Captain Coutts’ Substitute-Color Tract

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Captain John Coutts was a fairly typical sea captain —rough and ready for whatever life might bring — but he was not ready for death. He was sick, at sea, and he knew he had little time left. He was afraid of death and of the eternity beyond it.

The captain sent for his first mate and said, “Williams, I need you to pray for me. You know I’ve been a godless and harsh man, and I know I’m not going to make it this time.”

“I’m not a praying man, Captain. I don’t know how to pray. I would if I could.”

“Well bring a Bible and find something to read to me. I’m not going to last much longer.”

“I don’t have one, Captain. I’m not religious.”

“Then send for Palmer. Maybe he knows how to pray.”

The second mate came, and the captain said, “Palmer, I’m not going to get better, and I’m not going to last until we reach port. I want you to pray for me. Ask God to have mercy on my sinful soul.”

“I would if I could, Captain, but I haven’t prayed since I was a boy.”

“Well then, do you have a Bible you could read to me?”

“No, sir, I don’t own a Bible.”

They searched the ship for a man who could pray or had a Bible. Finally one of the sailors told the captain he had seen a book that looked like a Bible in the hands of the cook’s helper, young Willie Platt.

“Go find the boy and see if he has a Bible,” ordered Captain Coutts.

The sailor hurried off to find Willie and asked him, “Willie, do you have a Bible?”

“Yes, sir, but I only read it on my own time.”

“Don’t worry. Just get the Bible and go to the captain’s cabin. He’s dying and wants a Bible.”

Willie got his Bible and reported to the captain.

The captain said, “Sit down and find something that will help me. I’m not going to live much longer. Find something about God having mercy on a sinner, and read it to me.”

Willie remembered that his mother had him read Isaiah 53 just before he left home for sea. He turned to that wonderful chapter which tells so fully the love and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ in dying for lost sinners. He began to read it to the captain, verse by verse. When Willie got to the fifth verse — “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” — the captain, who was listening intently, realized that that verse told him what he needed to know to be saved from his sins. “Stop, boy!” he ordered. “That sounds like it! Read it again.” Once more Willie read the joyous words of hope.

“Aye, that’s good — that’s it, I’m sure.”

Hearing the captain’s remark encouraged Willie, and he said, “Captain, when I was reading that verse at home, my mother made me put my name in it. May I read it to you that way?”

“Yes, boy. Put your name in right where your mother told you, and read it to me again.”

When Willie had finished reading, the captain reached toward Willie and said, “Now read it again, boy, and put my name, John, in there.”

Willie slowly read: “He was wounded for John’s transgressions, He was bruised for John’s iniquities: the chastisement of John’s peace was upon Him; and with His stripes John is healed.”

When Willie had finished, the captain dismissed him. He then leaned back on his bed and repeated over and over again those precious words of Isaiah 53:5, putting in his own name each time. And as he repeated them, the truth of those words entered his heart and filled his soul with joy. Finally, the captain had peace!

In the little time he had left before he passed away, Captain John Coutts told everyone on his ship that the Christ of God — the Man who had died on Calvary’s cross — was wounded for his transgressions, bruised for his iniquities, that the chastisement that he rightfully deserved had fallen on Jesus, his blessed Substitute, and with His stripes — the punishment that Jesus bore — he had been healed. His sins were gone forever!

And how about you? Have you thought seriously about your sins and about this salvation that God is offering to you right now? Have you taken your true place as a helpless sinner before Him and trusted in His Son Jesus for healing from your sins? The same peace that Captain Coutts found can be yours too.

