Serve Jesus, but don’t be surprised by the riot.
JUNE 22, 2023
Serve Jesus, but don’t be surprised by the riot. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
It’s for freedom that Christ set us free. And Key Life is here to bring you Biblical teaching that encourages you to never give into slavery again. Our teacher on Key Life is Steve Brown. He’s an author, broadcaster, and seminary professor who’s sick of phony religion.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open to the 19th chapter of Acts, we’re spending considerable time in that. We spent a week and a half talking about Satan and demons and the reality. And if you were listening to the close of the broadcast, I said, don’t be worried, stay close to Jesus. You are staying close to the one who has already won the battle. And don’t be intimidated by that which is supernatural and evil. I told you yesterday about watching a news program that had video clips of a satanic temple in some city, somewhere. And this woman who was up front, behind a pulpit, can you believe that, had a Bible and she was ripping pages out, piles of pages and throwing them on the floor. And she said, I’m getting rid of that which oppresses you. And wanted to say, are you a twit? You are getting rid of what will forgive you and love you and give you the strength and meaning that you need to live this life. Don’t do that. It was silly, but it was also dangerous because we’ve seen over the last few days that Satan says, take what you want, but be sure and pay for it. Now, let me read something to you. It’s, if I can find it, just because it was kind of funny. It was an ad in a paper when I was serving in Boston and I made a copy of it and I thought I’d kind of share it with you. It was an advertisement and it was actually in a Boston paper. It was for somebody named Corrina, I think. And it says this.
or whatever her name was
healer and advisor. She was sent here by the one and only to help humanity. If blind, sick, crippled mute, no matter what your problem may be, she can help you. If she does not help you, there is no one on Earth who can help you. Results guaranteed within three days, she asks no questions but will tell you what you want to know. She tells you what to do to be successful in life. She will reunite the separated, locate the absent friends, tell you if you will win your lawsuit, and if you should depose of your property. Do you want to know whether sickness or bad luck is natural or unnatural? Do you have any problems concerning drink, love, or family affairs? If so, see this remarkable woman. She has helped thousands. She will help you too. Are you lucky? If not, why not? Do you want to win and be lucky? See this gifted woman. Are you filled with misery? Do you want to be yourself? See her before it’s too late. No one in need or help is turned away. Help guaranteed.
And then there’s an address and the hours of the day, when you can meet with her. You say, what are you reading that for? Because as Os Guinness said, quoting G.K. Chesterton.
When people no longer believe in God, they don’t believe in nothing, they believe in anything.
And when you start moving into the occult, as we have seen over the last few days, Some of it is just plain silly nonsense, but some of it, and that’s why you have to be careful is real and you ought to avoid it and know what the Bible says. Okay, enough about that. Let’s move to another text. It’s Acts 19:21 through 41. Let me just give you the introduction to it and then I’m going to tell you this story cause it’s a very long text, but this is how it starts at the 21st verse of the 19th chapter of Acts.
Now after these events
And that’s what we’ve been studying, some of them including the occult and demon possession.
Now after these events Paul resolved in the Spirit to pass through Macedonia, Achaia and go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I’ve been there, I must also see Rome.” And having sent into Macedonia, two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while. About that time there arose no little stir concerning the Way. For a man by the name of Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsman. These he gathered together, with the workmen of like occupations, and they said, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. And you see and hear not only at Ephesus but almost throughout all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable company of people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods.
Okay, let me just kind of summarize what follows cause it is quite interesting. Paul had been in Ephesus for almost two years, when everything that he had been teaching began to really catch hold. Now, Ephesus was the center for the worship of Artemis, or if you’re going to use the Latin name, it’s the Roman Goddess Diana. And the Temple to Diana or Artemis was one even called of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Now, some people, as the text says, were making a killing off this religion. They were the silversmiths who made replicas of the Great Temple out of silver and sold them to the tourists. Now, having lived most of my life in a tourist area and having served a church in a tourist area, I understand the annual game, it’s called fleece the tourist. And what was going on here is that these guys were making religious figures, silver replicas of the temple. Selling them for an exorbitant cost and making a lot of money. Now, when people got serious with Jesus, they got less serious with buying pagan artifacts, and that would’ve been okay, except the stock market of Ephesus took a terrible nose dive, especially among the makers of the replicas, the Diana incorporated. Demetrius, who was the president of the union. Yeah. I don’t know, I’m being kind of loose with a text, but this is actually what happened. Demetrius, who was the resident of the union, the president, decided to do something about the problem and he brought two of the Christians before a meeting of the citizens of the town. They stirred the crowd up against not only the Christians, but also the Jews. And then there was a riot. And then toward the end of the passage, a sane man showed up, the town clerk. And by the way, there are still some sane people in our culture. They’re growing less and less because some really crazy things are being said that everybody knows are not true. But every once in a while people speak truth, and there’s some sane people, and the clerk stepped in, he calmed the crowd and said, you keep going in this direction. The authorities are going to show up and they’re going to throw you in jail. And then the crowd realizing they could be in serious trouble, left. Now, in the middle of this text, the disciples of Jesus who loved Paul, didn’t want him even though he wanted to, to go before that particular crowd. They said to him, you’re going to get killed, don’t do it. But we get the report in the Book of Acts of the near riot and what was happening. And as we look at that report, and we’re going to do that as we study this particular text. As we look at the riot and what was going on in religious circles in Ephesus, we’re going to be able to look in a mirror and maybe see some things about ourselves that can be quite dangerous. At any rate, religion is good sometimes. Sometimes religion is toxic. Sometimes religion gives you meaning. And sometimes religion makes you weird. Sometimes religion will give you peace and you can sleep at night. And sometimes religion will give you nightmares. Make sure that you know the difference. And we’re going to talk about it. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. And with that, we wrap up another stellar week of teaching from the Book of Acts. And be sure to join us tomorrow for Friday Q&A when Steve and Pete will answer this question. Will we take naps in heaven? I did not realize until this exact moment that I really want to know the answer to that question. Let’s tune in tomorrow together, okay? So, I love borrowing slang from young people, but then using it correctly in context. I mean, the look of confusion on their faces, just it’s priceless. Well, one of their phrases is real talk, meaning you want to have a serious and honest discussion with someone. So, real talk, are you suffering right now? Maybe somebody you know. Well, Jesus did tell us that in this world we will suffer, but he also promised that he would be with his people, us in that suffering. Well, Steve wrote all about this in a mini-book called When Life Falls Apart. And we would love to send it to you, for free. Just call us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that mini-book or to mail your request, go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Just ask for your free copy of the mini-book called When Life Falls Apart. And last thing, would you partner in the work of Key Life through your giving? You could charge a gift on your credit card. You could include a gift in your envelope. Or simply pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 to give safely and securely. That’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Just text that to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And as always, we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.