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Tracts & Transitions

This is a transcript of the video above.

Today, we will be looking at Exodus chapter 3. We’re not going to spend too much time there, as I do desire to be extremely practical. I read a lot of books on apologetics and evangelism, and I end up ripping them in half and throwing them in the trash, because I’m tired of learning things in theory. I need something that’s very practical, something that I can use out on the street tonight. If you don’t give me something I can use tonight, really you’ve got nothing to give me. I don’t care how many letters are behind your name.

Because the average person has a sixth-grade education, I decided to cheat from seventh grade on up into the rest of the schools that I went to, so I can relate to the common person. I attended 13 different schools. I was kicked out of Bible College. So you do not, believe it or not, have a rocket scientist before you today. In fact, I was a senior in high school when I found out there was no Santa Claus. That is a true story.

Effective Evangelism

John MacArthur said these very profound words concerning evangelism: “Effective evangelism depends on the faithful proclamation of the Word. God will prepare the soil and bring forth the fruit. We must be faithful to plant the seed.” We cannot mistake fruitfulness as faithfulness. What is fruitful according to God? It’s you being faithful to open up your mouth. If you open up your mouth, or you extend your hand the way you ought with a gospel tract, you are fruitful in the eyes of God. I would much rather be fruitful in the eyes of God than in the eyes of man.

Just this past Monday, I took my little girl Ella out for a little date night. We do that from time to time, and she wanted to go to a nice restaurant, and so we did. We were off to Wendy’s. As I’m waiting there in line, there were quite a few people in front of me with suits and ties, and business sort of dresses. They were seniors, juniors, right around there in high school, and I said, “Hey, you guys are all dressed up! What’s going on? Where’s the party? What are you guys doing?” They said, “Oh, we’re part of the debate team, and we just came from these mock trials.” I go, “Oh, well who won?” They said, “Oh, we did. We wiped the floor with them.” I went, “Oh, that’s interesting. Okay.”

I got my two frosties and my french fries, went back to my table, and I began to attempt to pour into my little girl. One of the guys blasphemed really loud, enough to where my little girl goes, “Dad!” I said, “Honey, do you want Daddy to go and talk to them?” She’s all, “Yes, Daddy.” I go, “Honey, Daddy feels sick.” She said, “Well, you can go give them gospel tracts.” I said, “You can go give them gospel tracts.” I reached into my pocket and I only had five gospel tracts on me and there were about 20 of these debaters that were there. I said, “Honey, I don’t have enough.” She’s all, “There’s some in the car.” So I try to change the subject for the next 10 minutes. I’m not kidding. I started thinking about everything, and every reason why I should not go hand out tracts or talk to this debate team.

Well, after the 10 minutes, my daughter finishes up her frosty, and she said, “Let’s go get the tracts!” So we went to the van, it was raining outside, she picks up the gospel tracts, and she’s all, “Here they are! Let’s go!” I go, “Let’s pray first!” So, she prayed and when she was done praying, I said, “It’s now time for Daddy to pray.” I prayed. I looked over and the guys were all standing up inside there, looking like they’re about ready to leave. I said, “All right, honey, this is our time. Let’s go hand out the tracts.”

Conquering My Fears

So I went up to the people, and I said, “Hey guys, you guys are all part of this debate team, I hear. How cool is that? You know, my little girl, Ella…honey what are you doing under there?” She goes, “I’m shy.” “Honey, is there room under there for Daddy?” I go, “Well, my little girl, Ella, wanted me to make sure that I gave each one of you one of these million-dollar bills. And on the other side of this million-dollar bill, there’s a Christian message. You want to make sure that you read that.” Well, there were some snickers from the crowd. They weren’t all too enthralled about that.

Then I said, “Okay, here it goes. Which one of you is the most outspoken? Which one of you is the best debater on the team here?” They all pointed over to this girl named Dakota. She said, “Well, that would be me.” I go, “You know, I’m not much of a debater, but I would like to challenge you with your worldview. I tell you what, I will act as the prosecution. You be the defense, and the rest of you guys can be the jury. What do you think?” They’re all, “Okay.” “I got one rule. You can’t be a Christian.” She’s all, “Oh no, I’m not. You don’t gotta worry about that.” I said, “Okay, perfect.”

“So, I gave you those…” I had all kinds of stuff in my pocket, so I pulled out some million-dollar bills, right? I said, “So you got one of these, and on the other side, there’s the million-dollar question. So what do you think happens after we die?” She answered and we talked for about 20 minutes. I recorded it on my little phone to make it look like I was professional. When it was all over, one of the guys that was part of the debate team came up to me and he goes, “Hey, you’re Mark Spence! I watch On the Box, I loved “180,” this is insane!” He goes, “So I watch you on the internet, and now I come in here and you’re doing it in person! Man! This is great!” I go, “Yeah, this is great!”

