20 September 2012

Pyro brain trust forum: evangelistic tracts

by Dan Phillips

Howdy hi there, friends and neighbors. The topic of our little confab today is: evangelistic tracts.

Many tracts are overly simplistic; and yet, on the other hand, it defeats the purpose of a tract to hand someone the Collected Works of John Owen.


Apart from being overly simplistic, most rub me the wrong way as a Bibley person, which is to say, a Calvinist. I know that good Calvinists folks disagree with me on this, but as I've explained a number of times, I don't find it apostolically precedented or necessary to tell unbelievers "Jesus died for your sins." The apostles evidently didn't feel they had to say it, and neither do I. To me, as I've explained, assuring an unrepentant unbeliever that Jesus died for his sins is tantamount to saying "You're saved and have nothing to worry about from God: He accepts and forgives you just as you are."

So, having said that: What tracts have you found useful?
  1. Please explain how and why.
  2. Evaluation from a Biblical (and therefore) Calvinistic perspective would be terrific.
  3. Anecdotes would be terrific.
  4. Links to where they can be bought would also be terrific.
Have at it!

Dan Phillips's signature


61 comments:

Mike Leake said...

Dan,

It's pretty difficult, in my opinion, to find really good tracts. But there are some people from our church that do enjoy leaving them places. And if it's a solid tract I'm not opposed to it. There are some that I think are catchy from Living Waters (the Ray Comfort/Kirk Cameron ministry) and I think they do a pretty good job of not watering down the gospel. Sometimes I feel they can be a little bait and switch though.

I like Piper's Quest for Joy. It may not be quite as catchy as some of the others but it's, as to be expected a very biblical explanation.

I've on occasion used the Two Ways to Live by Matthias Media. That's sometimes a thing that I will give to someone after verbally explaining the gospel just so that they have something to kind of remember.

I don't want to give the impression that I'm a really faithful evangelist. Quite often I'm a big chicken. But when I have been faithful these are some of the tools that I've used or things that I've encouraged other to do.

One more thing. Our church does what we call GRACE cards. Personally I think it's better than a witness tract. Rather than explain the idea in a lengthy comment just check this out:
http://www.mikeleake.net/2012/08/what-are-grace-cards.html

DJP said...

Thanks, Mike, great start.

And yeah, I'm asking these questions because I REEK at personal evangelism, and am working hard to learn to "do the work of an evangelist."

Peter W. said...

Mass produced tracts often grate on me because they remove any kind of personal element in personal evangelism.

They turn the whole exercise from one of let me personally share the gospel that God has personally revealed to me through his Word, and into "here is what so and so says the gospel is, even if I'm not quite sure why these are the only important points".

Having said that, what I have used in the past is a little credit card slip reminder for myself, which basically contained a couple of Bible verses to jog my memory and make sure I actually do talk about the more important things. The one I had was made by a friend on a small scale so I can't offer sources for it, but it basically contained the "Roman Road" verses.

I found this far more helpful than a tract because it allowed me to tell people about salvation straight from scripture, but to tell it in my own context instead of via some neat illustration that someone else thought up.

The other alternative which I have always been intrigued by, but have also been too lazy to follow through on myself is the idea of creating a personal tract which walks someone through your own salvation and explains the gospel in that context. These obviously need a good deal of care when being written so that you are actually explaining the gospel, but I imagine if written well would be much more helpful than someone elses story.

DJP said...

A reader emailed me this, which looks really good — but TWO DOLLARS for a single tract?

Kerry James Allen said...

Our church uses "God's Bridge to Eternal Life" from Majestic-media.com. It was developed by Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, is colorful and in small booklet form. It begins with an emphasis on God's glory and explains the Gospel clearly. It is also offered as an add on frame by frame to your website which we have also done. As for the perfect tract, haven't seen it yet, but since we believe in unconditional election we're relieved! They can also be custom imprinted with all the church info, and are as professionally done as any you'll see.

As an aside, do leave tracts. I went to school with a man who was saved reading a tract left in a factory bathroom stall. I also heard another testimony of a Christian school teacher who was saved as a teen after a lady handed her a tract at her door. She never found out this side of eternity who the lady was.

"Get good striking tracts, or none at all. But a telling, touching gospel tract may often be the seed of eternal life; therefore, do not go out without your tracts." CHS

Jared T. Baergen said...

