A Subversive Gospel: Acts 19 - The Riot in Ephesus

and invite you to open up your Bibles to

the book of Acts chapter 19 Acts chapter

19 we are working through these

narratives about the early Christians

and about what happened to them and

through them as they spread the gospel

and this is relevant for us because i

know we revisit this quote maybe a

little too often but i love the quote so

much that i don't want to just read

about characters in the book of Acts I

want to be a character in the book of

Acts amen now that is good but although

there were some characters that were not

so good in the book of Acts I'd like to

be one of the good ones although the

book of Acts we see all different kinds

of people we see people of flesh and

blood like us we see people trying to

spread the gospel and be faithful under

the power of the Holy Spirit we see that

that advances in a powerful way we see

that it is not always smooth sailing

that sometimes the advance of the

kingdom of God can get complicated it

can get messy but it is God's kingdom

coming now what we're talking about in

the past week or two is about when the

gospel came to the city of Ephesus you

ever heard of Ephesus before it's still

there it's in it's in Turkey now at that

time it was emphasis is part of the

greek-speaking world but it's in Turkey

it's in an important city it was a

really important city back then it was a

super spiritual city it was the center

of the worship of the goddess Artemis an

enormous temple in the middle of Ephesus

to worship the goddess f is the goddess

Artemis do we have that picture by the

way yes go Eli you the man how about

that temple huh that was right in the

middle it's way bigger than the

Acropolis you've heard of the Acropolis

in Greek well this was a much bigger

deal it was considered one of the seven

wonders of the ancient world all to

worship a statue of the goddess Artemis

Ephesus was a pagan City and proud of it

now when the gospel arrived to Ephesus

things got a little complicated because

there was a clash of spiritual power

worse as God's kingdom came there was

another spiritual Kingdom that

conflicted with it and so things got a

little bit bumpy but God was doing

powerful things remember we talked about

last week the Apostle Paul God was

moving through him in such a powerful

way this wet rags that he had used

remember the sweat rags from last week

yeah you do you remember the sweat rag

he worked as a tent maker in the

mornings before he preached and he would

take his sweaty rags and throw him away

and somebody decided to rifle through

his trash and take his sweat rags to

sick people and touch them with it and

they got better now you'll see people

selling blessed handkerchiefs on TV

today the Apostle Paul apparently was

not making any money from this because

he had to keep making tents this was not

stuff he was selling this was his

garbage but God had so anointed him that

somehow anything that touched him was

radioactive weird miracles we talked

last week about how sometimes God might

do strange things just because something

strange doesn't mean it's not of God

just because something strange doesn't

mean it is of God either gotta look at

the fruit got a look at what's happening

right amazing things were happening it

was so powerful that there were some

exorcists some Jewish people Jewish

leaders who prided on themselves on

being ghostbusters you got any demons

will take care of him for you and they

would use incantations and magic charms

to drive spirits out of people if you

speak Spanish this was the village

curandero who would be there para hacer

una chisel to cast out demons right so

they're going to try to do that that's

my bad Spanglish getting gold Spanish

sorry we got that so he they're doing

this and they decided wow this name of

Jesus seems a little bit powerful let's

try using the name of Jesus remember

what happened they said abracadabra in

the name of Jesus did the Apostle Paul

preaches we command you to come out of

this man the demonized man right out of

a movie I know

who Jesus is and I've heard about Paul

but who are you Bible says that that one

demonized man overcame seven of the sons

of sceva kibum una paliza tan fuerte que

tuvieron que salir gave them a beat-down

so strong that they had to run out of

the house bleeding with their total

clothes torn it was an incredible moment

now at that point the people in Ephesus

now God really had their attention

they're like this Jesus is not to be

played with God's power is not magical

it is powerful because it is God's power

working through people not in an

electrical force that we can manipulate

and use like we're some sort of a

magician and they realize God maids

business you don't use the name of Jesus

without being submitted to the authority

of Jesus right we talked about that last

week they got the point so they repented

the the magicians the people who had

their magical Scrolls which were really

valuable books by the way they brought

them they confess what they done

publicly they repented and they had a

nice big bonfire with their Scrolls the

total amount of money added up to

millions of dollars worth of magical

scrolls God was moving the devil was

losing people and power what we're going

to see today is that he doesn't let go

easy that sometimes it acts I'd say

every time when God's kingdom comes and

is displacing another Kingdom there is a

