What Tracts?

By Dr. Ken Matto

(Mark 16:15-16 KJV) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. {16} He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

The verses above detail the Great Commission which the Lord gave us before He went back to Heaven. The responsibility of the believer is to send forth the Gospel into every nation on earth. Within those two verses we also read that not everyone who hears the Gospel will believe. This is something that we see every day. I have personally handed out thousands of tracts and have preached many sermons. In fact, one time I preached to a large group at a rescue mission and after the sermon it seemed only about 5-8 out of about 400 became saved. So the question is not whether salvation takes place, the question is what method can I use with biblical clarity?

Now there are many ways available to us today to send forth the Gospel around the world. We have the Internet, Television, Radio, Short Wave Radio, Satellite Radio, Tracts, and Missionaries. The focus of this monograph is not the usage of all these tools which are available to us today but I want to focus in on a subject concerning tracts. There has been much debate among the Reformed community concerning the type of tracts which we can use. I personally believe in the doctrines of Election and Predestination. So when I look at the tracts which are available to me, the overwhelming majority of them are of a free will slant. Basically, they all have one thing in common and that is they all claim “you must repent, surrender your life to Christ, acknowledge that he died for your sins and receive Him as Savior!” (Taken from the Chick Tract, “This Was Your Life.”)

The State of Man
First of all, before looking at the tract situation, we must look at the spiritual condition of man. This will not be exhaustive. When Adam and Eve first walked into sin, God had told them they would surely die if they disobeyed Him. Well, they disobeyed Him and they died, but initially they did not die physically but spiritually which means now they had to be reconciled to God by means of a substitutionary sacrifice. At that time, God had placed animal skins on them as a symbol of the covering which the animal sacrifices which would take place under the law. Now the animal sacrifices were looking forward to the time that the Lord Jesus Christ would come and initiate the final sacrifice for sin for His people. The animal skins which God placed on Adam and Eve were to show them that they were now subject to the law of God which meant they were to die. The animal sacrifices under the Mosaic law were done on a continuous basis to atone for the sins of the people of Israel. When we come to the New Testament book of Hebrews, we read that blood of bulls and goats could not make permanent atonement for the sins of the people.

(Heb 9:12-14 KJV) Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. {13} For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: {14} How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

It was only the Lord Jesus Christ who could make permanent atonement for His people. The question now is what condition were the people in which required so great a sacrifice by the Son of God. We find the answer to that in the book of Ephesians.

(Eph 2:1-5 KJV) And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: {2} Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: {3} Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. {4} But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, {5} Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

The Bible is very clear that we are dead in our sins. That death happens to be the same spiritual death which Adam and Eve brought into this world through their sin. The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus was the final sacrifice for sin. He came to die for His people. (Mat 1:21 KJV) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. So Jesus died for the sins of His people but the fact is that until they become saved, they remain in a state of spiritual death.

Now the big question is, can a person by free will resurrect themselves from spiritual death? Let me answer that question with another question. Did Lazarus will himself to be resurrected? The answer, of course, is a resounding no! Lazarus would have remained dead if the Lord Jesus did not resurrect Him. The Lord stood outside his tomb and cried out, Lazarus come forth.” Now Lazarus came forth on the command of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the same manner by which the Elect of God are saved. They cannot will themselves nor can they accept Jesus because they are in a state of perpetual deadness. There must be a spiritual resurrection from the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation to take place. Now the final question in this section, is can anybody become saved at anytime? The answer is no, based upon the following two verses:

(Rev 13:8 KJV) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

(Rev 17:8 KJV) The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

As you can plainly read, both of these verses state openly that the names of the Elect were written in the Lamb’s book of Life before the Lord ever created the world. This means that those whom the Lord wrote in His Book of Life are those who the already saved are to evangelize. Now we do not know who they are and that is the great mystery of evangelism. We just send forth the Gospel and the Lord is the one who does the saving apart from any work on our part. Remember what we read in Mark 16:16, that those who believe will be saved. Believe what? The words of man or the words of God?