Djp,

One of the difficult things about evangelizing today is finding good tracts. I evangelize somewhat regularly on the east coast board walk, and I've seen all kinds of tracts and other evangelisticy stuff.

There are several things that bug me about most modern tracts; one of which is that most of them are inherently arminian. Here's a great example of a widely used (yet very arminian leaning tract): http://www.matthiasmedia.com.au/2wtl/

Another thing that you have to watch for is the use of Scripture reverences. Many tracts don't even use references and/or quote Scripture. It is my belief that While God can use our words to influence peoples lives, no doubt, the gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). What do I mean by all of that? Simple: quote Scripture because the Lord uses His words, not necessarily our words. Many tracts simply don't quote Scripture. The writers of these tracts would say something like, "well, there just isn't enough space." My reply, "Stop talking so much and let Scripture do its work."

You will also find very few tracts that end with the church. If we give people the gospel and yet fail to get them into a good church, we've left them in the hands of Satan.

The last, and maybe biggest thing that bugs me about modern tracts is they are usually quite gimmicky. If you've ever seen a million dollar bill tract, you know what I mean. Try handing one of those to an atheist some day. They will not only laugh at you, they will tell you how deceptive it is to stick a bible verse on the back of fake money just to get people to take it. Therefore, I really don't like many of the gimmicky tracts. Someone who is for these types of tracts might say, "Well, tracts are really just conversation starters." To a degree that may be true, but once the conversation is over, do you really want them to go home with something that looks like they just went to the carnival and has a very week explanation of the gospel? More could be said, but here's the tracts I use and why:

Jared T. Baergen said...

(pt. 2)

I haven't found many tracts to be useful.

The only tracts I use are these: http://www.gty.org/products/Booklets/45GT

The 'how' I use them is very simple: I always carry them with me (even to work) so that anytime I have anything even close to a gospel conversation with anyone, I can at least give them something good to read if I don't have the time to explain everything, or for after a good conversation. Another thing is to simply hand them out, i.e. on boardwalks, bus stops, or wherever. You can also leave them at restaurants, libraries/book stores, check out counters, and emergent/postmodern churches. Go to staples and buy little write stickers, write free on them, and put them anywhere.

Why I use these is as follows:

First, it doesn't start gimmicky, but rather with the same question Christ asked His disciples.

Second, it starts with Jesus is God. Any cult or atheist will hand it back to you as soon as they open it, thereby saving you some wasted tracts.

Third, it covers the basic gospel (i.e God is holy, man is sinful, the person and work of Christ, and our response).

Forth, it hammers the right view of repentance and Lordship salvation (also lacking in most modern tracts).

Fifth, it actually quotes Scripture.

sixth, there is a big enough spot at the very end of the tract to put stickers on them with your church address, phone number, email, etc.

And last, it avoids the arminian language quite well, and instead drives home that God is the one who must change our lives. It even includes Jer. 13:23.

So that's my evaluation of this tract. I have honestly seen, bought, and thrown out many of the tracts out there, and I don't hand out anything but these. Spurgeon once said this, "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."

Here's the link if anyone wants to read the online version: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/2425

Tom Chantry said...

Not exactly a tract, but the "Ultimate Questions" booklet by John Blanchard is a tremendous, readable presentation of the gospel. It's something to put in someone's hand when you've spoken with them and are able to say, "would you like to read more?"

The text can be read here: http://www.the-highway.com/ultimate_questions.html

And here's a link to buy:
http://www.epbooks.org/index.php?app=gbu0&ns=prodshow&ref=9780852346990

Or, if you want a pocket-sized edition:
http://www.epbooks.org/index.php?app=gbu0&ns=prodshow&ref=9780852347225

Tom Chantry said...

Oops. Forgot to update my photo.

Milton said...

This doesn't use Scripture, though it could easily be edited to do so, and is a bit different approach than most tracts I have seen. I wrote it in an attempt to show unbelievers that what they seek in the world is found only in Jesus. Feel free to critique it, edit it, use it or delete it!
----------------------------
A Treasure that Money Can’t Buy . . .

