The Impact of the Gospel
By Greg Laurie - Harvest Devotionals On September 11, 2012
The city of Ephesus plays a prominent part in the New Testament church, especially in the life and ministry of the apostle Paul. He spent two years in this city.
Ephesus was a center of worship for the false goddess known as Artemis, or Diana. The residents of Ephesus made money selling artifacts of the goddess, and it was very profitable for them. Everything was going along fine until the apostle Paul showed up and began to preach the gospel. As God began to work, people were being healed.
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In Acts 19, we find the account of a demon-possessed man and some exorcists who tried to cast the demon out of him in the name of "the Jesus whom Paul preaches."
The response was, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?" (verse 15). Then the man attacked them, and they ran away, wounded.
Then verse 17 says, "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." As a result, the people brought out their parchments with their writings about false gods and occultism and burned them. The city was impacted by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Because all this was bad for the idol-making business, one of the craftsmen stood up 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" (Acts 19:25-26). This stirred up a riot, which spilled into the massive stadium that still stands today.
That is the power and the impact of the gospel.