The True Meaning of Courage

But let me tell you, I was very scared. I thought of a million and one reasons why I should not share with that group of people. I got physically sick, to the place where I thought I was going to be talking to Ralph on the big white phone inside the bathroom in just a minute. It’ll take a while for some of you to get that. But I was nervous, but I still opened up my mouth.

“It’s been said that courage isn’t necessarily done by him who feels brave when he does it. True courage is him who feels fear, yet he does it anyways.”

It’s been said that courage isn’t necessarily done by him who feels brave when he does it. True courage is him who feels fear, yet he does it anyways. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s the conquering of it; scared to death, but going to do it anyways. Every time I hand out a tract, every time I open-air preach, every time I do one-on-one or go door-to-door, I am, believe it or not, freaking out inside. I’m scared to death! Of what? I’ve got no idea! But I still do it. I still do it. It doesn’t get easier for me. I’m not afraid of any questions that they’re going to ask me. I don’t have all the answers, but I still get frayed. I could simply say, “Hey, I don’t have an answer for that question. Good question, I don’t got a clue! But I’m not walking away from the faith now that I don’t have an answer to your question. You’re just causing me to go study these things up.”

Revival Starts with You

G. Campbell Morgan said, “To call a man evangelical who is not evangelistic is an utter contradiction.” George Whitfield, I hate that guy. He said these words: “God forbid that I should travel with anybody a quarter of an hour without speaking of Christ to them.” So what’s he saying? He’s not going to be with somebody, a stranger, for 15 minutes, without telling them the truth about Jesus Christ. Now you know why I hate that guy! But yet I choose to surround myself with people that are just like that, and so should you.

Be that person! Say, “God, send a revival!” Make a little chalk line, or a tape line if it’s on carpet. Get inside there and say, “God, send a revival, but start in here. Start in my heart, God. I want to be used to the fullest extent. I don’t want to have excuses when I stand before You. You didn’t die for excuses, You died for sins and I want my life to count. Because I know that every time my heart beats, it is the drum beat of my own funeral march. I want it to be said that You used me to the greatest degree that You could use an individual.”

Moses’ Many Excuses

Well, in Exodus 3, God commissions Moses to do this crazy thing. What is it? Go before Pharaoh and the Jewish elders, and tell them to “let My people go.” “What?! Seriously? You want me to go to who? The king of Egypt and say what? Seriously? You’re not kidding? I mean, I’m going to begin to shake in my Birkenstocks here. You really want me to go and deliver this message?” “Yeah, and catch this, Mo.” Listen, 3:8 of Exodus, God states His purpose to Moses: “I have come down to deliver them.” “And that’s supposed to be reassuring to me?” “Yeah, Moses. They will harken to your voice.” “But…” and he begins to say lots of excuses.

We’re going to focus in on three of them, and then I’m going to give you very practical things to use out on the street. But according to Exodus 2:24, God’s resolve to deliver the children of Israel wasn’t for their happiness. It was for, catch this, His namesake. For His namesake, God heard their groaning and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. So what Moses is supposed to understand here, is that it’s not about their happiness, it’s about God’s name. It’s His name, His glory, His covenant. There’ll be no self-satisfying pats on the back on this one, Mo. “Hey, I’m going to get all the credit, all the honor, all the glory. Go. Go with confidence knowing that I’m going to do a work. You don’t gotta freak out. I’m going to go do a work.”

Well, this is what Moses says in 3:11: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh? Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” “So God, in comparison to Pharaoh, this mountain, I’m a worm. Can You really use a worm to bring down a mountain and cast that mountain into the sea? Really? Can You do that?” I imagine his voice getting all high-pitched, a little bit nervous, the sweat going down his brow, just freaking out. So God, perhaps He pauses to give Moses a chance. I imagine God, “Listen, Moses. I didn’t choose you because you’re a mountain. I chose you because you are a worm and I take much delight in bringing down mountains by using a worm, rather than using a mountain to bring down worms. Why? So that you don’t pat yourself on the back. So that you realize, catch this—that it’s not about you.”

It’s All About God

I can end there. Christianity is not about you. You are not the main subject in this play we call life. It’s not about you. You’re not the lead character. It’s about Him. I’ve read the end of the book. Revelation 22:21. I’ve read the last chapter, the last verse, and He wins! Man, I love a good ending! He wins! So guess what? I win! It’s all win-win. I can just go out with confidence, knowing that God is going to accomplish His task. He’s going to do the work that He wants to do. Yeah, He’s a mountain, but guess what, it’s not about you. Verse 8, “I have come down to deliver them.” Don’t freak out, now go. It’s not about you.