• A Clean Slate (forgiven sins)

• A Fresh Start (the new birth)

• Clear Vision and Sure Guidance (the Holy Spirit)

• Unlimited Power (by the Holy Spirit) to Do Good (God’s Will)

• Death as the Beginning, not the End (resurrection to eternal life)


Everyone wants these things and searches for them in the world without finding them there. Money, power, success, fame, and indulging in fleshly appetites do not bring happiness for long. They kill the joy in our lives when we try to use them to fill the place God should have in our hearts. If we could make every poor person rich and every sick person well they would still have to die one day. What then? “We are not our own, we have been bought with a price …” and what answer shall we give to the One who paid that price for us who could not pay it for ourselves?

The Lord Jesus Christ wants us to realize that we cannot fill the emptiness in our lives by our own efforts, to declare ourselves bankrupt, and to turn our whole lives over to Him in trust of His goodness and grace. Then our lives begin to make sense and to have meaning and joy in a way they never did before.

James the brother of Jesus writes, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”. Try an experiment for yourself, a test to detect the presence of God. Every day for two weeks, at a time each day when you can have peace and quiet, ask God to show you two things. First, to show Himself to you as He really is. Second, to show you to yourself as He truly sees you. Think of it as calling God on the phone! If you truly want to hear what He wants to tell you, He will answer.

Milton said...

On second thought, my tract does use Scripture, but without chapter and verse references.

LanternBright said...

What? No love for Jack Chick?

Bill said...

Others have noted how tracts can grate, tracts can be non-personal, etc. I’d have to agree. Think of what you think about when you sit in a waiting area and see a watchtower mag, etc. Not pleasant thoughts. Unregenerate man thinks the same about any tract, esp those that are true. I can tell you my 17 year old son used the best tract I’ve heard of in a quite some time. CINCHOUSE asked him to pick up some things at the store. At one store he notice a homeless panhandler asking for money, his signage stating he’s hungry, broke and recently released from prison. Instead of money, he went to McD’s, purchased a McDouble, gave it to the man, sat with him as he ate it, and proceeded to give him the Gospel. Funny thing was, a fellow church member parent-type saw what my son was doing and instead of assisting, went away. Later she told us she was fearful for his safety. So, as for tracts, make it personal.

Michael Coughlin said...

DJP -

1. Agreed. Tracts must be doctrinally sound.

2. That being said, they must be concise enough to convey the message we want people to understand. Tracts that go into great detail about believer's baptism, local church membership, etc, I think can be misleading. I prefer to let people know how a right relationship with God starts and leave followup information on the tract and encourage them to read the bible.

3. I do not like what most people consider bait and switch. (tracts that look like something else like money). But I also think it is ok if your tract is semi-relevant. For example, things like super bowl trivia, or a local team's sports schedule, or a calendar on one side don't bother me. I would consider it like giving someone a mean AND sharing the gospel with them.

4. It is really about our heart right? Do I provide a calendar just to get someone to keep my tract? Or do I provide the calendar or trivia as a genuine act of kindness (like sharing a meal or a blanket or whatever physical need with someone).

5. I have spent many an evening or day passing out tracts. I've also had evenings where hundreds of people walked by me while I engaged in a one on one conversation for an hour with someone I hoped would be saved. I've lamented how many more tracts I could've passed out. I believe this was an error. Sometimes the quantity of tracts (especially the quantities some guys post on the internet that they distribute) can be an end to itself and that is a loss for the gospel and for the believer who falls for that.

With Love, Michael Coughlin, Berean Baptist Church, Pickerington, OH.

Stefan Driesner said...

From the inestimable (Calvinist) Voddie Baucham:

http://www.crossway.org/tracts/lifes-ultimate-questions-2837/

I've given a few of these out (only God knows how they were used), and I chose these tracts to purchase based on the sermon from which the content of the tract was derived, "The Supremacy of Christ in Truth in a Postmodern World":

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=52092118110

Aaron Snell said...

LanternBright:

Arr, ye'll be walkin' the plank for that one, matey!!










Hey, maybe it's a day late, but I didn't get my fill yesterday.

Michael Coughlin said...

Oh Yeah, Hi Jared, God bless you, brother. And I agree that tracts MUST be replete with scripture, even if you don't have room to cite the reference.

DJP said...

With Bill's use of "CINCHOUSE," this meta has officially been upgraded from Solid and Helpful to Epic.

Greg Howard said...

(1) DJP, have you ever tractified (or considered tractifying) your own "How Can I Know God?", or even "Why I Am (Still) A Christian"? They're probably more in-depth than you're looking for, but I'd think they would have considerable power to certain audiences (e.g. university students or others who consider themselves critical thinkers).

