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Artemis idol makers starts a Riot: Part 2 Acts 19: 23-41

September 11, 2022 Speaker: Bob DeWaay Series: Acts of the Apostles

Scripture: Acts 19:23-41

The idolaters in Ephesus reacted to Paul’s claim that “gods made with hands are no gods at all.” The uproar was caused by the fear of loss of revenue by those who made silver shrines for Artemis. Idolatry has always been lucrative and the threat to revenue was real. We discuss the fact that in church history, similar idolatry has developed by various versions of Christianity. Paul was restrained by his friends from going into the place of the uproar. Paul was later warned about Jerusalem, but did go there. The difference is seen in the larger picture of similar tumults in Philippi, Thessalonica, Corinth, and now Ephesus. Jerusalem is a key place in Luke-Acts and Paul’s later presence there as seen in Acts 21 will lead to a series of appearances before various authorities which will end with Paul imprisoned in Rome. This is stated as Christ’s commission in Acts 1:8. The gospel will go forth as Christ commanded. Matthew 28:18-19 was brought up in the class discussion. That passage has been used to justify dominion theology and other confusions based on the concept that “nations” are to be discipled. I claim that Jesus did not command His followers to Christianize geo-political entities, but to preach the gospel throughout the world. Nations with boundaries have existed since the table of nations in Genesis 10 and 11. The idea of taking over nations in the name of Christ is a perversion of the Great Commission and a false definition of the church. The self-perpetuating institutional church results in the type of idolatry and false religion common among the pagans.