All right, second objection, 4:1. Moses answers this, and he says this, “But look, they’re not going to believe me or listen to my voice, for they’re going to say, ‘Hey, the Lord did not appear to you.’” So what’s Moses’s excuse at this point? It was oriented on his inability to persuade. “I don’t know…I can’t…they’re not going to listen me! I can’t persuade them! I’m not very high on the whole verbal skills test.” I can’t go before these debaters at Wendy’s, that nice fine-dining restaurant. I could never do such a thing like that. It’s not about you, so that you don’t pat yourself on the back.

“Christianity is not about you. You are not the main subject in this play we call life. It’s not about you. You’re not the lead character. It’s about Him.”

The third point, last point, quickly moving along. Moses says in Exodus 4:10, “Lord, I’m not a man of words. Neither formally or since you’ve spoken to your servant, but my mouth and my tongue are heavy.” This describes, if not you, it describes me, man. Hey, my tongue, it’s lead in my mouth. Moses would say, “Remember when I proposed to Zipporah? I practiced that thing for weeks to the sheep, and I still couldn’t get it right. I couldn’t do it!” Some people’s tongues are light and they’re free, but not me. That’s not me. Here am I, send him, because I could never do what you’re calling me to do, which is go into the highways, byways, and gutter-ways to compel people to come. Moses knew the response to what God would say. He begins to say, “Hey, remember? Look back. I understand that you can make a man eloquent, but I just want to point out the obvious here, God. That before we started to talk, I wasn’t very eloquent. But even hitherto, nothing has changed, God. Nothing’s changed.”

So God ends all of his excuses and He says these words, and it reveals the sovereign hand of God. He says, “Who made man’s mouth? Who makes him dumb or deaf or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” So not only has God created every man, woman, and child exactly the way He wanted them to be, but catch this: He continually, to this moment, makes every man, woman, and child exactly the way He wants them to be. Blind, deaf, dumb, in a wheelchair, autistic, exactly the way God wants them to be. God is the Creator. He made man’s mouth, and His providence rules over all things. Ultimately, it is He who makes them blind, deaf, and dumb!

The Perfect Candidate

Remember John 9? John 9, the man born blind. You’ll never forget it. What’s in John 9? Oh the man born blind. It rhymes. John 9, the man born blind. Well, here’s the disciples, they go to Jesus and they say this: “All right, who sinned, Rabbi? Was it this guy who’s blind? Or was it his parents?” He’s all, “Neither, but that the works of God might be made manifest.” So that God would be glorified. That is why this man is born blind. I’m going to step out on a limb. That is why you are exactly the way you are, so that the glory of God might be made manifest in you.

There’s a reason why I don’t rub elbows with the people who you rub elbows with, because God wants you to reach out to those people, not me. Little old you, exactly the way you are, God says, “Perfect candidate! Man, I’m going to confound the wise. This is a very simple person.” That’s good news, so that you don’t pat yourself on the back. “So no rehearsals, Moses, just a promise. We’re not going to rehearse your lines, just go. Remember who it is that gives you that promise. When the great I Am, from all of the beginning of time, commissions you to do a task, guess what? It’s going to take place.” Which leads us to the message today.

How Can You Evangelize?

I want to give you very creative and innovative ways to reach the lost. This is what I do. I want to teach you how to transition from the natural realm on into the spiritual realm. Then how do you reach out to your neighbor, who you’ve lived next door to for 20 years, yet you don’t even know his name? How do you do those things? Well we’re going to look at those things today. The truth is this: there’s going to be people that are going to come after us, that are going to tread where you now tread.

In 100 years, none of us are going to be around, more than likely, right? I’ll go 120 years. We’re all gone, man. We’re all worm food, we’re all six feet under. It’s done. I don’t want you, when you’re standing on the precipice of Heaven, and you’re looking over life’s finished story, because you’re up there in glory, and you go, “Man, there was more that I could’ve done! I could’ve handed out another tract. I could’ve done that open-air. I could’ve reached out to my neighbor and I didn’t do it.” No excuses when we get to Heaven. So, we’re all gone. We need to say, “Here am I, send me,” not “send him.” Remember God uses simple men and women to change and transform the world. He who wins souls is wise. I think you could, on the flip-side, say he who doesn’t is a fool. Salvation belongs to God, but if you don’t open up your mouth as you ought, it’s foolish. I want you to find out now rather than then.

All right, practical things. If you’re in a rut, and you’re not handing out tracts, if you’re not sharing your faith, go inside a grocery store, just be nice to someone to get into a conversation with a sales clerk. Say “Hi” continually. “Hey, how you doing? You have any kids? I see you continually, I was just wondering do you have any kids?” “Yeah, three.” Then dare to be used by God. Christmastime comes around, you know, “Hey, any money back?” “Yeah, I’ll take 20 back.” She gives you the 20, “Oh no, that’s for you. Merry Christmas. Hey, God bless you.” And you hand her a gospel tract. Can God inconvenient your pocketbook to reach out to a girl who’s just doing her job continually? I guarantee, she’ll never forget that. Can God inconvenience you?

