGION and RELIGIOUS works do not change us

c.       That Mary and the Saints did not die for any of us

d.      But that Jesus, died, and was buried and rose again, as full payment for all our sinful records

e.       And that all any of us need to do, is turn to HIM ALONE and believe HE is the Saviour, and ask Him to save a wretch like me!


F.      What’s at Stake (Rom 10:13-15) – How shall they hear without a preacher?


1.      If they don’t hear, they will die in their sins

2.      They will remain in their blindness, ignorance, demonic deception, false hope, loss of another generation – if we do nothing

3.      But if we do get the courage, if you DO start to care…

4.      People WILL have a chance

5.      People will motivated to come and meet a man that knows them and yet still loves them enough to die for them

6.      People will start to search the Scriptures again for the TRUTH about heaven and hell, and the soul, and about God’s forgiveness

7.      And people will repent and then believe the good news of the Gospel – I DID! And most of YOU have!


IV.  Conclusion


A.     This week, what we all need to do – to develop a HABIT of loving our neighbours…

B.     Is to open our mouths, and tell the people who we see, and who know us, what God has done for us, saving us,

C.     And I pray we don’t ever stop – testifying!

D.     So take some Love Your Neighbour tracts, and use them to go to YOUR neighbours, YOUR co-workers, YOUR lost family members, and humble yourself enough to LOVE them enough to tell them the truth… that Jesus can save them, like He saved you!!!

E.      But What If You DON’T have a Christian Testimony? What if your testimony is just one of…


1.       “I have always been a Christian”

2.      “I’m not that bad a person”

3.      “I don’t know what it means to be born again”

4.      I DON’T have assurance of forgiveness from God”


F.      Then today, is the day you can GET your own testimony!