“God commendeth [displays] His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

“Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

Only One Church–Large Print Tract

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Only One Church
John Wesley once, in a dream, found himself at the gates of hell. He knocked, and asked who were within. “Are there any Roman Catholics here?” he asked.
“Yes,” was the answer.
“Any Presbyterians?” he asked, and again the answer was, “Yes.”
“Are there any Welseyans here?”
“Yes, we have some of those, too,” came the answer.
Disappointed and dismayed, especially by the last reply, he turned his step upward and at last came to the gates of heaven. Here he repeated the same questions.
“Any Wesleyans here?” he anxiously inquired. The answer was, “No.”
And as he named the other denominations, to his dismay, each time the answer was, “No.”
“Then whom do you have here?” he asked in desperation.
“We know nothing here of any of those names you have mentioned,” said the angel. “They are all Christians here-born again people. Of these we have a great multitude which no man can number, gathered out of all nations and kindreds and peoples and tongues.”
Down through the centuries there have been bitter arguments over religion, and especially the question: which church is right? Nothing is more irritating than to hear someone insist that only members of his church or denomination will get to heaven. How foolish that is, when the Bible makes it so plain that Christ is the way to heaven, and not the church.
Be sure that God will not ask the sinner: “What church did you join?” But He will inquire, “What have you done with Christ?” The only members of any church or denomination who will be in heaven will be those who as lost sinners have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.
But there is a church of which every member, according to the Bible, will be in heaven. It is called “the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). According to the New Testament, a person doesn’t become a member of this Church until he knows the Lord Jesus Christ as his own Saviour.
The Church began at Jerusalem after the Lord Jesus was taken back to heaven. Universally it includes all the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ throughout the world. At the second coming of Christ this universal Church will be taken up to heaven to be forever with the Lord. In that day, “The dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain [all Christians, both the dead and living] shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
Are you a member of this one true Church?

Christ Is Coming–Color Tract

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“Sit Thou at My right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool” (Psalm 110:1). God the Father spoke these words to His beloved Son as He entered heaven with the marks of the world’s hatred on His blessed person.

Nearly 2,000 years have come and gone since then, and time, with lightning speed, rushes us toward that awful moment when the Son will rise up in unopposed power to fulfill the Father’s decree. Christ will come and will make His enemies His footstool! Are your sins washed away in His blood? If so, you are His friend. If not, you are His enemy. When He comes in power and great glory, it will be to send His enemies into everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 19:11-21). Oh, the panic and terror of those still in their sins at that coming!

The coming of the Man whom the world once crucified, whose love is still treated with disdain and disrespect and whose blood is even treated with self-righteous indifference, will bring all men to their knees. Men who never prayed before will then, in their soul’s deep terror, cry to the rocks and to the mountains, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that [sits] on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:16-17). Hopeless, useless prayer! The Lamb’s arm of judgment then will reach all who would not take salvation from His hand of love. Self-gratification, extravagance and the thoughtless pursuits of wealth and entertainment will end forever. An eternity of hopelessness, remorse, weeping and wailing will be the replacement for these poor victims of the devil.

Then the world’s pleasures and business, which all too often shut out God and leave men no time to think of their soul’s deep need, will be suspended forever. The world’s boasted progress will be halted forever, and man in his foolish occupation of proud indifference to the claims of God will be brought face to face with Him whom God has established as Judge of all.

Christ is coming, and one of two things will happen to you when He comes: You will be either caught up to be forever with Him or left behind for judgment. As you are reading this, right now before this terrible day of judgment, if Christ were to come this moment, would you rise to meet Him (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)? Are you ready? Have your sins been washed away?

Will You Be one of Them?

Jesus said, “As it was in the days of [Noah], so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man.” How was it in the days of Noah? A world of sinners, ignoring God’s warnings and unprepared for His judgment, was in a moment swept away to eternal destruction by the terrible waters of God’s wrath. It will be comparable when Christ comes. Multitudes still in their sins will be unprepared and will be damned for all eternity. Will you be one of them?

The Bible warns us that men and women will be crying out for mercy, but no mercy will be found. Will you be one of them?

The masses who have heard the gospel of God’s love and grace and turned carelessly away will realize then that the day of grace is over, and their lost eternity is set forever. Will you be one of them?

Will You Be Ready?

Why are you waiting to make the decision to accept Christ’s love and mercy that He offers to you right now? He refuses no one who comes to Him, admitting the need to be cleansed from his sins. “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” If you will believe that Christ bore the punishment and died on the cross for your sins, He promises an eternity in heaven with Himself. “He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47).

Christ’s offer of salvation is available today; it may not be available tomorrow. Today He lovingly pleads with you to “come unto Me … and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). If you will accept His offer right now, when He comes you will be ready!

