Pastor Steve Sanchez. There's nobody quite like him.
Though some might give a thumbs up on that one, I say there are not enough like him in our midst, especially within the body of Christ.
Within the body, not only is he a faithful, hard working heralder of the gospel on the streets in somewhere Southern California, but he is also an encourager and motivator of Christians in the realm of effective street evangelism.
If you have not seen it already, he has a blog called Stone the Preacher. I "stumbled" across it back in August 2007 when it was called "E-vangie Tales".
So encouraged by his creative, bold and fearless ways of open-air preaching, I got up on a riser in a crowded outdoor downtown pedestrian mall and preached the gospel for the first time in the public square here in Ottawa, only one month later.
Been up there and out on the streets ever since.
From time to time I would send Steve some of my stories and photos from my gospel outreach adventures. He would publish some on his blog and he was always quick to encourage and critique me, both of which I appreciated.
Then came a time when he said: "Paul, I think it's time you got your own blog." So I did and here we are. And I followed his example of using it to do what he does: to encourage Christians who share their faith and to motivate those who do not. The 'Canadian' version, if you will. :)
Steve Sanchez - no stranger to humor, zaniness, craziness blended in with a love for God, the gospel and deep burdern for the lost. Thank you, Lord, for the likes of this servant and his ministry.
The posted video below is a demonstration of one of the latest innovative ways in which he has come up with to deliver the gospel to thousands in one shot.
In my last post, we read where Tim proclaims on his tombstone that "free will is a myth".
With that statement, there is no questioning what side of the Calvinist/Armenian coin he was on.
What is "free will" anyway? The term is not found in Scripture yet remains a hotly debated issue between the two camps.
As rebellious sinners, do people have the ability to choose God by their own 'free will' OR does God choose us by His sovereign will? Left to ourselves outside of God's mercy and grace, can we "decide" to follow Jesus? What does the Bible say?
Here is a good explantation of what free will and Calvinism is by Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason:
Today I give thanks to the Lord for Tim, a dear brother in Christ.
Though Tim had no reason to love me outside of grace, he loved me enough to introduce me to the truth of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. The true gospel as spelled out in God's Holy Word, the Bible.
Through my aquaintance with him, the Lord used Tim, a dying man of my age, to set me on the narrow path that leads to the small gate. Through his influence and persistent attempts to help me clearly see my need for salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, God brought me to my knees in repentance and faith, graciously granting me forgiveness of my sins and, therefore, eternal life.
Starting with Tim, in collaboration with his closest friend, Jean-Marc, witnessing to me; in the hearing of the gospel being faithfully preached from the pulpit of their church they challenged me to attend and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I was saved.
Tim entered into Heaven ten years ago today, six months after I received Christ as my Lord and Savior. It truly seems like yesterday.
So much has taken place since God set me on my journey of sanctification. Not all good or easy, mind you - and much of that turmoil being of my own making. I know all too well the hand of God's loving discipline. Hence, I am deeply grateful that He has since restored me. Great is His mercy and grace!
If there is one thing God has given me that he had given to Tim following his own conversion is a burning desire to share the gospel of Jesus with others. Tim's example to me still lives with on in my heart to this day. It's part of the reason I do what I do in the field of evangelism.
And in a very unique sort of way, Tim is still beckoning people to come to Christ for their salvation - from the grave! Well, his gravestone I mean.
Knowing his time on earth was not for long, he had his tombstone prepared and installed before he died. He composed his final gospel plea to sinners and had it engraved on his tombstone for all passersby to read after he had gone.
Tim is in Heaven, but his compassion for the lost and desire to point others to the saving gospel of Jesus Christ is a living legacy.
The inscription on Tim's tombstone reads as follows:
"Nothing in my hands I bring Simply to thy cross I cling."
Here lies the body of Timothy Charles Lawrence...
A wretched and guilty sinner marvelously saved from the coming wrath of a Holy God, being chosen by God Himself to receive this great mercy.
Is he paying for none of his sin?
How so? God has applied the death of Christ to him!
Face it sinner: free will is a myth. You will never come for forgiveness of your sin unless your maker and judge makes you willing and brings you by his grace.
It is my great privilege to now be with Christ, which is better by far.
Where will you be? To you who think you have something that you don't, consider carefully Matthew 7:20-23 and Luke 6 :42-49.
Leave your self-righteous and sinful ways. Cry out to God for mercy. He alone can save you and will!"
For Christians, everyday should be a day to share the gospel of Jesus somehow, somewhere.
But no time is more signficant than at Easter. Minus the bunny and chocolate eggs thing, the sacrificial death and glorious resurrection of Jesus the Messiah is on the minds of many people, even if subsconciously, believers and non-believers alike. The wonderful gospel is completely enveloped within the whole observance.
For the most part, the only place a person is going to hear the gospel during this time is in a church. And there are countless 'nominal Christians' (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) everywhere who only go to church at times like Easter.
Unfortunately for them, however, and unbeknownst to them, there are only a small handful of churches in most places where the gospel is preached "in spirit and in truth". In other words, the real gospel.
With our confidence in the Holy Spirit, Kim and I set out to the streets of the Byward Market in Ottawa on Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday to bring the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the multitudes out enjoying the warm Easter weather, who might otherwise not have heard or received the most important thing they will ever need to know.
Today's video is just a visualdepiction of what we did on Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. It is appropriately set to two musical excerpts from Handel's Messiah - written for Easter, not Christmas.
Its purpose is to be of encouragement to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who may be wondering what the frontlines of street ministry looks like. That, especially in the task of handing out gospel tracts or reading from the Bible aloud in public, it is not as much a frightening experience as it may seem.
Please, prayerfully consider your part in the building of the Kingdom of God. Even if it's a small thing. "Do something." Your time here on earth is the only opportunity you will have to do so. There will be no need of evangelism in Heaven.
Jesus died! We have been set free! We were the guilty ones. But we have been set free. He died in our place. And we have been set free. Is that justice for us? No, that is GRACE!
Today, if you are a Christian, where are you going to go to tell those who are unaware that they can benefit from this same grace you have received and be set free?
What will you do today to glorify the name of Jesus Christ that others may hear and know what He did on the cross in the place of sinners that they may be set free?
Uninspired? Then please view these two short video presentations and pray that God would move you to take advantage of the meaning behind the "good" of Good Friday and go out and proclaim the Good News to others.
See your unworthiness in Barabbas. See your righteousness in Christ.
Thousands took to the streets of Ottawa this morning to watch and enjoy as the International Readers of The Word Street Journal Society proudly marched to the TWSJ Marching Band's rendition of "Onward Christian Soldiers" in celebration of the blog's first anniversary today.
An everyday Christian's effort dedicated to encourage fellow believers who regularly share their faith with others and to hopefully motivate those who do not.
There is nothing more important for people to know than where they are going to spend eternity, for certain. There is no other truth that must be offered to others than the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.
But the same good news for us is bad news for others if we but keep it to ourselves. And that would be wrong.
Christians are called by Jesus Himself to get busy telling others about Him and what He has done to secure eternal salvation for those who hear and believe.
"Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." (Mark 16:15)
My name is Paul Latour. My gospel giving partner on the street happens to also be my wife and best friend, Kim.
It is our prayer that our gospel giving efforts seen here and other content viewed on this blog, would be of encouragement to fellow Christians everywhere whose hearts' desire is to herald the Good News of eternal salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to a lost and dying world by various means of street evangelism.
If we can be of help to you in any way, then this blog will have served its purpose for your benefit and for the glory of God.