(2) Jared, thanks for the GTY article/tract link. I will probably wear out the bookmark.

(3) "CINCHOUSE"?

DJP said...

Thanks Greg. Yes, in fact I had an earlier version of "How Can I Know God?" in a pamphlet, the result being a pretty intensive small-font folded-paper text.

The (or one) purpose I'm envisioning is something that gives enough Gospel content to score a connection and move the person to use the contact info on the tract.

Frank Turk said...

I'm a fairly-enthusiastic user of "For Your Joy" by Desiring God for a couple of reasons:

1. It doesn't look cheap. It looks like you are giving someone something worth reading.

2. It is an easy walk-through to explain to someone. It's not too low-brow, either. It works conversationally.

3. It asks the question, "so what?" and answers it.

The down-side: it misses the need for a local church. It (accidentally, I think) falls into the evangelism trap that gets people to almost love Jesus but then have no family of God to connect to.

Fred Triplett said...

I can't find a lot of good tracts but I do like this one http://www.shop.onemilliontracts.com/Warning-Card-Gospel-Tract-100ct-pckg-2-x-3-1-2-038.htm

My church made a tract as well
http://bereanbaptistchurch.com/index.php/judgment-day-tract/

Frank Turk said...

Oh yeah: "For your joy" comes as a downloadable PDF now, so you can print it or send it -- you could even carry it in your SmartPhone and send it to people you run into, thus accomplishing 2 things: effective delivery of the tract, and the ability to follow up with them if you lose track of them.

Bill said...

CINCHOUSE = "Commander-in-Chief of the House" AKA "wife." It's a military term, sorry.

Frank Turk said...

I like the pirate photo better, Chantry. We need to use it at Gadfly.

Tom Chantry said...

I'm already a pirate at Gadfly.

Aliens and Exiles said...

I like the majority of the Living Waters tracts (Ray Comfort) and hand those out the most. However, I generally use them as a conversation starter and then finish with the one from Grace to You. Also, as another conversation starter, I have two full sleeve tattoos that are based on sharing the Gospel...I don't necessarily recommend that one, though.

Charles Brown said...

I mostly use the GTY 'Stop Who Do You Think I Am?' tracts with some of the Living Waters ones as well, which have already been mentioned. Here's another one that's primarily Scripture. You can download the pdf at the bottom of the page, print it, cut it, tape it, and witness.

http://heartcrymissionary.com/resources/the-gospel-of-jesus-christ

Kerry James Allen said...

Now there's a good idea for DJP from Aliens and Exiles, a full sleeve tattoo of the cover of TWTG. I'm sure that would generate some inquiries!

Shane Dodson said...

Onemilliontracts.com prints up custom-made tracts for a reasonable price.
Here's an idea that points the sinner to the Gospel AND to your local church (however, when I'm out-of-town, the church info won't really profit the tractee, so always have some regular ones handy).

Print up a post-card sized tract (business card-sized will work although the space is extremely limited) with a Gospel explanation on one side and your church information on the other. Viola!

Shane Dodson said...

Oh yeah...I almost forgot. Your local church SHOULD have some sort of "neighborhood Bible study" in place that you can plug on the back of your custom tract.
The simple reality is...while inviting them to a Sunday morning service is all well and good, many folks see a "neighborhood Bible study" as less threatening and more intimate than a big fancy Sunday service with all the trimmings. Make sure you explain to the sinner that he/she is welcome to come to the Bible study with any questions/objections and that the atmosphere will be friendly to open discussion.
If your church doesn't have anything like an evangelistic "neighborhood Bible study" in place...well...get on it! :-)

Brett R said...

Number one item to hand out: a copy of the Bible. Since most of us do not have a Moving Van following us everywhere we go, a tract can fill the void.

How I use a tract: It is a continuation of a conversation. Everything that I have said must be the talking points of the tract. Everything from Living Waters fits, the tract that is from Desiring God that has been mentioned if top notch (as is the tract from GTY). What I personally like is exactly counter what some have mentioned. I find the trillion dollar bills extremely effective in this kind of situation. First, they go right to the back to see what is on it, they usually want more than one if I give them one, and if I see them again they usually describe me as the "trillionaire" which leads right back into the gospel. I would never leave that tract at a payphone or a service counter. But one on one, I love it.

