Sunday, February 27, 2011

BAPTISM BY FLYER

I wish I were a new Christian.

If I were a new Christian, I would eventually request to be baptized. And if I were to be baptized, I would like to be baptized by total immersion. It's the biblical way.

What you are about to see in this short clip is how I would have liked to have been baptized if I were to be baptized today. Yes, a little unorthodox perhaps, but total immersion nonetheless and that's what's important.

No sprinkling here:



Who's next?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

THE KIND OF CHURCH YOU WANT (NEED) TO BE IN

No glitz, no glamour, no grand hall, no hip preacher, no 'best-life-now' sermons, no spotlights, no rock band for worship, no jumbo-tron video screens, no bookstore, no coffee shop, no sensurround sound. Come to think of it, there is an old microphone that works but the ancient little sound board is on the fritz. 

That's our church.

But what we do have sadly lacks in most bigger and better equipped churches throughout North America. Among other things, a dedicated, God-fearing, caring, humble pastor who faithfully preaches the saving gospel of Jesus "in spirit and in truth". A small band of biblical Christians who know, love and serve the Lord and each other; who work together, pray together and enjoy meaningful (and fun) fellowship. A good portion of our clan who share a burden for the lost and who actively do something about it in a variety of different ways through active evangelism.

Sinners saved by grace, we are the farthest thing from perfect. But we love and serve a perfect Savior.

Kind of like this church featured here in San Antonio, Texas:  


Grace Community Church of San Antonio, Texas from I'll Be Honest on Vimeo.


That's what churches are supposed to be like.

Real people. Real life. Real Christianity.

Monday, February 21, 2011

HOW THE GOSPEL COMES TO US

"The power of the Gospel, its condemning/killing and justifying/vivifying potency, is NOT conveyed through your life, your symbols of success, your soup kitchens, your church band—no, not even through your cliché-emblazoned t-shirts! The Gospel is an announcement; it is news, the best news that can ever be declared from human lips. Therefore, it is PREACHED!" - Dr. Michael Horton





HT: His Feet On The Street

Thursday, February 17, 2011

SIGN HERE PLEASE

There is a fairly large United church in the west end part of Ottawa. Down the street from where they are situated, a fairly large mosque is being built in order to meet the demands of the growing population of Muslims in the capital city.


As a way to welcome their new neighbours and provide an opportunity to get to know one another better, this United church parish organized a series of three discussion evenings over a period of three weeks. That, in and of itself, is commendable.

I believe this is a very positive way to extend a hand of friendship to one another and will do much to help keep walls of misunderstanding from creeping up, possibly threatening their desire for peaceful co-existence. I fully support the goodwill and intent behind the discussion series.

The only concern I have is that the Muslim contingent involved in these discussions probably believe that they are dialoguing with biblical Christians when, indeed, they might not be. I said "might not", so please drop the charge of me "judging others" if you feel the inclination to start.

The truth of the matter is that it is no secret the United Church, not unlike the Roman Catholic Church, has compromised and continues to compromise the truth of God's holy word, the Bible, in more ways than one.  In essence, they preach what the Bible calls, "a different gospel". Galatians 1:8 comes to mind.

To preach a different gospel would be to preach no gospel at all. And if there is anything that Muslims need to receive in spirit and in truth, it's the gospel. The true one. The only one. The one found in the Bible.

With that in mind the Lord put in on my heart to somehow plant a seed or two, however small, in the minds of the attendees from both camps before one of their meetings by displaying something that would point them to the truth found in the gospel. I thought of standing at the entrance to the church parking lot holding the 'Are You Ready' cross as carloads of people turned in but then decided I needed something more direct.

The verse John 14:6 came to mind but I knew that would be too long a read for people in cars passing by. Staying with the John 14:6 idea, I decided to just make a poster with "John 14:6" painted on it in bold lettering and leave the rest to the Holy Spirit, trusting Him to lead the viewers to check the verse out on their own.

Last night's meeting was to start at 7:30pm. I had already painted the poster board earlier at noon. I got home from my evening shift at 6:30pm, quickly changed, packed and Kim drove me to the church for 7pm.

No sooner did I begin to stand at the entrance to the church parking lot with my sign that the attendees started to arrive in their cars. I was able to see that I got the attention of everyone who drove by. The cars would start to turn, slow down in front of me, the drivers and occupants would gaze at the sign and carry on.

Seeds planted. Mission accomplished. Or so I thought.

