The Candy Cane Gospel or The Glorious Gospel

Last Saturday, we stopped for a quick lunch at our favorite taqueria. Munching a chicken burrito, I was soberly contemplating the fact that I was “too busy” to do any outreach that day. Good intentions aside, there was softball catching tryouts, Christmas shopping to do, and the school Christmas program started in the early afternoon. I had to get everyone ready and I was pretty much rushing from one thing to another.

Then Santa walked in! He was “ho ho ho”-ing and passing out flyers from his bag. With him was a “lady reindeer” also passing out flyers. I thought they were probably local merchants advertising their business with coupons. Soon the reindeer lady came to our table (Santa worked other tables) and to our surprise, the reindeer placed on our table, a candy cane attached to a gospel tract!

Wow, someone was actually out on a Saturday, passing out gospel tracts to hundreds of people on the streets in downtown San Mateo. And they were doing the “high visibility” thing; being clearly “visible” as someone openly sharing the gospel in public. This was encouraging to see Christians willing to do this. Turns out this was a local church I am familiar with.

So after chatting with the reindeer lady for a while and she moved on, I looked down and read the message. It was “The Candy Cane Gospel”. As I read it, I have to admit, my heart sank, and I began to wonder, is any evangelism better than no evangelism at all?

This message shares some things about Jesus, but it leaves out so much of the gospel. Our sin against God is great. The gospel is glorious. Jesus is glorious. What He did for us to save us, is glorious.

On the back of the tract is “The Prayer”. It says, “If you want to have a relationship with God, you can pray…” and it has the prayer, and then, “Signed_______”, Dated_______ Welcome to the family of God!” This is way too easy. I don’t think people reading this will really grasp Who God is, how righteous, holy and just He is, what we have done against Him, how great is our need for God’s grace and mercy, how great and glorious Jesus is, and what He did for us to pay for our sins, Himself.

“Praying a prayer” is not the thing that brings people into right relationship with God through Jesus. The act of praying a prayer does not save. People need to be convicted of sin, and repent of sin to be saved. They need to place their faith and trust in Jesus to save them. (And yes, I believe it is God that does this, through the reading or hearing of the gospel.) A person may express this repentance and faith in a prayer to God. But we do not need to tell them to “repeat this prayer after me.” They will pray if they have been born again and given the Holy Spirit.

We must be bold and willing to reach out with the gospel. But we must be more bold to share clearly, as much as we can, the true, complete, Christ exalting, glorious gospel, trusting God to save His sheep .

The church that posted this gospel message (below) says we can download, burn and give away copies of this message (for free) all we want. Listen, be blessed, and pass it on, because the gospel is glorious.


Update: Click here or here for high quality audios of this message for burning your own “audio gospel tracts” to give out.

Related posts:
Christmas Candy

Seed Sowing at Christmastime

14 thoughts on “The Candy Cane Gospel or The Glorious Gospel

  1. Loretta,

    I hope the audio files will be used of the Lord to point people Christ-ward. Thanks for your burden to see the gospel—in all of its glory—spread.

    FWIW, if people are downloading for the purpose of burning CD’s or even pointing others to the message via emails and such, there are higher quality recordings of it available here.

    May the Lord bless you as you proclaim the truth of Christ’s great work to save sinners like us!

  2. Chris, thank you for the link to your audio website! This looks like a very helpful resource for sharing the good news. I added the links to your two sites. Thanks again! God bless you.

  3. Pingback: New Year 2008 « Witnessing. Encouragement.

  4. Pingback: Seed Sowing at Christmastime « Witnessing. Encouragement.

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  6. -=There is truly something wrong with the way you are presenting the Gospel. You say repent of your sins and then go to Jesus for salvation. If you told a child this he would think that if he stops sinning then he can now go to Jesus and be saved so he can go to Heaven. Then he can brag for all eternity and say that he repented of his sins and Jesus saved him because of him not sinning anymore.(works) Repenting of your sins means that you change your mind about your sin and say to Jesus, I am sick in sin and I cannot stop sinning because I have a sin nature and I cannot cleanse myself of my sin. Go to Jesus in and with your sin and call out to Him to save you from your sin and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

