Summary: Years after Paul’s death and all the disciples but John, in Revelation 2:2-4 Jesus say’s, “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and hav
Erosion Acts 19:8-9
8 And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. 9 But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.
This was Paul third missionary journey, Paul’s in Ephesus he was there for a total of three years, so this church was founded on solid Biblical teaching.
Paul finds 12 coverts of John and questions them in verse 3-4 …“Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus… and then he lays hands on them all, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
Charles Swindoll say’s in his latest book Church Awakening, The school of Tyrannus, “This always makes me smile when I read that last verse. The Greek name Tyrannus is from the same root as our word tyrant. I wonder if his mother named him that or if his name came from former students of his school! (Interesting: The Ephesian church got it’s start in a school.)
Acts 19:10 And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
Important: No demographic study underpinned the founding of this church. No secular marketing, neighborhood canvassing, or fleshly methods for enlarging the numbers occurred.
Simply Paul taught the word of God for more than two years… and validated His word with miracles.
Listen to Acts 19:11-12 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, 12. so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.
*Not everyone was happy over this move of God and these miracles though.
When promotion receives more emphasis than the essentials- What are the essentials here at Crane Eater Community? God’s word, His fruit and His Spirit!
The church begins to erode. Here’s the definition for Erosion: The process of eroding or the condition of being eroded: erosion of the beach; progressive erosion of confidence in another person, or the legal system; erosion of the value of the dollar.
With Paul’s leadership and God’s word being taught and preached, it must have been an easy downhill slide. Right? Wrong, behind the scenes a price was being paid.
Satan hates when the word of God is declared, believed, and obeyed!
Acts 19:18-20 And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. 19 Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed. (50,000 pieces of silver, literally several million dollars!)
Read on in Acts 19, and you will read of an uproar by a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business. (This temple of the Greek goddess Artemis stood in Ephesus as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Thousands of people came from distances to worship there.)
“Never doubt this fact: Whenever we experience the bold and uncompromising declaration of God’s truth, we will encounter the test of spiritual warfare.”
The people shouted, “Great is Artemis!”
Paul gave the people this word in Acts 20:28-31 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
Paul says, “Be on guard.” (This means to be in a continuous state of readiness to learn of any future danger.)
Listen to Paul’s words in I Corinthians 16: 8-9,13 But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. 9 For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. 13. Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.
Assaults from satan come when God’s people:
1. Lose their priority and interest.
2. Apathy and sleep.
3. When they gain pride.
The average nation is only about two hundred years old when erosion enters. All nations follow a predictable cycle. The nation goes from bondage to spiritual faith…to apathy…to dependence…back into bondage. “This cycle represents erosion.”