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“ARE YOU READY?” Gospel Tracts

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The “ARE YOU READY?” cross elicits many reactions, not all of them encouraging, but the two questions that always seem to come up is: “Are you ready for what?” or “What does that mean?”

At this time of year you may want to answer, “Are you ready for the New Year ?” And if you did answer in that way, you’d miss the point  of the “ARE YOU READY?” cross. Yes, those would be wimpy answers indeed.

No, the cross is meant to provoke this answer from the one who holds it: “Are you ready… to die?” Then there should be a follow-up question: “If you died today, would you go to Heaven or Hell?” You’d then, of course, take them through God’s standard of moral goodness, the 10 Commandments, and then tell them about the Savior.

But if all that is too much for you while standing on the street with a heavy cross, then my friend Paul Latour, of The Word Street Journal blog, has a solution: The “ARE YOU READY? Gospel tract. Here’s what it looks like:

It also comes in black and white with a serious Gospel message on the back. Want to download your own for free and print up a few hundred? Click here for all the info you’ll need.

46 Comments

  1. Stop by to say thank you for an AWARD winning blogsite (well, by my standards at least)!

    It’s not a coincidence that i viewed this blog today and having Paul’s “Are You Ready?” tract in hand (retrieved from his site), and getting reading to hit the streets in my little Judea.

    Merry Christmas to you, Mrs. and the girls!

    P.S. Are you planning to go to the Rose Bowl parade?

  2. Excellent advice, to be sure. As I get older, I need to get ready for my inevitable end. Time to start looking into life insurance, setting up the will, deciding funeral arrangements and so forth.

    I’m not real picky about what’s done with my corpse, so it’ll probably be a standard burial plot. However, have you seen the sky burials they do in Tibet? I think it’s Tibet. Either way, it’s pretty interesting. They take the corpse and feed it to the native fowl, leaving nothing but bone. Seems gruesome, but you don’t think your body remains preserved forever in that coffin, now do you?

    I’m definitely approaching the age when I should be considering this stuff. Thanks for the reminder, Steve!

  3. Steve, I was just reading one your tracts and it says, “read your Bible daily and obey it.”

    If someone read your track, and then after reading Leviticus 20:13 decided to take your advice and “obey it”, wouldn’t you feel partially responsible for any murders he felt compelled to commit.

  4. That’s funny, Steve, because I would say the same of you. What grown man writes “duh” or uses emoticons? Not to mention the childish images you tend to use. Lot of stock, cartoony. Maybe you just want broad appeal.

    Oh, but I am curious as to why you say I write “young.”

    • Garrett,

      By saying that you write young I certainly didn’t mean it as an insult. My!

      You sound fresh and inquisitive. Also, your somewhat aggressive style (like in the comment I’m responding to), shows a certain “shoot-from-the-hip” attitude. My other guess is that you are unmarried. Marriage has a tendency to mellow people.

      I carefully choose the words I use to elicit a response. I use emoticons to show that I’m taking this lightly. The images, again, are used also to elicit a response, mostly a chuckle. So, there ya go! 🙂

  5. Steve, what exactly is your goal when talking to an Atheist? Whenever an Atheist points out legitimate reasons for not embracing Christianity, you just laugh it off, or ignore it, or just plain lie.

    How many Atheists have you converted to Christianity?

    I started visiting sites like yours, Ray Comfort’s, and Answers in Genesis when I was questioning my faith. Your site actually made it easy for me to see that Christianity was based on a lie (the Bible is inerrant), and you people seem to know this, but you just ignore it and expect everyone else to do the same.

    I just think you need to ask yourself why it is that you feel like it’s important to scream at people in the street. If it really is because you’re concerned about people going to Hell than you really need to reassess your methods.

    Until you can address the serious problems the Bible has, you’re just wasting your breath.

  6. Ahh before my time, I would have loved to write something in response to that argument. However I would comment Steve, that CR has made a few good points, I think I’ve also brought up some similar things. If the Bible is the unfallible, undeniable word of God then why don’t you obey the laws in Deuteronomy? If we don’t murder people who follow other gods or try and convert us away from God, aren’t we disobeying God?

    • Vin,

      Have you not read the New Testament? And are you not familiar with the fact that those laws were for the Jews? The Moral Law, the 10 Commandments, is for everyone.

