How Jack Chick influenced me for Christ

Last October, the Lord called another great saint home to be with him. After a life of faithful service to Jesus, Jack Chick went on to his reward. Maybe you are familiar with his Christian comics? If not, I’m glad to be the one to introduce you to some great ammunition in the war for souls. Having now read his biography, I wanted to give a brief tribute to the influence of Jack Chick’s ministry in my own life.

                My mother led me to Christ on November 4, 1988 at the age of six years old. Around that time, she also introduced me to Chick tracts. I began reading them avidly and started learning Bible truth at an accelerated rate. Those little comics helped to inoculate me against the deceptions of our present age. I also received a burden for lost souls that I have never been able to totally shake by the grace of God.

                The day after I got saved, I tried to win my best friend to Christ. His name was Brad. I brought my pocket New Testament with me even though I didn’t know any verses. I recognized the Authority of the Book from the beginning and knew it was needful to be able to reference the source of my new-found faith in Jesus. I coerced Brad and led him in a sort-of forced sinner’s prayer with the threat that “I can’t be your best friend, if you don’t get saved.” In my mind, I wouldn’t be able to long continue being close to someone that was headed for hell. The Holy Spirit had already impressed the truth of Amos 3:3 in my heart. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” I don’t know if Brad got born again that day, but I would later give him Chick tracts with a desire to see that his salvation was made sure.

                The earliest Chick tracts I remember reading were titled, “This Was Your Life”, “A Demon’s Nightmare”, and “Holy Joe”.

                I can remember the next Chick tract that I purposed to give to someone. In school, I tried to be very obedient to my teachers. I wanted to stay out of trouble and tended to be very shy. Conviction over my lost classmates weighed heavy on me at times. I finally got up the courage to hide a tract in a friend’s backpack. The boy’s name was David and he had a blue backpack hanging on the hooks where all the children’s gear was kept. I noticed David’s backpack was unzipped. I placed a Chick tract inside when I thought no one was looking. At the end of the day in that second-grade classroom, everyone went for their things and started to get ready to go. I heard David cry out, “Teacher! Teacher! I found something in my bag that’s not mine!” He ran to her and handed our teacher the Chick tract. She waved it around the classroom and said, “Whose is this?” The class was silent. My plans had failed. I wanted David to get the tract. I was embarrassed that I had been caught. “Whose little book is this!” the teacher said lifting her voice. She wasn’t angry. David wasn’t angry. The whole attitude was simply that something was out of place. I remember thinking, “Oh, well. I might as well admit it.”

                I raised my hand and said, “It’s mine. I put it there, but I wanted David to have it. It’s from me.” The teacher turned to David, “Well, do you want it?” He said, “Oh, ok. Thanks!” At that moment, the class went back to getting ready to go home like nothing had happened. I learned an important lesson that day. People generally weren’t going to be as shy about receiving tracts as I was about giving them out. I had nothing to lose by trying! It worked! David got the gospel!

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                While growing up, I didn’t always have a steady supply of tracts and I wasn’t always spiritually minded, but I used Chick tracts repeatedly throughout my time in public school. I remember reading the Crusader Comics and having my eyes opened to some great truths as a young man. I grew up playing video games, reading comic books, and played sports like soccer and yard football. I watched cable TV, went to church, and hung out with the neighborhood kids. Chick tracts helped keep me from going wayward and made it easy for me to give the gospel to my friends. It got them to ask questions that would get me stirred up for God. They asked me questions that made me want to learn more Bible.

                In my teenage years, I began leading Bible studies at school, first in the gymnasium every morning during my sophomore year and eventually in the library once a week during my senior year. I instructed my peers on the need to be a publick witness. I wanted them to have the same joy that I got from witnessing to others. I wanted them to get the thrill of doing something good you were afraid to do and being blessed by God for it. One Wednesday during our library Bible meeting, I brought a bunch of stacks of Chick tracts prepared for evangelizing the entire student body. I told the class, “Some of you have been saved for years and you’ve never really told anyone else how to be saved. That’s going to change right now! We’re going to give these to every student in the break area. Let’s pray and go do it!” We did. A dozen of us handed out hundreds of tracts in a few minutes. Almost everyone stopped and began perusing through the tracts.

