Compassionate Witnessing: Meeting People Where They Are

Jerry Ferrso

Do you remember what it was like to be lost? Do you remember the emptiness in your soul that you tried to fill with everything except salvation? It is easy to forget these things, but I want you to take a moment to remember them. Remember losing a loved one when you had no hope of Heaven. Remember the weight of sin on your conscience. As you remember these things, think about lost people who are going through these experiences right now.


Lost is a frightening word. Have you ever been lost? Have you ever lost a child? Even if your child only strayed for ten minutes, you know that it is nerve-wracking! Your mind races and you have these terrible thoughts that you’ll never see your child again. Now imagine being lost for all of eternity. This is the cry of desperation from Isaiah 59:9, “Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.” This is a reality for those who do not know Christ as their personal Saviour. This is the reason Christ came to this earth. “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).


There are multitudes of people trying to work their way into Heaven. No matter what they do, no matter how hard they do it, and no matter how long they do it, they will never reach Heaven. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9). Without Christ, their works will only condemn them. “…and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12). Salvation is a gift through Jesus Christ, not an effort of our labor.


There are no guarantees in life. We do not have the assurance that we will be here tomorrow. James 4:14 says, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” Lost people have trouble finding meaning in their lives which leads to a growing despondency. Many will live a fast-paced, sometimes reckless lifestyle to mask questions about their own life and death.

The lost go through the same kinds of pains and trials that a saved person endures—but without Christ. Imagine any of the worst circumstances you have faced in the last twelve months. Now imagine those same circumstances without the Holy Spirit to give comfort. First Thessalonians 4:13 tells us, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.”

Each of these emotions fill the hearts of those who don’t know Christ as their Saviour. Take a few moments today to walk in their shoes. Feel their pain, imagine their fears, and allow the Holy Spirit to soften your heart and deepen your compassion for the lost. Then, go out and share the Good News of Jesus with someone today.