clash between those two kingdoms that

the forces of evil will not let go easy

things can get messy before they get

better right now we're going to read

about that in Acts chapter 19 starting

in verse 23 okay x 19 verse 23 says

about that time there arose a great

disturbed

it's about the way a silversmith named

Demetrius who made silver shrines of

Artemis brought in a lot of business for

the craftsman there he called them

together along with the workers in

related trades and said you know my

friends that we receive a good income

from this business and you see and hear

how this fellow Paul has convinced and

led astray large numbers of people here

in Ephesus and in practically the whole

province of Asia he says that God's made

by human hands are no God's at all there

is a danger not only that our trade will

lose its good name but also that the

Temple of the great goddess Artemis will

be discredited and the goddess herself

who is worshipped throughout the

province of Asia and the world will be

robbed of her divine majesty verse 28

when they heard this they were furious

and began shouting great is Artemis of

the Ephesians soon the whole city was in

an uproar the people seized Gaius and

Aristarchus Paul's traveling companions

from Macedonia and all of them rushed

into the theater together Paul wanted to

appear before the crowd but the

disciples would not let him even some of

the officials of the province friends of

Paul sent him a message begging him not

to venture into the theatre the assembly

was in confusion some were shouting one

thing some another most of the people

did not even know why they were there

the Jews in the crowd pushed Alexander

to the front and they shouted

instructions to him he motioned for

silence in order to make a defense

before the people but when they realized

he was a Jew they all shouted in unison

for about two hours great is Artemis of

the Ephesians the city clerk quieted the

crowd and said fellow Ephesians doesn't

all the world know that the city of

Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of

the great

artemis enough her image which fell from

heaven therefore since these facts are

undeniable you want to calm down and not

do anything rash you brought these men

here though they have neither Rob

temples nor blaspheme dar goddess if

then Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen

have grievance against anybody the

courts are open and there are pro

consoles they can press charges if there

is anything further you want to bring up

it must be settled in a legal assembly

as it is we are in danger of being

charged with rioting because of what

happened today in that case we would not

be able to account for this commotion

since there's no reason for it and after

he said this he dismissed the assembly

how about that after a revival a riot

let's pray about this father in Jesus

name I thank you that you are the God

who is in charge and that stirs up stirs

up things when they need to be stirred

up Lord Jesus I thank you that you are a

king and that your kingdom is coming

even through week vessels such as we and

so God I pray in Jesus name that you

would bless this meditation on your word

God that it would be you speaking to us

and that we would have courage Lord

Jesus to be agents of your kingdom on

earth we pray in Jesus name Amen amen so

how about this after a revival a riot I

don't know if anyone here has had the

experience that when you become a

Christian and you start changing

sometimes before your life gets more

peaceful it gets a little bit more messy

anyone had that experience before well

that's what's happening here you see in

the book of Ephesians written to the

Christians who lived in Ephesus the

Apostle Paul explained to them the

dynamic of what was going on he said

that there is well here let's look at it

Ephesians chapter 6 where it talks about

the armor of God Galatians Ephesians

Ephesians chapter 6

he says finally verse 10 Ephesian 610

finally be strong in the Lord and in his

mighty power put on the full armor of

God so that you can take your stand

against the devil's schemes for our

struggle is not against flesh and blood

but against the rulers against the

authorities against the powers of this

present darkness this dark world and

against the spiritual forces of evil in

the heavenly realms therefore were to

put on the full armor of God there is an

invisible dimension inhabited not just

by beings but by an invisible parallel

government to the government on earth

there is a spiritual government behind

the physical one there is a ruler

spiritually of Boston I believe that

there are actually and this is where

this is where people watching on the

video this is where I start getting

downright medieval and unapologetically

so is I believe that there is an

invisible dimension to life and there

are demonic powers that rule in that

dimension even some neighborhoods I

believe are occupied by distinctive

spirits and you can feel it and you can

see it by the nature of what goes on in

those neighborhoods certain institutions

dominated or guided by certain spiritual

powers that from the invisible dimension

attempt to control and take leverage in

the physical dimension there is a

spiritual government and when we preach

the kingdom of God we're saying that

there's a new king we're inviting people

to repent to turn away from darkness and

