Grace and peace to the heirs of promise.
We continue with the reasons many Christians lack a testimony.
WHY MANY CHRISTIANS DON’T HAVE A TESTIMONY
This is the primary reason. The Bible says,
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18).
If we are living in sin, then God will not hear our prayers. And if God will not hear our prayers, then God will not answer our prayers. If God will not answer our prayers, then we cannot receive help from Him and cannot therefore testify that God is “an ever-present Help in time of trouble.”
A good example of this is King Saul. When King Saul sinned and rebelled against God, God withdrew from him and would no longer answer his prayers. When we sin unrepentantly, God will also withdraw from us.
-With regard to our testimony of persecution, again, God allows us to pass through trials and tribulations because our life is a picture of Jesus’ life. As Jesus suffered persecution, so we must also suffer persecution. However, in that Paul said that because of persecution, we will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, then it stands to reason that if we are not suffering persecution, it is because we are not counted worthy of the kingdom of God. It means we are not walking worthy of the cross of Christ.
If we are not counted worthy to suffer on the Lord’s behalf, then we will not have a testimony of overcoming trials for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
2. GENERATIONAL CURSE
Many Christians don’t have a testimony because they are in bondage to sin through a generational curse. A generational curse is a curse that God places on a person’s descendants when that person is guilty of committing a sin that is so offensive to God, that He considers it an abomination. An abomination is something that God really hates. The Bible teaches that all unrighteousness is sin (1 John 5:17). However, there are hierarchies of sin. At the low end are sins that God just winks at. At the high end is the unpardonable sin. And, in the middle, are abominations, sins that God absolutely hates. Only the unpardonable sin will not be forgiven. All other sins will be forgiven. HOWEVER…Abominations, in that God specifically hates these sins, must be confessed outright by name, in order to receive forgiveness for them.
It is important to understand that God hates abominable sins so much that before Jesus paid the blood at Calvary, God destroyed those who were guilty of those sins. God wiped the Canaanites off the face of the earth because of the sins that they were guilty of (Deuteronomy 18), which sins included witchcraft, child sacrifice, and pornography. God obliterated Sodom and Gomorrah and also all the cities of the plain (except Zoar) because they practiced the sin of homosexuality.
Under the Old Testament law, people who were accused of committing abominations were stoned. But since Jesus paid the blood, we are now living in a period of mercy. God no longer automatically destroys those guilty of committing abominations. But, because God said that He would “by no means clear the guilty,” those who are cursed with the sins of their forefathers will be punished in this life.
1 Timothy 5:24 says this:
“Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment, and some men they follow after.”
This means that, though God will no longer destroy those who are guilty of abominations, they have already been judged and been found guilty. Therefore they will be punished in this life, rather than only at the Judgment. Generational sins fall into this category. This is the reason why those who are under a generational curse have such terrible problems. These sins are particular grievous to God. Therefore, unlike other sins, which are forgiven when one accepts the Lord Jesus as his Savior, generational sin–abominable sins–must be confessed outright. Some sins that fall into this category are idolatry (which is the number one sin), homosexuality, witchcraft, and pornography.
Because abominations are sins that are particularly loathsome to God, and, therefore, must be confessed outright by name, a person can be saved and still be under a generational curse. It is important to understand that salvation and deliverance are not the same thing. Salvation is deliverance from original and personal sin (Romans 5:12, Romans 3:25), while deliverance means being set free from a generational curse (1 John 1:9). Many believe that when they got saved, all their sins were forgiven, and thus, a generational curse should have no affect on them. They fail to realize that, because of the seriousness of generational sin, it must be confessed outright in order for a person to be delivered.
A Christian living under a generational curse will eventually have his testimony destroyed by Satan, if he does not confess the sin that brought about the curse to the Lord Jesus and have it forgiven. A person will know what sins he needs to confess, because the Word of God teaches that those under a generational curse will be cursed with the sins of their forefathers.
Because many Christians are living in sin, they aren’t experiencing the victory over sin and temptation that they should. This has caused them to be unthankful, because the more the Lord Jesus delivers you from something, the more grateful you will be. Conversely, if Jesus hasn’t done anything in your life (because you haven’t asked Him to), you will not be very grateful to Him. Lack of gratitude is the manifestation of 2 Timothy 3:2, wherein the Apostle Paul says that men in the last days would be “unthankful.”
