Sunday, February 26, 2012
“Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: so that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth” (Acts 19:26,27 KJV).
God’s Word has always been unpopular with sinful mankind, but this is especially true of the Gospel of the Grace of God. In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul is preaching the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven, angering the pagan idol makers. “Paul, quiet down, you are a threat to our ‘business’ (religion)!” Not surprisingly, we grace believers are told the same thing!
My local grace church has a television ministry. Once, viewers had great difficulty hearing the program. They would increase the volume of their televisions, but our pastor’s preaching was barely audible. When church members visited the office of the cable television provider which broadcasts the show, they learned that a technician was lowering the master transmit volume when our program would air. (The grace message was too offensive to either his religion or his sinfulness, so he was turning down the volume for all viewers!)
The Bible speaks of people who know the truth of God, but “who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:19,20)—they suppress God’s Word so that Satan’s error can flourish! In today’s Scripture, these pagans wanted to turn the crowds against the Apostle Paul. Paul would not be quiet regarding the message of God’s grace, so they were determined to kill him in a mob (see Acts 19:28–20:1)!
God’s grace, the message of Calvary’s cross, is offensive to people preoccupied with works-religion, for Calvary charges works-religion (man’s performance) as insufficient for heaven (see Galatians 5:11). Let us continue boldly sharing the Gospel of the Grace of God, and the rightly divided King James Bible, especially when they cry, “Shhhh, grace believers!” 🙂