By: Mona Leiter | www.lakeroadchapel.org
“What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” -Mark 8:36
“Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father, but through Me.”” -John 14:6
These, and many other portions of truth from the Bible, are the message we are seeking to proclaim to the lost world around us. We communicate these life-giving truths to people by our words and by our actions. The words of men are weak and changeable, but the Word of God is powerful and lasts forever.
How can we best communicate the message of the Glorious Gospel to those around us, especially to those with whom we only come in contact briefly? The God-ordained method of proclaiming the truth of the Scriptures is preaching (1 Corinthians 1:21). Preaching would normally be in the form of a gathering of people, a Bible study, or in a conversation with someone. Tracts should help us to share words of life and truth with the lost people around us. Most of the lost world that we are seeking to reach will never enter a church building to hear the truth proclaimed through preaching from a pulpit. So, we must go to the people with the precious seed of the Gospel!
Gospel tracts, sometimes referred to as « Paper Missionaries » or « Silent Preachers », are very useful to start a conversation about God and eternity and plant a seed of the Gospel. There have been untold millions who have been reached by the message of the Gospel through this method. In my own life I discovered a gospel tract on the ground in the subway system in one of the major cities on the east coast. That gospel tract was one of many things God used to work in my life and to draw me to Himself.
A good gospel tract contains portions of Scripture and an exhortation to the reader to turn to God. The purpose of gospel tracts is not to entertain people but to stir their spirits and challenge their intellect. A tract should not give the wrong message concerning what true Christianity is all about. After all, no one can be tricked into becoming a true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. The « new birth » is not signing your name at the end of a gospel tract or a Bible. The goal of every good gospel tract is to show the readers their need of a Savior and to point them to Christ, because one day we will all stand before a Holy God.
If we are truly burdened for those around us, then we will look for ways to reach them for Christ. It is important to be ready to share the gospel any time we are in contact with people, one-on-one or in a group. Since we are planting the seed of the gospel, we may not see many visible results immediately, but we can be certain that God is at work even when we are not aware of it or cannot actually see what He is doing in lives. Gospel tracts are a very good tool to reach students on a university campus, people at a bus stop, walking in the streets, at the bakery, cinema, newsstand, a park, beach, etc. People may read the gospel tracts at the time they receive them or sometimes even much later.
It is good to be reminded that the « Paper Missionaries » or « Silent Preachers » can go on speaking to people long after we have no further contact with them. Even if they are thrown away, someone may later pick them up and read them. The Apostle Paul said, « I might by any means save some. » If Paul had access to the printed page as we do, we can be sure that he would carry his convictions to the full. We should all carry gospel tracts with us everywhere we go and open our eyes to hundreds of opportunities before us, to either give them to an individual or simply leave them behind (phone booth, elevator, bus seat, etc.).
We are called to go and share the good news of forgiveness of sins and eternal life with those around us. It is very easy to distribute Gospel tracts; they are very effective in starting a conversation that leads into the full gospel message. We should use tracts constant and frequently… just because God can use them in lives.
"When preaching and private talk are not available, you need to have a tract ready . . . Get good striking tracts, or none at all. But a touching gospel tract may be the seed of eternal life. Therefore, do not go out without your tracts."
- Charles Spurgeon