Rev. Joseph Wong
New Building, New Challenges
God placed in our hearts a desire to build His church as far back as four or five years ago although we, Logos Baptist Church (Mississauga), have had a history of only ten years. In all these years of our search for a church building site, God shut down all our attempts, one after the other. At first, we could not understand why. However, when God finally led us to this piece of land at Millcreek, we could not but praise from the bottom of our hearts: "God's will is higher than our will, God's way is higher than our way." Our praise was not just because God had helped us to purchase the land with only three hundred forty thousand dollars, and soon after closing, a consortium offered an extra one hundred thousand dollars to purchase this land from us. But rather that we have come to understand His guidance. We came to know that God has His own will. For, on the same street, there is the influence of paganism, which is constantly leading people astray. God led us to this place because He wanted us to join in the spiritual warfare. This war could be vigorous, but we firmly believe: when God is helping us, no one could fight against us.
To us, this building project is a test and a challenge from God. There are the following three aspects of the test:
- Test of an adoring heart
Just as what David said: "Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple" (I Chronicles 29:3). The urge in David's heart to build the Temple was self motivated and earnest. His motive was pure. He emphasized that the Temple was not for the men, but was built for Jahwah. In our case, when we decided to purchase this land, it was not difficult to feel and see the excitement and adoration of our members.
- Test of willingness to sacrifice
The most practical and tangible test in a Church building is the willingness to offer money. Those who truly adore the Church of God will not stop short at words and tongue, but will actually respond with action. Only then, we can demonstrate our adoration to the Church of God, and prove our love to God Himself. In the past, we had called for pledges for the building project twice. The total amount pledged by our brothers and sisters came to over five hundred thousand dollars. In them, there were many touching testimonies and experiences. Another matter worth mentioning is the dedication of the Church Building Committee members. They really worked very hard. Over the years, month after month, they met together to discuss the project for over forty times (this number has not even taken into account those frequent site meetings towards the later stage of construction work). Furthermore, many brothers and sisters have been supporting the project with their prayers.
- Test of a faithful heart
There were times of crisis in the course of the building process. Sometimes these crisis were quite scary. However, we innocently held firm to the belief that God had been guiding us from the very beginning. As we were clear who had led us to this place, we could therefore face these crisis courageously by faith. In the end, God led us through all these crises one by one.
Now that a new church building has been built and that we are entering into a new milestone (the 2nd decade) of our church history, we must ask: what does God want us to achieve here? What should we do here? Are we just to take pleasure in enjoying ourselves in this gorgeous building? As the watchman of the church, I have five intense wishes for our new church. I believe they are also the challenges given to us by God:
- The Temple to pray for all nations
It is the teaching of Jesus: "Is it not written: 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?'" (Mark 11:17) Generally, churches and believers overlook the importance of praying. As a result, many churches are weak or even powerless to fight against the currents of this world. May this temple remind us that we should make good use of the heavenly authority that God has given us - to pray for the world; to pray for all churches in order to suppress the work of the Devil.
- The temple to exalt the Truth
The bible warns us many times: Towards the end of the people "refuse to love the truth", "do not believe the truth, but are delighted in wickness", "will not put up with sound doctrine", "have itching ears; turn aside to myths", "turn away from the truth"...etc. May this temple stay away from these traps. Instead, May we adore the truth, proclaim the truth, protect the truth, and hold fast to the truth.
- The temple to build life
Jesus said: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."(John 10:10) The purpose for this temple to exist is definitely not to make people's life slumber, feel indifferent, setback, be injured or fallen apart, but to build up life, so that the life of every person who comes into contact with this temple will be nurtured, fostered, cultivated, and consolidated into abundance.
- The Temple to testify in unity
"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35). The early Church was able to attract many people to the Church because they ate together with glad and sincere hearts (Acts 2:46). Obviously, they had established an admirable and cozy environment for everyone to stay together in love and unity. We must do our best to remove all barriers that may hinder a harmonious and unified fellowship, barriers such as envy, pride, strife, and vain conceit, etc.
- The Temple to save souls
Jesus said: "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.: (Luke 19:10). Undoubtedly, this temple is for prayer, upholding truth, cultivating life, and holding together in love and unity, but all these ministries should be directed towards saving the soul of the lost. Otherwise this temple will lose the value of its existence. Saving lost souls is the Great Commission Jesus gave to His Church. May this temple bear the mission to save the souls of friends, relatives, neighbours, countrymen and the unreached so that through this temple, most people will be converted.
My Wish and Response
Lastly, I will use two quotations and prayer from my heart as the conclusion of the above, I wish that Logos Baptist Church (Mississauga)will move towards this direction:
"Hold fast His truth, Witness our Lord:
"O God, may the door of Your holy temple be wide enough to include all who need divine love and salvation, narrow enough to shut all envy, pride and stride. Amen.