The most important thing is that I need to be able to lead a conversation, clearly enunciate the gospel, and leave them saying that there is a way that seems right to man and that way leads to death. If I can hand them a tract that furthers that, all the better.

(PS - tracts in your hand makes sharing the gospel easier, so keep them in your hand. Try it.)

St. Lee said...

I like the Ten Commandment Coins from Living Waters, for several reasons. 50% of the message (one side) is the Law, which is the right starting point. They are shiny, and people are attracted to shiny things. I think they are less likely to be thrown away than paper tracts. The gospel message does include a call to repent, though it also does include the technically questionable statement that Jesus took your punishment (questionable in that, as a Calvinist, I agree that we do not know whether Christ died for the particular person receiving the coin - on the other hand, at this point in time I am willing to let the Holy Spirit sort out how that theological miscue affects the person) All man made tracts are imperfect - if you want one that is perfect you will have to hand out complete Bibles.

I normally keep a container of these coins on the front counter of my shop with a sign that says "Free - Take One". Since my shop is pretty low traffic, I don't go through many there, but I also take them to shows and events where I promote my shop. Same method - a container with a sign. There it common for all I have on hand to be dispersed, usually over 100 pieces.

It has been my experience that distributing these "tracts" in this manner leads to few witnessing opportunities, which may be partially due to the setting (motorcycle shop/bike shows) They most often lead to conversations with other believers. It is always interesting to see how many people will pick up a coin, look at both sides, put it back and slink away without making eye contact. Kids, on the other hand, never put them back, and I have never seen a parent make them put one back.

They are 16 cents each and sold in bags of 50. On small orders the shipping cost can be near the price of the coins, so I try to order at least a couple hundred at a time.

And yes, I often wonder if my way of distributing these is just a cop out or if it is a valid way to sow bountifully.

rom623rom828 said...

Great discussion with useful comments and links.

Catapult me :) if I'm sidetracking the discussion about evangelistic tracts but what about on-line audio/video equivalents to an evangelistic tract? Any recommendations?

You are loved!

APM said...


This New Testament from Crossway functions as a tract. It incudes:

A Simple Gospel Presentation
How to Read the New Testament Where to Find Help in the Bible
The entire New Testament

If you buy them by the case you can get them for about .65 cents (i think).

http://www.crossway.org/bibles/esv-outreach-new-testament-378-tpb/

They also have a "Christmas"(just a different cover) edition. These are only .30 cents each.

http://www.crossway.org/bibles/esv-outreach-new-testament-tpb/

Charlene said...

Yes, the tracts we use should be theologically sound and direct. I think Scripture references are very important. Pithy is good, too. Even if the tract is not one we personally like (perhaps dull and boring looking), we'll still give it out if the message is solid. We use some Living Waters tracts and personally I love handing folks the Million and Trillion Dollar bill tracts because they always keep them. My children love to give out the LW Ten Commandment coins and people often "oohh" and "ahh" over those and they keep them because they look special.

I try to remember that some sow, some water, but God brings the harvest. Let's face it: the one that does the sowing is going to have more "waste" than the one doing the watering.

Some seeds land in good soil, some in rocky soil, and so on. I know we all want our efforts at sowing to fall into good soil but that's not how sowing works. Rather than disdain for those who hand out large numbers of tracts at one event or at one time, I would say that they are more sower-types than waterers. Those who like to make it personal and speak at length with folks, I'd say they are more waterers (but they could be seed sowers too). There is a place for both.

My husband and I do both. As a homeschooling mom of five young children, I can't talk with everyone I'd like to talk to when I'm out and about but every once in a while God gives me an opportunity to talk with someone at length which is marvelous. Otherwise, I hand out tracts as I go and leave them places and I do not believe this is a cop out or a waste. If someone reads my tract and then throws it on the ground or in the trash, it means they read enough to know that they want to throw it away. That information is already in their brain and convicted them enough to want to throw it away. God's Word will either judge them one day or it will save them. It's a win-win because God is glorified either way. Also, sometimes people find tracts in the garbage or discarded on the ground and will read them.

God has called us to be obedient, not to produce the best results. Sometimes the farmer gets a bountiful harvest and sometimes he gets drought and famine despite his best efforts. Either way, he must get out there and sow his seed. I know there are some who don't like to hand out tracts in crowds or leave them places because they can't stand to see the "waste". But I say, better to be obedient and leave the results up to God than to be so picky that you are rarely obedient.

