Developing an Effective Testimony
R. Richard Pustelniak
(Congregational Leader, Beit Avanim Chaiot)
August 18, 2017

What is a Personal Testimony?
The Characteristics of an Effective Testimony
The Personal Testimony Package

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Warning: The truths contained in this teaching are not for the faint of heart, or the lukewarm! You can be sure that haSatan (the adversary) will do all he can to keep you from understanding and applying the concepts and truths contained herein, but it is our prayer that every one who receives these notes will carefully consider and apply the contents to their lives.

The Personal Testimony Package

The following illustrates what a concise, effective, and conclusive testimony looks like from outside:

package image

A. The Before

This section should contain information about your life, before your new birth experience. The following lists some suggestions, regarding what should be included. Your testimony may contain several, but does not need to include all of these. What your "Before" section should contain is information that will show significant change in comparison to your "After" section. The tie-in with your "After" section is not required for all entries in your "Before" section, but some tie-in helps with the effectiveness of your testimony.

  • What did you believe, about yourself, G_d, and your relationship with him?
  • What hindered your coming to G_d sooner?
  • Looking back, what indications can you see that G_d was calling you to Him?
  • Was there some event, or series of events, that triggered your interest in G_d?
  • Looking back, can you see indications of G_d steering you toward Himself, or preserving you until you could make your decision for Him?
  • What was it that moved you to let go and yield your life to G_d?
  • Other information, or stories, that would be relevant and persuasive.

(Note: Do not do as others have done, and try to impress others with how bad you were "Before." This could be counter-productive, and adds little to the mix. You do not need to be an axe-murderer to need Messiah's gift.)

B. The Gospel

This is the beating heart of your personal testimony. For those that may hear your testimony as persuasive, this section should provide them with the essential information and understanding they would require to make an informed decision, regarding their own potential new birth. For those that may be trying to determine if you are a fellow believer, this section should provide enough information to be conclusive for the hearer.

The following lists the essential elements for your "Gospel" section. Your presentation must include each of these elements in some form, or it will be defective (missing something essential), and it will be inconclusive.

  1. G_d is absolutely holy, which includes perfection. Anyone, or anything, that is not perfect and holy cannot abide the proximate presence of G_d's holiness.
  2. If an individual has ever made a decision, or performed an action, that was not perfect, that individual's perfection is lost. As a result, that person cannot abide G_d's presence, unless holiness is restored.
  3. G_d knew this before He began his work of creation. It is an unavoidable consequence of granting entities free will without omniscience. In fact, He created this temporary realm in order to provide that very restoration of holiness. To do this, He extended Himself into the realm that He had created, as Messiah Y'Shua, clothed in human form, and lived the perfect life that would be required of us. He then yielded up that perfect life, as an agent for any who desired to receive the gift of restored holiness.
  4. To obtain the gift of restored holiness and eternal life in the next realm, one only needs to ask for it, and yield his life to G_d, to do with as He sees fit.
  5. When an individual dies, physically, he continues to exist, and retains his identity, individuality, awareness of situation and circumstance, and can still be identified by others.
  6. At some point in the future, there shall be a judgement, where the decisions and actions of the individual, when alive, will be compared to revealed standards of righteousness and holiness. If the restored holiness, provided via Messiah's offering, was received during life, the individual is granted permanent membership in a new, eternal realm, in the presence of G_d. If that restored holiness was rejected in life, the individual will continue to exist eternally, but will be eternally denied access to the new realm and the presence of G_d.

While each of the above elements must be included, they should not be stated exactly as stated above. Rather, they need to be incorporated into your life story, and personalized. You do not want your testimony to come across as formulaic, even though it is, somewhat.

  1. You could state that you learned such and such, and it had this effect on me, or I responded in this or that way.
  2. You could indicate that such and such was a surprise to you, or such and such was contrary to some belief that you had.
  3. You could state that you thought you had responded to G_d, but had never truly done so.
  4. Any other of a myriad of ways to incorporate, personalize and present the Gospel message.
  5. You should definitely include a short story about the moment when you actually yielded your life to the Holy One...the time of your new birth. If you do not remember this time, you may be betting your eternity on hearsay. Do you really want to do that? Why not stop, right now, and knowingly, of your own volition, make sure you have been born again, by yielding your life to G_d, on the merit of Messiah. If you are already in, you will do no harm. If you are not in, but thought you were, or want to be, or just want to be sure you have, you have potentially gained everything. Then, incorporate this into your personal testimony.
C. The After

This section should contain information about your life, after your new birth experience. The following lists some suggestions, regarding what should be included. Your testimony may contain several, but does not need to include all of these. There should be some kind of tie-in with at least some of the information contained in your "Before" section. This is to provide a compare/contrast perspective, to show that G_d actually did make essential changes in you.

  1. Did you feel any different? How so?
  2. How did your thinking change?
  3. How did your interests change?
  4. How did your relationships with others change?
  5. How did others respond to your changes? Did they detect any differences?
  6. What has G_d shown you about yourself, Himself, your past, your future, etc.?
  7. How did your perspectives on things change?
  8. Other information, or stories, that would be relevant and persuasive.

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