      I hope that’s helpful.

  7. You’re referring to the new covenant vs. the old one yes? I know of it, but I’m curious why you continuously site the 10 Commandments and not deuteronomy when:

    -No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old.
    -And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.
    -No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.”
    Luke 5:36-38

    The assumption being that we are commanded to discard the laws of the old commandments in favor of the new ones, unless this is literal and is just talking about garments and wine skins. It seems like its saying the old laws are obsolete under the new covenant.

  8. Ok Steve, that explains why you scream at people. It doesn’t explain how you can say both “read your bible and obey it” and “those laws were for the Jews.”

    How do you know those laws were only for the Jews? Especially when these Bible verses contradict that argument.

    “It is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away than for the smallest part of the letter of the law to become invalid.” – Luke 16:17

    “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” – 2 Timothy 3:16

    “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:18-19

    Where does the idea that some Old Testament laws were only meant for the Jews come from? Is there a Bible verse that says this or did you just make it up?

    • Read a little more and you will see that the OT was for our example. Tell me who were those laws for anyway in the OT? And are they affirmed in the New?

      If you are a Jew, you better keep the whole Law (if you reject the Messiah) because not one jot or tittle will pass away.

      And yes, all Scripture is useful… remember what happened to those who didn’t believe Noah’s message?

  9. – And yes, all Scripture is useful… remember what happened to those who didn’t believe Noah’s message?

    The answer is…. any evidence of their transgressions, Noah’s Ark, and the flood was covered up by…. God, and made to look like it didn’t happen for…. some purpose?

  10. Also to imply those laws were just for Jews in the Old Testament, is to imply that no non-Jewish person could inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Sorry Europeans, Asians, Africans, and Native Americans, you’re doomed to hell based on happenstance of birth.

  11. I would argue the Bible verses that condone slavery and oppressing minorities are not useful at all. Also, you have yet to give a Bible verse that says the Old Testament is only for the Jews; you’re just splitting hairs.

    As for Old Testament laws being affirmed in the New Testament, read Matthew 15:4. Jesus says, ” For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’”

    So there’s your affirmation. If you really believe the Bible is the literal word of God than you believe that children who curse their parents should be murdered.

  12. Just to chime in here: do you think suffering not a witch to live is a good or bad thing, Steve?

    It’s weird that you moral absolutists have a batch of laws that are for one group of people yet not another. Sounds a lot like moral relativism.

  13. Witches, like all people these days, Christ died for. So, I want them to live, and so does God, until He takes them away.

    Good question.

  14. I left a comment on the other page, but I don’t think it went through. If you wouldn’t mind passing an email on for me so I can receive these tracks I would surely appreciate it. thanks,
    Laurie

  15. CR brings up a good point with Matthew. Steve, why don’t we kill disobedient people who speak ill of their parents? God commanded that we do this, it seems only natural that if we do not kill those people then we risk angering God. I’ve been thinking on what you wrote earlier about how those laws were only intended for the Jews, by that same line of logic does that mean that the rules laid down for Jesus were only for the Christians? Does that mean the Krishnas, the Buddhists, the Muslims, and the pagans are exempt? Another question though, if the death and resurrection of Jesus fulfilled this new covenant, and that now the only way a person could see the kingdom of Heaven was belief in the Savior and to turn away from their sins, then how were the people of Europe, East Asia, North and South America, Indonesia, and Australia supposed to get saved? It took hundreds of years for the Bible to develop to its current form, and hundreds more for it to really spread itself over the globe. Are all of those people who lived in those regions pre-Bible condemned to the lake of fire? Or were they still governed by the Old Covenant till they received word of the New?

    • Since this isn’t an apologetics blog, I won’t be answering all those questions here (I don’t have the time). But here are some resources for you to ask those very good and important questions (if you are sincere about wanting to know the answers):
      STR.org and Equip.org

      Let me know what you find out!

  16. So…you guys are into moral relativism? This is getting confusing.

  17. You proved my point Steve.

    To be a Christian you have to lie to yourself.

    This is why only 10% of all Christians have read the Bible. Reading the Bible from front to back will turn someone away from Christianity faster than anything else.

