How will we be seen by non believers when we give a testimony? Will we be labeled “crazy” as Paul was called by Festus, the governor?
In Acts 26, Paul speaks at a pretrial query in front of King Agrippa II and other dignitaries on the charges that he disobeyed Roman and Jewish laws. Paul was innocent but, because of politics, the Roman governors Felix and Festus did not let him go free.
Paul explains his Jewish credentials as a Pharisee and how he persecuted Christians. He goes on to explain how he was met by Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul’s new mission as instructed by the Lord was to go to the Gentiles and “Open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light” (26:18). In Acts 26:20, Paul explains that all must repent of their sins and turn to God, and prove they have changed by the good things they do.
Like most of the Jews of Paul’s day, Agrippa did not accept Jesus as the Messiah and His resurrection. He could accept the words of the prophets who spoke of a coming Messiah, but accepting Jesus required major life changes.
When talking to non believers about our Savior, do we worry how we will appear to them and are we concerned how being a believer will affect our status? My mind definitely goes there. Do we typically only share our faith with known believers? Does fear silence us?
Paul’s example of speaking out for God’s purposes can illustrate how faith changes people. Here was Paul chained, having been held in jail for two years, standing in front of pompous skeptics that mocked him and all he needed to be freed was say what they wanted to hear. Yet he spoke the truth about his beliefs.
Should we risk our reputations by sharing our faith with others? “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel , by the power of God.” (2 Timothy 7-8)