Was It a Lie?

The wagons were rolling westward. Long lines of wagons moved slowly across the hot prairies, over the cold mountains, bearing settlers, miners, adventurers, hunters, trappers―all seeking something beyond. One wagon train had a company of Christians who hoped to take the gospel of God’s grace to those in the West.

It was a company of Christians―plus Joe. Joe was not a Christian. Joe, in his own country, was wanted for murder. It was not safe for him to stay in his own neighborhood, so meeting up with the Christians, he asked to be hired as a driver of one of their wagons.

However, being in the company of Christians did not make Joe a saint! He hated religion. When the wagons stopped rolling for the Lord’s Day (Sunday), Joe didn’t have to drive, so he would go off with his gun and spend the hours hunting. He would keep well out of the way of hearing the Word of God preached.

As the party went on their way, in the middle of July there came a Sunday so hot that Joe didn’t care to hunt. He laid himself down in the shadow of one of the wagons, carefully selecting the wagon of one of the group who would not be expected to conduct the service.

But Joe had made a mistake. The one whose turn it was to preach was so overcome by the heat that he asked to be excused, and the owner of the wagon under whose shade Joe was sheltering offered to take his place. So the little company gathered around his wagon, and the meeting began.

Joe was lying in the long grass, half asleep, and was furious at being disturbed. To lie still while hymns were sung and to see the hated Bible opened was too much for him. He would move. He stood up to go, but the heat was too great and he threw himself back down on the grass. There he lay on his back in front of the preacher, his angry eyes glaring up at him.

“He said that God loved wicked men. Wasn’t that a lie?”

“Lord, help me to preach to Joe,” prayed the speaker as he saw the opportunity before him. Forgetting everybody else, he began to tell of the love of God to all His creatures. He told his hearers that, though God gave them rain and sunshine, food and drink, even life itself, yet they didn’t love Him in return. Instead of loving Him, they hated Him and His servants and His Book. But did He send the lightning and strike them down for their enmity? No, He had given His Son to die to put away their sins. He had shown His love to them, to the worst of them, even to the murderers, and if they would only believe in His Son He would forgive them and make them His dear children.

Joe’s eyes were fixed on the speaker who, as he went on, watched the anger slowly fading out.


Joe didn’t forget that sermon. One day, walking beside another of the men, he said, “Didn’t the preacher tell awful lies that hot Sunday?”

“Lies, Joe? I didn’t hear any.”

“He said that God loved wicked men. Wasn’t that a lie?”

“Not at all, Joe; it’s in the Book. ‘God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins.’

“But wasn’t that an awful lie, that the Great Father gave His Son?”

“No, Joe, it’s in the Book. ‘In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’

Then Joe said, “But it must be a lie, that He was preparing the beautiful place for them.”

“No,” was the answer. “That’s true too. It’s in the Book. Jesus, the Son of God, said to sinful men whom He loved and had saved, I go to prepare a place for you.”

Then Joe said, “If all this is true, I want this way of peace; I want this new life!”

That sermon, and the talk that followed, turned Joe from being Joe-the-wicked to Joe-the-Christian. He believed that God loved him and gave His Son to die for him, and joyfully he received Christ Jesus as his Lord.

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Adapted from Living Waters.

A Race for Life–Color Tract

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Even in our modern times, no roads exist that connect Nome to the rest of Alaska. In January 1925, when car and air travel were impossible, Dr. Curtis Welch of Nome diagnosed an out­break of diphtheria — a deadly and contagious disease. Sadly, Dr. Welch had none of the needed antitoxin serum. He sent out an ur­gent telegraph pleading for help. Every hour with­out the serum increased the death toll.

This dreadful disease reminds us of sin. Sin has infected every one of us, and if we don’t use the right treatment for it, sin will eventually cause our eternal death. The Bible makes it clear how dangerous sin really is: “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

Who is the only one who can remove the problem of sin? Before His birth an angel announced, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). When Jesus died on the cross, He shed His precious blood. God says, “The blood of Jesus Christ [God’s] Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

The antitoxin serum was located in Anchorage and was sent by train to the town of Nenana — still 650 miles away from Nome. More than twenty dog­sled teams were ready, spaced out along the route to Nome.

