an extraordinary man,
called to an extraordinary office, and
being sent to perform an extraordinary work
--he chose an extraordinary subject.
He knew history,
he was acquainted with philosophy, and
he was well versed in tradition.
There were few subjects that he could not handle,
few themes that he could not discuss, few congregations that he could not interest.
But he made the conversion of sinners the object of his life--and he chose Christ crucified to be the subject of his ministry!
No matter where he went--he took his subject with him. No matter whom he addressed--he directed their attention to this point.
He knew what man required--and what man preferred; but it made no matter to him. As he wrote to the Corinthians, so he always acted, "Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified--a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God!" 1 Corinthians 1:22-24
Paul's subject then, was Christ Crucified!
Paul CHOSE this subject--and he had good reasons.
(James Smith, "Rills from the Rock of Ages", 1860)
This from Joel Taylor over at 5ptsalt.com blog. He makes a great case for the need of Christians to view themselves as missionaries, ambassadors for Christ, right where they are as they go about their daily lives.
The gospel: not to be heard just in a church building and not soley appointed to a pastor to give.
Here is part of what he had to say:
"Every believer has been called to missions, to make disciples, to teach others about Christ Jesus. Every one of us! I can’t count the number of times when I’ve heard members of a church say “I’m not the pastor” or “I’m no missionary.” Well beloved, that’s not really the issue is it? It doesn’t really matter if you’re an engineer or Krispy Kreme’s top doughnut maker, we are all called to missions!
The main verb in the passage is to “make disciples”, not “Go”. Teach others about Christ, and help those in Christ to grow by explaining the Word to them.
And while I’m on my little soapbox, the word translated ‘go’ in no way implies a foreign land! The word means ‘having gone’ or better yet ‘as you are going’. It is a present participle my friends.
‘Going’ is not to be understood as headed off to a foreign land, but literally, as you are going about your daily business, your daily life, that world of influence where you meet people on a daily basis.
Jesus was telling His disciples to start in Jerusalem, and as you are going about daily life, as you meet with folks, in your sphere of influence, tell them!
No one says you have to go door-to-door talking to complete strangers after work. But if you enjoy that, and feel called, by all means, have at it! My point is that you are standing and moving in the fields ‘ripe for harvest’ every day.
However, and this is important. If you think that only the pastor and evangelists in the world are responsible for sharing the gospel, you are mistaken! Your pastor’s calling is not to do yours!"
For obvious reasons, weekends are usually the best time of the week to bring the gospel out into the streets. Most people are off work but many still spend time downtown for other reasons.
Last weekend was no exception as Kim, myself and James spent portions of our weekend spreading the gospel message in various ways at a pedestrian mall, the Byward Market bar district and at the annual Canada Army Run half marathon event.
God's word, and the words of Keith Green's song featured in this video, calls us to be out there awake and not "Asleep in the Light".
The Canada Army Run is an annual half marathon event that draws thousands of runners and supporters to Ottawa to help raise money for two important military based charities. Sunday past was the day of the run.
Kim and I had already planned to be there to stand, each with our own cross that bears the question "Are You Ready" on the crossbeam as we usually do on the street and at public events.
But a few days before this important event, we thought about the possibility of bringing a simple and clear gospel message to the multitude of runners as they ran by us along the marathon route. It wasn't like runners were going to stop to ask us "Are you ready for what?" and have a conversation with us like people normally do when we are out doing our regular evangelism on the streets.
We thought about it, talked about it, came up with an idea, got out our pre-cut wooden planks, paint, varnish, brushes and got busy making two new crosses to compliment the "Are You Ready" cross.
Here are the results:
With our two new crosses, along with one "Are You Ready" cross, we headed downtown for 7:30AM (yawn). We strategically placed ourselves on a part of the route a few blocks away from the start on a street that was not very wide in order to maximize the number of people being able to read and hopefully be somewhat moved to consider for themselves the gospel message on the crosses.
