An edited extract from an address given by Home Mission Worker Donald J. Morrison to the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) assembly.
It is now just a little over eighteen months since I began my work as Home Mission Worker/Evangelist, operating from Inverness. During that time I’ve travelled throughout Scotland, sharing the Good News about the Lord Jesus Christ with people from all walks of life.
I’ve done this through gospel tract distribution, door-to-door visitations, personal evangelism, open-air preaching and mission outreach in different areas. For the year ending 2004, over 700 evangelistic booklets and approximately 48,000 gospel tracts were distributed.
The grip of religion
My burden has deepened over the past year and a half, because I have seen that Scotland is steeped in atheism and is also in the grip of religion! ‘Surely’, I hear you say, ‘the latter should give us reason to rejoice’. No, because Scotland’s religion is a Christ-less religion, and thus no religion at all! I’ll give you some examples.
In Inverness some children (aged between 10-12) tell me that their Sunday school teacher said that to get to heaven you don’t have to go to church, read the Bible or pray — only be good and love everyone!
In Ayr a minister in the Church of Scotland said she didn’t (yes she!) believe in God or in the Bible. In Selkirk I spoke to an ‘evangelical congregation’ with over 500 members on its communion role. The night I spoke there were ten people present (more than usual, I was told).
In Galashiels, members from various churches told me that their ministers would never dream of telling the people about hell since it would cause offence and empty the church. Such stories abound — for Scotland’s religion is one without Christ, without the cross and without the truth.
Truth in print
Scotland’s only hope is the truth as it is in the Lord Jesus Christ. He himself tells us, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’ and ‘If the Son … shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed’.
But how can the truth be heard when so few go to church and fewer still read the Bible? There can only be one answer. By spreading the truth in print — through gospel tracts, leaflets and booklets. ‘Printing’, said Martin Luther, ‘is God’s latest and best work to spread true religion throughout the world’.
Sometimes, we are slow to appreciate the enormous effect a gospel tract can have upon the reader when it is accompanied by the converting power of the Holy Spirit. Every time I give out a tract I believe that, as someone reads the Word, it will not leave them as it found them.
A recent case illustrates how the ‘word of truth’ can affect someone who is deep in sin.
After giving a gospel tract to a young man recently, and sharing the gospel with him, he reminded me that I had spoken to him about ‘this same thing’ already. A practising homosexual, he claimed he had been ‘set free’ by coming out of the closet.
I pointed out that he was still in a darker closet and needed to be released from the prison house of sin and Satan. Only the ‘amazing grace’ of God could truly set him free! I assured him that God’s grace could change the vilest sinner in Inverness into one of the finest saints the city has ever seen.
After speaking to him for some 45 minutes about the gospel and his need of Christ he said, ‘Next time I see you, I want to speak to you again about these things’. This was the first time he had ever heard the truth explained.
Truly, the truth never leaves a sinner as it found him! And when it arrests him, it also goes on to affect others. Hudson Taylor was only fifteen when five words (‘the finished work of Christ’) in a gospel tract pierced his heart and he was gloriously saved.
We all know how his conversion affected the whole of China. A tract by Martin Luther was the means of John Bunyan’s conversion, and we know how
hislife has influenced multitudes since then.
Who will go?
I think we were all moved, stirred and challenged by the Moderator’s Assembly address. Mr MacLeod solemnly asked us if we were hearing ‘the treading of feet, lost souls without hope and without God in the world, going to hell and a Christ-less eternity’.
I don’t know what you’re thinking, brethren, but I’ll tell you what I’m thinking. That if I — ‘one of the least of the Lord’s servants’ — don’t tell sinners about King Jesus and how to be saved from their sins, who will?
Who will go for us? How can they hear without a preacher? Yes, if we are Christians, every one of us has been called to serve him with the gifts and talents he has given us. ‘I have called you’, he says, ‘to be my witnesses’.