Donnie and I saw one of our church’s gospel tracts on the ground as we left the bus station the other day. We rejoiced. Why? A gospel tract placed into the hand of an unbeliever is always a successful mission. Whether read and believed or read and discarded, a distributed gospel tract is a a mission accomplished.
Certainly, I want everyone to whom I give a tract to repent and believe the gospel. However, I am never discouraged to see a discarded gospel tract on the ground. The Word of God is true.
The Word of the cross is foolishness to unbelievers–to those who are perishing (1 Corinthians 1:18). It is also an aroma of death unto death to them (2 Corinthians 2:15-16). In all of it, in every case, God is sovereign (Psalm 103:19; 1 Timothy 6:15).
I am not responsible for the damnation or eternal life or death of anyone. I am only responsible to love God and love people (Matthew 22:34-40), through the communication of the gospel (Romans 1:16). What God does with His gospel, who is hardened by it and who is saved by it, is entirely up to Him and for His glory.
“So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.
“You will say to me then, ‘Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?’ On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles” (Romans 9:18-24).
Trusting God alone for the salvation of others gives me the freedom to engage in evangelism, without the fear of failure or the pressure to perform or succeed.
Whether kept or discarded by the recipient, placing a gospel tract in a person’s hand is a successful evangelism effort.