4. UNEQUALLY YOKED
The Bible says,
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 14:6).
In today’s feel-good climate of “oneness” and world harmony, Christians have been swept up in a “cumbaya” moment. The Roman Catholic Charismatic Movement has thoroughly infiltrated the Protestant church and essentially reduced it to little more than one of the many orders of the Roman Catholic church. Protestant churches are becoming more Catholic with each passing day, as many pastors wear the collar of a Roman Catholic priest and many churches celebrate Roman Catholic holidays such as Lent.
God hates idolatry, and the Roman Catholic church is an idolatrous institution. Christians, therefore, who align themselves with Rome, become the enemies of God (James 4:4). And an enemy of God has no testimony.
There are also many Christians who are members of secret societies such as the Freemasons. Freemasonry and Christianity are irreconcilable, as the God of Freemasonry is, in fact, the great Rebel, Nimrod, and the the patron saint of Freemasonry is a demon called Baphomet—a pagan deity. A person, who has taken any of the many blood oaths Freemasons are required to take, has yoked himself to Baphomet, and has brought not only aa world of spiritual darkness upon himself and his family, but also a generational curse upon his descendants.
Though we live in the world, we are not of the world, and cannot, therefore, do as the world does. We can’t talk as the world talks, we can’t dress as the world dresses, and we can’t behave as the world behaves. God has called us to sanctification. We must, therefore, separate ourselves from the world. Unfortunately, most pastors no longer preach sanctification, and many in the Christian community see separation from the world as divisive and exclusive.
If we ally ourselves with the world with all it’s fleshy lusts and desires, the Holy Spirit will depart from us. When we lose the Holy Spirit we lose not only the ability to discern good and evil, but we also lose the ability to reason. With the loss of reason we become easily prone to the deceptiveness of sin. One who is living in sin is living in defeat, and one who is living in defeat has no testimony. This truth is not restricted to lay Christians, as many, if not most, pastors are also living in the world. Consequently, whole churches have been compromised and have become unfruitful and altogether useless to God.
6. IGNORANCE OF THE WORD OF GOD AND OF GOD’S PROMISES
Many Christians don’t have a testimony because they don’t know the Word of God. God has made many promises to the body of Christ and, because God is faithful, he will always delivers on His promises:
“All the promises of God in Him (Jesus) are yea, and in Him, Amen, to the glory of God by us” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
The Christian who doesn’t know the Bible, however, will not know God’s promises, and will be consequently unaware when God delivers on those promises. He will therefore, be unable to testify that God is “faithful and true” (Revelation 3:14). A major purpose of the Christian’s testimony is to confirm this truth.
WHY YOU NEED A TESTIMONY
The Bible declares that the testimony of two or three witnesses will establish the truth. Jesus Christ testified that He is The Truth (John 14:6). Chapter 17 of the Gospel of John says that the Holy Ghost testifies to the truth. The Christian is called to be that third witness to the truth: that Jesus Christ:
“Was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Timothy 3:16).
As Christians, we are useless without a testimony. As Jesus used parables to communicate the Gospel to simple people in a language they could understand, so our testimony communicates the Good News of the Gospel to people in a language they can understand.
Many are hurting in these days of apostasy. People need real, tangible examples that God is Sovereign and can reach out and touch people’s lives in a real and tangible way. The body of Christ desperately needs the strength, encouragement, and hope that a good testimony gives.
HOW YOU CAN GET A TESTIMONY (or get it back)
Everyone who has been washed by the blood of Jesus has at least a conversion testimony. In that the Bible says that everyone who is born again in Christ Jesus is a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17), a person without a testimony of change in his life probably isn’t saved. Someone in this situation needs to first hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and, if he chooses, to make a decision for Christ.
The saved person, who is not living the victory, has had his testimony compromised. And a compromised testimony is useless. To reclaim his victory, he must get his testimony back. To do this, he must:
If you are a true believer, and have no testimony, it is highly likely that you have backslidden. And if you have backslidden, then you have given up ground to the devil. This ground must be reclaimed for you to live a victorious Christian life, and the first step to reclaim lost ground is to repent of your sins and confess those sins to the Lord Jesus.
