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word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed. (Acts 19:20)
world worshiped idols. No idol was more revered in Ephesus than the goddess
Diana. The great statue was housed in a magnificent temple and was recognized
as one of the wonders of the world. An idol-making industry, providing a
livelihood for many people, developed in Ephesus to support the widespread
idolatry of the day.
did not go to Ephesus to condemn those worshiping idols but to unashamedly
proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. As Paul shared the truths of God, and
as people were set free from sin’s , idol worship began to decline. The
contrast between stone carvings and God’s power to change lives became obvious.
The righteous lives of the Christians stood in stark contrast to the hedonistic
practices of the idol worshipers. The victorious Christian witness was so
compelling that the economy of the entire city was thrown into upheaval as
idolatry diminished in favor of Christianity.
idol is anything that diverts our devotion from God. Our society is as
idolatrous as Paul’s was. Rather than worshiping statues, we choose
possessions, pleasures, or careers as our gods and pour our time, finances, and
energy into these things.
of us is called, as Paul was, to live a victorious, joyful, and purposeful
Christian life in the midst of an idolatrous society. We do not have to seek
out and condemn today’s idols. Rather, as we live out our Christianity,
enjoying the abundant life God gives, our lives will discredit the idols around
us. We may face opposition and hostility from those who are angered at the
contrast between our God and theirs. People do not like to have their idols
dethroned! Yet as we uphold Christ, others will see a difference and be drawn
to Him and the life that He offers.