submit to King Jesus and when they do

that they're translating themselves from

one Kingdom to another Kingdom they're

changing citizenship they're becoming

members of the kingdom of light to

declare the praises of the one who

called them out of

Arcanus into his marvelous light and as

they change sometimes the ruler of the

previous spiritual darkness that that

person left resists them leaving and

does not let go easy there is an

invisible spiritual government behind

the physical world in which we inhabit

and you see this year because the

spiritual powers over Ephesus we're

starting to lose some members starting

to lose some citizens because people

were repenting and they were turning to

jesus and doesn't let go easy one

kingdom is displacing another and the

devil won't let go without a fight

especially when not just spiritual

concerns but financial concerns are

involved as well there is a struggle

there is a battle between the two

spreading the kingdom of God is not a

leisurely activity it is an activity

that is a declaration of spiritual

warfare not through physical violence

quite the contrary through spiritual

aggression of spreading King Jesus on

earth and watching the Lord set people

free it's a battle that we wage with

love with service with self-sacrifice

and with humility but it is a real

battle now there was a change happening

over Ephesus said there was some

spiritual thunder and lightning anyone

sees some thunder and lightning last

night no the thunder and lightning yes

some of the kids didn't want to go to

sleep because they're like too much fun

going on outside yeah we had that we had

that there it two different air are

clashing and there's some fireworks

going on now we see that here in Ephesus

now they were worshipping the goddess

Artemis a Greek god from the Greek

mythology now we know as Christians that

that is not real right we know that an

idol is nothing but the Apostle Paul

does clarify that when people offer

sacrifices to an idol they do offer

sacrifices to demons and that's why

Christians were not to attend idolatrous

feast because the Apostle Paul said we

don't want you to be a participant in

the table of demons so even though it's

mythological even though it's just a

statue that doesn't have any inherent

power that the demonic powers from the

other side take advantage of that

superstition and use that goddess that

statue as a channel through which to

control not just one person but an

entire city the goddess Artemis and she

was losing her grip like a beast that

had been underwater for a long time was

finally being awoken and the waters are

going to start getting turbulent now

this especially affected this man named

Demetrius because he made a lot of money

from the worship of Artemis right this

enormous temple all the people who go to

worship people buying expensive silver

plates and objects and bowls to offer

offerings to Artemis the silversmiths

had quite a gig going huh they had quite

a racket going they were making a lot of

money off of idolatry so they had a very

strong interest in Ephesus remaining a

pagan City now we're going to be talking

about this more later but there are many

people who might have a financial

interest in us staying sinful as well

right there are certain people who sell

certain things that are going to start

losing money when Christians stop buying

those substances or those things amen

and they have an interest in keeping

other people bound we'll come back and

talk about that so Demetrius gathers the

the silversmiths and says oh my gosh we

make a good business we're in danger of

losing a lot of money but beyond that he

puts on the religious thing and also

what about the great goddess Artemis I

don't know if he even really believed

right but he's like it worked so she's

gonna lose her divine dignity we're

gonna

we gonna lose our position Ephesus was

known as the guardian of the worship of

Artemis this temple was their pride and

joy it was the center of their society

all their holidays all their festivals

around the temple it defined them made

them special as a city and they went is

the Historical Society got involved

right I had friends who used to live in

Cape Cod anytime you wanted to they

owned it in anytime you wanted to do any

building you have to channel it through

the historical society that was there to

enforce a certain code of keeping things

looking KP right well emphasis had a

historical society that became a

hysterical society because they're like

no they go nuts and then they gather how

do you like the way the riot builds

builds momentum you ever seen this

before where they some people start

shouting one thing and some people are

shouting something different then

they're all going to a place half the

people in the the stadium didn't even

know why they were there they just saw a

commotion and said I'm going I don't

know what it is but I'm not missing it

right they get in the middle of it a

riot going on the danger of mass mob

hysteria and the way it catches and they

didn't eat and this happens in in every

society in every culture it's just human

psychology we get into a mob people will

do things that they would never do

individually there's like another spirit

that takes over and so that's what's

going on they're in there and they're

having a riot and there and they start

chanting for two hours great is Artemis