  7. Are you serious? I have gone out in front of busy Department stores armed with guitar in hand, this gospel tract and candy canes to give to busy christmas shoppers to give out something that alot of people have forgotten about…What Christmas is truly all about. In my many, many years with giving out tracts and telling people about Jesus and his love and sacrifice for all mankind I have found out that the greatest way to reach others is through simple easy ways that all will understand…such as Jesus did while he was on Earth. I know that people are more amp to take something from you when it is free…not a tract they might throw away but a tract with a candy cane or something that has a non threatening and interesting fact that would spark thier interest. Being it has the way of salvation on it…that makes it even the better. As I told my husband just today…if only 200 of these tracts are handed out and only one seed planted it is one seed closer to heaven. We are called to go out into all the world…tell others about Jesus, making diciples of them. We are only the planters…God is the Harvester. Don’t worry…God know the heart…You are not accountable for their salvation…only for your part in planting the seeds. I also in the past when my children went out trick or treating (yes…such a horrible thing huh?) handed out tracts that showed the love of Jesus to others. We used it as an Open door opportunity, while others ran away and hid because it was the “devils day”. (This is the day the Lord hast made…we shall rejoice and be glad in it). When did any day belong to the devil??? I have had much feed back from those tracts. Sad, my children are all grown up now but that was a wonderful opportunity to get the word out as much as others that on Halloween handed out tracts with candy to trick or treaters.(praise God for those brothers and sisters) So…this Christmas I will once again be dorn with an elf hat, guitar, christmas music, Candy Canes and candy cane tracts and show the love of Jesus to a World that is just waiting for anyone to show them the way, the truth and the life. So please…don’t be so critical. Who knows…Even such a small gester as a smile to someone, a stranger, who may so desperately needs it at that moment…could possibly send them to thier knees seeking the Lord who can save and deleiver them from thier sins and troubles. My favorite bible verse ….”Romans 8:28″…(of course 🙂 God bless you and yours.

  8. I think there is no better example to look at than how Jesus shared the gospel. Look at how he shares with the woman at the well. John Chapter 4. He explains that believing Jesus is the Christ is what is required for salvation. It is a part of discipleship when we repent of ours sins. I do think it’s confusing to people when sharing the gospel to mix how to become saved and how to be a disciple of Christ together/at the same time. Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” It is nothing of ourselves that saves us. The Book of John tells us in 20:30-32 that the purpose of this book its to tell people how to be saved. “30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”This is a unique purpose that only this book has. There are many other books of the Bible that tell us how to be disciples. This makes sense because salvation is simple and discipleship is very hard. So, it makes sense that God would use one book, the book of John to show us how to be saved and then use the many other books of the Bible to teach us how to be a disciple/a follower of Christ. I’ve noticed when asking people around me the question “What does it take to be saved?” They have many answers 1)ask for repentance 2) says a prayer, etc. Jesus told neither if these to the Woman at the well in John chapter 4. Not to says at the time of salvation our hearts aren’t stirred to repentance ( a lot of time this comes during our belief in Jesus) but when we add this condition to salvation we are saying there is something the we have to to do. There are many verses that clearly say it is NOTHING of us that saves us, only belief in Jesus. When we believe something it means we are convinced that it is true. Many hear the Gospel and don’t believe and it is because at that time they are not convinced that it is true. Anyhow, please don’t let my comments stir up anger. Just think about them/pray about them. I think that one reason that we tack all of these extra “things” that we must do to be saved on to our gospel presentation is because we don’t like the idea that someone would take advantage of God’s grace. BUT, this is not our job. Once someone believes in Christ they are sealed with the Holy Spirit (eph 1:13) and God will convict them to repent. We have been given the command to make disciples. So, it is best, if you know someone has believed in Christ for everlasting life, to make sure there is follow up so that that person can be taught what it means to be a disciple. But, it is not our job to add things to the gospel presentation in fear that people would take advantage of God’s grace. Doesn’t God have the power to convince them on his own? yes! So, about the candy cane gospel. If a simple prop helps us to share the gospel with others I see no wrong in that. I’m hoping to use it myself. However, I will be careful about what I say when telling people how to be saved. All of this to say…The Holy Spirit is the one that will turn people to Himself. That is not my job. My job is only to share the hope of the Gospel. Blessings to you all this Christmas season.


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