The Bible says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken and contrite heart” (Psalm 51:17). Healing begins when we are truly sorry for our sin. We must realize that we have sinned against a Holy God who ransomed His very life to redeem us. Our lack of faithfulness must hurt us as much as it hurts God.
The Bible says, “Godly sorrow worketh repentance” (2 Corinthians 7:10), and repentance is necessary to restore our relationship with the Lord Jesus.
“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and seek my face, then I will hear them, and heal their land.”
Jesus will forgive any sin, but we must confess it. There are many who believe that when Jesus died on the cross, all our sins were immediately forgiven. If this were true, however, then the Bible would be a lie: for the Bible says:
“If we confess our sins, [Jesus] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
The act of confession is important, because it not only forces us to acknowledge who we are—sinners, but it also forces us to acknowledge who Jesus Christ is—our Savior.
At this point it is important to stress that confession to Jesus is what is meant here, not confession to a sinful man.
After we have confessed our sins and obtained forgiveness, we must, as Jesus says in Revelation 2:5, “do the first works.” This means we must go back to square one and become again as babes in Christ. We must renew our covenant with God. We must get back into the Word of God, fast, pray, and seek to do that which is right in God’s sight. We must hate sin and avoid it at any and all costs.
We must then sanctify ourselves. Sanctification is the act of separating oneself from the world and setting oneself apart unto the Lord. This entails avoiding people and activities that glorify sin and do not glorify the Lord Jesus. And we must be careful to avoid fellowship with those who hate our God.
Important to the process of sanctification is the act of separating ourselves from those who wantonly sin.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR TESTIMONY
There is a song by the rap group, Wu Tang Klan, entitled “Protect Ya Neck.” When I was in the world, I thought that was a cool title for a song. Though the spiritual significance of that title escaped me at that time, I realized that it was very practical advice in an increasingly violent world.
A few years after I was saved, I again reflected on that title and realized that “protect your neck” is not only sound worldly advice, but very sound spiritual advice. As Christians, we must protect our necks—we must protect our testimony.
The Bible says,
“Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
The heart is extremely important. It is the most important organ in the human body. Without it, we would die. During medieval times, knights wore a suit of armor to protect themselves from injury in battle. They would also often wear a shirt made of interwoven chain links called a coat of male. The purpose of both the suit of armor and the coat of male was to protect the knight’s vital organs from injury by sword or knife penetration. Today, police officers and soldiers alike wear a protective vest made out of Kevlar for the same purpose. The knight’s armor, the coat of male, and the protective vest all serve to protect the wearer’s vital organs, the most important of which is the heart.
The Bible says that though we walk like ordinary men, we don’t go to war like ordinary men (2 Corinthians 10:3). Our warfare is spiritual, not carnal. The heart we need to protect, then, is not our physical heart, but our spiritual heart. The Bible says that the issues of life spring from the heart. The Christian’s spiritual heart is his moral center and the place from whence his discernment springs. When we decide either to do or not to do a thing, it is from this moral center—the heart—that we decide.
Because the heart is so important to the life of the Christian, Satan will attack it every chance he gets. We must therefore make sure that at all times we have on our spiritual armor.
Satan attacks our heart through the senses, using the same lures he has used for millennia: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). In that Satan comes at us through the senses, then we have to purpose within ourselves to harden these spiritual ports of entry. Since Satan most often tempts us to sin through the eyes, then we have to be especially vigilant to control what we see. Ironically, King David provides the best advice on how to avoid being tempted through the eyes:
“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me” (Psalm 101:3).
The best way to avoid being tempted to sin through the eyes is to avoid seeing the thing that would cause us to sin in the first place. This is especially true with sex. The so-called “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion,” a document falsely attributed to the Jews, calls for every child in the world to have seen every conceivable sex act by the time he is thirteen years old. The Hollywood Motion Picture and Television industry is without a doubt Satan’s preferred method of accomplishing this. Most of the movies and television shows that come out of Hollywood depict sex in some form: even if it’s merely innuendo.
About a year ago, for example, I was watching an episode of a television situation comedy featuring two single and financially disadvantaged women who work as waitresses. At one point in the episode, one of the costars simulates a sex act using an action figure and a stuffed animal. The whole thing lasted about 30-45 seconds, during which time the simulated sex became increasingly graphic, and at least two sexual positions were depicted. The fact that this happened on a “prime time” television show, at a time when children often watch television with their parents, demonstrates the depravity of Hollywood.