The crate containing the vials of serum was carefully lashed onto the first sled, and the driver yelled, “Mush!” The dogsled race to save lives had begun.

After harrowing adventures, the serum was lashed to Gunnar Kaasen’s next-to-last dogsled. With the command “Mush!” his team of dogs sprinted away. Shortly after this team started, a severe snowstorm blew in. Snow fell so fast that Gun­nar could no longer tell if he was headed in the right direction. He had to trust his lead dog to guide them. The lead dog made his way through the blizzard until he lost his sense of di­rection and stopped. Worried that they would never reach Nome, Gunnar got off the sled.

The snow was blowing so thick that Gunnar could barely see the faint outlines of his dogs in their harnesses. His glance fell on one of the dogs that was hitched at the back of the team. Instead of standing still, this dog Balto was jumping against the braces of the harness. He seemed to be saying, I know the way; trust me! Gunnar switched Balto to the lead spot. The dog paused for a moment, just long enough for Gunnar to get behind his sled, and then surged forward into the storm.

The wind blew at forty miles an hour. The temperature was minus forty and falling, and snow continued to fall fast. Balto led them through the terrible storm. At one point, a strong gust of wind hit them and lifted Gunnar, the sled and all the dogs off the ground before slamming them back down again.

The Home Stretch

When they neared the last relay station, Gunnar saw no lights in the roadhouse. Instead of losing precious time in rousing the sleeping driver, Gunnar kept going on the last twenty-mile leg of the journey. Even after working all day, Balto ran like the wind.

At 5:30 a.m., Balto led the team to the front of the tiny hospital in Nome. They had traveled over twenty hours through some of the worst conditions known to man. Gunnar put his arm around his lead dog and then noticed that Balto’s feet were bleeding. Despite danger and incredible hardships, Balto had gotten the sled carrying the antitoxin serum through to Nome.

Did you know that Jesus left His home in heaven and came here to earth to face dangers and incredible hardships so that you could be saved? The words He spoke were so powerful that they struck men deep in their hearts. Because He spoke about sin, He earned the hatred of many who “loved darkness rather than light.” At last they took Him and nailed Him to a cross. God knew that it was only through the death of His dear Son that sin could ever be put away. In His own body at the cross, He carried those sins which were bringing us down to death and judg­ment. “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastise­ment of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

The Lord Jesus Christ died for you on the cross. After His death, He was laid in a grave, but a grave couldn’t hold Him. He rose from the dead. If you believe on this Sav­iour, you will receive the forgiveness of your sins and the gift of eternal life.
Won’t you trust the Lord Jesus to save you?

Twenty Three Thousand Sins–Large Print Tract

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Twenty Three Thousand Sins
Dan greeted the visiting evangelist with a challenging smile. “I’m not so bad,” he said. “I must admit one little slip, when I got into trouble with the police, but I can show you a pile of reward books which I got for attendance and good conduct at Sunday school! Then I went to Bible class, and later attended church pretty regularly. Not too bad!”
“How old are you?” asked the Christian.
“Now listen,” said the other. “Won’t you admit that few days have passed that you haven’t had a foolish thought? God’s Word says: The thought of foolishness is sin. Have you also said silly things?”
“Well, of course!”
“The Lord Jesus Christ said that, ‘Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.’ Do you sometimes tell lies, or break laws, or lose your temper?”
“Every day!”
“You have admitted three sins a day; this means that on the lowest average you have committed no less than one thousand a year. On your own confession, you stand convicted of twenty-three thousand sins!”
Dan’s smile was gone now. Seriously, he asked, “What can I do?”
“You can do nothing but to take a sinner’s place and claim the sinner’s Saviour. Then you may be sure that ‘the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.’” There and then Dan, a convicted sinner, trusted the Saviour and rejoiced in the certainty of sins forgiven.
Use the same method the evangelist used with Dan. Try to add up your sins. It will give you a very faint idea of your own guilt and show you how impossible it is to make yourself right with God.
Thank God, what you never could do the Lord Jesus has done. “IT IS FINISHED!” was His dying cry. Redemption has been accomplished. Faith in a once-crucified, now-risen Saviour secures eternal blessing for you, “for if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).