of the Ephesians can you imagine that my

goodness this was wild now the point I

want to make here is that the preaching

of the gospel stirred up social unrest

the preaching of the gospel in this case

is subversive to the status quo and

provoked in this case a riot and it

shouldn't surprise us if you look at

Psalm 2 it says why do the nation's rage

doesn't it Psalm 2 it says why do the

nation's rage against the Lord

we find that some to why do the nation's

rage and the people's plot in vain the

kings of the earth rise up and the

rulers band together against the Lord

and against his anointed one saying let

us break their chains and throw off

their shackles it's like people gather

in the nation's rage against the

authority of King Jesus and say we will

do things our own way thank you very

much and so preaching about King Jesus

stirred up conflict stirred up a riot

because the devil had has control over

human society in many ways now I want to

be careful here I don't want us to be

paranoid I don't want to find a devil

under every leaf that you walk across

right we don't have to worry about this

we don't have to live paranoid we don't

have to live in fear we don't want any

Salem witch hunting amen right we don't

need any of that no Psalm 23 says that

prepares the table before me we're in

the presence of my enemies we don't have

to be afraid the table is set before us

nor do we have to be accusing or

paranoid but it is simply realistic to

see that from the dark side and I'm not

trying to get all star wars ii Ana's

either from the side of the heavenly

dimension the evil one finds ways to

exert leverage in human society it can

be through politics you might remember

we read a story about when the gospel

came to the island of Cyprus the

governor of Cyprus the proconsul was a

man who wanted to hear the gospel but he

had a key advisor who was also a

sorcerer named a limas who tried to

convince him not to listen to Paul so

you saw that the devil had found an

agent to put in the highest place in

government to have an influence on the

leader because through that there is

leverage to have an influence in society

as a whole now again I'm not going to

take any political sides i'm going to

say that in any politics in any

government in any political party

there's a danger of the evil one seeking

to have a voice and have influence and

manipulate

can happen through the arts imagine if

you can influence one artist who paints

pictures that people see all over the

world or how about someone who makes

movies that are seen all over the world

or writes music that is listen to

there's a quote by an ancient Greek

philosopher that we talked about in a

young adult group it said if what does

it say here like I don't want Danny to

get angry at me if I get it wrong it

says let me write the songs of a nation

and I care not who writes its laws

remember that guys we talked about that

in the end of the person who writes the

songs has more power than the one who

writes the laws because eventually

everyone's humming the songs and it gets

into the psyche of a nation and that

influences the morality and controls

multitudes the devil does that we we

should not be consuming the art

uncritically we should be asking what's

the source of this what's the message of

this what this song that I'm humming to

myself it's like Dwight that's garbage I

don't believe that I'm not saying it's

sinful for you to hear it you know I

thought happened to me in Latin America

I would learn songs I didn't even know

how bad they were you know and i would

like to repeat them they had a good

Matangi deed i hear him in the taxi and

IV like i'm not even going to desecrate

this pulpit by repeating them but then

i'd have little kids against El Diablo

has a muchacho are you losing another

flaw I just thought it was a good song

because it's catchy it's the way that

the enemy can can manipulate and find

leverage we find that in religion

influencing religion in the Academy if

you can control the school's you can

influence the youth you can influence

the whole next generation now especially

and here's where we're getting to the

case we're just reading about through

economic interests if the Evil One has

influence in the economy of a nation

he's got his finger on their neck he's

got their control because economic

interests are tied up with sinful issues

or with idolatry and

that's what we see going on here with

Demetrius so Demetrius got angry and

there was a riot and we shouldn't be

surprised because jesus said do you

think I've come to bring peace on earth

I haven't come to bring peace I've come

to bring a sword to turn a father

against his son and a son against his

father a daughter and he goes on and I'm

like really is that true now let's talk

about this a little bit now did Jesus

come to bring peace or conflict amen

amen to the confused silence one of

Jesus's names is the Prince of Peace

Amen Jesus at peace I leave with you my

peace I give to you I do not give as the

world gives do not let your hearts be

troubled and do not be afraid amen peace

Jesus came to bring peace there's a

place in the book of Philippians where

the Apostle Paul praised may the peace

of God the surpasses all understanding

guard your hearts and your minds in

Christ Jesus we should I believe that

God comes to bring us an inner peace

unlike anything else and that the world

