Gospel tracts and booklets are effective tools in evangelistic efforts. There are some believers who think that these printed messages are outmoded; they feel that since there is so much printed advertising material delivered to houses in North America, gospel tracts and invitations to meetings will be discarded before they are read. This is a very sad assessment of the reality surrounding gospel literature. While it is obviously true that there is a lot of “junk mail” in circulation, there is still space for us to get our message across to our neighbors and friends through well-written, clear and attractive leaflets. The real estate agents and fast food restaurant chains are not sending out ineffective junk mail. They have studied the market and they are investing millions of dollars in print advertising. Some of the literature that we use in the spread of the gospel will end up in the wastebasket but some of it will be read again and again. When we use gospel literature, we need to pray that God will use it in His work of the salvation of souls.
Gospel literature is available; it is relatively inexpensive, and it lasts longer than fleeting images that appear on the screen and then vanish. We will not know how gospel tracts have been used of God until we are home in the glory but this is true of all the evangelism that we do. We believe that there will be multitudes who were helped in their spiritual journey through something that they read. After all, God has given us a book that is our infallible guide to eternal blessing; we can follow suit with our own use of the printed page.
The literature that we use should be clear in the presentation of the gospel. It needs to emphasize the need of the individual and God’s provision in Christ. The sinner’s prayer at the end of the leaflet should be omitted because we are depending on the work of the Spirit of God in the heart of the reader. An invitation to the weekly gospel meetings should be included in the literature package. One reason fewer people are attending gospel meetings is they are not being invited to come.
North America is absorbing very large numbers of newcomers from around the world. Canada is receiving thousands from the Philippines, China, India and Korea. The United States is seeing many thousands from South and Central America and the Middle East. People around the world are restless; they are trying to escape tyrannical regimes. North America looks very inviting as the place where they will have educational opportunities and medical care. These people need to hear the gospel but the language barrier is often a hindrance in this work. There is pressing need for good quality gospel literature in Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Punjabi and Korean. Foreign language study has not been a favorite for North Americans, but there is a fruitful field for any believer who will seek to preach the gospel in the native language of these newcomers.
It is interesting that recent arrivals from China are often interested in the gospel message. They have never held a Bible in their hands but they are interested in knowing what the Bible has to say. They claim that the history of Chinese civilization is about 5000 years, which ties in with Bible chronology. There are clear concepts in the Chinese written characters that show that at some point those who devised the Chinese writing must have had some knowledge of the truth. For example, the word for “righteous” is made up of a lamb or a sheep with the character for “me” under the animal. In other words, a righteous person is one who is covered with the sacrificial animal. It is not difficult to speak about justification through faith in Christ using these characters. Over the years, we have seen many Chinese friends come to gospel halls through invitations that have been delivered to their homes.
There are thousands of Muslims in the cities of North America; will they be able to learn anything about the Savior in their new homelands? There are small bands of dedicated servants trying to reach them but it would seem that gospel literature in Arabic would be a huge help. There are thousands of immigrants from India and Pakistan in North America. They often tend to congregate in areas of large cities, making it possible to reach them by mail or house-to-house distribution. We may not be aware of what God is doing, but the fact is that some of these people are hearing the gospel and turning to Christ for salvation.
Throughout North America there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of fairs and gatherings. These are opportunities to set up literature displays where people come out of curiosity to see what is on display. These provide opportunities to meet believers who appreciate encouragement in their own lives and opportunities to distribute gospel tracts and booklets. There are assembly believers who are well aware of these opportunities and are diligently working in the gospel at these events. In the Vancouver area there is an annual Indigenous Elders Gathering. We attend to meet again those who come from all over the province. There is also a 16-day Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) at which assemblies have been represented over the past 46 years. There are believers in assembly fellowship today whose first contact was at the PNE.
There is what we might call the “district distribution,” which is simply delivering tracts with a warm invitation to the gospel meetings. Personal conversations with the neighbors are very good but delivering invitations to the doors may appeal to other believers.
There is a need for prayer throughout. God will bless when we move ahead in this service.
Help is readily available in this work. If there is an exercise to be involved in the spread of the gospel through the printed page, feel free to contact International Bible House (IBH), either through the website (www.ibhgospel.com) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). You will be helped in obtaining literature, design for invitations, and mailing information.