Listen:  98 Question 5

I am an avid supporter of Gospel tracts.  Tract distribution is a good way to reach people for the Lord.  There are instances of people accepting Christ as their savior after receiving a Gospel tract.  The Sunday School class I am associated with has a challenge to give away at least one Gospel tract each day.  I like to leave tracts at restaurants.  I visit hospitals and rest homes quite frequently and I like to leave them where people can see them and read them.  I put Gospel tracts in letters I write, even if it is paying an electric bill.

With that said, we do need to be cautious about how we present Gospel tracts to people we meet.  I find it is best to offer a tract, telling people what it is about.  I have been rejected many times, but I do not force the issue if someone does not want to receive a tract from me.  If there has been a work in their hearts by the Spirit of God, they will want to read the tract.  Tract distribution is one way of sharing the Gospel, but it certainly is not the only way.  If there is time to talk to a person about his or her need of salvation, personal interaction is much better than simply giving a tract to someone.

Let’s look at the interaction of the Lord Jesus with a young man in Mark 10:17-22, “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.”  Notice that this man approached the Lord about gaining eternal life.  As the Lord spoke to him, the man realized that he did not value his soul enough to follow the Lord.  He was sad, but he walked away in rejection of salvation.

One thing that sticks out to me in this account is this, “Then Jesus beholding him loved him.”  The Lord had true love and concern for this man.  The Lord wanted this man to be saved.  Of course, the Lord wants all men to be saved as we read in 1 Timothy 2:3-4 which says, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”  We need to have a genuine love for souls so that we might truly do the work of an evangelist.  We need to have a burning desire that precious lost souls come to the Lord for the free gift of eternal life.  Let’s look at the Apostle Paul’s overwhelming desire for the salvation of the nation of Israel.  He wrote in Romans 9:1-3, “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.”  What a compelling desire for the salvation of his Jewish kinsmen.  We find Paul working diligently to convince his kinsman to come to the Lord in Acts 17:17, “Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.”  It seems he became pretty aggressive at times in dealing with people about their need of salvation.

I have witnessed people being too zealous in passing out tracts.  I have also witnessed people being too zealous and forceful when talking to others about their need of salvation.  How do we know if we are going beyond the leading of the Spirit when dealing with others?  That can be difficult to discern.  If we become overly sensitive about offending others, we may not reach out to people at all.  If we are insensitive, we may possibly do more harm than good by being too forceful.  We need to be in constant prayer, asking the Lord to guide us, to give us the proper words to say, to give us a pure heart for the lost, and to give us the discernment to know how to deal with those we have an opportunity to witness to.  When we wait upon the Lord to give us the proper words to say, we have this precious promise in Psalms 81:10, “…open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.”  (98.5)