can give that even in the middle of

conflict and difficulty you feel calm

because you know that God is with you so

that within ourselves we're at rest you

can sleep at night you can look people

in the eye because God has given you

peace I also believe that God brings

peace in among people in societies the

teaching of the Bible is that we should

work with our hands and pray for our

leaders so that we can live quiet lives

and the gospel can spread it's good to

just do our job to obey the laws to lead

a quiet life to be people who bless

society and help it be more peaceful

there's a place where in the book of

Ephesians it talks about how Jesus's

blood brings together groups that

normally hate each other Jews and

Gentiles

that in Christ there's a beautiful verse

that says the in Christ there is neither

Jew nor Gentile circumcised or

uncircumcised barbarian skivvy and slave

or free but Christ is all and is in all

the divisions between people come down

and you can have a new nation on earth

where there's people who are black and

white and Hispanic and Asian and rich

and and lower-income not so rich and

people who are different who normally

are in conflict together in one family

only the blood of Christ can do that

social engineering can't pull that off

because we become are born of the same

spirit we drink of the same spirit we

become part of the same body it's an

organic connection piece Jesus is the

prince of peace and to the end of his

government and of peace there will be no

end because he is the king of kings and

the Lord of lords so then what did Jesus

mean when he says I did not come to

bring peace but a sword you see

sometimes before we can enter into God's

peace a false counterfeit piece needs to

be disturbed do you know what I mean by

this before real peace can exist a sick

status quo sometimes needs to be

overturned in our life you see there are

some peaceful situations that are not

really peaceful they're just stable

right anyone here from a dysfunctional

family don't raise your hand I loved I

love a bumper sticker I see over a door

of a certain family we all know that

says remember as far as anyone else

knows we're a normal family let's not

blow our cover you know you see what

that is I love that because that's real

if any if you're human and part of a

family you're part of a dysfunctional

family because we all have stuff right

we all have our baggage don't we don't

we all got our issues going on well

certain dysfunctionality sometimes can

produce stability right it's it's it's

bizarre it's sick but well it works for

and sometimes you know that's okay

sometimes you know cuz you gotta cope

with normal life but sometimes it means

pushing bad things under the rug and

saying don't deal with that keep things

quiet keep things stable don't deal with

these real sometimes really evil things

might be going on that are hidden

because well let's just keep it quiet

let's keep it stable sometimes that's

called enabling sin right you get that

one you know maybe there's an addiction

going on that's causing damage or

violence or abuse and people are

compensating so that the stability isn't

disturbed and it enables people to

continue doing destructive thing

sometimes in order for there to be real

peace got to stir things up a little bit

got to bring some things out into the

open a society can be like that there

are some governments that are a fascist

that are very stable you know fascism

can be very stable if everyone is

terrified of the government if everyone

is terrified of the police well then

they're less likely to break laws

everyone's living in fear people are

getting thrown in jail for no reason

people are getting disappeared but at

least it's stable right that is a sick

stability that's not peace that is a

terror induced equilibrium when the

kingdom of God comes sometimes things

need to get turned upside down before

God's shalom and god's peace can enter

into a situation but that's not easy

even for people who are suffering in six

situations at least it's familiar right

it's the devil i know right but

accepting jesus is scary because it

means things are going to change and

change is always unsettling but if we

want god's kingdom to come then we need

to be willing to embrace the change that

is under jesus that is led by him so

that things can really enter into the

peace that God has for us amen

now that's not easy a piece of Christ

the Peace of Christ is a powerful thing

in Ephesus things were very stable

everyone worshipped at the temple

everyone knew what to do the

silversmiths were rich i don't know

about everyone else but everything was

working the apostle paul came and he was

messing with stuff and he was messing

with their stability but prayer and

god's kingdom is fundamentally

subversive and revolutionary right when

we pray thy kingdom come Thy will be

done on earth as it is in heaven I am in

a sense taking a defiant posture against

the way things are it is not right that

people don't serve Jesus it is not right

that their sin in the world it is not

right that there's evil let your kingdom

come let your will be done we're defiant

we're saying god I will not accept the

way things are I want things to be the

way you want them to be and I'm going to

pray for that and I'm going to work for

that your kingdom come your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven amen to be a

