One Little Tract

 

One Little Tract!

Richard Hollerman

Have you ever considered the great possibilities of one little pamphlet that tells something about God, Christ or the gospel of Christ?  Perhaps it is a very short tract but still it may be powerful in accomplishing the will of the Lord in your own life or the life of someone you know.

Some people seem to know little or nothing about gospel tracts although they were popular in previous generations. During the past several centuries, a little pamphlet that treats a Christian theme could be passed to another by almost anyone and taken home to read in one’s leisure.  Whether short or longer in length, the tract could do much good to those who had open hearts and a willingness to examine the Biblical message.

Tracts have long been important in my own life. I grew up in a large and liberal Protestant denomination that knew little about the simple gospel tract. When I was fifteen years old, I turned on the television one Sunday afternoon and was impressed with a couple preachers who answered questions the audience would write to them—and they would answer the questions by a reference to the Bible. I also wrote a question and they answered, mailing me a small tract entitled, “Are You a Christian?” Since I assumed that I already was a Christian, I didn’t immediately read the piece; but I did notice a listing of other tracts on the inside front and back covers. Over the months, I wrote for copies of all of these 43 tracts and even read the original tract that I had set aside.

At that time, I came to see the value of these little tracts for my own life and was enriched by them. I had not been Biblically oriented in the past but these little tracts urged me to read the Bible for myself to answer basic questions of life. I could see that the Scriptures indeed did have the answers—answers that I desperately needed if I was to be saved from sin and go to heaven!  I did respond and this dramatically changed my life!

Some years later, I was living in another state, at age twenty-three. I had remembered that a preacher I had known in the past seemed to have a comprehension of the gospel that I didn’t really have, thus I wrote to him for further information. I recall receiving in the mail a small pamphlet from this preacher. To this day, I can recall sitting in a Laundromat waiting for my clothes to be washed and dried, and there I eagerly read every word on every page of this priceless piece of literature. This event also changed my life drastically and I haven’t been the same since.

Soon after this, a friend either gave me a sample of a new publication or told me where I could request such a publication.  I can recall eagerly reading this monthly study and learning truths that I had not known before. I was learning truth by means of priceless literature!

After college, at age twenty-eight, I was living in Alabama as I sold Bibles and medical books door-to-door. I can’t recall now but in some way I came across a small booklet that discussed how essential it is to walk with Christ in a practical way day by day. It dealt with discipleship—true discipleship—and this greatly contrasted with the kind of lifestyle that is commonly promulgated in the religious world. I could see that following Jesus with all of one’s heart was the only way to live!  Since that time many years ago, I have read and re-read that little booklet and others written by the same author.

Since my first exposure to little tracts at age fifteen, I have read hundreds of tracts and distributed many thousands of tracts to others. I’ve done this face to face, as well as through the mail, and also on the street.  I’ve not only ordered and distributed thousands of tracts, but I’ve written many dozens of tracts and maybe a couple hundred of booklets, especially during the past forty years. As you can see, I am totally convinced on the value of written literature, both for myself as well as for the needs of others.

Beware of expecting too much in this endeavor. Many people won’t read the literature that you distribute and probably most items will be discarded. But there will be some people out there who will openly and eagerly receive what you give. Remember that Jesus said gave the parable of the soils, saying, “The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). God’s word or the gospel must be sown into the heart of people for it to bring forth fruit. The Lord goes on to describe the fourth soil: “The seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance” (v. 15). This is what we want to find: the person with an “honest and good heart” who will receive the “seed” of God’s word and bear fruit to eternal life!

People have responded to the literature I’ve distributed in different ways. Many of the Watchtower Witness cult would crumble the tracts up and throw them away. Some would return the literature and say they were not interested. Others would just discard the literature and one could find tracts strewn on the sidewalk.  Sometimes I have mailed literature and the envelope was returned, unopened. One person received it and refused to read it, and then returned the contents.  Another returned the contents with a severely worded rebuke for my distribution of it.  Another person said he would not read the literature I sent and would go so far as to burn my literature!

