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. And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practised magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totalled fifty thousand pieces of silver. – Acts 19.17-19
In a lot of ways the world has cheapened the gospel today. I spent a good part of my Christian life in American churches. We always had ‘revivals’ every year. I have been to tent ‘revivals.’ I even remember taking part in an old ‘city-wide revival’ in Huntsville, Alabama.
But I have to be honest; I have never seen true revival. At least I haven’t see the kind of revival that took place at Ephesus.
Both Jews and Greeks heard the gospel. ‘Great fear’ fell on them, Jesus was magnified, and many believed. But look at the evidence of true revival.
Those who believed came and confessed their sin and told everyone what they had done. Can you imagine that?
Not only that, they brought all of their magic books and tricks and trinkets and the burned them in a fire. I have no idea how much ’50,000 pieces of silver’ is worth, but it certainly sounds like a lot!
When revival came to Ephesus the change was obvious. The people not only confessed their sins, but they totally gave up their livelihood at expense to themselves. Not only did they lose the value of all their stuff, but they last any future income.
Folks, this is real, true revival. It isn’t just a series of meetings. It changes everything. We read of the great revivals of the last 100-200 years and we see whole communities changed. We see nations changed because the revival really ‘stuck.’
Oh how we need that kind of revival. I don’t pray for that kind of revival nearly enough. If true revival could strike wicked and corrupt Ephesus can it not happen in Ireland or the UK or the US or South Africa or any other place today?
I, for one, need to get serious about praying for an Ephesus-like revival in Ireland today!