BibleGateway Verse of the Day (KJV)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What I Require in a Gospel Tract in Order to Buy and Distribute It

1. It must be attractive, good design, visually pleasing

"Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;" (Phillipians 1:27)

2. It must give a clear exposition of the gospel, including a discussion of SIN.

All who would be Christians need to hear the bad news before we can be grateful for the good news.

"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." (Romans 3:19)

"The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them."(Matthew 11:5)

"And [Jesus was] saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." (Mark 1:15)

3. It must quote directly from the Bible. No paraphrase "bibles" (The Message, New Living Translation).

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).

"What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it." (Deuteronomy 12:32)

4. It must be God-honoring, portraying God as His word does: as sovereign, good, holy, mighty, faithful, merciful, just and as Creator, Savior, Lord and Judge of all men.

In the modern "church," there is an almost blasphemous portrayal of God as a buddy, someone we are equal terms with. He is portrayed as being made in our image. This is evil, and I would never buy or give out a "gospel tract" that portrayed God that way.

We must be reverent, worshipful, humble and grateful before God, and we must never lie about Who He Is! It is only because of the gracious condescension, mercy and love of God that He allows us to have a relationship with Him in Christ.

God does not fit our (sinful) idea of love and friendship, rather He teaches us what true love and friendship is. He is the Judge of us; we are not the judges of Him!

"I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy.

Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him." (Proverbs 30:3-5)

"Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.

Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further." (Job 40:1-5)

"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

These things I command you, that ye love one another." (John 15:12-17)

5. It must not say "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life," tell the reader to insert their name into John 3:16, or some similar gimmick.

How do you know? How do you know that if they hear the true gospel, they will believe? It's presumptuous at best and a falsehood at worst.

"For many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14).

6. It must not tell the person how special they are, and that's why God loves them and offers them salvation, or a similar false "self-esteem gospel."

While it's true that every person is made in the image of God and is therefore valuable beyond measure, it's also true that each person is also a depraved, despicable sinner (since the fall, except for Jesus Christ), who is in desperate need of the way the truth and the life, Jesus Christ.

"They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Psalm 14:3)

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinithians 5:21)

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

7. It must not emphasize the person "choosing" or "deciding" to believe in Jesus or "commit his life" to Jesus. Or "choosing" to go to heaven instead of hell.

Faith is neither an intellectual decision nor existential (of an act of the will in the flesh to “create” a reality).

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

8. It must not lead the reader in a "sinner's prayer."

We have enough lost people who think they are Christians because they were: led in a prayer, prayed for, walked down an aisle, baptized, raised in a church, raised in a Christian family, raised in the "Bible Belt," sent to Vacation Bible School (VBS), and all the other ways people are not saved.

"Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory." (2 Timothy 2:10)

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

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