|Create Date||February 18, 2019|
|Last Updated||February 18, 2019|
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IMPACTING OUR COMMUNITY
Scripture reading Ephesians 4:1-6
Read Acts 19:21-41
In 1904 there was a great revival in Wales. A revival of church services, of the Holy spirit working in people’s lives; a revival where many people came to Christ and were saved. This movement spread far and wide.
When Paul came to Ephesus in Acts 19, EPHESUS was in like a stronghold of pagan superstition. But within two years of ministry in Ephesus, Satan’s stronghold was crumbling
So, let’s study this passage and see two things about them that enabled them to have such a remarkable impact on their society for Christ, and two things they didn’t do that protected them from ruining their impact
- FIRST, NOTE THAT THEIR LIVES CHANGED SO DRAMATICALLY THAT IT AFFECTED THE LOCAL COMMERCE
Ephesus was the centre of the Diana cult in the roman empire. The temple was enormous (one of the 7 wonders of the world). Every year, during a week in spring, Diana’s followers made a pilgrimage to Ephesus for a week of immorality and debauchery in her name. As they did, they would purchase silver replicas of Diana and the temple made by local silversmiths to take home and place on their family altars.
Read acts 19:26-27
We will see that Demetrius lied.
But this revival of Christianity was changing the face of the city
Read Acts 19:28-32 the town went mad.
- SECOND, NOTE THAT THE EPHESIAN CHRISTIANS HAD A REPUTATION FOR WHOLE-HEARTED COMMITMENT.
Verse 33 shows that the Jew didn’t want to be associated with the Christians. You see, they wanted a religion and a belief in God, but they didn’t want to be associated with what they deemed to be getting TOO excited about God! Alexander represents that sector of religion that wants to have “a form of godliness” but is shocked to be associated with anything so radical as really taking their belief seriously.
But the Christians were passionate and “all in”.
NOTE TWO THINGS THE CHRISTIANS IN EPHESUS DID NOT DO
III. CHRISTIANS RESPECTED THE RELIGION OF THE EPHESIANS.
1) FIRST, the town clerk pointed out that the Christians didn’t act disrespectfully of the Ephesians’ religion.
Read acts 19:35-40
The town clerk set the record straight
He showed Demetrius up to be a liar.
2) The SECOND thing they didn’t do was try to change the Ephesians behaviour by political activism, but by spiritual means.
What Paul did:
All he did was teach the truth daily and send out his converts to witness to the lost people in the city. As more and more people got converted, fewer and fewer customers were available.” WARREN WIERSBE
“How did Christianity triumph? How did Christians win the day? The Christians did not circulate a petition to see if they could get 51% of the Ephesians to sign it saying, “Diana is no goddess, and the God of the Old Testament is the true God.” The Christians did not have a mass rally. They did not send Christians into the amphitheatre to do their thing. They did exactly what Jesus Christ had done and what he sent them into the world to do. They preached the gospel so that men and women got converted, and once they were converted, they taught them how to live for Jesus Christ.” JAMES MONTGOMERY BOICE
Revival in our communities
- All big revivals start as little revivals in individual hearts.
- Revivals start as Christians start getting things right with God and forsaking their sins and surrendering things that keep them from experiencing God’s best.
- Lastly, revivals start when Christians start sacrificing for the sake of the Gospel.
MAHATMA GHANDI said
- Be the change that you want to see in the world.
- The future depends on what you do today.
- You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.
- Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
When we read the book of Acts, I believe that we see Christians living like Christians should. It doesn’t mean we are to be perfect, it means we are to be “all in” and passionate
Mahatma Ghandi was an amazing man. He had a whole lot of respect for Christianity. But not for Christians.
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
What a sobering observation. What a damning observation!
However, let’s not end on this note - Let’s end on a positive.
When did you feel closest to Jesus this last week?
When did you experience answered prayer?
Think on these things and look for the little things everyday that show God is real.
Join a prayer group where you can faithfully pray for revival
Gill Chris and I are going to take time on Pastor day to pray for revival.
Read 2 Peter 3:14; and Ephesians 4:1-6
May we each experience a revival of repentance and commitment today.