The Convenience of Tracts

God is not inconvenienced by anything. We need to change our priorities on why we go out. Why do you go to the grocery store? Is it to be a light, to put gospel tracts inside that pocket, knowing and hoping that God can use that in times in the future? Or is it, “I’m getting my Coke.” Well, what happens if they don’t have your Coke? You’re going to be bummed. But if you’re there to fulfill the first and greatest commandment, to love God, and to make Him known…

“God uses tracts. I got saved with a gospel tract.”

Man, 150 years from now, I’m excited to see all these places where I’ve strategically placed tracts, to see what God did with all of those things. God uses tracts. I got saved with a gospel tract. We need to consider the bees of the fields. What does a bee do? A bee goes from flower to flower—I’m allergic to bees to some extent—from flower to flower, looking for pollen. It gets pollen on it, or nectar, and it moves on. If it doesn’t find what it’s looking for, it doesn’t sting the flower. It’d be kind of stupid if it did, because it dies. It just moves on.

Well, that’s what we do. We go from person to person. We’re looking for God’s elect. We’re looking for that person who God wants to speak to. If they reject the message, that’s okay. We shake the dust off, we move on. We move on to the next person. We don’t sting them with a harsh word. I’ll take the tract back, I don’t mind. And I go my way. I said for many years, if you ever catch me in public without a tract, Ray Comfort will give you $1,000.

Avoid Christianese

Don’t use spiritual language that will go over people’s heads. Don’t go up to someone and say, “Hey man, you been washed in the blood of the Lamb? You wanna be?” I mean, how freaky is that? We gotta remember who we deal with here. Just ordinary people. I could tell you where all the sports bars and clubs are at in Southern California here. Why? Because I visit them. I go in there with my tracts. My brothers, they come into town and we go. We hit the pubs, and I put tracts everywhere, in and out. “Well, what would somebody say if they saw you coming out of a bar, Mark?” They would say, “There goes Mark. He’s putting tracts in the bar.” I mean, I don’t drink alcohol. I’ve never had a problem with alcohol, but that’s what we do.

Tic Tac Tactics

Tic Tacs, they’re mandatory. People don’t need to know that your mouth is an open sepulcher. I mean, no good thing dwells within us. Have Tic Tacs. Always Tic Tacs. Put them in your left hand, because you do fellowship with the right hand. But if you have those Tic Tacs, you quickly put them inside of your mouth, then you can get close and intimate and personal. I remember I was talking to this guy on Hollywood Boulevard and unbeknownst to me…I mean, I was really close to this guy. I was talking to him and my eyes didn’t leave his eyes. He goes, “Hey, I can tell that you care. People know that I’m a gigolo out here, and I’m trying to make a living. I’m at my wit’s end.” I don’t think I would’ve got that close if it wasn’t for the Tic Tac, I’ll be honest with you.

I said, “Hey man, you got a Bible?” He goes, “No I don’t.” By the end of the conversation, he wanted to get right with God. I said, “You don’t have a Bible? Where do you live?” He’s all, “I’ll be honest with you, I’m at this bus stop because I was getting on the next bus to go over to the Santa Monica overpass and I was going to go commit suicide, and here you are coming up and stopping that.” He got rid of everything, he just gave it away. I remember when the bus came up, when we were talking, I go, “Hey, you need to get on here?” He goes, “No, that’s all right. I can always catch the next one. Go on with what you’re saying.” Man, how cool is that?

The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord. God does not want robots. God doesn’t want you to be like me, or like Kirk, or like Ravi Zacharias. He wants you to be who you are to reach out to the people who you reach out to. I make it my continual aim, I pray, “God, give me creative, innovative ways to reach the lost.” What’s my motto? I want to work smarter, not harder. I’m very lazy. I am so lazy. So if I can find a smarter way to do something, man I’m at the front of the line. You want to wait in line, you wait in line. I’ll find a way to sneak to the front of the line.

Smarter Evangelism

That’s how I met Kirk Cameron. There was a big long line of people waiting to get his autograph. I went right to the front and I gave my “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” CD. I said, “You know what? The last shall be first, here I go.” I gave him the CD. He called up the ministry later the next week. He said, “Hey, let’s get together. Let’s have lunch, let’s talk.” Then he found out that we hand out tracts. He goes, “You’re one of them. What a freakazoid. You hand out tracts?” Now he hands out tracts everywhere he goes. I love it. I call him a freakazoid.

