Bible Society of South Africa

It is now our turn to witness - 23 June 2023

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

3I will send my two witnesses dressed in sackcloth, and they will proclaim God's message during those 1,260 days.”

Revelation 11:3GNBOpen in Bible reader

Yesterday, we looked at the vision of how God protects his church against the full onslaught of the world. We can visualise it as a spiritual space – the temple. The church is kept safe within this space. Every member of the church of Jesus Christ is protected within this safe space, so that they can carry on with the work of God.

There is also another side to this vision. To be safe within God’s space, does not mean that I can sit back, relax and wait for the second coming of Jesus. We are protected from the world, but not isolated from the world; to the contrary, the church and all her members have an ongoing task to proclaim the gospel of Christ to the whole world. In the Old Testament, the prophets wore sackcloth when they had a message from God about judgement and repentance. The task of the church, the two witnesses, is to tell people that they deserve punishment, but that God will withhold the punishment if they repent and accept Christ as their Saviour.

This task is fulfilled when the Word of God is proclaimed through the power of the Holy Spirit. We can say the church carries the Word by the power of the Spirit and by the power of the Word and Spirit, the church is kept safe at the same time. The Word of God, as symbolised by the fire that comes out of the mouths of the witnesses, is the instrument with which the church will overcome the forces of evil. We as the church of God are not a worthless society, as many people think we are; actually, we are a powerful instrument in the hand of God.

The message of Jesus has always been one of love and forgiveness, but never one of shirking the responsibility to admonish and reprimand when necessary. That is also part of the task of the church, always in a loving way. However, we should never, out of misdirected love, neglect to do and say what is right.

Prayer: Our heavenly Father, please help me in my task as witness in this world. Help me to see when it is necessary to reprimand and when it is necessary to comfort. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.20
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