The Tract That Sent the Gospel to China
"The best thing I can do is enjoy the pleasures of this world, for there’s no hope for me beyond the grave." So thought 16-year-old James. Although he had been raised in a devout Methodist home, he was frustrated by his growing feelings of doubt about God. He had tried to make himself a Christian by doing the right things and associating with the right people—and he failed. "For some reason," he concluded, "I cannot be saved."
One afternoon, James found a gospel tract on a bookshelf in his home. While reading through the tract he was struck by the phrase "the finished work of Christ." "What does that mean?" he questioned.
In a moment he remembered something from his religious training: "And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world" (1 John 2:2).
Then he said, "If the whole work was finished and the whole debt paid, what is there left for me to do?"
Years later James penned these words about that moment of truth: "With this [thought] dawned the joyful conviction. . .that there was nothing in the world to be done but [to]... accept this Savior and His salvation."
It was not long after this eternal decision that James—James Hudson Taylor—now heralded as one of the pioneer missionaries of the 19th century, received his call from God to take this same Gospel of grace to China.
God’s heart for missions explains why He has so often used gospel tracts not only to carry the good news to foreign lands, but also to motivate men and women to become the messengers.