    And I’m willing to bet a good portion of that 10% are either clergymen or charlatans who just want to use the Bible to manipulate Christians into putting money in their pockets.

  18. These are important questions though, millions of souls might be at stake, if Jesus’ death was a legal transaction, and God can legally dismiss the case of the believer then what about those who didn’t have access to a Bible to learn about this? Ignorance of the law doesn’t save you as people have told me, so that means millions of humans have been cast into the lake of fire based on their birthplace alone, with no knowledge of Jesus they couldn’t have been saved. I ask you Steve, because I challenge you to think on this, and I’m also interested in hearing your opinion on the subject. I know you don’t respond to a lot of my questions (usually the ones that really test the morality of God and the Bible) but I figure I’d keep trying to ask, its the only way I’ll learn.

  19. I am a little disappointed that you didn’t address the subject of homosexuality today, with the repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy looming, but with Christmas approaching I can understand why. Merry Christmas by the way, Steve.

  20. So Steve, just to clear things up:

    You think the entire Old Testament can be ignored even though there is no Bible verse that says you don’t have to follow the Old Testament and there are plenty of Bible verses that say you do have to follow it.

    And you ignore the Bible verses that say you are commanded by God to kill your children if they curse you, even though Jesus thought it was such an important Bible verse that He repeated it.

    And you don’t think there is anything hypocritical about saying the Bible is the literal word of God while at the same time ignoring the Bible verses that are outdated and absurd.

    Have I got it all right?

  21. Steve, if I have it wrong then list a Bible verse that says you are allowed to disregard the Old Testament; I know it was written for the Jews, but why is the Old Testament mutually exclusive to either the Jews or the Christians?
    Also, Jesus said it Himself that you should murder your children if they curse you. If in the same context, Jesus had repeated one of the verses from the Old Testament condemning homosexuality, do you think you would still disregard it?

    You’re obviously the type of person who forms an opinion first and then looks for facts to back it up. I like to look at all the facts first and then form an opinion.

    That is why all your screaming in the street is pointless. You’re asking people to turn off their brains, blindly accept the Bible as the literal word of God, and ignore any questions or facts that might challenge that view.

  22. Steve, if possible, please post this comment instead of the previous one:

    CR wrote: “You’re asking people to turn off their brains, blindly accept the Bible as the literal word of God, and ignore [feel guilty for] any [of their own] questions or facts that might challenge that view.

    Fixed that for you.

  23. Steve, don’t you notice that whenever you post things that aren’t true about evolution or Darwin or Atheism, you get at least two responses right away correcting you on your mistakes.

    However, I say something that is true about the Bible (Jesus wants you to kill your children if the curse you), and you’ve got nothing.

    Your fingers are in your ears already I’m sure, so I won’t go on.

  24. By New, do you mean NIV?

    I didn’t know the NIV was more “literal” than the KJV, but here are several versions of the same verse (Matthew 15:4). Keep in mind, this is Jesus quoting God, so it doesn’t get more “God-Breathed” than this.

    New International Version:
    For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’

    New Living Translation:
    For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’

    New American Standard Bible:
    For God said, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER,’ and, ‘HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH.’

    International Standard Version:
    Because God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever curses father or mother must certainly be put to death.’

    American Standard Version:
    For God said, Honor thy father and thy mother: and, He that speaketh evil of father or mother, let him die the death.

    King James Bible:
    For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.

    Again, this is all red-letter text. Straight from the mouth of Jesus.

    So where have I got it wrong?

    I really don’t see any way you can say disobedient children should not be murdered without saying that you know what the right thing to do is better than Jesus does, and we all know how you feel about moral relativism.

    • Sorry. I meant new as in New Testament. Paul is in the NT.

      Here is the verse I’m referring to: Ephesians 6

      1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”[a]

      No stoning here. The New Testament is all about grace.

      Here is the purpose for how the Old Testament works primarily in the lives of NT believers according to Paul from 1 Corinthians 10: (Pat particular attention to the BOLD.)

      1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

      6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.”[a] 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test Christ,[b] as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

      11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation[c] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[d] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[e] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

  25. The verse I posted is Jesus speaking in the New Testament.

    I wasn’t aware that the words of Paul are more important than the words of Jesus. I thought since the words of Jesus are printed in red, they carried more weight.