dynamic Christian you got to have some

attitude right some of us are really

good at that right it's attitude for

Jesus stuff but I've seen that I've seen

two people who had a lot of attitude

just attitude in general not so good

attitude but then they submit to Jesus

with humility and then that what the

devil doesn't like them because they

won't take no for an answer and God's

kingdom will come or dead no that's

God's kingdom is coming and that's good

we want to be people of the kingdom who

are willing to see things get stirred up

a little bit anyone see the the show's

called ad that actually are not continue

anymore some of them were really good

some of them were not so good I liked

Paul and I like the way they did Paul

there's one scene where the Apostle Paul

is talking to the high priest and he and

the Apostle Paul is on trial he's been

in jail and the high priest says what

are you doing here you're what what are

you preaching about Jesus are you a good

Jew or not the Apostle Paul says Jesus

is my high priest Jesus is the sacrifice

there's no need for sacrifices anymore

there's no need for a temple anymore

there is no need for your customs

anymore no need for you and that for he

said then that's what I high priest said

smack him and they did back and then he

just looked up yeah how about that huh

now some of that might been just a

little bit of Paul attitude mixing in

with it but he was right same thing with

the pagan idolatry that Artemis that you

worship is a statue not really god

there's no need for Artemis anymore

there's a real God who created heaven

and earth you can worship him now now

it's time for you to submit to Jesus no

need for Artemis no need for a temple no

need for silversmiths unless they want

to start making tea pots right but I

don't know if they drank tea and Ephesus

you know can you see how that's

threatening the gospel is subversive and

it will provoke a reaction now we need

to buckle our seatbelts because if we

really want to follow Jesus there may be

a reaction against that decision by

sometimes even the people we most love

and the systems in which we inhabit

sometimes your friends and family and

co-workers and boss might not be happy

about the fact that you became a

Christian because suddenly you're not

lying to customers anymore we're going

to lose money what do you want us all go

broke there are certain friends who

might not be happy about the fact that

you're not going to go along with the

same activities you went along with

before there might be a resistance it's

not easy the change might be resisted

there's a story about a man who lived in

gadarene in the New Testament he's

called the gadarene demoniac you know

the story he was possessed by a legion

of demons Jesus crosses the water to

visit this man I don't know if you knew

he was there the waters by the way were

stormy and Jesus had to calm the storm I

don't think it's any accident that he

went over stormy waters to come a

stormy man he finds this man who was

demonized by a legion of demons who

lived in the tombs who cut himself who

cried out in agony he was naked because

he'd rip his clothes he lived alone he

would be howling in the night like a

werewolf out there and Jesus told the

demons to leave him and go in the pigs

remember the story and the pigs run down

and go off a cliff into the water and

then the Bible says that the man was

dressed and sitting down in his right

mind listening to Jesus when the

neighbors came how do you think they

reacted Wow look at you you're all

better praise God we would have become

Christians too it's not what they did

they saw the man sitting dressed in his

right mind and they were upset about it

he said they were used to having him as

the crazy guy as long as he was up there

howling well at least were used to that

no and then not to mention they lost a

lot of money on the pigs and you know

what they did to Jesus they asked Jesus

to leave their region how about that

because they were unsettled by the

change when Jesus came to his hometown

to preach you would think his friends

and neighbors would be excited to see

him don't wouldn't expect that you know

what they said they said wait a minute

isn't this Joseph and Mary son didn't we

grow up playing with him wasn't he the

carpenter's son where did you get these

things the Bible says they took offense

at him and then they tried to throw him

off a cliff somehow he got away here's

what I'm saying as you change there may

be resistance now we see that in its

extreme form in the streets we think

about this a lot in the summertime right

with the crime that happens and it

touches so many of our families it's not

easy to leave a gang right anyone know

young people we're in some some gangs

it's not easy to leave one because first

of all they have their identity in that

gang it's like a pseudo family for them

also there's a false sense of identity a

false bravado

man you know it's all kinds of deceptive

self-esteem that's in it but on top of

it there's the fear of reprisals they're

not going to let you go easy they're not

going to let you go easy it's not easy

to change and make a difference it's not

easy also on the other side of things to

leave a stable situation and decide

let's say your upper middle class

successful businessperson and suddenly

Jesus becomes the most important thing

in your life and you're not going to

play the game in the same way you're not

going to participate in the rat race in

the same way and and but what about your

what about the expectations for a

certain type of life you had always

dreamed of what about the competition

and the expectations from the neighbors

and the peers around you about all the

goodies you're going to have that well

