Acts 1 8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Imagine there is a car wreck, and you were there when it happened. You saw the whole thing. You’re under legal obligation to remain at the scene and give your account to one of the investigating officers. You are officially a WITNESS; and if the case goes to trial, you may be called upon to testify to what you witnessed. If you are called to the stand and elect not to come, a warrant for your arrest could be issued by the judge. When you do testify, you will be sworn in. The clerk will gave you put your hand on a Bible and ask, “Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”
You can only witness to what you experienced. It doesn’t matter that you may not want to give your testimony; you are a WITNESS and you need to give your testimony as such.
Jesus says, “You will be my witnesses.”
In the Greek, “will be” is an indicative – that is, a word used to indicate what a person or thing is and what they/it does.
So, when Jesus says “You will be my witnesses,” that indicates your place in his kingdom. Just like a witness to an accident or a crime, it doesn’t matter whether or not you want to be a witness; you are a witness. As a Christian, it really doesn’t whether or not you’re to be a witness of Jesus Christ, because you are. The only question is what kind of witness are you going to be?
To be a “good” witness means that your life – words and deeds – will testify to Jesus. A “bad” witness will not. When your words and deeds proceed from a sense of truth and love, you’re being a “good” witness; when they proceed from a selfish agenda or with evil intent, you’re being a “bad” witness to Christ. Cutting off cars in traffic and flipping off the other drives while sporting a “Jesus is my Co-pilot” bumper sticker is not a good witness to Jesus.
Even the world translated as witness demands a strong conviction and requires a commitment to Jesus. The Greek word is marturein, from which we get the English word “martyr.” A “martyr” is someone who is willing to die for the cause. Think of it this way: Would you witness to Jesus as your Lord and Savior in court if you were on trial for being a Christian, and facing a death penalty is convicted? That’s what a “martyr” is about. Christ’s calling on your life is not lightly made and should not be lightly received. After all, hundreds of believers in Jesus are murdered globally each year simply because they’re Christians!
What kind of witness are you and want kind of witness do we want to make to the community surrounding the Resurrection campus? That is to be determined by you – and the Holy Spirit’s living and working in you.
The call is no longer “You will be my witnesses”; that was then. Today, Jesus is saying, “You are my witnesses,” good, bad, or indifferent.