God wanted to make known among the Gentiles
the glorious wealth of this mystery,
which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
I love a good mystery and is why I enjoy several shows on TV these days. The show Elementary takes on the Sherlock Holmes / Dr. Watson characters in a new way while still holding to many traditional concepts. Each week a new mystery unfolds and the duo set out to uncover the truth using science and observation. While the show does not use the famous line “It’s elementary my dear Watson”, the show has an atmosphere that unveils the same attitude. What I enjoy about Holmes is that once he reveals his process it does seem quite simple, if one would just observe.
The same is true about the “mystery” of evangelism.
We have heard countless speakers and sermons on the Great Commission. We get it. I think. We know we are supposed to win the world to Christ, but so often we do not. Where is the hiccup? Like so many who stand around Holmes, we aren’t really getting it. Not that we couldn’t start. We are paralyzed at the starting line. The gun went off long ago, but we are still frozen. What is the cause?
1. Focus. We become so energized about winning the world with the Gospel we forget about those closest to us. While we are out raising money and traversing the world, our neighbors are without hope. It is hard to believe that people in our own communities might not truly know the Gospel, but many do not. People have an acquaintance with the story but not an association with the Savior. We are to win the world. We are to win our homes too.
2. Observe. I have sat through many seminars on sharing the Gospel. We are information heavy today but inspiration light. Sharing the Gospel is less about a script and more about your story and how it relates to the person standing in front of you. Because we are hyped up on the latest script, we fail to observe. Have you seen your neighbors lately? Have you noticed your classmates? Have you recognized their pain, sorrow, and hopelessness? The struggles of life afford you the chance to love them in Christ. Give them love. Give them Jesus.
3. Solve. Sherlock solves the case. He focused and made observations. These observations brought about conclusions to the mystery afoot. Sherlock, like Jane on the Mentalist, will bring everyone involved into the room and begin to share observations and deductions. The solution is given. The perpetrator is revealed, or surrenders, and the mystery solved. The mystery the unbeliever has not solved is their need for God. Many do not see their need. Most do not see their sin as that egregious. We, through focus and observation help them to see the solution is Jesus.
While we do not need to be as condescending and Holmes can be, we are to help people understanding their position. Begin with a renewed focus on your family, neighbors, classmates, and co-workers. If, through observation, you discover those who have already solved the mystery then join with them in fellowship. If, however, you find some still searching use daily and life events as a way for them to see God’s love and provision.
It’s elementary my dear witness!