    So now can you explain why Paul (who was a misogynist as we can tell from reading the rest of 1 Corinthians) is more important than Jesus/God? You still haven’t explained why you think you can disregard Matthew 15:4.

    • Yes indeed, he was reminding the Teachers of the Law what the Law said, pointing out to them their hypocrisy. He wasn’t affirming that children should be put to death here. Or anywhere.

      Jesus and Paul’s teaching are equal in the NT. Both are the words of God.

  26. How does following the Old Testament make someone a hypocrite? Read the entire chapter of Matthew 15. There isn’t any confusion about the context. Jesus is scolding people for being hypocrites, yes. But they aren’t being hypocrites by not following the Old Testament laws, that makes no sense. How can someone be a hypocrite for following the laws God laid out?

    In Matthew 15, Jesus is calling people hypocrites for NOT following God’s law that says, “Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.”

    Here is the full context:

    3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God Said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ 5 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ 6 He is not to ‘honor his father’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.

    –Matthew 15:3-6 (NIV)

    Matthew 15 is very clear. Jesus thinks people who ignore Bible verses like the ones that condone child killing are hypocrites.

    The broader message of Matthew 15 is to ignore laws made by men (like laws against murdering your children), and obey the laws of God (like killing your children is a good thing).

  27. Actually CR, Steve has a point about that passage, when taken by itself its appalling and apparently was the punishment for speaking ill of your parents under the Old Testament (Another example of those wacky OT laws that God wanted people to follow apparently but didn’t anymore) but Jesus was speaking out about it, and its why I first found it so funny that its in the New Testament because it sounds rather sinister at first glance, and NOT like something Jesus would say. Just another example of laws evolving over time I suppose.

  28. Jesus is chastising the Pharisees for “nullifying the word of God for the sake of tradition.” He does go on to say that murder is wrong, but the Old Testament does say both “thou shalt not kill” and at the same time sanction capital punishment.

    But I’m glad Steve quoted 1 Corinthians and said that “Jesus and Paul’s teaching are equal in the NT. Both are the words of God.”

    That’s the larger point I was trying to make about ignoring Bible verses. As far as I know every single verse that condemns homosexuality in the Bible is either in the Old Testament or the writings of Paul.

    In 1 Corinthians Chapter 14, Paul wrote:

    “34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.”

    Steve, I would be a hypocrite to just automatically assume that you permit women speak in your church, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt.
    However if you ignore the Old Testament and you ignore the writings of Paul, then I think you’re a hypocrite for condemning homosexuality.

  29. God literally wants gay people to change as much as he wants women to remain silent in church.

    I have no problem with you peacefully declining to accept homosexuals as moral people. Just don’t forget to tell every woman you see speaking in church to put a sock in it.

  30. Hmmmm an interesting conversation to say the least, CR is determined but changing Steve’s mind is a difficult process. He will ignore the passage on women not speaking in churches but continue to speak out against homosexuality. Of course he speaks out against all forms of fornication outside of marriage… oh and having any interesting in any person sexually whether it be physical or in your head. Thought crime is the worst crime really. I love how we’re condemned by our thoughts Steve, it sends a very loving message really. I just keep feeling sorry for all those people who died before Jesus’ word reached them, they were truly damned.

  31. This is (was) an interesting debate. A lot going on, but a lot can be learned from it. I plan to look further into these issues, particularly the Matthew 15:4 passage that was brought up by CR. I would like to comment for those that oppose the Bible, and are confused about what it is saying. If you have not been born-again and received the Holy Spirit it will be all most impossible ultimately to understand the Bible. Like I have said before on here, the Holy Spirit is a ruttier when it comes to navigating the Scripture. I know before I was born-again the times I did pick up the Bible it was like trying to read Chinese (I don‘t know how to read Chinese by the way). After being born-again, though I didn’t understand a lot, the Bible did become much more clear to me. It not only made sense, but it became food for my soul and still is today (I have read through the Bible cover to cover several times and it only strengthens my faith in the true and living God and his son Jesus Christ). Happy New Year and God bless!

  32. Much of Christianity hinges on the belief in an afterlife, some ego gratification for a life beyond this one. It’s really a cult of death denial as Ernest Becker would say.

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