“The blood of Jesus Christ His Son [cleanses] us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

“It is the blood that [makes] an atonement for the soul”
(Leviticus 17:11).

Let Your Bucket Down!–Color Tract

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The great Amazon River pours out so mighty a stream of fresh water into the Atlantic that near its mouth, for miles out of sight of land, a deep layer of fresh water covers the ocean.

Many years ago a sailing ship left Eu­rope for a South American port, and due to storms it took so long that the water on board began to give out. The crew rationed the water, but in spite of every effort, they soon found themselves with their last water tank empty.

A day or two later, when stranded in a hot climate, to their great joy and relief they sighted another ship. When near enough to signal, they ran up their flags announcing: “We’re dying for lack of water.”

To their astonishment, the reply that came back quickly seemed to mock them: “Water all around you; let your bucket down.”

Little did they know that they were just then crossing the mighty Amazon’s cur­rent, and instead of being in saltwater, they were actually sailing in fresh — freshwater all around them though out of sight of land!

Surrounded By God’s Love

You may be crying out, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30), little realizing that the ocean of God’s love is all around you. “Let your bucket down!” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

“Say not in thine heart … Who shall go up for us to heaven … who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it? … The word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that 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. … For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:6; Deu­teronomy 30:12-14; Romans 10:8-13).

Let your bucket down!

“If thou knewest the gift of God … thou would­est have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water” (John 4:10).

“Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14).

“He that cometh to Me shall never hun­ger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat … without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1).

“He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. … And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:1,17).

Sorry!–Large Print Tract

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There was never any doubt of their guilt. The two college students were caught by police as they burglarized cars on the university campus. When police searched their car they found stereo equipment linking them to eight burglaries at another campus over a hundred miles away.
Arrested, facing possible jail sentences, they were offered a “deal.” A prosecutor would drop the charges if they completed probation and apologized. Accordingly, the two paid for advertisements in their school’s newspaper and submitted apologies. One said, in part, “It wasn’t worth it. I’m sorry.”
Others have escaped jail terms by the same route: a teenager who sold cocaine, a lawyer who scuffled with a policeman, a convicted drug racketeer—a newspaper ad saying, “I’m sorry,” has been the penalty.
But is it enough?
In the parking lot of a shopping center there was a crash-a sound of crumpling metal-and a driver hastily got out to examine the parked car he had so carelessly hit. After looking at the damaged car and finding it empty, he took out a piece of paper, wrote on it, and tucked it under the windshield wiper. Then he drove away. Soon the owner of the car came back from her shopping and saw what had happened. Shocked and dismayed, she turned to a man sitting in a car nearby.
“Did you see what happened to my car?” she demanded.
“Yes,” he said, “I saw it all. He left a note for you on the windshield.”
Visions of a big repair bill faded. Evidently the man had left his name and telephone number. Relieved, she opened the paper and read one word: SORRY!
Speechless, she showed it to the witness.
“Well,” he said, “he said he was sorry; isn’t that enough?”
“Sorry!” Her voice rose to a shriek: “SORRY! but who is going to pay?”
That is the point. “Sorry” wasn’t enough. “Sorry” paid no bills, made no restitution. “Sorry” left the stereos ripped out of the cars; “sorry” would have left the woman’s car as it was. (Happily, the witness had quietly written down the license number of the hit-and-run car, and we can hope that the driver eventually paid for repairs.) It is good to be sorry for wrong things done, to repent, even to determine to “do better next time,” but there is still the question: “Who is going to pay?”
We have all done wrong things, broken God’s laws, sinned. Is it enough to tell God that we are sorry and that we won’t do it again? The Bible says that “God requireth that which is past.”
No amount of reformation will wipe out the sins of the past. There must be an atonement; someone must pay the bill.
Can we ourselves do that? Never. Only One could ever do it-the Lord Jesus Christ. He came to this earth and lived a perfect life down here-but that alone couldn’t save a single sinner. He had to give His life, to die, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God.
“God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Yes, the Lord Jesus paid the penalty for our sins and now God can justify all who simply by faith believe and receive the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
And then? Then “not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:11).
Yes, Jesus paid it all!