Indifference to Evangelism
It is a general principal that in the church people who are active in evangelism represent the minority not the majority. Now could it be because Christians who share their faith are over-active annoying Christians who just don’t understand that it’s 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 that less than two percent of professing believers ever share their faith with others. Why is this and how can it change?
Leaving Our First Love
Those of you who are married should remember what it was like when you first started dating your spouse. Remember how much of your thoughts revolved around your new found love. Now, how much of your thoughts today revolve around Jesus Christ? Isn’t He supposed to be our first love? For many professing Christians their thoughts are more about sports, food, recreation, or work. This is evident by where they put their time and money. 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 His 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 rather in love for what He has done for us. But in time this passion for Christ begins to cool down in some people and with it the desire to spread the gospel. I call this the Ephesus-Effect.
In Revelations 2 we see a letter from Christ given to the church in Ephesus. 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. Nevertheless they receive a stinging condemnation.
“…I have this against you, that you left your first love.” -Revelations 2:4
Jesus warns them that their lamp stand 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).
Curing 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
We see that the solution is repentance. Scripture tells us as Christian the He is faithful to forgive if we confess our sins. (1 John 1:9) 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 speak for His sake.
Go and Serve