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  • Henry Omotayo

Does Your Trade Threaten Your Salvation?

Acts 19:23-34

Message No. 0697 | Twitter @GodandUs |

Not a few people today reject the gospel of Christ because of their trades or professions. It possibly would be commonplace for nightclubbers, gamblers, sex workers, scammers and other dishonest traders, to say no to the gospel because they believe that they cannot practice Christianity while remaining economically active in their current jobs. Business owners in these areas could, for practical purposes, oppose the gospel, knowing that their means of livelihood would be in danger if people in their localities accepted Christ as Savior.

In Acts chapter 19, after preaching to the Ephesians, a practically idol-worshipping city, for two years, the Bible says God performed unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them, and the evil spirits went out of them (Acts 19:11-12). This was indeed a loud message to the Ephesians that a new God was in town. However, rather than leading to great joy all over Ephesus, there arose a great commotion about what was being preached to them. Why? Because many people were about to lose their businesses and sources of profit.

In Acts 19:24-27, the Bible records:

For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen. He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, 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. So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised, and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship."

On hearing these words, what did the people do? Well, it seams that nothing ignites people’s anger more than a story saying that some foreigner has entered town and is actively working against the means of livelihood of residents and citizens of a country. In swift reaction, the whole city erupted into confusion and rioting, asking for the bearer of the foreign message to get out of town immediately.

A similar incident occurred in Acts 16:16-24. Paul and Silas were in Macedonia, had preached to them for some days and people were converted. One day, as the duo went to prayer, a certain slave girl followed them, who was possessed by the spirit of divination and had brought her masters great profit by fortune-telling. This girl cried out behind them for many days, saying, these men are the servants of the Most High God who proclaim to us the way of salvation. Well, what the girl was saying was true, albeit, through the spirit of divination, aimed at distracting people’s attention from the message of the gospel. Paul got angry in the spirit and cast the devil out of the girl. This meant the end of income for her masters, so they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace for the authorities to arrest and jail them. It took the intervention of the Holy Spirit to get them released from prison.

What is your trade or what kind of profession are you in? Do you think that your economic activities might be hindering you from fully surrendering to Christ? Or do you feel daily that your salvation might actually be in danger as you continue in your trade? In life, many people are quick to accept Christ after hearing a convicting message or after attending Bible Study, only to realize soon that they cannot practice the faith successfully as long as they remain in their current jobs or businesses.

Some people might be quick to say, quit your trade and surrender to Christ, and while this is the right thing to do, it might prove harder to do in reality. However, where there is a will, people say, there is a way. If an overriding priority exists in us to follow Christ, then surrendering to Him also means surrendering our entirety, and asking Him to take control. There is no circumstance that is above His reach and there is no challenge that can stand in opposition to His love for His children. He makes ways daily where there are no ways. Remaining in trades that do not bring glory to God will hurt a Christian’s spirit and feelings every day, until a change occurs. Would you please pray and commit your situation to God, asking Him to provide a way of escape? Nothing will make Him happier than pulling His children out of darkness into His marvelous light. May the glorious God answer you swiftly, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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 If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer:
 Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!

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