Understand why we must preach the gospel to every person.
- To be obedient and to prove our love for Christ (Jn. 14:15; Mt. 28:19-20; Mr. 16:15; Lu. 24:45-48; Ac. 1:8; 2 Co. 5:17-21; Php. 2:16; 2 Ti. 4:5). God has called every believer to do this work. Each Christian can reach different people.
- To prove our love for men (Mt. 9:36). Don’t you care about your fellow man who is on his or her way to eternal judgment?
- To give men a choice for heaven or hell (Ro. 10:14).
- To take away people’s excuses (2 Co. 2:14-16). When we give the gospel we are doing two things: One, we are offering that person a chance to be saved and two, we are making him accountable before God about the gospel.
- To get reward (Joh. 4:35-36). Our place in Christ’s kingdom will be determined by what we do in this present life (Re. 2:26-27).
- To get a harvest (“Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters,” Isa. 32:20). If the farmer only plants a small part of his field, he will not get a very large harvest. Each church must plant as widely as possible by every means possible.
- To put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:15). The disobedient Christian is spiritually weak and can be defeated by the devil. Note that there must be “preparation of the gospel.” God’s people must learn as much as possible about sharing the gospel. The better prepared we are, the more likely it is that we will have fruit. This is true for every endeavor in life.
Find some good tracts.
The first consideration in the use of gospel tracts is to be certain that the content is scriptural. There are three problems with many tracts.
1. Many do not contain a clear and biblical presentation of the gospel. Terms such as “ask Jesus into your heart” or “give your life to Christ” aren’t scriptural. Salvation is not to give one’s life to Christ; it is to trust the finished atonement of Christ which He accomplished on the cross. We are sinners who must be cleansed and justified before our lives can be acceptable to God. This is not “splitting hairs.” Paul warned that in order to be saved, the sinner must believe the right thing (Ro. 6:17; 1 Tim. 2:4). People have been saved through concepts such as asking Jesus into your heart and giving your life to Jesus, but they were saved in spite of those concepts and not because of them. Everything we do in the cause of Christ must be brought to the whetstone of God’s Word. (See “Giving My Life to Jesus and Asking Jesus into My Heart,” Way of Life web site, www.wayoflife.org.)
2. Many tracts do not deal with repentance. Salvation comes by “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). Whether or not the word “repentance” is used in a gospel tract, the idea should be. What is repentance? It is a change of mind that results in a change of life; it means to turn around and face in a different direction; it means to surrender to God’s authority. It is plainly illustrated in 1 Thessalonians 1:9.
3. Many gospel tracts do not give enough information or they take too much for granted. In this day and time, most people even in the United States are ignorant of the Bible. It is necessary that we explain biblical terms; otherwise, when people hear things such as “saved,” “believe,” “Jesus,” “God,” “sin,” they won’t have the correct idea of what we are talking about, and any “profession” they make will be empty.
Following are some suggested gospel tracts:
“The Bridge to Eternal Life.” This full-color pamphlet is also illustrated. Warning: These are now offered in versions other than KJV. Be sure to select the King James Version tracts. https://www.majestic-media.com/index1.htm
“I’m a Pretty Good Person” is one of the many tracts published by the Fellowship Tract League. It is a good tract to show people that their good works and religion won’t take them to heaven. Fellowship Tract League, http://www.fellowshiptractleague.org/
“The Most Important Thing You Must Consider.” This tract is strong on God’s holiness and His just punishment of sin and the necessity of repentance. http://www.sermonaudio.com/source_prodinfo.asp?PID=pa3300819142
“What Is Your Life?” This pamphlet is illustrated. Operation Somebody Cares, http://www.operationsomebodycares.com
“The Little Red Book” ministry has nine gospel tracts. http://www.littleredbook.org/LRB/Home.html
Liberty Baptist Church in Greenville, Michigan, has a wide range of gospel tracts. http://www.libertygospeltracts.com/
Mercy and Truth Ministries has some interesting small tracts. One is titled “You Can Get to Heaven from ---------” and an edition can be obtained for each state in the U.S. mercyandtruthministry.com
Moments with the Book has several tracts. One is the size of a business card and reads “The wages of sin is death” when held one way and “The gift of God is eternal life” when turned upside down. On the back is a brief gospel message. Moments with the Book, Bedford, PA, http://www.mwtb.org/site/gospel-tracts.html
Read the tract yourself so you will be familiar with it and can explain its contents and discuss it with people.
Remember that we are co-workers with God.
It is Jesus who died for sinners and wants to save them. He is giving light to them (Joh. 1:9), drawing them (Joh. 12:32), and convicting them (John 16:8). He is the one who saves souls. Our job is to give out the gospel, which is the seed of the harvest, and to watch for God’s work in people’s lives.
