3 – What Results Can Be Expected:
Christian literature is produced with a definite aim, and therefore the influence of such writings must produce definite effects. Even if a Christian writes on a non-spiritual topic in a non religious publication, his Christian outlook should permeate his writing. God honouring Christian writings of this kind produce at least the following effects in the lives of the readers:
Unless a person is convicted of what he is, it is impossible to reform him. Look at the lives of over-protected children. The mother says “my son would never do that” or that “you could not be talking about my daughter”, while everyone else knows what that monster has been doing. What’s the result ? Initially the child knows that he is wrong and feels guilty in his heart. With continued protection, however, he develops immunity to evil. He then begins to enjoy doing it, and soon starts to rejoice in his involvement with evil. Once there is no conviction of sin, everyone tries to convince himself that he is righteous.
No human is fully right — not even the born again ones. Everyone’s thoughts and deeds need some repair or correction. The sinner needs to understand what he is. The born again child of God needs to realize that he now needs a life full of growth if he is to attain at least a small measure of what he is expected to be. People do not automatically know these truths. Therefore, good Christian writings produce intense conviction in the hearts of people for whom it is written.
THEY INDUCE SELF EVALUATION: Humans have a great interest in self evaluation, and that’s why they are addicted to mirrors. Almost every person manages to convince himself that he/she is good looking and charming. Combing the hair, applying creams and talcum powder, etc., are the devices used to enhance their apparent charm. However, everyone needs to take up another kind of self examination — an examination of their personal spiritual lives.
Spiritual self-examination is much more difficult and painful than physical self-examination in a mirror. This is one reason why almost every person tries to convince himself that he is basically good, righteous, and right in his dealings. Good Christian writings serve as the mirror which induce people to evaluate themselves honestly.
Christian writings, specially the ones meant for imparting spiritual instruction, must produce self evaluation. Indeed this is what happens when a believer reads a properly written material. Self-evaluation then gives rise to repentance, correction with God’s help, and commitment to live a God honouring life. Countless is the number of people who can look back to their spiritual journey and relate how good Christian writings helped them to perceive what they are and also how this perception helped them to change their erroneous ways.
THEY PRODUCE GROWTH AND SUSTENANCE: Just as a human baby must grow, the spiritually born people must also grow right from the first day. Growth in human life comes from intake of food, and exercise. In the same way, growth in the spiritual life comes from the intake of spiritual food, and spiritual exercise.
Bible is the source for spiritual food, and none can grow without it. At the same time, good Christian writings do have an important supplementary role to play. They work with the spiritual food that comes directly from the Scriptures. They motivate people to continue living this blessed life.
All dedicated Christian writers will have the privilege of seeing how their writings help people to grow and also how it sustains them in their struggles and growth.
THEY BRING SALVATION: The Lord has two important aims behind keeping us in the world after our salvation. The first is to mould us till we conform to the image of Christ, and the second is to use our personal witness to bring yet more people into the kingdom of God. Christian writings aid both of these, of which we have already discussed the moulding part.
Christian writings not only help saved people to grow, but it also helps lost people to see their hopeless condition and accept Christ as Saviour. Uncountable is the number of believers who could testify that it was the printed page that finally brought them to salvation. This should remind Christian writers that it will be good to weave the gospel message into their writings — even if gospel is not the direct theme of a particular story, article, or poem. Further, it will be good to give some time to writings that are purely evangelistic in nature. The long term result will be salvation of many. Christian writings are important because they rescue many from everlasting hell fire.