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                I’m so thankful to have had several teachers that were born again believers. They took the brunt of adversity that would come for such a radical display of evangelism on the public-school grounds. Several students mocked and threw their copies in the trash, but for the most part, a hush of Holy Spirit conviction swept over the entire school that day. Several other times, I seeded the cars in the parking lot with tracts. I was burdened for my peers and Chick tracts made reaching them with the gospel quick and easy.

                Into adulthood, I went to Bible school and began doing street ministry. My friends and I passed out thousands of tracts during this time. We would preach publickly in the downtown areas of major cities and give Chick tracts to any that would take them. It was during this time that God began to toughen me up more through the pointed rejection we received more often in the city atmosphere.

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                Whenever it seemed I was getting out of balance or off track in an area, Chick tracts helped me stay straight because they contain so much scripture. Even times in my youth when I wasn’t living much like a Christian, Chick tracts were a simple way to put out Bible truth.

My oldest son came to repentance and accepted Jesus as his Saviour after reading Flight 144 when he was six years old. He evangelizes his teenage peers using Chick tracts. When my oldest son and I made a mission’s survey trip to the Philippines last year, we evangelized using mostly Chick tracts. I know of many pastors that use Chick tracts amidst their other evangelistic weapons and there is a common bond between soulwinners that see the usefulness of these great tools.

                I am still using Chick tracts to this day. Now, I am in a remote Inupiaq Eskimo community serving as a local church pastor and chaplain to the local fire department. People here have been reading Chick tracts for the past 30 years. I’m certain some are saved today because of the seed sown. I’m sure that some have avoided untimely deaths because of the warnings of God’s judgement contained in these tracts. One thing is for certain, when people read Chick tracts, they are then forever without excuse. The gospel presented in these tracts is clear and plain. There are a few believers that like to split hairs about some details they don’t like or appreciate, but when I investigate their claims, I can’t find any fault.

Thank God that Jack Chick listened to God all those years ago. I may have made a shipwreck of my life if it had not been for the ministry of Chick Publications. I wonder how much of my reward in heaven will be attributed to Jack Chick’s faithfulness to live for Jesus. If one man can do so much to win lost souls and help the body of Christ, what can you and I do with the time we have left? It’s a sobering thought. I’d like to close this tribute out with the lyrics of an old hymn, “Must I Go and Empty Handed” written in 1877 by Charles C. Luther. Jack Chick didn’t go to heaven empty-handed. You don’t have to either. Are you saved? Are you leading others to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?


“Must I go, and empty handed,”

Thus my dear Redeemer meet?

Not one day of service give Him,

Lay no trophy at His feet?

 

Not at death I shrink or falter,

For my Savior saves me now;

But to meet Him empty handed,

Thought of that now clouds my brow.

 

O the years in sinning wasted,

Could I but recall them now,

I would give them to my Savior,

To His will I’d gladly bow.

 

O ye saints, arouse, be earnest,

Up and work while yet ’tis day;

Ere the night of death o’ertake thee,

Strive for souls while still you may.

Chorus

“Must I go, and empty handed?”

Must I meet my Savior so?

Not one soul with which to greet Him,

Must I empty handed go?

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About the Author ()

After serving for 6 years at the top of Alaska in Point Lay, the Bernick Family moved 90 miles further northeast to Wainwright. They are full-time working missionaries. Chad works as a pastor to the village through the Baptist church and responds with the local EMS/fire fighter crew. His wife, Sarah, daily home schools their six children and hosts a sewing class twice a week. They have been in arctic Alaska since 2008.

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