We pride ourselves in our ideas, our ideals, our religion, our gods, our science, our establishments, our accomplishments,,, only to set it all on fire?
The following is a story about how when the gospel really comes into culture it renders the things we have established as useless and starts to rebuild hearts and thought processes around kingdom.
“About that time, serious trouble developed in Ephesus concerning the Way. It began with Demetrius, a silversmith who had a large business manufacturing silver shrines of the Greek goddess Artemis. He kept many craftsmen busy. He called them together, along with others employed in similar trades, and addressed them as follows: “Gentlemen, you know that our wealth comes from this business. But as you have seen and heard, this man Paul has persuaded many people that handmade gods aren’t really gods at all. And he’s done this not only here in Ephesus but throughout the entire province! Of course, I’m not just talking about the loss of public respect for our business. I’m also concerned that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will lose its influence and that Artemis—this magnificent goddess worshiped throughout the province of Asia and all around the world—will be robbed of her great prestige!” At this their anger boiled, and they began shouting, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” Soon the whole city was filled with confusion. Everyone rushed to the amphitheater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, who were Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia. Paul wanted to go in, too, but the believers wouldn’t let him. Some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, also sent a message to him, begging him not to risk his life by entering the amphitheater. Inside, the people were all shouting, some one thing and some another. Everything was in confusion. In fact, most of them didn’t even know why they were there.”
Acts of the Apostles 19:23-32 NLT
So a mass group of hostile people (some of them not even knowing why they were there) are mad, sound familiar?
Things haven’t changed much since the days Jesus walked through earth, as a matter of fact they haven’t changed at all, we live in a time where people filled with the pride of their own knowledge want their way right away, they are spiritually dead and only follow their own logic and instincts, but when the gospel comes to town things are changed, people experience Holy Spirit.
The god Artemis lost its influence because people had a real encounter with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and people were angry because it affected their livelihood, they had built a culture around this false idea and it was decimated when the truth showed up.
So people were angry and a mob ensued, people wanted their money and jobs back, people didn’t like this invisible God ruining their culture they had become so proud of.
“The Jews in the crowd pushed Alexander forward and told him to explain the situation. He motioned for silence and tried to speak. But when the crowd realized he was a Jew, they started shouting again and kept it up for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians! Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” At last the mayor was able to quiet them down enough to speak. “Citizens of Ephesus,” he said. “Everyone knows that Ephesus is the official guardian of the temple of the great Artemis, whose image fell down to us from heaven. Since this is an undeniable fact, you should stay calm and not do anything rash. You have brought these men here, but they have stolen nothing from the temple and have not spoken against our goddess. “If Demetrius and the craftsmen have a case against them, the courts are in session and the officials can hear the case at once. Let them make formal charges. And if there are complaints about other matters, they can be settled in a legal assembly. I am afraid we are in danger of being charged with rioting by the Roman government, since there is no cause for all this commotion. And if Rome demands an explanation, we won’t know what to say.” Then he dismissed them, and they dispersed.”
Acts of the Apostles 19:33-41 NLT
There are riots there are talks of insurrections but there is one gospel and the gospel of our lord Jesus Christ is changing the world, the kingdom is being established, the way is a movement that is still changing culture today and challenging the world view, be encouraged in these days! We are part of something that is far bigger and more powerful than we could ever imagine and it is shining a light into the darkness permeating the very finer of all that man has established apart from God.
“When the uproar was over, Paul sent for the believers and encouraged them. Then he said good-bye and left for Macedonia.”
Acts of the Apostles 20:1 NLT