There is a Tract Club called Bezeugen Tract Club. When you join, you receive 30 free tracts every month. FREE. No, they are not lame. They are high quality, colorful, glossy, business card sized tracts on various interest points to fit a variety of situations. You can join here: http://www.bezeugentractclub.org/?page_id=9

You can see examples of how to use these tracts at the Bezeugen blog, "As You Go" here:
http://www.bezeugen.org/asyougo/

My husband receives these every month and keeps his wallet stashed with them. That will get anyone started. Nothing wrong with starting small by leaving tracts in strategic places. God knows who will find them. Just get the gospel message out there.

Five Solas said...

I like For Your Joy (pdf/order) and The Great Question (order) (pdf).

Carl C. said...

Of particular interest to evangelism in non-English-speaking areas is 100languages.com, a ministry of Living Waters which offers free downloadable resources. Unfortunately right now they only have one tract available, the million-dollar one. (Dan, I'm sure this will come in handy in some of the Houston barrios!) But they have other multi-lingual tools like animated gospel videos and a 'Foreign Language Gospel Sharing App'.

As a sidetrack to Dan's request, I would sure love to know of any similar sites, since the physical tracts available here in Spain just aren't up to par either in design/appeal or doctrine.

Shane Dodson said...

Dan wrote this...
"Apart from being overly simplistic, most rub me the wrong way as a Bibley person, which is to say, a Calvinist. I know that good Calvinists folks disagree with me on this, but as I've explained a number of times, I don't find it apostolically precedented or necessary to tell unbelievers "Jesus died for your sins." The apostles evidently didn't feel they had to say it, and neither do I. To me, as I've explained, assuring an unrepentant unbeliever that Jesus died for his sins is tantamount to saying "You're saved and have nothing to worry about from God: He accepts and forgives you just as you are."

Taking that into consideration, the tracts from Bezeugen wouldn't work.

From my experience, most (not all) of their tracts contain the phrase "Jesus died for you" "Jesus paid for your sins" or a variation on that.

Jeri Tanner said...

At Halloween I've used some of these (free) downloads from CCW (Jim Elliff):

http://www.ccwtoday.org/evangelistic_downloads.asp

I love this one of theirs @ 10 for 6.00, The Soils: http://www.ccwtoday.org/resource_view.asp?resource_id=37



Andy said...

Further to Tom Chantry's mention of Ultimate Questions: the publishers are working hard to translate it into multiple languages, in exactly the same format, so it's a very useful resource for cross-cultural evangelism too!

The Home of Pearson Johnson said...

We regularly use the God's Bridge to Eternal Life here, recommended above, and there is also a children's version of that with a good, complete presentation. It is best used when used in conversation with someone, and the Scriptures are printed in the tract. You can order some at http://icbooks.com/store/shop/category.asp?catid=6 in multiple languages or at www.majestic-media.com.

Carla said...

Hi. I'm a new visitor to your blog, and I've enjoyed reading some things.

I have to say, I knew only a little about Calvinism but just did a brief study into it.

I have a question that perhaps you can reconcile for me.

First, I need to say I came to your site because of your open letter to Steven Furtick, part 1. The rap-off. I'm interested that in what I've just *briefly* read about the five tenets of Calvinism is that you believe in limited atonement -- that only a limited number of people are to be saved and only those chosen of and by God. Yet you chose to use the rap video that clearly states that EVERYONE can be saved.

No, I'm not being a smart alec. I'm interested. I've often considered this point of doctrine, but don't have a solid conclusion. I do, however, share a lot of your beliefs on other things it seems.

Thomas Louw said...

Tony Miano writes excellent tracts for onemilliontracts.com.

He has been "let go"(economic reasons) he has time to come over and encourage your church to evangelize and he is also a big Five pointer so I don't think you will have trouble in that department.

Thomas Louw said...

Here's his page.


http://tmiano.com/

Robert said...

Carla,

Limited atonement means that when Jesus died on the cross and satisfied the wrath of God for sin, only those who He chose to save were covered. The thing is, none of us know who He chose, so in our eyes, everyone can be saved and we need to evangelize to everybody. That said, Scripture does also give guidance as to what to do when the gospel is rejected or somebody is apostate.

