Summary: I would like to thank Pastor Jerry Shirley for sharing this series on Acts. It has been a blessing as well as a great help. I have used these for our church, as I spend my days caring for my dying father.
Tearing Down the Strongholds of Hell Acts 19:8-27 Part 2
[2Co 10:4 NIV] “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”
Last time we looked at the open door of opportunity, placed in front of Paul. We saw the opposition Paul faced as he shared the gospel. We looked at 3 types of religion that Paul had to deal with. If you remember, he dealt with insufficient religion, he dealt with artificial religion and he dealt with a religion of idolatry.
I said that God has placed an open door of opportunity in front of EBC and my question was, are we going to walk through that door. We are the light of the world but the light cannot sit around waiting for the dark to come to it…
This morning I want to look at the final part of this message and see how:
3. Paul overcame. Look at verses 23-26
Paul is now teaching in the school of Tyrannus, which is just down from the temple of Diana.
If we were walking down this street in Ephesus and I said to you, “Do you see that little Baptist church over there? Some guy named Paul is the Pastor of that little church and word is that he’s going to be responsible for bringing down the religion of Diana.” (Remember from last time that Diana’s temple was magnificent and people everywhere worshipped her) If you were from that region and time you’d probably think I was out of my mind and say, “that’ll never happen because one man and one little old church can’t do anything like that.”
But that’s just what God did through Paul and that small group of believers.
Paul and this little group of believers overcame all the obstacles and began bringing the people to Jesus and those who had a life changing experience with Jesus didn’t need Diana anymore…
But there was a problem. This guy named Demetrius and his associates had been making a fortune off of selling statues of Diana and other trinkets, but all of a sudden sales were plummeting and they were in danger of going bankrupt.
When you examine this passage you will discover that they weren’t worried about losing their religion as much as losing their money!
The other day, I read this letter from a father to his daughter’s ex-fiancé:
“Dear Tony, I have been unable to sleep since I broke off your engagement to my daughter. Will you forgive and forget? I was much too sensitive about your Mohawk, tattoos, and pierced nose. I now realize that motorcycles aren’t that dangerous, and I really shouldn’t have reacted the way I did to the fact that you have no job.
I’m sure that there are many very nice people who live under a bridge in the park. Sure, she’s only 18, and she could go to Harvard on a full scholarship, but she wants to marry you!
I realize that you can’t learn everything about life just from books.
I sometimes forget how backward I can be and admit that I was wrong. But I have come to my senses, and you can have my full blessing to marry my daughter.
Sincerely, your future father-in-law.
P.S.: (Ps is like the BUT WAIT in an infomercial…)
Congratulations on winning this week’s lottery!”
This father had some serious convictions and was willing to take a stand, even coming between his daughter and this Guy, so what changed this Father’s convictions?
The same thing this world revolves around… This father sold out for the almighty dollar. He saw an opportunity to get a share of Tony’s new fortune and was willing to sell his daughter for a portion of the riches.
Before you condemn this father think about this. Someone said that everyone has a price. Everyone has a price. So let me ask you, what’s yours?
What would you do if I had $10mil to give away? What would you be willing to do?
In a survey that asked people what they’d do for 10 million dollars:
25% of men surveyed said they’d leave wife and children for $10 mil.
23% of women surveyed said they’d be a prostitute for a week for $10 mil.
3% of the people surveyed, that’s 3people out of 100 said they would put their children up for adoption for $10 mil! They would throw their children away for money!
It’s not the price that worries me, it’s what people would be willing to throw away for the almighty dollar…
Paul was putting the devil out of business, in Ephesus and he was doing it without organizing a march or a demonstration and without lobbying Congress. We think demonstrations, protest and riots are the way to get people to believe what we believe but there is a better way. Paul wasn’t standing in the church, complaining.