Most pastors would agree that in the church those who are active in evangelism represent the minority not the majority. Is this because Christians who want to share their faith are over-active hyper Christians who just don’t understand that it not polite to speak of Christ in public? I don’t think so. But the fact remains that many professing Christians never share their faith verbally. According to Dr. Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, said in his book, “The Coming Revival” that less than two percent of professing believers ever share their faith in Christ with others. Why is this and how can it change?
Our First Love
For those of us who are married should remember what it was like when we were dating. Remembering how much of our thoughts revolved around our new found love. The same is with Christ. When we come to Christ in repentance and faith we realize the depth of the price that was paid on our behalf and how undeserving we are of grace. This realization drives our thoughts to become consumed by Jesus. As a result we want others to know of this grace and we act in obedience sharing the good news; not out of mechanical orthodoxy but because of what He had done for us. But in time this passion for Christ began to cool down in some and with it the desire to spread the gospel. I call this the Ephesus Effect.
The Ephesus Effect
In Revelations 2 we see a letter given to the church in Ephesus from Christ. This church was a power house in the early first century. It was begun by Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:26), established by Paul (Acts 19) and pastored by John but nonetheless they receive a stinging condemnation.
“…I have this against you, that you left your first love.” -Revelations 2:4
Jesus warns them that they will be removed if they do not repent and do the first work; which is to love your God with all your heart. This is the first commandment. Without a love of Christ there can be no obedience. It is an appreciation for the grace of God that drives us to serve Christ. This we have been commanded to do; to spread the gospel and open our mouths declaring the truth (Acts 1:8, Acts 2:14).
The Cure to The Ephesus Effect
So what is the solution? Let’s read what Christ said.
“…I will come and remove your lamp stand from its place-unless you repent.” -Revelations 2:5
The sad thing is that apparently the church in Ephesus did not heed this warning as we can see today it is no more. If our love for Christ has grown cold and our lack of obedience in evangelism is evident then repent while there is still time and fix your eyes upon Jesus and open your mouth for His sake.
Photo Credit: Chris Yarzab via Flickr