There is an old story of how a diver saw a piece of paper clutched in the mouth of an oyster. The man grabbed it, found that it was a gospel tract and said, "I can't hold out any longer. His mercy is so great that He has caused His Word to follow me even to the bottom of the ocean." God used a tract to save the man. Why should a Christian use tracts? Simply because God uses them. He used a tract to save the great missionary Hudson Taylor, as well as many, many others. That fact alone should be enough incentive for a Christian to always use tracts to reach the lost, but there are even more reasons why we should use them. Here are a few:
Tracts can make an opening for us to share our faith. We can watch people's reaction as we give them a tract, and see if they are open to listen to spiritual things.
They can do the witnessing for us. If we are too timid to speak to someone about the things of God, we can at least give them a tract, or leave it lying around so that someone will pick it up.
They speak to the person when they are ready--i.e. they don't read it until they want to.
They can find their way into people's homes when we can't.
They don't get into argument. They just state their case.
Dr. Oswald J. Smith said, "The only way to carry out the Great Commission will be by the means of the printed page." Billy Graham said, "Nothing surpasses a tract for sowing the seed of the Good News." The Apostle Paul said, “I might by any means save some.” I'm sure that if Paul had access to the printed page that we have access to, he would carry his convictions to the full.
I am never in public without gospel tracts. In fact, if anyone ever finds me in public without them, I will give them $20. That makes sure I am always loaded for battle (you should say the same thing to your friends). When I see an attendant who is standing in a store looking bored, I can give him or her a tract and say, “This will break your boredom.” Most people smile, and say “Thanks.” In fact, we have tracts especially to break boredom. One is called the Intelligence Test Bookmark. This tract has a ten-minute “getaway” time. After you give it to them, you have ten minutes to get away, before they even know that it's a Christian tract. Other titles are especially designed for specific purposes.
If you want people to accept your tract from you, don't say, "Would you like this?" They will probably say, "What is it?" and then you're in trouble. Instead, say, "Did you get one of these?" That question has a two-fold effect. You stir up curiosity and make them ask "One of what?" That's when you pass it to them. That phrase also makes them feel as though they are missing out on something. And so they are.
Perhaps your whole life seems to pass before your eyes at the thought of giving someone a tract. Don't worry--you are not alone. We all battle fear. The answer to fear is found in the prayer closet. Ask God to give you a compassion that will swallow your fears. Meditate on the fate of the ungodly. Give Hell some deep thought. Confront what it is that you are so fearful of.
Do you like roller coasters? Some Christians want to try bungie-jumping or sky diving. Isn't it strange? We are prepared to risk our lives for the love of fear…and yet we are willing to let a sinner go to Hell for the fear of giving out a tract. Ask yourself how many piles of bloodied stones you can find where Christians have been stoned to death for preaching the gospel. How much singed soil can you find where they have been burned at the stake. Shame on us. We have a fear of rejection. We are fearful of looking foolish. That's a subtle form of pride. That sort of fear isn't from God. He hasn't given us the spirit of fear. If we listen to the lies of the devil rather than the Word of God, it shows we prefer to have faith in the devil rather than in our faithful Creator. What a terrible thought! Faith in His “precious promises” will lift us above the fear that so easily paralyzes us. If God is with us, nothing can be against us.
If you have never given out tracts, leave them in a shopping cart, or put them in the mail when you pay bills. Why not begin today? Then each night as you shut your eyes to go to sleep, you will have something very special to pray about… that God will use the tract you put somewhere. You will also have a deep sense of satisfaction, that you played a small part in carrying out the Great Commission… to reach this dying world with the gospel of everlasting life. Don't waste your life. Do something for the Kingdom of God while you are able to. Finally, always remember—treat every day as though it were your last… one day you will be right, so do something for God while you are able.