But I remember, I went to this gay and lesbian festival. All right, I snuck in. I snuck into this gay and lesbian festival. I jumped over, it was at UCI. I remember I landed right inside my friend’s arms when I jumped the fence. True. I went over and I saw this table. This table says, “Hey, God loves you just the way you are, and so do we. Come fellowship at our church.” So I went over there, I started talking to this guy. This guy was just schooling me on my Greek and Hebrew. I couldn’t keep up. This guy claimed to be on the board to help translate a very popular version of the Bible that we use today. I couldn’t keep up.

Then I got to the Seventh Commandment, and his jaw hit the ground and he became speechless. I was able to open up the Law. It was amazing. A crowd drew, security came over, put their hand on my shoulder. I said to them, “God’s not done yet.” Security went, “Whoa!” They walked away, they left me alone. But I went over to the guy and I said, “Hey…” I continued on with the Law. You know Greg Bahnsen said, “It’s not our job to open people’s hearts. It’s our job to close their mouths.” That’s what the Law does. The Law closes their mouth.

So I like using the Law of God, because I don’t know how to close somebody’s mouth, but God does. He does it regularly. What do I do? I’m nervous. I am extremely nervous. I’m not just saying that. It’s no show. I am really nervous to hand out a gospel tract. I’m more nervous…I’ll dare to step out on a limb and say more than you all, I’m nervous. I am a bit of an introvert. I would never guess that! I am! I would much rather stay away from everybody and go away with my wife and watch a movie or hang out with just my kids. I don’t like being around people. I don’t like crowds of people. But I swallow my fears anyways, and I do it.

The Importance of Tracts

Billy Graham, he said, “Nothing surpasses a tract for sowing the seed of the Good News.” Charles Spurgeon, he said, “When preaching and private talk are not available, you need to have a tract ready. Get good striking tracts or none at all. Therefore, do not go without your tracts.” So, I use gospel tracts. I find that to be the best way to get inside somebody’s life. My favorite tract is the million-dollar bill. The million-dollar bill is my favorite tract, and if that is not enough for you, then we have the trillion-dollar bill. It’s bigger. Here’s the million, there’s the trillion. Then here’s the back of the tracts, so there is a message there. It’s not as thorough perhaps as you might want, but it’s really just as an icebreaker, where I can get inside their lives.

“God uses them to get into a place that you can’t get into. They can be read hundreds of years from now, should the Lord tarry. They stick to the message. The message is very clear.”

If you want something a little bit more to the point, we have the “Are You a Good Person?” tract. Hey, this is what I’m all about. “I’m just curious man, hey are you good enough to get to Heaven? Would you consider yourself to be a good person?” Allow them to hang themselves as you begin to go through the Commandments. But we need to use gospel tracts for many different reasons. I won’t go through all these reasons here, but why we use gospel tracts, God uses them to get into a place that you can’t get into. They can be read hundreds of years from now, should the Lord tarry. They stick to the message. The message is very clear.

I got saved with a gospel tract. The best man at my wedding, who’s now a senior pastor up in Newcastle upon Tyne, outside of Scotland, he got saved with a gospel tract. He was one of the leading drug dealers in Southern California, dealing with the Mexican Mafia when he was in high school. He’s now soundly saved. The guy’s amazing. I went to Bible College with him, and while he was at Bible College, he thought he was Jesus Christ. I’m not kidding! He took so much drugs, he thought he was Jesus. Well the dean of students convinced him that he wasn’t Jesus. Now he just thought he was Adam reincarnated. Now he’s a senior pastor. God chooses to use the simple things of the world to absolutely confound the wise.

Tracts Open Doors

Recently, I was in Hollywood, and I was able, with a buddy of mine, to give a tract to John Travolta, which I thought was a really cool thing. Holly Hunter was able to get one, and she signed one. Then Jimmy Johnson, he’s got something to do with racecar driving. He was able to sign one and he took one. Then George Clooney, he’s signing the tract, and he’s taking a tract.

So I had a chance to bump into a couple other celebrities. I went to give Kenny G a tract, he wouldn’t take it. I kinda freaked him out a little bit. I gave one to Judge Reinhold. He’s a Christian now, which is really cool. I gave one to Little Richard. I was on the same flight as him, and he gave me a tract back. It was a Seventh Day Adventist tract. I gave one to DJ Qualls and his girlfriend. I went to give one to Stevie Wonder, but he didn’t take it. Will Smith, I was at a Lakers game, and I bumped into Will Smith. I actually…I knocked him down to the ground. But when he got up—this is when he had the really big ‘fro, you know, all the way up—I bumped into him…you know what I shared with him? Goose egg. I didn’t share anything with him. I was kicking myself for not sharing anything with him. I said, “God, open up a door. Open up a door where I can share with that guy again.”