“Every time you go into a home, every time you talk to a man on the street car, or in the shops, or factories, you have the absolute assurance that there is another One also witnessing. And that is God Himself in the Person of the Holy Spirit! ... Everywhere Barnabas and Saul went the Holy Spirit was there waiting for them. ... The same Divine Spirit that called and separated Barnabas and Saul was by the river and opened the heart of Lydia while Paul witnessed to her. ‘The Lord opened ... that she attended’ (Ac. 16:14). There you have the whole thing in a nutshell. God’s side of the witnessing and man’s side. Therefore, every time you go forth on your personal visitation for Jesus Christ, to tell of His salvation, you have the absolute assurance that the Holy Spirit precedes you, goes with you, talks with you, walks with you, and opens the hearts of all you talk to. ... This was the greatest truth that ever came into my life next to my salvation. Do you want a holy boldness in your testimony? then go forth and testify of Christ. Suppose you don’t feel like it. Go anyway. The Word does not say that God gives the Holy Spirit to them that feel like it. But He gives the Holy Spirit to them that ‘obey Him’” (J. Frank Norris, The Inside Story of First Baptist Church).
Remember that by giving out the gospel you are offering the greatest gift in the world.
When we give out the gospel we are offering dead people life; we are offering poor people riches; we are offering sick people healing; we are offering lost people salvation.
Be faithful and persistent.
One of the most important things about tract distribution is faithfulness and persistence. Some may be discarded but others may find them. We have a man in our church who first got interested in Christ by reading a tract that was given to his friend. This has happened many times. God wants faithful workers (1 Co. 4:2).
Don't get discouraged if nothing seems to be happening. We must do this work by faith, not by sight. Keep your eyes on the Lord and trust Him to accomplish His will and to give fruit and just continue to give out the gospel. “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (2 Co. 9:6). “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9).
Always be pleasant and polite.
Remember that you are a complete stranger to the people you are approaching. Ask kindly, “May I give you something special to read?” or “I have some Good News for You” or “May I give you something that has been a blessing in my own life?” If they are busy, ask them to put the tract in their pocket and read it in their spare time. If they are rude and abusive, don’t reply in kind. Try to keep the door open for the future. “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not” (Ro. 12:14).
Keep in mind that the goal is not merely to give out tracts but to bring people to Jesus Christ.
Use the tracts to open the conversation; and when you find someone who is interested, take the time to talk further with him. Try to make contact with him again. Invite him to a Bible-believing church or a home Bible study.
Be sure there is a name and address stamped on each tract so that if someone is interested they have a contact for further help.
A gospel correspondence course is a good way to follow up on tract distribution. See “Evangelistic Correspondence Courses” at www.wayoflfife.org. This seems to be more effective in some places than others, but we have personally seen fruit by this means.
When you go out to share the gospel, pray much, both before and after.
Prayer in soul winning is like rain to a planted field.
Don’t get upset even if they say something against Jesus and the Bible, and don’t be afraid to be mocked.
“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also” (Joh. 15:20). “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels” (Lu. 9:26). “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake” (Php. 1:29).
Remember that our real enemy is not people, it is the devil.
The devil is the god of this world who is blinding the minds of unbelievers (2 Co. 4:4). We must, therefore, have on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:11-12). The word “satan” means adversary, and we must not be surprised when he stands against us as we do God’s work (1 Th. 2:18). We must be prepared to endure obstacles and persecution and spiritual oppression.
Give out tracts to those who look like they might be interested and to those who don’t.
We cannot look upon the hearts of men and we cannot know who God might be dealing with. Jesus said preach the gospel to every creature (Mr. 16:15). “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good” (Ec. 11:6). Ecclesiastes 11:1 says, “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.” This refers to the custom of casting seed on the marshy ground after a river such as the Nile had overflowed its banks, trusting that the seed will take root and bring forth a crop. “When the waters receded, the grain in the alluvial soil sprang up. ‘Waters’ express the seemingly hopeless character of the recipients of the charity; but it shall prove at last to have been not thrown away” (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown).
Don’t expect every person to be interested.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Mt. 7:13-14). See also Luke 8:11-15.
Carry tracts with you everywhere you go so you will be ready when the opportunity arises.
Make a commitment to give out so many tracts each week and set aside a time to do this.
Remember that you are both sowing and reaping (Joh. 4:35-38).
We reap seed that others have sown, and we must sow so that others may reap. Oftentimes people must be confronted with the gospel many times before they even wake up enough to be interested.
Remember that if we go, God will work.
This is the business that God is most interested in! To seek and to save the lost is the reason why Jesus came to earth (Luke 19:10). To see men come to repentance is the reason why He is tarrying His return (2 Pet. 3:9). We are His ambassadors in this blessed business. God calls through the gospel (2 Th. 2:14). One pastor said, “I have learned that if I go out faithfully, God brings people even if they are not the ones I meet personally.” God has promised that His Word will not return void (Isa. 55:11).
Pray much for your tract distribution, both before and after. Pray that God will open the eyes of the people so that they desire to know Him and that they will read and understand the tracts.
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