The original "Are You Ready" cross was a part of our presentation but had to be tied to a post in front of where we were situated as we could not find anyone who was available to join us Sunday morning to stand with it.
As it turned out, over 14,000 people participated in the Canada Army Run in Ottawa. From our vantage point, it was easy to see that most people got at least a glimpse of the short gospel message found on the cross on the post, the cross in Kim's arms and the cross in my arms.
Some folks ran by us smiling and responded with an encouraging: "Amen!", "Hallelujah!", "Way to go!", "Thank you!", supported by thumbs up salutes.
But not everybody was smiling. From some of those we got: "Put those things down!", "Get off of there!", and "Thanks for ruining my day!". Along with those, a few "F" bombs were dropped supported by a one finger salute.
As the word of God confirms: "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."(1 Cor 1:18)
We believe the Lord blessed our efforts and that the new crosses were effective in getting the gospel out in a way that was visual, short to the point and even related to the nature of the event, namely, running. We are already trying to creatively think of how we can tailor fit a gospel message to compliment whatever special event we may witness at in the future.
Thematic crosses will not do away with the "Are You Ready" cross at all, but rather compliment it when we have more than one or two persons available to hold crosses at special events like this with us.
It was a beautiful Sunday morning. After all the runners ran by, we prayed a prayer of thanks, packed up our stuff and joyfully headed to church in time for a wonderful morning of worship, praise, edifying gospel preaching and fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
What a joy it is to serve the Lord this way! It is the very least we can do in gratitude for what He did for us on the real cross where our sins were nailed along with Him for our redemption.
May we never grow weary of letting others know who they can run to so that their sins may be forgiven and their faith placed in Jesus. That they, too, can escape the flames of eternal hell and, by God's love and mercy, be granted eternal life in Heaven with all those who finished the race by grace.
Though I may not agree with the implication near the end of this video that, being dead in trespasses and sin, man has the capacity or ability to make a "decision" to choose God's offer of salvation through Christ - regeneration is a total supernatural work within the sovereignty and power of God - some of the reasons why biblical Christians should be reclaiming and proclaiming the saving gospel of Jesus Christ out in the public square , while we still can, is made evident here.
"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last." (John 15:16)
If you saw the Part 2 video of our experience holding the "Are You Ready" crosses at this year's gay pride parade, you will have seen James and I getting swarmed and mocked by members of the Humanist Association of Ottawa.
Now you can see what they did from their point of view by checking out their BLOG. See more photos and read of their reasons for being a presence there and their preparatory work before the parade.
On our part, much prayer went into our presence there in weeks building up to this event. And Ephesians 6 was of great encouragement.
Inspite of the rejection, mockery and opposition, God willing, we will be back again next year to present the gospel and stand to be a witness for Christ. May God be glorified, always.
Below, see an example of what happens when Ray Comfort tries to reason with an unbeliever using the Intelligence Test at Huntington Beach in California. Ray is friendly, direct, gracious and humorous when dealing with this young man, eventually causing him to doubt what he believes, er, doesn’t believe.
Hat tip, smile, handshake, high five and thanks for the well written intro Steve! :)
This video is the first of two installments detailing our experience in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ at this year's Ottawa gay pride parade.
Part 1 is an uncut version of what took place when I open aired on a downtown sidewalk as people waited for the parade to begin.
As you will see, it did not take long before those who demand tolerance for themselves displayed their intolerance toward someone being tolerant of them. Go figure.
The few harsher vulgarities that were spewed at me during the preaching segment in Part 1 have been muted out.
I have some things to say about the preaching segment and other things, but will reserve comment for an upcoming post following Part 2.
Part 2, which is still on the editing board, will show viewable portions of the parade and what happened to James and I as we silently stood along the parade route holding our "Are You Ready" crosses, being a witness for Christ. I hope to have that up in the next couple of days or so.
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.