I am one person who believes that we should preach Christ through everything we do. A Christian should preach Christ through his actions. A Christian should not behave like a Christian in the church and behave in a funny way outside the church. We should take the gospel to the marketplace. I don’t mean just carrying big Bibles, but becoming the Bible that others read.
Unfortunately, when some people leave the church compound, they leave Christ and His church behind. I am sure you have heard some people say things like, “This is not church, this is business. Business is business, don’t bring God into this.” We must understand that people are watching our actions.
While studying Acts of Apostles chapter 19 the other day, I came to the conclusion that Christians should not glorify the devil through their professions.
Paul and his team took the gospel to Ephesus. Miraculously, they lead twelve people who only received the baptism of John to Christ. After that, Paul and his team taught in the Synagogue, persuading people to believe that Jesus is the Christ. As usual, some believed, but others did not.
Paul and his team stayed in Ephesus for two straight years, preaching the Word of God to the extent that Luke said, “And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.” Acts 19:10. (NKJV).
Can you imagine the level of evangelistic adventure those men engaged in that made everyone that dwelled in Asia to hear that gospel? That was a daring adventure. No wonder they spent two years there.
While they were in Ephesus, Luke reported:
“Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, 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. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.” Acts 19:11-17. (NKJV).
Because of the magnitude of the miracles and demonstration of power, many people believed in Christ. Many people saw the practical demonstration of the power of the Jesus that Paul and his team were talking about and they surrendered to the Lordship of Christ.
But something happened that elicited today’s Bible study. Brother Luke reported:
“And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. 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. So, the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.” Acts 19:18-20.
These people surrendered their charms and occultic books. The implication of that action is that some Ephesians would loose their customers. The occultic books were written and published by someone. The implements of worship of Diana were manufactured by some individuals. So, burning them and leading the owners to Christ means loss of customers. Below is what happened afterwards:
“And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen. He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: “Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade. Moreover, you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands. So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised, and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.” Acts 19:23-27. (NKJV).
Demetrius was simply saying, “the existence of the idol called Diana is the existence of our business. The worship of Diana is the survival of our businesses. The more popular Diana becomes the bigger our businesses become. The destruction of Diana is the destruction of our businesses. Therefore, let us stop these preachers before they convince our customers to reject Diana and surrender to Christ and stop patronizing us.”
Mr. Demetrius was more interested in making money than seeing his town saved. He was ready to force everybody to renounce Christ and continue to worship Diana so that he would keep making money. Demetrius made money his god and forgot that there is a place called eternity.
Dear friend, are you like Demetrius? Are you one of those who made money their god and abandoned the real God? Are you one of those who say it doesn’t matter how you make money, just hustle and make it? Are you one of those who can kill because of money?
What kind of business are you running?
Many years ago, a young man made a mistake by telling me that he wanted to open a brothel for prostitutes because it is profitable. He didn’t expect what hit him that day. I said, “How can you even imagine that kind of wickedness because of money? You want to encourage young ladies to ruin their future so that you can make money?” I rebuked him sharply and showed him the dangers.
It is possible that you are running that kind of business right now. You are encouraging young ladies to sell their body so that you will keep smiling to the bank. You are doing the same thing that Demetrius did. You want people to mortgage their future so that you can make money.
It is possible that you are about to peddle drugs for a cartel for a large sum of money. You want to ruin the lives of drug addicts so that you can make money? You want to end up in jail because of money? Kindly rethink your steps immediately.
It is also possible that you’re running a human trafficking ring. Where is your conscience? How can you kidnap young ladies (mostly teenagers), take them to different countries and force them to sell their body so that you can make money? How can you turn 13 years old girls to sex slaves? Where is your conscience? Would you want someone to do the same thing to your children?
Jesus said, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:36-37. (NKJV).
What will it profit you to make all the money in the world through evil means and cry in eternity? While lying on your death bed, will you be regretting or celebrating? Will you be regretting about the lives you ruined or the lives you transformed?
I strongly believe that Christians should be wealthy in order to sponsor the gospel. But I also believe that Christians should make money legitimately. You should make the kind of money you will not regret the day you’ll die.
If you want to recieve Jesus into your heart, say this short prayer and believe it from your heart:
Lord Jesus, I belive that you died to rescue me from damnation. Come into my heart and save me. I declare today that You are my Lord and personal Saviour. I am saved. I am born again. Thank you Jesus. Amen.
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