What do Jesus' (lost) sheep need to hear?

Posted: September 21, 2007 by Daniel in Christianity, evangelism, reformed, religions and beliefs

If you have not checked it out, we have been working hard on our gospel tracts. We now have 4 Evangelism Action tracts for you to download and freely distribute.


This week I have been watching Amazing Grace by Erik Holmburg. It got me thinking, “What do Jesus’ sheep need to hear in a gospel tract?” We have been working hard to eliminate unnecessary Christian jargon in our tracts, because there are certain words that need a lot of explaining. It is often easier to just remove certain words and change it to say the same thing in a more accessible way. I have heard sin referred to as ‘our rebellion’ against God. I think that is a fair euphemism to use and quite solid. But I have also heard it referred to as ‘muck'(a recent sermon), ‘all our filth'(a sermon a long time ago), ‘ignoring God’ and ‘not living the way God wants us to'(JAAL p53.)


Is it possible when we get ‘jazzy’ with our relabelling of sin we often forget to explain that it is transgression against the God’s standard of righteousness – the 10 commandments. It is possible that we could be moving into the dangerous error of Semi-Pelagianism: denying original sin and affirming the ability of humans to be righteous. If its just muck, we can bathe ourselves; if it’s just ignorance we can become informed; if its just a lifestyle, we can change lifestyles. No -we are dead in our transgressions and unable to do anything to save ourselves. Let’s be clear and accessible in our gospel presentation but also be careful that we are not giving sinners the wrong idea about what God has done and what he commands them to do.

  1. Josh says:

    amen – simply put – it’s a good DVD isn’t it.

  2. What needs to be heard in a gospel tract?

    Well, to paraphrase the entire one-hour long sermon “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” by Ray Comfort (found at http://www.livingwaters.com – definitely worth a listen), a gospel tract should have the following:
    – A clear labeling of what sin is when defined by the law (i.e. the Ten Commandments)
    – A description of their salvation in Jesus
    – A calling to repent and turn from sin permanently, to read the bible, join a church, etc.

    However, I find that it is not easy to put all this onto one tract without it being a page long. I find that the best tracts come not from Living Waters, but from http://www.customtractsource.com/. Great message in the form of parking tickets, zero/million/ten million dollar bills, etc.

    Probably the single-handedly best way to evangelize is through a sermon or one-on-one. Of course, you have to swallow your fears first. 🙂

    Please check out my website often- I plan to update regularly!

    God bless.

  3. georgiearm says:

    Well said dan.
    A good point, and one that would be easy to sweep under the rug.
    I think that if our motivation for faithful evangelism is God’s glory in spreading the truth, these things have to be considered seriously. When Christ said “i am the light”
    Sin is what that light revealed… we shouldn’t be happy to be birthday candles when we could be spotlights, (only revealing a little bit of what is in the darkness).
    We aren’t doing anyone any favours in the long run, if we play down the harsh reality of sin.

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