When this became known to the people of Ephesus, Paul’s credibility was strengthened, and the name of Jesus was magnified, leading many to believe and openly confess their evil deeds. Many publicly burned their sorcery books, and “the Word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power”. (Acts 19:20)
Because so many pagans had received Christ, the Gospel threatened the successful trade of the silversmiths who made devotional shrines for the worship of Diana, the goddess Artemis, whose temple in Ephesus was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Christianity had changed the face of Asia, and with that came a great battle.
A silversmith named Demetrius started a riot, saying Paul had led people astray in practically all of Asia by telling them man-made gods were not gods at all. When Demetrius told the people this would rob their goddess of her majesty, the crowd was filled with wrath and confusion, and they dragged two of Paul’s companions into an amphitheater.
The Jews were afraid they would be blamed, so they pushed a man to the front to defend them. Seeing he was a Jew, the angry mob shouted in unison for two more hours. Finally, the city clerk calmed the crowd by questioning their faith in their goddess. He told them there was no reason for the uproar and asked them to leave. The city clerk could not see that the real battle was between the truth of Jesus Christ and the lie of the devil.
Whatever shrines you hold up in your life today, turn from them, and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone can cast out the demons in your heart, mind, and soul. He alone can save you and bring you to a point of true repentance. He alone can perfect you in holiness. He alone will be able to stand before the Father, and say, “This is one of mine. I give him unto You.”
Pastor Odom’s message can be heard each Sunday on Radio KAML, AM 990, at 8:30 a.m. Choate Baptist Church meets for Sunday School at 9:45 a.m., Worship at 11 a.m., and Sunday and Wednesday Evening Services at 7 p.m. Visitors are always welcome!