Tolkien’s point to Lewis was this: the reason we’re repeatedly drawn into these kinds of mythical stories—the reason we want to be part of a “bigger something”—is because God has imprinted these themes on our souls. And though not everyone knows it, the “bigger something” we long to be part of is the “biggest something” of all, the greatest epic the universe will ever know—God reconciling all things to Himself in Christ.
One of the main reasons mankind is so restless these days, why we so easily and quickly downshift into boredom, is because instead of participating in this one great drama, we’re content just to watch and wish we were involved in something this significant. We keep going to movies, watching television shows, and buying video games that give hints of this grand romance and battle. Yet for some reason we fail to see that we are actually caught up in it.
We are in the middle of the love story, the middle of the epic battle. Our real lives are a daring connection point between God and men for the healing of broken lives and a broken culture. By God’s grace, we must help the people in our churches see the “epic” in the ordinary details of life. We must challenge them to open their eyes to this grand event happening all around them, in the hearts of every individual they encounter, and then inspire them to play a fearless, tour-de-force role in this gripping drama of the ages. God used believers before us to pull us into the story. Every one of us in the faith was brought into the faith through the influence of others. God has chosen to expand the Creature through multiplication that is centered on Jesus.
For me (Matt), it was my mom. She always had a steadfast faith in the Lord. She loved Him and strove to follow Him. I could see Jesus in her.
There was also a man named Ronnie Hazzard, a Sunday school teacher at First Baptist Church of Texas City. He was a patient, gracious man, and I was moved—even as an unbeliever—by how he loved his wife and daughters and the warmth of their hospitality.
There were others who played key roles in my life: Jerry Hendricks, a youth minister and avid baseball card collector who took an interest in me and welcomed my questions and presence in his office after school. Another was Jeff Faircloth, a fellow high school student who straight-up said to me, “I need to tell you about Jesus. When do you want to do that?” It wasn’t, “Hey, read this tract and let me know what you think,” or “Hey, do you want to come to church with me on Wednesday night?” It was literally, “I need to tell you about Jesus. You decide the when and the where, but it’s happening—right now before football practice, right afterward, or some other time this week. Whenever you say, we’re doing this.” I didn’t get saved immediately after he shared the gospel with me, but I did become very intrigued. And over a period of time, God began to break down the walls that were keeping me separated from Him.
Then one day … He just saved me. I don’t know how to explain it. I was checking things out, studying, finding reasons why I shouldn’t believe, reasons why I shouldn’t need to buy in and submit to Christ. And yet in the middle of all those questions, doubts, and intellectual barriers, I think Jesus just got tired of playing with me and said, “No, you’re Mine.” He rescued me and captivated my heart, and I just immediately fell in love. I still had lots of questions, but when God opened up my heart to Him, I truly became, as the Scripture says, a “new creation.” The old Matt “passed away.” My perspective changed in that moment.
One life. Spotlit on an epic stage. Surrounded by key players who could easily have chosen to be distracted on themselves and their own dreamy interests … if they hadn’t been aware that a grander story was happening right there in front of them, around a young guy named Matt—a story that brought ultimate suspense and excitement into their lives, a role they were “reborn” to play. What do you bet there’s no greater thrill in their lives than seeing their names within this narrative, members of the supporting cast in God’s saving work in one person’s life? What other weekend entertainment or side hobby could ever fill them with such deep, relentless satisfaction? What’s bigger than being part of the biggest story going?
This is the essence of gospel multiplication.
It’s how God calls people to Himself, one person at a time, growing His body today in what is becoming an eternal adventure and romance with Him.
And everyone in your church should be invited to join in.