The Power of the Gospel (Even in Tract form) posted by jwatson on Sep 15, 2014Dr. James Engle is Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Evangelism Explosion International. Dr. Engle has served with EE since 1976, teaching leadership clinics around the USA and the world, and assisting with material development. Prior to becoming COO he served on the EE International Board of Directors. He has also been a Senior Pastor.
During these forty years of involvement in personal and church evangelism in the United States, certain trends have emerged and seem to continue to become more prevalent. Here is one: The day of Gospel tracts has come and gone.
First, let me answer this Biblically. The only way that the day of Gospel tracts has come and gone is if the day of the Gospel has come and gone. However, the Bible declares clearly and unequivocally: “Behold, now is the favorable time, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2) This is PROOF that the person who says that the day of the Gospel tract is past is clearly WRONG! Period!
Now, one story displaying the sovereign God of the universe using a little green Gospel booklet. An EE trainer, Steve, was out with his two trainees in a medium sized Texas town for their weekly on-the-job training. As he ended an encounter with a rather uninterested university student, he stretched out his hand holding the “Where Will You Spend Eternity” booklet and said, “Maybe some day you will be interested. In this booklet is the message that changed my life.” The student, more than likely just to get rid of Steve and his companions, took that booklet saying, “Yeah, OK.” As Steve walked away, he remarked to his companions, “Well, I think that I just wasted that tract.”
Entering his car to go home, the student tossed the booklet on the floorboard on the passenger side, joining the general array of litter already there. The next evening, Phil and one of his college roommates, Brian, jumped in Phil’s car to go out for a “junk food snack” before bed. Noticing the tract on the floor, Brian picked it up and glanced through it. Knowing Phil’s disdain for religion, he queried him as to where he got it. “One of those ‘Jesus freaks’ gave it to me last night. I just took it to get rid of him,” Phil replied. Brian asked Phil if he could have it, and of course, that was just fine with him.
The next night, Brian read the tract. The Lord opened his eyes and his mind and his heart…and Brian, in his messy college apartment bedroom, received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
Just as we recommend in Evangelism Explosion witnessing training ministries, the Gospel tract had a sticker on the back with the name of the church along with the service times. The Holy Spirit continued to work in the life of this new convert, and Brian went to that church the following Sunday morning. At the end of the service, when the pastor gave the altar call, Brian went forward. In that church, when coming forward, a pastor, deacon or EE trainer would meet each individual.
Making his way to the front of the worship center, Brian was met by a young man in his late twenties and they made their way to the room where they could talk. The man listened as Brian related the story about his non-religious friend, finding a Gospel tract on the floor in his friend’s car and how, after reading the tract, Brian had trusted Christ. By the way, this man who was there to counsel Brian spiritually was Steve – that EE trainer who thought that he has wasted a Gospel tract earlier that week.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11).
Never underestimate the power of God’s written Word and the power of God’s Gospel!