I’m not kidding, less than a month later, I collided with Will Smith again at a different Lakers game. Knowing what he’s thinking this time, I looked at him and I said, “Are you stalking me?” You know what I shared with him that time? Nothing. Last night, I’m not kidding, at the hotel…nothing happened. Sorry, nothing happened. What were you expecting? Oprah Winfrey, the great, likable, lovable, squeezable human being said, “One of the biggest mistakes humans make is to believe that there is only one way. Actually there are many diverse paths leading to what you call God.” Yeah, I know she’s wrong because…how do we know she’s wrong? Because we’ve got the Bible, right? Because there’s no other name given under Heaven by which man must be saved. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father but through Him.

What Hollywood Believes

George Clooney: “I don’t believe in Heaven and Hell. I don’t believe in God. All I know is that as an individual, I won’t allow this life, the only thing I know to exist, to be wasted.” When you have a worldview to which you believe that there is no afterlife, and every person has an autonomous, a self-subjective worldview, where everybody gets to decide amongst themselves what is right and wrong, good and bad, sacred and secular, how do you think that individual lives his life? Any way he wants, and does whatever he wants to do.

His best buddy, Brad Pitt, is the pits with what he says here: “I’m probably 20% atheist and 80% agnostic. I don’t think anyone really knows. You’ll either find out or not when you get there. Until then, there’s no point thinking about it.” So he doesn’t. Kevin Costner…I went to school with Kevin Costner. Actually, I was enrolled for one day at the same school that he actually went to at Cal State Fullerton. “I have always wanted to believe that there is something more to life than what we have here on earth. I mean, it would be nice to know that there is something more, a higher power waiting for us, wouldn’t it?” I would like to talk to him. I’d like to say, “Hey, buddy, there is.” Will Smith, who grew up Baptist, he said, “90% of the principles in Scientology are identical to the principles of the Bible.” Really, what are you reading?

Russell Crowe, he said, “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” He didn’t write that, his script-writer did, but I actually like what he said here. What we do in life echoes in eternity. Man, if you can get ahold of that, you handing out that tract, opening up your mouth as you ought…it’s going to echo dude, dudette. It’s gonna be there forever. Forever. Forever.

I was at the Third Street Promenade in Los Angeles. I went to give a gospel tract to Rodney Dangerfield. He wouldn’t take it. This little young girl that was with him wouldn’t take it. His bodyguard wouldn’t take it. Not even a month later, there lies his legacy. That’s it. He’s gone. Some of you don’t even know who he is. A comedian to the comedians. “I get no respect.” Where is he now? I’ve got no idea where he is now. Honestly, I don’t. But really, that’s the outcome of every man, woman, and child. The living need to take that to heart. He’s just paving the way for us. He’s going before us, blowing the trumpet, “Hey, where I go, you’re coming.” I don’t know about where you’re going, but I’m going to be like you. I’m going to fall asleep someday; I’m going to die.

How to Best Use Tracts

So where do we hand out tracts? The great places to stash tracts, because I have a hard time handing out tracts—and if you’re like me, you have a hard time handing out tracts—well then stash tracts. Drop them in bags in lobbies. Put them in menus at restaurants, waiting for the next person who’s going to open up that menu. There’s so many different places where you can hand out tracts. Leave them for the next person who’s going to come along.

You know, making a booth. I absolutely love this idea. Setting up a booth. I got a buddy down at the Huntington Beach pier. He sets up a table, he’s got a banner, and says, “Hey, if you could ask God one question, what would it be?” He’s got a thing of Post-It notes, with pens, and people write down their questions. “Hey, will Peyton Manning retire?” Whatever the question is. Then they post it to this little table that he’s got there. Every once in a while, a question comes along that he goes, “Hey, I think I can answer that question. Why is there evil in the world? Why is there suffering?”

“There’s so many different places where you can hand out tracts. Leave them for the next person who’s going to come along.”

Well, if God were to come tonight at 12 o’clock to get rid of all the evil and suffering in the world, where would you be at 12:01? Because you think that rape and murder and kidnapping is wrong and evil, and I agree with you, but why stop there? God has a bigger checklist. His checklist includes lying and covetousness, stealing. Have you always told the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help you God? No? Well then you’ve lied. That makes you a liar. The Bible says all liars will have their part in the lake of fire. Don’t consider me your enemy just because I’m telling you the truth, you know. I’d much rather be considered your enemy, to tell you the truth, than pat you on the back and say everything’s okay when you and I both know at this point, it’s not.

So man, letting the fish jump in the net. I love it. I absolutely love it. So there’s so many different banners that you can get. You can get creative by yourself. I’ve got a friend, PrayerStand.com. This is what I’m all about, is what he does. He puts out a prayer stand and just waits there. People come by, people go, “Hey, you can’t set that up here.” So he gets the prayer stand, he puts it inside of his truck, he gets to Walmart really early, and people walking by, they can see that he’s there, he wants to pray for somebody. He goes, “Hey, do you need some prayer man? Hey, can I pray for you?” You’d be surprised how many people want prayer. Then he transitions that over to the spiritual. “Hey, do you mind if I ask you a quick question? What do you think happens after we die?” Then he just gets into it. That’s a great way. I absolutely love it.