The main thing is to go to Scripture and focus on what God says through His written Word. If we go in with any misguided preconceptions, then we will subject Scripture to the authority of our minds, when it really should be the other way around. That doesn't mean we shouldn't ask questions of those who are more spiritually mature or refer to commentaries, but we should always take such things in with an eye to the whole counsel of Scripture so that we can weigh what is said with God's Word.

DJP said...

Carla, that's a post from Frank Turk. Please email your question to him.

Thanks.

Carla said...

Oh! I'm sorry, I thought that was the writer of this blog.

I completely agree with what Robert said. I also agree with reading commentary, etc. but only if one has a good Biblical knowledge with which to compare God's truth.

I was just wondering if I was misunderstanding the idea of limited atonement or had a faulty source.

I understand now that as men we should think of everyone as being saved. I have just recently, because of personal situations begun to look into the idea of what we should do when the truth of God is rejected.

And I've come to pretty much the same limited conclusion you shared here: God's word is pretty clear on what we should do.

Thanks for the responses, and sorry for wrongly attributing that segment to the wrong writer.

Phil said...

Surely "Christ died for your sins" is prior to receiving it and it's happy consequences in truth[faith]. Turning to God through it is repentance.

"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (1Cor 15v1-4).

No gospel repentance is possible without it;

"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom3v24)

"Freely" = no requirements, not now, not ever. Precisely the gospel that is the power of God to salvation for unrepentant sinners, where the strength of sin and unrepentance is requirements of the law. ("The goodness of God leads to repentance").

Leaving you in this state as a new creation in the Spirit, walking in the faith of it: "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace" (Rom 6v14).

Good news for helpless rebel sinners (everyone in Adam), rather than repentant sinners (no one in Adam).

Barbara said...

Not really leaflet tracts, but I know that when I handed these out for a local church of which I was once a part, and/or left them at the gas station/beer stores they would actually be taken and read:

Piper's For Your Joy in English and Spanish Why? Because it is all about the glory of God and that

Reach Records Read This Before You Die (okay so a little pricier but it comes with a CD) When you click that link you can read it online. You might want to turn your speakers OFF if you don't like that style of music - the content of the CD plays on the site. Good testimonies on the CD - one from Lecrae coming into the faith from outside, and one from Trip Lee growing up in a moral, churchgoing household and believing that "Jesus died for some sins that I had apparently committed" before seeing himself as a sinner.

Daniel said...

Carla,

During the original passover, the blood of the lamb was effective in delivering from death all who had the blood of a lamb applied to their door posts.

When then angel of death came, he did not enter into those houses where the blood of the lamb was present.

It is important to note that the blood was not applied to every house and thereafter made effective by the faith of the residents, lest that would picture the sort of universal atonement that is commonly held by many, but rather the blood of the lamb was applied only to the houses of God's chosen people.

Nothing was stopping the Egypitians from putting the blood a lamb upon their own doors, but they didn't - even though they had seen with their own eyes the nine plagues that preceded this one. They had the opportunity, but they weren't interested in taking advantage of it.

The only reason God's people had an interest in the blood of the lamb was because God Himself put that interest in them.

One might balk at the thought that God draws only some people to Himself, but this is only because they believe that everyone has a "right" to be saved, such that unless God is trying to save everyone, He is mean, and evil. But that image of God comes from humanistic philosophy and not from the scriptures.

God is not trying to save everyone, neither is God obligated to save anyone. When God grants grace to believe, it is just that: an act of grace. God does not owe anyone (and certainly not everyone) a shot at salvation. To imagine He does is to turn grace into obligation, and to suggest that God is a failure because He is trying (and failing) to save everyone.

The greatest hindrance to understanding this doctrine is the humanistic notion that failing to preserve human life it is evil, and they place this "rule" above even God, so that unless God is working to preserve every human life, then God is "evil" - and since God cannot be evil, they reason that God must be working to preserve human life, and so it naturally follows that Jesus must have died to give everyone a "chance". But God is not obligated to preserve human life, much less "guilty" human life.

He has, in His grace, chosen to save some of us, and by this same grace given those of us who have already received Christ, the privilege of working in the harvest of those brothers and sisters whom God has chosen already, but have yet to know Him.

DJP said...

I don't want to start deleting goodhearted attempts to help Carla, but...

Please, let's get back to focusing on the post.

Carla said...