Sexual suggestion can even be seen on some children’s cartoons and television shows, especially those made by Disney. On some Disney programs, some of the children wear shockingly revealing clothing. One of the first places I saw little girls wearing dresses that stop well above the middle of the thigh was a Disney program centered on two best friends who share a passion for dance. Another Disney show, featuring a middle school for exceptional students, presented the same motif.
While one purpose of this imagery would appear to be to influence girls to dress in this fashion, it may also serve to entice adult men into pedophilia. This is not a stretch, as Disney has been on the front lines of the pedophilic agenda for decades. In fact, Disney even admitted that they made the title character from the cartoon movie, Pocahontas, “sexier” to appeal to adult fathers who may be viewing the cartoon with their children!
Knowing, therefore, that Hollywood does have an agenda, it would be best to avoid television altogether. For many of us, however, this is neither possible nor desirable. So, we owe it to ourselves as obedient Christians to at least do our level best to avoid programming that is likely to have sex in some form. This includes most reality TV shows, as the characters in some of these shows are often depicted engaging in sexual activity, albeit sometimes blurred out. The female characters in many of these programs also wear very little or very revealing clothing. And most all of these programs feature the use of explicit and/or sexually suggestive speech.
In fact, most reality TV programs in some way glorify sin. So, the Christian who views this type of programming is condoning sin.
The way to protect oneself from all sins of the flesh is to avoid situations where it is possible that one could see something that he doesn’t need to see. Christians should avoid watching television programs that contain sexually suggestive imagery and language. They should also avoid television programs such as Grey’s Anatomy, which has depicted characters engaging in sexual activity.
Pornography is arguably the most poignant example of the lust of the eyes. According to the Bible, pornography is seeing the nakedness of anyone except your spouse and your own young children. Pornography is the first sin the Bible mentions after The Flood, when Ham saw his father Noah naked in bed (Genesis 10:22). The lure of pornography is potent and practically irresistible. In fact, pornography is so powerful, that the person enthralled by it completely loses the ability to reason. And when a person loses the ability to reason, he also loses his ability to resist temptation. King David is probably the Bible’s greatest example of this.
Pornography is an abomination in God’s sight, and the person guilty of pornography will incur a generational curse. Pornography has destroyed many a Christian’s testimony.
Christians who live in countries where commercials feature pornographic imagery have to be especially vigilant. In Germany, for example, 1-900-SEXX commercials are very popular and are shown regularly after 10:00 p.m. (2200 hrs.). Some of these commercials can be disturbingly graphic. Unsupervised, a child who is allowed to watch television during these hours could be lured into the pornographic lifestyle.
Christians must also avoid places were people dress indecently or indiscreetly. For me, the beach would be such a place. Women’s bikinis today are an absolute scandal. String bikinis, once almost exclusively worn by women of ill repute, have become socially acceptable. The Bible says that the heart is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). There is no way that a normal man can resist the lure of a near-naked woman—no matter how “holy” he believes himself to be. The man who considers himself immune to such temptation is setting himself up for failure. Many a pastor has seen his testimony destroyed because he underestimated the power of the flesh and the deceptiveness of sin.
Sin is, in fact, deceptive:
“But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13).
Don’t be deceived!
By now, you should understand how vitally important our testimony is. You should now understand that a Christian without a testimony is hobbled in this life. A Christian without a testimony is impotent—thoroughly sprayed and neutered. If you don’t have a testimony, you must get one—today.
If you do have a testimony, then you ought to feel compelled to give it. If Jesus has done anything for you, you ought to let somebody know it. That is one reason Jesus did whatever He did for you: He wants you to tell somebody. So why don’t you? There are many ways to give your testimony. You don’t necessarily have to give it in church. You could start a blog, as I have done. You can witness to someone at your job, witness to a neighbor, or even witness to a family member. In the process, you can give your testimony. However you do it, just do it. You’ll be glad you did. So will the Lord Jesus.
This teaching is available for free at the iTunes Store for playback on your favorite listening device. Subscribe to our podcast today. For your convenience, it is also provided below.
Podcast: Play in new window
Be encouraged and look up, for your redemption draweth nigh.
The Still Man