One of my latest ways to witness that I like is when the server comes to my table, drops off the food. I look over and I go, “Hey, in just a minute, we’re going to eat the food, but before we do so, we’re going to pray. Is there anything I can pray for you about? Anything at all?” You’d be surprised how many of these waiters and waitresses, even if they’re atheistic man, they’re going to tell you something because they want your tip.

Turning the Bad into Beautiful

Which brings me to the next point. How many people that you know of, actually prayed for bad service at a restaurant? I have. Yeah. At the end, man, drops off the check, “Hey, Sally, you and I both know service was terrible. But I’m going to give you a really good tip today.” Throw down a 20 on the spot. “Then on the back of this, it’s going to explain why I gave you such a good tip. It’s this thing called grace. It’s getting something that you don’t deserve, and that’s what God did to me some 20 years ago. He reached into the dark cavern of my heart and He did the one thing for me that I couldn’t do for myself, and that was make me right before Him. Hey, I’m going to be praying for you for this week.” “Hey, thanks for sharing that.” Can God inconvenience you enough to give you bad service? Brings your hot food out cold, your cold food out hot. Can God do that? Yeah, why not?

How about the scene of an accident? You ever pray that you’d be inside of an accident or just behind an accident, so you can go out and you can pray for the people? I tell you, there’s no greater time to think about death. I rented a car at this last conference that I was speaking at…well, one of the last conferences that I was speaking at. I go, “OnStar, I’ve always wanted to push that.” So I did. I pushed it. It says, “Hey, can I help you?” Whatever he said. I said, “Yeah, I just wondered if you can give me some directions.” “Yeah, sure, where you heading?” “Well, I just wondered. Do you know how to get to Heaven? You know, if God were to ask you, ‘Why should I let you into Heaven,’ what would you say?” Well the conversation was amazing! By the end of the conversation, he wanted to get right with God. It was so cool! If you’ve got OnStar, you’ve got to try that. I don’t have OnStar, so I don’t think I’ll ever try it again. I love it. But if you have OnStar, why not? Give it a go! If you rent a car, you’re going out some place to travel, request a car that has OnStar. Just to give it a try. I think it’s absolutely great.

How about a telemarketer? Do you enter your name onto the “do not call” list? Or do you say, “No, give me a call.” When you mess up on that conversation with the telemarketer, just hang up! I’ve got a buddy, whenever a telemarketer calls them, he says, “You know this actually isn’t a very good time to talk. Can I get your home number and I’ll call you at home?”

Transitioning from Tracts

All right, so how do I transition to the spiritual as we move right along? Well, I have the gospel tract, I go up to somebody and I go, “Hey, did you get one of these?” They say, “What is it?” I say, “It’s a Christian gospel tract. There’s a little Christian message on the back. What do you think happens after we die? Ever give it much thought?” If you don’t want to say that, you can say something else. “Hey, did you get one of these?” “What is it?” “It’s a Christian gospel tract. When you die, what do you think is on the other side? Or what do you think somebody has to do in order to go to Hell?” You can say whatever you want to say, right? It works.

And when you don’t have tracts, this is absolutely a great idea, too. These are just blank cards. You stand on a corner, you’re not allowed to solicit inside The Orange Block, so what do you do? You got a bunch of white cards, you’re just handing those out. “Here you go. Here you go.” Somebody comes back and they go, “What is this? I don’t get it.” You go, “Oh, well, those are all the good deeds you’ve done in order to get to Heaven.” “But there’s nothing on there.” “That’s right.”

All right, so you can’t use gospel tracts, what do you do? This is what I do, this is something I’ve been doing lately. I go around, I go up to an individual, and I say, “Hey, my buddy and I, we’ve been out walking around asking people a very controversial question. I’m wondering if I could have just a couple minutes of your time, and I’ll ask you the same question.” “Well what’s the question?” “My name’s Mark, by the way, what’s your name?” “Jimmy.” “All right, Jimmy, here it is. You ready? Brace yourself. I’m asking people what do you think happens after you die?” That’s it! That’s the question. That’s the million-dollar question. That’s what’s so controversial. And man, I’m getting some good answers. I mean, some interesting answers. I talked to this one guy who thinks he’s going to turn into a penguin when he dies. “What are your thoughts? What do you think’s going to happen to you when you die? I’m just curious, would you consider yourself to be an open-minded individual, in that you respect other people’s beliefs?” “Oh yeah, I do. I’m very open-minded.” “Oh, let me show you what I believe.”