(Acts 4:12 KJV) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

(Mat 13:23 KJV) But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

(Luke 5:1 KJV) And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,

(John 17:17 KJV) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

These four verses gives us insight as to what we are to preach. We preach the word of God and in the name of Jesus as we read in Acts 4:12. It is the word of God that brings forth fruit (Matt. 13:23), the people are hungry for the word (Luke 5:1), and the word sanctifies, or sets apart the true believer (John 17:17). So therefore, it is the word of God that we are to set before the unbeliever.

What Tracts?
Now that we know that the spiritual state of man is dead and that man needs to be resurrected from an outside source. That source being the Lord Jesus Christ speaking the word of God as He did at the tomb of Lazarus. Remember, God spoke the world and universe into existence. The Lord Jesus spoke and Lazarus was resurrected. We follow the same pattern and give out the word of God. Now for us today we must keep in mind that it is only the Elect of God which are going to respond. If a person is non-elect you can give them 50 full bibles and they will never become saved. So then the question is what type of tracts do we look for?

One thing I look for in a tract is how many Scripture verses do they use and are they used appropriately. We know that cult tracts misuse Scripture verses and we want to make sure we steer clear of them. Some Christian organizations may use Scripture skewed toward their way of thinking and that too must be carefully discerned.

Some of the tracts I personally use are the following:

This Was Your Life by Chick
This tract contains 26 Scripture passages and the entire tract deals with the subject that every unsaved human being is going to be judged for their sin and that everything done in secret will be made known on Judgment day.
Big Daddy by Chick
This tract contains 5 Scripture verses but is geared toward destroying evolution. It contains the chart I call “The Ascent of Man” and debunks the all of the so-called proofs including Lucy. I suggested to a Christian I know who was at a zoo trying to combat their evolution lecture series that he should purchase these tracts and hand them out. He refused because the last page had a free will slant. He refused to use this tract which contained much information concerning evolution because of that. We Christians tend to strain a gnat and swallow a camel. This tract also glorifies Christ as Creator. What a great testimony it would have been to the unsaved evolutionists at that lecture.
The Twin Towers by Moments with the Book
After 9/11 MWTB printed a tract called “The Twin Towers” which deals with the reality of the twin towers going down in New York and the tower of Siloam whereby 18 perished when it fell. The essence of the tract speaks about us all eventually perishing. This tract contains 15 Scripture verses.
I’ve Got My Own Religion by Moments With the Book
This tract contains 7 Scripture verses and deals with people being satisfied or comfortable in their own religions. It deals with the fact that Jesus is the only way and that religion is not the way to God.
Son of Hope by Moments With The Book
This 6 page tract contains the testimony of David Berkowitz who went from being the “Son of Sam” to the “Son of Hope.” He became saved in Attica Prison by another convict handing him a tract. This tract contains 9 Scripture verses. I have personally visited David a number of times and know for sure that he is saved.

These are just 5 of the tracts I use on a regular basis. I have also purchased tracts which deal with specific holidays such as Easter, Christmas, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Halloween, et al. I have also use tracts which deal with specific religions such as Islam or Roman Catholicism. If you mix them up a little, the people receiving them in your bills and other places will read them because they are different. Let us be real, if you send a 20 page booklet on the subject of Election or reprobation to an unbeliever, they will get tossed. If you send a tract with scripture on different subject matters they will be read.

What I am not trying to do in this monograph is influence a belief in free will. The Bible doesn’t teach it and I don’t believe it. What I am saying is that you do not fear using a free will tract because as we saw, it will only be the Elect who will respond to those Scripture verses contained in them. You cannot coax or frighten or dialogue someone into Heaven. Only God knows who He is planning to save and He uses His word to accomplish it. I remember some years ago I went to a creation seminar and the visiting scientist sat at our table for dinner. He told us that previously he gave a presentation in the book of Genesis and after the presentation, someone came up to him and told him he became saved. The speaker told us that he was not using any salvation verses or doing any type of evangelism. The word of God is so powerful, that it can initiate salvation in the life of an Elect person, no matter what section is being read. This is very encouraging because tracts are small and can only contain a very small amount of verses but those verses are all that is needed for salvation. So do not fear to use a free will tract which contains Scripture because it is the Scripture that convicts and not the words of man. Keep in mind that a tract is a short sermon which can change the life of an unbeliever to a believer.

Chick Tracts - www.chick.com   

Moments With the Book - www.mwtb.org

World Missionary Press - http://www.wmpress.org/