By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen
My theme is: “The Power Of Gospel Literature.” By “Gospel literature,” I mean literature that has to do with a certain message in the Bible, which is the Gospel. The Bible speaks about many subjects, all of which are important in their own way. But the Gospel is a special subject among the many subjects of the Bible.
To make sure all readers of this posting know what makes up the Gospel, let me quote the apostle Paul’s statement of it, as found in 1 Corinthians 15: 1 – 4. The quote is from the King James Version, which says this:
1Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
As you can see, the Gospel’s content is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And it is that by which we sinners are saved, if we believe it.
Another statement of the Gospel is given in Romans 10:9 – 13. Those verses say this:
9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
In both 1 Corinthians 15 and Romans 10 we see that the core of the Gospel has to do with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, which brings salvation to each person who believes in Him. Believing in him can be expressed by calling upon Him for salvation, just as Romans 10:13 says. To call on Him for it, is to ask Him for it, trusting Him to at once grant the request.
So, then, having made it clear what is meant by “Gospel literature,” let us now think about its power. It has great power. It can do great things in the lives of those who believe it. The verses quoted above speak of its power. But so does Romans 1:16, which might be the most well-known statement of its power. The verse says this: 16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Gospel literature is powerful, because it brings the message of salvation to those who need it. And it gives the desired result, salvation, when someone believes it. Consider some examples of those who became Christians through the influence of Gospel literature.
I know of some French missionaries in France. Their primary outreach is to their fellow-Jews. This man and his wife are missionaries today because of the Gospel tract, “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation,” by Ford Porter. They read it, and believed in Jesus because of it. They then got training, and now serve with the mission organization, “The International Board Of Jewish Missions.”
I read of one man who was in the men’s room at work. He noticed something in the hole in the roll of toilet paper, and took it out. It was the famous Gospel tract, “What Must I Do To Be Saved,” by John R. Rice. He read it, and became a believer in Jesus because of it.
A woman had received a Gospel tract from a friend. She was not interested in the subject, but she kept it in her purse for seven years. Finally, she read it, and became a Christian because of it. I do not know the title of that tract.
Here is another remarkable story of someone becoming a Christian because of a Gospel tract. This man walked home in the dark. When he got home, he noticed something stuck to his shoe. It was a Gospel tract. He read it, and became a Christian because of it. I do not know the name of that tract, either.
I read the story af a man who had checked into a motel room. He was so depressed about the negative circumstances in his life that he contemplated suicide. But he took the Bible from the drawer and began to read the New Testament portion of it. Instead of committing suicide, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and was saved at once. His whole life turned around for the better, as he daily followed the Lord and became active in a Bible-believing church. The Bible had been donated by the Gideons.
These examples show us how God uses Gospel literature to bring the message of salvation to those in need of it. These examples should challenge us to give away Gospel literature, trusting God to bless our efforts to win others to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
What follows are links to two of the tracts referred to above, and to another one. Get some, and give them away. You can be one whom God uses to bring the message of salvation to someone else, and maybe to many others!
Here is a link to “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in English. The website provides it in many other languages, too: http://www.godssimpleplan.org/gsps-english.html. This is a short tract. The following two are longer tracts.
Here is a link to “What Must I Do To Be Saved.” It can be bought in bulk from its publisher, “The Sword Of The Lord.” http://www.gotothebible.com/HTML/whatmustido.html.
Here is a link to Robert L. Sumner’s tract, “Heaven Can Be Yours!” http://www.biblicalevangelist.org/heaven.php This links you to the tract and its publisher.