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  9. The Paper Cross

"Sharing the Paper Cross"

My first experience at sharing the "Paper Cross" was when I volunteered to do an RE class at a local school. There were only about 10-12 children in the class (aged about 14). I decided to tell them the story about the third week and show them the "Paper Cross."

I had not expected the result, but fortunately, I had brought a pack of office paper. They all wanted to fold and tear the paper over and over again. Soon there was a carpet of paper on the classroom floor. They were so excited. They each took more paper onto the school grounds and shared it with friends at the end of the class.

Next week they told me how they had shown their parents, brothers, and sisters. Likely, the message was passed on to others. (Likely within hours, more than 100 people had heard the Gospel AND knew how to tell others).

How quickly the Gospel message can spread when it is presented in a simple easy-to-convey way. Since that time, there have been many opportunities for me to share "The Paper Cross" in Australia and overseas.

In every case, no matter who it was (individuals or a few), the response was WOW! It was something they could easily share with others.

About ten years later, I was in the town near the school, and a young woman spoke to me, "I was in the class when you taught us "The Paper Cross", thank you. I still share it with others.

Ask Jesus and the Holy Spirit throughout each day to guide you, to have you meet who He wants you to talk to. Then, as directed, show it to others! Spread the good news. E-mail it, add your name and contact details if you choose.

Too often, Christianity is made to be too complicated with man-made rules, procedures, pride, etc. That is not the way Jesus taught it.

Matt 19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said, With men this is impossible, but all things are possible with --God.

About two years later, as I was walking through a small town in Queensland, Australia. I saw a man standing on the edge of the footpath giving a monotone delivery of his Christian "message". No one was stopping. I asked him, "Would you like to get some attention?" He looked at me, wondering what I was going to do.

There "just happened" to be a folded newspaper on a bus seat a few paces away, so I tore off a page & announced to the passing crowd. "Who wants to see a miracle?" This grabbed the attention of 1-2 people. I went on my hands & knees & as I was telling the story, I folded & tore the paper. By this time, there was quite a small crowd gathering.

As I unfolded the torn paper, Ooh's and Aah's were heard. Then, "Do it again!", "Show me how to do that!", etc., etc. After doing it about three more times (asking the Brethren man to watch), I went on my way with people doing the folding & tearing.

That has been a similar story for me in parks, at airports, on ships, etc., in many parts of the world.

If you need a miracle, ask for one …. and believe!

Every behavior is motivated by a belief, and every action is prompted by an attitude.

"How one tear of a piece of paper saved a man's life and can save yours as well!"

Today, throughout the world, people are hurting and even killing others who do not believe as they

do. In some countries, it is prohibited to talk about anything other than what its leaders believe in.

A man living in such a country was about to be executed for telling others what he believed in and for refusing to stop giving his message. He had told them the simple Gospel, the Good News, and that killing and hurting people was not from a loving God.

He told them how Jesus, as the Son Of God, came to earth to show man the way to Life with God, and that through His love for mankind and His death on the Cross and His resurrection, He paid for all of mankind's wrongdoing and overcame death for man.

On the evening before the man's scheduled execution, a senior arresting soldier who had heard what the man had been telling the people said to him, 

"You say that your Jesus loves you and will save you and that He will never leave you or forsake you." "You say He died on the Cross for you." 

As he gave the man a sheet of paper, he challenged him, "We will give your Jesus a chance to save you. If you can make a cross from that piece of paper by tearing it only once, we will release you!"

The next morning the officer came with his armed guards ready to execute the man. Seeing the piece of paper on the floor of the cell, he laughed and said, "I see your Jesus has let you down!"

"No, He hasn't", replied the man. "He has told me what to do." Using his right hand, he took the bottom corner of the sheet and carefully folded the bottom edge of the sheet to line up with the long edge. Then with his left hand, he took the point and folded it to line up with the previous crease.

Keeping the point on the paper pointing towards him, he turned the folded paper over. With his right hand, creasing from the point to the top of the page, he folded the right-hand edge to line up with the other edge.

He then folded the right-hand edge to line up with the left-hand edge. He firmly creased the paper after each fold. He then carefully tore down the length of the folded paper, starting at the centre of the short edge.

He selected the largest piece of torn paper and unfolded it to reveal a cross (a rugged cross). 

The officer and his guards watched in amazement. True to his word, the officer confirmed that because Jesus had enabled a cross to be made, he would free the man.

As the man unfolded all the other pieces, he said, "You have heard the message of Salvation for all who believe in Jesus. He has now given me a message telling all who refuse to believe in Him where they will spend eternity." He arranged the other pieces of paper to form the word "HELL".

As he then re-arranged the scraps of paper again, he said," but Jesus has given us life, and He wants you to have it". He then made the word "LIFE" – Jesus is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE.

As the officers and the guards read the word LIFE, they eagerly sought to know how they, too, could be saved.

John 3:16-18 For God so greatly loved {and} dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find Salvation {and} be made safe {and} sound through Him.

He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation--he incurs no damnation];

But he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in {and} trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ's name.]


Make copies of these pages and keep them with some blank pages ready to share with others. This is

an easy way you can go into the world and preach the (simple) Gospel.

One way to introduce this to people is simply to say, "Would you like to hear a story?"

After you have shared the story, the person(s) you have shared with usually will wish to fold and tear

a piece of paper themselves, so have some ready.

Give them a copy of these pages.

Children and teens are especially keen to share this with their family and friends (the term most frequently used when they see it is "awesome".)

  • Prov 3:5-6 Lean on, trust in, {and} be confident in the Lord with all your heart {and} mind and do not rely on your own insight {or} understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, {and} acknowledge Him and He will direct {and} make straight {and} plain your paths
  • Heb 13:5 …. for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you {nor} give you up {nor} leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless {nor} forsake {nor} let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

The man in our story knew that Jesus would not let Him down. As he waited in his jail cell, he did not worry or frantically seek a way of avoiding execution. He simply trusted in the God Who loved him and promised to take care of him … and Jesus did not let him down. Jesus also used the circumstance to teach the guards that message.

  1. Father "organised" for the Christian (and "armor-clad") man to go to that country and location.
  2. He "organised" for the man to witness to the people (Rom 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.)
  3. He "organised" for the police to be nearby and hear what was being said.
  4. He "organised" for one of the police to challenge the man, "You say that your Jesus loves you and will save you and that He will never leave you or forsake you." "You say He died on the Cross for you." As he handed the man a sheet of paper, he challenged him, "We will give your Jesus a chance to save you. If you can make a cross from that piece of paper by tearing it only once, we will release you!"
  1. He "organised' that the man understood what was required with the paper (the folding, tearing & arranging).
  2. He "organised" that the guards would see that Jesus was the only way to be kept out of Hell.
  3. He was true to His Word (Luke 4:18:19 .. "He came to free the captives")... the man sentenced to death.
  4. He" organised" that the "Paper Cross and the story "was easily shared with others ... even by young people.

Brian McMichan  


'ph 07 5391 1912

Reflections of Brian McMichan

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Paper Cross

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