But some receive literature with much eagerness.  One lady from North Carolina wrote and said that she had received one of my booklets and had kept it for at least ten years before writing to me. She gratefully acknowledged the value of that one little pamphlet to her.

Another interesting response came from a sincere young woman from Africa:

Dear Mr. Richard,

Greetings to you all. 

My name is . . . . I am girl of 21 years of age. I live in Ghana, a small village called . . . . in the Volta Region. I am a student and I have graduated Senior High Level in Dzosec this year. That is a brief introduction about myself. 

Now, I have found your literature booklet on the ground when I was going to the town. When I took it from the ground lo and be hold, I have found a very nice topic on it “The commitments of Baptism”. I have read the whole content of the booklet, in fact I really like the booklet very much. Your booklet has transformed my life. 

In my community, we are all traditionalist and we are serving lesser gods, and we do not believe in Christ though we have been hearing much about him but we do not believe in him. But now, your booklet is so powerful that it lets me know that those gods we were serving was the works of men, it also lets me know that we only have the most high God and His Son Jesus Christ. 

I have found your address, website and your email address on the back of the booklet. I have decided to contact you so that you may teach me more about the true God and His son. I will also be very glad and grateful if you may send me more of your booklets.

Since that time, I have sent much literature to this young woman and she eventually came to Christ. It illustrates that a tract—even if found on the ground—can have some effect on those whose hearts are open.

I wrote a little statement that hangs in my room, one that says what we have been discussing here:

“A single piece of literature could initiate a change that would alter a person’s eternal destiny and deliver the reader from hell to heaven. A single piece of literature! Sow the Seed Always!”

Maybe your experience with a tract hasn’t been as pronounced as mine was to me. As I remember my own past, I can see that God amazingly used that little tract so many years ago to reach me and shake me out of my religious complacency.  It shocked me and showed me that I was lost. As I continued to read tracts during those eventful months and then continued to read over the following years, I can see how my eyes were opened to vast areas of truth that I didn’t even know existed. I had been deceived and as God showed me truth in many different ways (including tracts, books, live messages, tapes, teachings, etc.).  Those areas of deception slowly gave way to aspects of truth I had not known.

Someone has said that there are at least five benefits to tracts:

1. They can communicate clearly

2. They don’t get intimidated

3. They go where we cannot

4. They can help us identify and take opportunities we’d miss

5. They can get people thinking again about spiritual things

(shininglights.co/mobtraining -five_benefits_of_ tracts.html)

I think that these points are valid and maybe you have found them to be true in your own life as well.  A helpful little tract entitled Be a Tract Missionary offers these reasons for tract distribution:

        1.    God has entrusted you with the gospel (Mark 16:15).

        2.    Many who never go to church or read the Bible will accept and read a tract.

        3.    Tracts can go anywhere to places and people you could never reach otherwise.

        4.    Tracts are concise.

        5.    Tracts open doors for further witness and nurture.

        6.    Tracts are inexpensive.

        7.    The influence of tracts is immeasurable.

        8.    Tracts are effective

        9.    Many are crying for help.

        10.Time is running out! Ripened grain is going to waste. Jesus is coming soon. With the relentless efforts of Satan’s agents to withstand the truth, only God knows when our opportunities may expire. (Christian Light Publications, Harrisonburg, VA 22802.)

All of these are valid reasons for distributing tracts. I might also add that there are other reasons for you to read tracts—if they do contain truth.

Just remember the point we’ve made about the significance of Christian literature: “A single piece of literature could initiate a change that would alter a person’s eternal destiny and deliver the reader from hell to heaven. A single piece of literature! Sow the Seed Always!”

Let that be a warning and an encouragement to all of us. Truth is in the balance. Open your heart to it and have compassion on someone today. Share the truth through literature—as well as through your spoken word. Paul declared, “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). We might also say that faith comes from “reading” and “reading” by the word of Christ! Put good, accurate, truth-containing literature into people’s hands today!

Note: Please write to us for a sample selection of little tracts that you may be able to use for your own edifiction and to reach others with the truth! Note the email address under “Contact”!

 

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