In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, members of Lancaster Baptist Church and students of West Coast Baptist College passed out over 10,000 copies of the New Testament. The blessings from this effort were great. Many more people were saved during this effort than during the same time last year. Others promised to read the Bible when it was given and were open to the Gospel.
Giving copies of the Bible isn’t a new outreach approach, but I would like to share some of the benefits of giving the Bible during witnessing and a few tips that helped this effort.
A gift allows for a spiritual conversation. A few people were indifferent to the free Bible, but many were genuinely touched by the gift. As it says in Proverbs 18:16, “A man’s gift maketh room for him….” This generosity opened many people’s hearts who might have rejected a usual invitation to church. It was a great opportunity to share how God’s Word had made a difference in the lives of the soulwinners, and it created a natural transition to say, “…but let me share with you the single greatest message of the Bible.”
The Bible in hand gives the lost person opportunity to search. Many times when a person hears the Gospel for the first time, they do not get saved. This doesn’t mean they will never be saved! The soulwinner should keep going back to someone who is open until the person is saved or rejects their friendly visits. But with a Bible in the lost person’s hands, the soulwinner can underline verses to read again and challenge the person to read a book like John or Romans. What a powerful tool for the Holy Spirit to bring conviction to a lost sinner! Just like the Ethiopian treasurer, the lost person may need some help understanding what they have read, but God can use His Word to create a thirst for more truth.
The Bible creates a powerful reminder of where someone can go for help. We firmly believe that we will see fruit from this outreach effort for years to come. Someone who accepted a Bible may not have been willing to accept Christ at the time, but circumstances change. When a trial comes, some may search for the Bible that was given to them, and they will know who they can turn to for help and encouragement.
God’s Word is always effective, no matter what milestone it has passed. It’s promises are still true. When considering your next outreach campaign, think of the value of giving away a copy of the Bible or the New Testament. “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:6).