In 1904, a revival broke out in Wales, and over one hundred thousand suddenly put their trust in Jesus Christ. It was reported that crime slowed to a standstill. Taverns and brothels were deserted because churches were packed. Sir T. Marchant Williams, a circuit judge, observed that his work was much lighter, especially regarding drunkenness and related offenses. The police force had time to form a choir and sang at revival meetings. Coal miners stopped cursing and their donkeys and mules stopped obeying instructions when they could not understand the gentler words of their masters. This is the collateral “damage” of Christianity, it may be bad for business if your business depends on bad behavior. The revival lasted less than a year.
“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” ~John 3:19
The city of Ephesus is a city of idols and its Temple of Artemis counted as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Paul entered this city proclaiming Jesus as the true Lord and Savior and “gods made with hands are not gods” (Acts 19:26), which is exactly how they made their gods, and more importantly, sold their idols. Idols were bad gods, but good business. “A man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen” (Acts 19:24), but the preaching of Paul was turning many away from idolatry, so he called his fellows together with a warning, “there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing” (Acts 19:27). The former concerned him more than the latter.
“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” ~1John 5:20-21
That’s the thing about Jesus, he changes everything. Life can no longer be business as usual, and we do love our idols.
Lord God, you are the King of kings. May Your Kingdom be established on earth. Your grace has changed my heart. May it change my community. May “In God We Trust” become a reality in this country. But first, may it be a reality in Your church. Purify Your people God, so that we might be a light and a blessing to the world.
Start with my heart, God. I cannot show You to the world unless the world can see You in me. Create in me a clean heart, fully devoted to You.