1160 West Georgia Street Vancouver, BC, V6E 3H7
GO! Illuminating the World with God’s Love
In a world marred by darkness and uncertainty, the church is not merely a sanctuary; it is a beacon of hope and has a calling to go into the world and actively bring the transformative message of God’s love.
This word “GO!” will be our word for the year as Coastal Church enters into its 30th year of ministry. The resounding call to “GO!” reverberates louder than ever as in these last days we must fulfill the Great Commission and preach the Gospel with boldness.
The big idea is clear: the purpose of the church is to carry the message of God’s love to the ends of the earth. This purpose is rooted in the powerful words of Jesus found in Matthew 5:13-16, where He declares His followers to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
Let’s start with the analogy of salt. Salt, in its essence, adds flavor, preserves, and makes you thirsty. In much the same way, the church is called to bring flavor to the world – not an overpowering taste, but a nuanced and genuine witness of God’s love. However, just as salt can lose its flavor, the church must keep its flavor by being culturally relevant. The apostle Paul exemplified this approach, finding common ground to share the message of Christ (1 Corinthians. 9:22). In a world where 62% perceive the church as irrelevant, it is imperative that believers actively seek common ground and engage with the world, lifting their eyes to the ripe harvest (John 4:35). If we take this approach, just as salt causes someone to thirst for water, our witness will cause those around us to thirst for the living water.
Moreover, salt serves as a preservative, keeping the moral standards intact and preventing the decay of sin. The church is entrusted with the responsibility of preserving a moral standard and actively countering an evil agenda in the world today.
Now, let’s consider the concept of light. The Scriptures affirm that believers are the light of the world, and this light is not a distant radiance from heaven but a tangible presence shining through believers. A candle, without its light, is incomplete; similarly, a Christian devoid of the light of Christ is incomplete. The call to “GO!” is a call to submit, allowing Christ to illuminate and fulfill every aspect of our lives.
Just as a city on a hill cannot be hidden, believers are urged to go public with their light. In a world characterized by darkness, the light of Christ is best seen when believers actively engage with those around them, not hiding their faith but shining brightly for all to see. The urgency of this call is evident – the future is that time when regrets arise for not doing what one could have done.
Furthermore, the urgency is intensified by the truth that only Christ can truly light our candles. As believers embrace the urgency of the call to “GO!” they must recognize that it is only through a personal relationship with Christ that their light can shine brightly.
The call to “GO!” is not a passive suggestion; it is a mandate for the church to actively be salt and light in the world. By flavoring the world with God’s love, preserving moral standards, and shining the light of Christ in the darkest corners, believers fulfill the purpose of the church – to bring the message of God’s love to a world in desperate need of hope and redemption.