Chicago Fire: Jesus and a Church for All Seasons
Life is a journey traveled out in seasons. The ups and downs of life will come. Times of celebratory victories and fiery trials will come. God is an ever present leader, help and guide during each of these seasons. His church is a ship he has designed to sail through all seasons.
Now after these events Paul resolved in the Spirit to pass through Macedonia and Achaia and go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” And having sent into Macedonia two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while. About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way. For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen. These he gathered together, with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship.” When they heard this they were enraged and were crying out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” So the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul's companions in travel. But when Paul wished to go in among the crowd, the disciples would not let him. And even some of the Asiarchs, who were friends of his, sent to him and were urging him not to venture into the theater. Now some cried out one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together. Some of the crowd prompted Alexander, whom the Jews had put forward. And Alexander, motioning with his hand, wanted to make a defense to the crowd. But when they recognized that he was a Jew, for about two hours they all cried out with one voice, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” And when the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, who is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great Artemis, and of the sacred stone that fell from the sky? Seeing then that these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rash. For you have brought these men here who are neither sacrilegious nor blasphemers of our goddess. If therefore Demetrius and the craftsmen with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another. But if you seek anything further, it shall be settled in the regular assembly. For we really are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since there is no cause that we can give to justify this commotion.” And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly.
Who was Artemis and what did she represent that was worshiped?
The economic and social impact of the gospel.
The church allows you to avoid the trappings of “group think”.
Understanding the things and principalities worshiped in our culture will help you navigate and stand for the unchanging truth of the gospel in the midst of shifting tides.
From people who are believing for children to new parents to empty nesters; from those starting careers to being in the middle of life-altering job transitions, to retirement, God has his church to remind you of his person, his purpose and his provision for you.
In every season, God gives you his church to be strengthened in the:
Person of God (i.e. - his comfort and faithfulness as you wait on children; his protection as you look to overcome sin)
Purpose of God (i.e. - when you’re sorting through life direction)
Provision of God (i.e. - when you’re looking for a spouse)
“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” – Martin Luther King Jr
How do we live with such a mentality?
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Jesus went to the cross to take the punishment for our sin. It shows us that he is familiar with suffering. He rose from the dead victoriously to give us the hope of forgiveness as we turn from our sin to the joy of new/eternal life in him. In whatever season you find yourself, he has given you his church with which to walk out this gift.
Second City Church - Chicago Fire - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019