Sorry, sorry, sorry. Yes, you've all helped tremendously, but I don't want to detract from the topic. Thanks for your thoughtful answers and please continue with you pr previously scheduled blog post. I will say, thanks for not getting all vicious on me just for asking a question. I don't know about tracts or I'd weigh in too :D

Jordan said...

I have a question for you all. What are your thoughts on tracts that can be seen as "gimmicky" by the people receiving them? Particularly, I have in mind something like the million dollar bill tract that I believe is produced by Living Waters (For those unfamiliar, it looks very similar to a dollar bill and has a message on the back. The follow-up is then to ask the people the "million dollar question" about their eternal destination). The benefit of a tract like that is that it can catch people's attention and serve as a means to get conversations started. However, I am concerned that perhaps something that can easily be perceived as "gimmicky" can have negative effects as well.

Jerry said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed this thread, and have picked up some good resources.

I have been using Living Waters and GTY materials, but will look into some of the others posted here.

We should remember that God is perfectly capable of using even a defective tract if He chooses. I came to faith in Christ after being given a "4 Spiritual Laws" tract, and while I don't use them I will always be grateful that I was given one.

DJP said...

You and me both, brother; and I "walked the aisle" at an invitation, and most likely repeated a prayer — and I absolutely was converted.

Underscoring yet again what we all know: what you save them with is not necessarily what you save them to.

Because it isn't you saving them in the first place, anyway.

Andrew Lindsey said...

My favorite tract is "Experiencing God's Grace," which was created by the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The "Experiencing God's Grace" tract begins where the Bible begins [literally] with Genesis 1:1, and then explores what it means that God is the Creator of all things through a presentation of Bible passages such as Psalm 19:1, Revelation 4:11, and others. The person presenting the "Experiencing God's Grace" tract should certainly be ready to define terms that may be unusual to the unbeliever ["Sustainer," for example], but overall this presentation of God as the Sovereign Creator is, I think, necessary for a right understanding of the gospel. The first section of the "Experiencing God's Grace" tract ends with a presentation of God's creation of humans in His image (Genesis 1:27 is quoted) and our subsequent obligation to worship Him.

The tract is succinct (about the size of the old, blue "Eternal Life" tracts, if you have seen those); it was created by Dr. Timothy Beougher (who is, I believe, a "4-point" Calvinist of the Danny Akin variety), with significant input from some of his students (who, given the school, would definitely tend toward Calvinism).

The tract can be viewed on-line here: http://www.sbts.edu/documents/GRACE.pdf

Michael Coughlin said...

Here's a new one; I like it just from the first reading.

http://www.crossencounters.us/2012/09/judge-not-that-you-be-not-judged-new.html

tom said...

I also think that tracts from Living Waters are good, for example the Are You a Good Person tract certainly shows our need for the Savior. I've also given out their trillion/million dollar bill tracts and have had people ask me what it is. They too show our need for the good news by telling the bad news first. Be careful not to be overly Calvinistic in any approach to evangelism. I agree with the five points but ultimately it does come down to what does the bible say. We know from Isaiah 55, for example, that God's word will not return to Him void. In that sense a tract heavy with bible verses in the proper context has its own power. It's never us who saves but it is still our job to "preach the gospel to every living creature"(Mark 16:15). An overly Calvinistic approach to evangelism sometimes leads to Hypercalvinism which defeats the purpose of evangelism believing that since God saves who He will why bother. We bother because we are commanded to do so in many places in His word (Matthew 28, Acts 1, Mark 16, etc.) Romans 10 asks How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard...I'm not a great evangelist but we should be obedient in confessing Christ before men. Be careful in criticizing gospel tracts that aren't TULIPy, but rather trust in the power of God's word in the tract. A good way to get a witnessing conversation started could be as simple as having a coffee mug with John 3:16 on it during break at work. Get a mug like this at: http://www.zazzle.com/john316andstuff

churchsalt.com said...

For those of you who would like to have a good tract that biblically presents law, gospel and conversion, why not write one? You can write and print your own for around $30 or so (I use onemilliontracts.com)
I live in the Bible belt and so wanted reformed tracts that addressed cultural Christianity. I wrote some, had them printed, and they work great. It's easier than you think!

Buddy King said...

Anything that shares the Law and the Gospel. I pretty much stick with Living Waters Million Dollar bill tracts as conversation starters and then leave the person with Living Waters Are You Good Enough To Go To Heaven? pamphlet.