Evangelism brochure: You're Included!

GCI pastor David Gilbert has produced an evangelism, invitation-to-church brochure grounded in incarnational Trinitarian theology (see the text below). To download the brochure in Windows (.docx) format, click here. You have David's permission to use it in your congregation (first change the host church information). It's formatted for two-color, double-sided, tri-fold printing. To download another GCI-produced gospel tract click here.

Here is some good news: You’re included!

In a world filled with the heartache of broken relationships, it’s no wonder we long for connection—to love and be loved—to be included. Sadly, when struggles and heartaches mount, many of us give up on this deep longing.

But there is good news! God offers us a love worth finding and a love worth sharing. At [name of church] we experience that love, believing God absolutely and positively has done all it takes for everyone to be included in his love and life with its abundant, fulfilling relationships.

No matter what your background---no matter what you’ve done or what you’ve become---God wants you at His party and has made a way for you to join in.

Perhaps you remember the TV sitcom Maude. Maude, played by actress Bea Arthur (see the picture), was married to Walter who nearly every episode would do something that angered Maude. Her typical reaction would be to declare, Walter—God will get you for that!

Trinity

Despite Maude’s opinion about God (one held, sadly, by many) God is not out to get you! The good news is that God (who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is love, and He loves you—he always has! And there is nothing you have ever done, or has been done to you, that can keep him from loving you. How can that be true? Find out by reading the rest of this brochure and joining with us as, together, we learn more about who God is and what he has done for us.
1 John 4:16 - And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 
John 3:16-17 - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 

Adoption 

Long before you were born, God the Father, in love and for love, arranged to make you part of his family so you could live with him forever. He did this by choosing (adopting) you, and he did that before you ever did anything good or bad.
Ephesians 1:3-8 - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. 
In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. 

Alienation

But there is a problem. Wanting to get our own way and to go our own way, every one of us, to one extent or another, shut God out of our lives. We all have been alienated from God.  
Colossians 1:21-22 - Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation…

Incarnation 

Knowing full well we would be alienated from him, God initiated his plan to deal with the underlying problem of our alienation from God (which is sin). The plan centered on Jesus, the Son of God, becoming human through what is known as the Incarnation.     
1 Timothy 3:16 - Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He [Jesus] appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory. 
2 Timothy 1:9-10 - He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.  

Reconciliation

On the cross, Jesus, the sinless Son of God and Son of man, took upon himself our sins in order, by his sacrifice, to set us free.

Because he died, we live. Because he rose from the dead, we have new life forever. Because he ascended, we have a High Priest who is interceding for us in heaven.
Romans 5:8-11 (HCSB) - But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life! And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have now received this reconciliation through Him.

Illumination

God the Holy Spirit opens (illuminates) our minds enabling us to trust in this good news of our reconciliation with God through Jesus.
John 14:26 - "...The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” 
John 16:13-15 - “...[The Holy Spirit] will guide you into all the truth… He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

Participation

The Holy Spirit empowers us to participate in the life of the salvation that God has given us through his Son. We enter this new life with God by placing our trust in Jesus, which means believing the "good news" (the gospel) about who he is and what he has done on our behalf. In trusting Jesus, we are repenting (changing our mind) about ourselves, about God and about the course of our lives going forward. We are here to help you discover and journey in this new life of participation in God’s love and life. You belong—you are included! We invite you to come and journey with us.
Mark 1:14-15 - ...Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” 
Acts 2:38 - ..."repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
______________
Image credits:
  • The Trinity emblem is used with permission from artist John Stonecypher 
  • The Maude picture is public domain (via Wikimedia Commons)
  • The picture with the quote is by GCI

Comments

  1. Thank God for Ted Johnston posting this and uplifting Truth it is a well done Gift! Thank You. for Sharing this wonderful news!!!

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  2. This is terrific! It accomplishes two major purposes: One, it gets away from the traditional sin-problem-cross-make a decision cycle by broadening it to begin with the Trinity not with us. Second, in the introduction, it uses a good illustration from life (although maybe we need a more recent one than Maude -- maybe the Simpsons?) to get the point across in a very accessible way instead of more formal language. Maybe we could find similar illustrations or metaphors for the other points?

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  3. Good ideas Mark. If you or other readers would like to help produce an expanded/amended version, just post your suggested text here and we'll work on it in community (how cool would that be!).

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well done, David! I like the simplicity. If I was still pastoring I would print out a large stack of these and distribute them to each member of the congregation, first and foremost! Then we would set aside a month of Sundays to discuss. Thanks for passing this on, Ted.

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