The Company of Testimony
Do you ever get discouraged? I certainly do! Interestingly, the sources of our discouragement can be a myriad of things. We all need encouragement from time to time.
It seems to me our evangelistic efforts, or lack thereof, can bring about discouragement. I think of the prophet Jeremiah, whom God called to go to a stubborn, obstinate people, and preach for 23 years, with the result being utter rejection. “From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, this is the twenty-third year in which the word of the Lord has come to me; and I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, but you have not listened” (Jeremiah 25:3).
Earlier in Jeremiah 20:17, the prophet was so discouraged he despaired even of life, “Even though Jeremiah was preaching God’s words, he was beaten and placed in stocks. He said, ‘I wish I had never been born.’”
In this submission I want to encourage you, because as His witnesses, we all need encouragement from time to time. If you ever feel alone, isolated and discouraged as you strive to witness to the lost, I want to give you some perspective.
Specifically, we should understand our testimony to the lost is only a part of a large company of testimony. In John 5, the Lord Jesus testified among those who were trying to kill Him:
“Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. Then Jesus answered and said to them…” (John 5:18-19).
Following His response in verses 19-30, Jesus noted some of the company of testimony.
The Testimony of John the Baptist (John 5:31-33): “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.”
The Testimony of His Works (John 5:36): “But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.” Jesus’ witness in deed culminated with His death and resurrection.
The Lord continued in rebuking the Jewish leaders’ unbelief despite this company of testimony:
The Testimony of the Father (John 5:37-38): “And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.”
The Testimony of the Scriptures (John 5:39-40, 45-47): “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
Additionally, we note three other powerful witnesses:
The Testimony of Creation (Psalm 19:1, Romans 1:20): “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…”
The Testimony of the Holy Spirit (John 15:26): “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”
The Testimony of God’s People (Acts 1:8): “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
For two millennia, the company of testimony has been giving witness, Jesus continues to build His church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it!
Ponder the company of testimony. Thank God we are part of that company. Praise God for His company of testimony.
As I pen these words and as you read these words, we should have great confidence in and be greatly encouraged by the continual witness of the great company of testimony, who are declaring the gospel message found in the person and work of Jesus.
We are not alone. We are part of a grand team, the Church! And no matter where you find yourself today as it pertains to your witness for Jesus, remember we are part of the winning team. You see, I’ve read the Book. I know how the story ends. We win!
For He has won the victory! Praise God!
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place” (2 Corinthians 2:14).