Yeah, then when a person shares a different point of view, “I believe that I turn into a penguin,” I say, “Well what do you mean by that? How do you know that to be true? Where do you get your information from, and what if you’re wrong?” Just allow them to talk. They hang themselves. They paint themselves into a corner. It’s great. Now toward the end of the conversation to wrap it up, I always say, “Hey, do you believe what I’m telling you is the truth? Do you believe what I just told you is the truth?” The usual typical answer is, “Yeah, yeah, I think so.” To which, I go to the next question, and I say, “Is there any sin inside your life that is so precious to you that it’s worth going to Hell over? That you just don’t want to surrender that thing, you just want to hold onto it?” “Um, no.” “Okay, final question, is there anything holding you back from getting right with God today? Nothing? Hey, well there you go.”

More Practical Pointers

A couple more pointers. Travel in groups of two when at all possible. Jesus sent His disciples out in groups of two. Get a regular fishing hole. Let people see your face regularly. You see regulars there at that regular fishing hole, buy them a cup of coffee. “Hey, I saw you man, I just wanted to give this to you.” When going out to share your faith, have a goal for the night. Very key, very strategic. When I go out to share my faith, I’m going to make sure that I hand out two gospel tracts, that’s it. Two gospel tracts. When I’m done handing those tracts out, I can go home and catch my movie, get a cup of joe. Why? Because I’ve led many teams out where I never handed out a tract because I was so afraid. I never did. Never evangelized, never one-on-one, when I was leading the team.

“Travel in groups of two when at all possible. Jesus sent His disciples out in groups of two. Get a regular fishing hole. Let people see your face regularly.”

What helped me was having a goal for the night. Tonight, I’m going to talk to one person in a pink shirt. I’m going to get rejected three times. As soon as I get rejected, “No I don’t want that.” “Thank you!” “Thank you!” “No, thank you! Can I give you a hug?” That’s one down, two more rejections to go. Have a goal for the night. Almost make a game out of it. I love it. Don’t pretend like you have all the answers. We don’t need to pretend like we do. Somebody asks you a question you don’t have an answer for, say you don’t know. So what are you studying? You’re studying the last question asked.

How do you reach out to your neighbor and your family? If you go to https://www.whitepages.com/reverse_lookup and you type in your phone number or your address, out comes the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all your neighbors. You now got a prayer list. You can reach out to your friends who live next door to you. Real simple. You’re making brownies, instead of giving them to the kids say, “Let’s go give this to Judy next door.” Or whoever your neighbor is. I don’t follow you, I don’t know who your neighbor is, and give them brownies. Ask them advice. Ask them for advice on what to do, on how to do certain things, and then it can help you.

Multiply yourself. Networking. Go to MySpace, Facebook…is MySpace still in existence? Man! Facebook, Twitter, whatever you gotta do. Put the gospel up there and who’s to say somebody’s not going to stumble across that?

You’re Alive for a Reason

Final point, the reason I know that God is not done with you and He wants to do a radical work through you, is because…you’re still alive, man. This ain’t rocket science. The moment God is done with you, He’s taking you home. It says the Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and sing songs of deliverance. When you’re done, when the time is up, when you’re done walking in the work in which God prepared before this thing called time that you’re handcuffed to, you and I, He’s taking you home. You’re outta here, man. See, there’s no sin so great inside your life that God’s grace isn’t greater. Grace, unmerited favor to the infinitely ill-deserving. God wants to give you what you don’t deserve.

It’s Not About You

You’re not a book placed on the proverbial bookshelf of God, never to be used, only to be examined from a distance. No man, God wants to use you to reach your family and friends. Remember we started off with Moses’s excuses why he shouldn’t go? Do you remember how that ended up? In Exodus 4:13, Moses says to the Lord, “Please Lord send, I pray, someone else.” That’s how it ended. Moses just flat out refused the call, and he didn’t go. He didn’t go. He finally went. He was finally able to go into the Promised Land, but when was that? He finally sang the song of deliverance with the children of Israel, but when was that? God ended up raising somebody else. Who? His brother. “Of all people, don’t raise up my brother! We’ve been bickering my whole life.” “Yeah, where’s Aaron? I’ll use him.”

Do you realize God’s desire is to seek and save that which is lost? That’s His desire. You have nothing to do with it. You’re not the main character. Get over yourself. You can’t impress people with Jesus when you’re trying to impress them with yourself. Get over yourself. It’s not about you, it’s about Him. It’s about Him.

Mark Spence

Mark Spence is the Vice President of Outreach at Living Waters and the Dean of the online School of Biblical Evangelism, with over 18,000 students enrolled since its inception. A popular speaker at conferences and universities, he also cohosts season five of the television program “Way of the Master,” engaging skeptics and equipping Christians in evangelism and apologetics. A former assistant pastor, Mark is the Producer and Editor of several Living Waters films, and he and his wife, Laura, homeschool their five children.

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