Just as I was about to get back into our nice warm car with Kim waiting for me, a car pulled up beside me and stopped. A middle eastern looking man with, who I assume was his wife, rolled down his window and called me over.

"I saw your sign and had to stop. What does 'John 14:6' say?", he asked. "What does it mean?"

"It's a quote from the Bible. They are the words of Jesus where he says 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.' ", I replied.

"OK, but why are you here?"

"There is a discussion meeting going on inside right now between members of the Muslim community and the people of this church so that they can have a better understanding of each other. I am here using this sign to proclaim the gospel because I doubt it will be brought up in this meeting when it should be the central theme coming from those who call themselves 'Christian'.  I'm not protesting if that's what you might be thinking. Just giving people food for thought from the truth of the Bible."

"I am a Muslim. Why is this so important to you?"

Enter the gospel, explained in full, in about a minute and a half. We then exchanged some differences between Christianity and Islam which led him to say,"My father, who was a very religious Muslim, once told me, 'If you believe in God and you do good in your life, you will be in heaven after you die."

"Yes", I said, "but with all due respect, you are believing the words of a man and not God's own word. That's the whole point behind John 14:6. The fact is that God says we cannot get to heaven based on our own good works and/or religion, but only by the shed blood of Jesus who paid the penalty for our sins on the cross. That's how God demonstrated His love for us. And we are commanded by God to repent and believe the gospel in order to be saved. These are His own words. Jesus is God!"

"Very interesting speaking with you, sir.", he said in a friendly tone as he put his car back in gear to leave. "Thank you. And I respect what you are doing."

Many attendees viewed the sign on their way in to the meeting and a Muslim hears the gospel. All this, in a span of a half an hour,  armed with no more than a simple sign that points to God's word. The Lord works in amazing ways through the most simplest of means.

I can't help but wonder what the buzz was inside the church after everyone arrived.

"Foolish!", you say? Yes, you are absolutely right. "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." - 1 Corinthians 1:27

I've never used a sign like this before in my gospel giving ventures. Lord willing, I plan to go back to do the same thing with the same sign for the final meeting next Tuesday evening. Please pray.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

THE GOSPEL AT WINTERLUDE

Ottawa's "Winterlude" event always draws the crowds. And where crowds are, so should the gospel be.




Opening Day, Saturday (Feb 5, 2011) a team of us from church took one hour out of our lives and went to one of the entrance of one of the main Winterlude venues with armed with the AYR cross, gospel tracts and a heart willing to share the Good News to a lost and dying world. Pastor Bob Doble led the team carrying the AYR cross (his first time doing so) that was viewed by many and caused some to stop to talk with him. 

Though we were only there for one hour, the Lord blessed our efforts. The tract distribution was non-stop, the gospel conversations with people were many and one lady, who after speaking with us mentioned she was seeking a church, was led to attend our next day's morning service and evening Bible study with a promise to return. Just one example of how our sovereign Lord is pleased to bless the obedience of His saints.



If you are attending a church with no street evangelism ministry and it is on your heart to start one, I hope you are encouraged by this 5 minute video as you watch and see how easy it can be, especially at large public gatherings where the opportunities to put the gospel in the hands and hearts of people is a cinch. It is a wonderful opportunity to serve the Lord in the building of His kingdom and a great opportunity for fellowship with fellow believers.

Please feel free to contact us here at The Word Street Journal if you are local and are in need of guidance in learning the best way to hit the streets for Christ, either on your own or with your church, and we would be pleased to be of assistance.

We cannot emphasize enough the joy that is in serving the Lord in this manner, for His glory.

Monday, February 7, 2011

DO NOT FEAR EVANGELISM - TONY MIANO

Has God put a burden on your heart for the lost? Has He placed conviction upon your conscience to do something about it? Are you thinking evangelism? Are you wondering what it can be like on the front lines of 'street evangelism'? Are you seeking some form of encouragement?


Then you have come to the right place.




My brother in Christ, friend and mentor from Southern California, street evangelist Tony Miano (a former deputy sheriff of the Los Angeles Police Dept.), takes to the pulpit as a guest preacher at his church, yesterday, and delivers a powerful message on the greatest act any Christian could ever do to show their love toward fellow human beings...share the gospel!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

CROSS PROVIDENTIAL TIMING

It never ceases to amaze me how God blesses all things in accordance to His perfect will. I love how He is able to co-ordinate the schedules of two strangers and blend them into one for His purposes and, of course, with perfect timing. 

I went downtown with my AYR cross last Saturday evening and this video captures one of those moments. I hope this is of encouragement to you.