maybe will not have as many goodies it's

going to be different there's going to

be a kingdom mentality rather than a

capitalist mentality that is difficult

to leave right litigator I'm not saying

you shouldn't get jobs and get housing

and that's all good but our treasure is

in heaven right where we live for the

kingdom seek ye first the kingdom of God

and His righteousness and all these

things will be added to you as well it's

not easy to make that change it's going

to stir things up a little bit that's

why Jesus said we need to deny ourselves

take up our cross and follow him we need

a new identity a new allegiance it

weren't quick there's a crazy verse you

ever heard this crazy verse where Jesus

said if anyone would come after me let

him hate his mother and father and even

his own life you ever read that verse

you like I'm supposed to hate my mommy

my mom a little Italian mother what are

you talking about she's probably

watching this video I'm sorry mom no I

supposed to hate these people don't I

don't think that I don't think he means

emotional hate because he says you're to

honor your mother and father right

you're supposed to honor your mother and

father but he's saying that I am hate is

actually a coven ental word it means

that i renounce allegiance to any other

person before and i commit allegiance to

King Jesus before any other person or

authority on earth

jesus is my lord no one else is going to

make my decision so that Jesus is going

to call the shots in my life that's a

radical thing and the kingdom of God

becomes the center of who i am it's

called repentance now we need to be

willing to make that that choice means

you might lose a friend or two might you

might lose a job I don't know you might

lose a job you might be blackballed

because of a certain view you have that

isn't politically correct but it's

something that you hold to in the Word

of God we need to make a decision that

even if it costs that I'm going to

commit to the kingdom of God which is

subversive now that is a good thing

because when i do that there is a

different kind of peace that we enjoy

there is the piece of the king of kings

who is on your life there's a new

identity as a member of the kingdom of

God there's a new security there's a new

stability that cannot be shaken because

your house is built on a rock and not on

shifting sands and I know come what may

my redeemer lives and I know that even

if the storms of life come I'm built on

a rock and even though everyone might be

gathered in the Coliseum yelling

different things there is a piece in the

middle of the storm because I know I

belong to Jesus and he is in control and

so as Christians we are subversive we

are revolutionary but we're also humble

and restful and at peace what an irony

but it works God's kingdom is worth it

the love of Jesus is worth any of the

turbulence that would happen in the

changes that God calls us to make it

meant I can invite the musicians to come

but I'm going to invite us as a church

we need to decide that we're going to be

a church that even though the society

around us might love us sometimes

because of some of the things we do they

might not love us all the time right I

don't know about you it's normal for

people to want people to like them right

but if we make decisions based on the

world around us liking us we're going to

compromise what the Word of God teaches

we got to be clear there's going to be

some times where because of the power of

God the governor himself will want to

stop by and pay a visit and that's fine

but there's going to be other times

where he needs to repudiate certain

views held by you know and that's okay

too right because he's in his own thing

but what I'm saying is that we can't wet

ourselves to the authority structures of

this world because if we do we'll lose

our soul so also as individuals we need

to be willing not to go along some of us

are used to getting along well with

people and that's a good thing i want to

get along with people i want you to be

able to get along with people but if

getting along with people means

sacrificing our principles then that is

not truly loving it's not truly peaceful

our principles and our love need to go

together amen and the New Kingdom we see

ourselves and as ambassadors of a new

kingdom sort of like Abraham who was

blessed who was prosperous who was

successful but he was always a stranger

on earth and I know that ultimately I am

destined for another world I'm an

ambassador of another Kingdom and God is

going to use me to shine in darkness and

the salt will not lose its saltiness

even if it stirs things up a little bit

amen so let's stand together let's pray

and let's seal this before the Lord

father I thank you for the story that we

read about today of the riot in Ephesus

Lord God none of us wants riots Lord God

none of us wants our lives to be

destabilized the father I pray God that

we as the people of God would enjoy a

stability that comes from you God that

our message would be one of peace and

reconciliation but also that we be

declaring the authority of a new king on

earth lord I pray in Jesus name

God the people in our own circles in our

own city in our own lives would be would

be challenged by this message that they

would shake free of the kingdom of

darkness and join themselves to the

kingdom of light and God I pray for

strength that when there's resistance

when there's a poll to go back to the

way things used to be that we would be a

people of the kingdom we would be a

revolutionary people Lord God and they

we would stand firm for you because you

are the King of Kings the Lord of lords

and we are the people that you have

bought to follow you and spread that

kingdom on earth let it be i pray in

Jesus name Amen