Last Saturday, January 28, 2012, marked the first opportunity in this new calendar year that a small team of us from our new church, Emmanuel Baptist Church, hit the street with the gospel.
By God's grace and will, we fully intend to be a visible church with the gospel being heard, given and seen on street corners, civic events and special occasions throughout the city of Ottawa, throughout the year and beyond.
As per usual, our church's methods of glorifying God in the active role of fulfilling the Great Commission will consist of holding the "Are You Ready" cross...
Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation" (Mark 16:15) was directed to, yes, His apostles at the time, but also to all who have been called by God, in this day, to be saved by His grace through faith in Christ for their eternal benefit and joy. We were not called to keep the saving gospel to ourselves.
Sending missionaries to far off lands to bring the gospel to unreached peoples of the world is of utmost importance, a duty that must be actively and joyfully supported. But not at the cost of ignoring the same need to the same kind of people here in our own backyard.
In this city of just under one million people, there are a only a small handful of believers actively bringing the gospel to the public square outside their churches on a regular basis. VERY SMALL!
Emmanuel Baptist Church, from the pastor on down, is praying that the Lord would grant us all that we need in order to effectively reach as many lost souls as we can; that those whom Christ died for would wake up to the reality of their eternal destiny by God's amazing grace through the hearing and receiving of His glorious, scandalous gospel and that the name of Christ would be exalted in the process for His and His glory alone.
We would also like to be a good example and of encouragement to other God-honouring, Bible believing churches in our area, of which there is a shortage of these, as well. We would welcome and be willing to serve alongside any who profess Christ and would like to join us in our street evangelism ventures over the course of the year.
We cannot begin to describe what joy there is in serving the Lord in this most unpopular but very necessary means of spreading the gospel. It is such a privilege, as well. It's the very least we can do to demonstrate our appreciation to our Lord Jesus in sacrificing His life for us wretched sinners that we may be completely be forgiven, brought into a right relationship with God and saved from His eternal and just wrath.
How can we who have come to saving faith in Christ NOT tell others how they can be forgiven of their sins by the grace of God and receive the free gift of eternal life through Christ for themselves? Not sharing with others the good news of God's loving provision, through Christ, of escape from eternal hell is akin to discovering a cure for cancer and neglecting to give it to those who would need it in order to live.
The world has cancer. It's unknowingly called "sin". Sin kills. There is a cure. At the very least, out of compassion for this dying world, the cure must be offered to the world by those who are in possession of it.
May God be glorified in the public giving and preaching of His word, the gospel of Jesus Christ, to the lost on the streets of this city. The local gospel labourers under the banner of biblical Christianity are looking forward to a banner year.
Emmanuel: God with us.
"I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes" - Romans 1:16