"And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way. 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'" (Acts 19:23-27).

Due to the effective preaching of the apostle Paul, the silversmiths of Ephesus feared their trade – crafting shrines of the goddess Diana – was in danger. Paul didn't bring suit against the silversmith trade union in court. He didn't campaign for office on the platform of shutting down the idolatry business. He never lobbied governing officials to impose restrictive ordinances against the temple of Diana. Nor did he launch an official boycott against the industry. According to Demetrius, "This Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands". Through evangelism, he won the hearts of the people for Christ, so that this craft was driven to disrepute through simple lack of interest.

There are many industries now in business, which the governing authorities would do well to shut down (Romans 13:1-4; 1st Peter 2:13-14), and there is nothing inappropriate about discouraging sin in society (Proverbs 14:34). But regardless of whether or not laws are imposed to restrict immoral behavior, it is the duty of godly men and women to persuade people to turn away from such. May our preaching endanger the following occupations.

Divorce lawyers should be in very short supply "For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce" (Malachi 1:16). Jesus explained that divorce separates what God has joined (Matthew 19:4-6). The only just cause for divorce is fornication (Matthew 19:9); otherwise, a marriage should remain intact. In order to save marriages, husbands must learn to love their wives sacrificially (Ephesians 5:25-29), trust them (Proverbs 31:11), honor them (1st Peter 3:7), understand them (1st Peter 3:7), and never resent them (Colossians 3:19). Wives should be taught to love their husbands (Titus 2:4), obey them (Titus 2:5), respect them (Ephesians 5:22-24), and avoid quarrels (Proverbs 21:9, 19). When husbands and wives treat one another with such love as this, divorce lawyers will go out of business.

Abortion providers ought to be unemployed because "the Lord hates… hands that shed innocent blood" (Proverbs 6:16-17), holding accountable those who harm the unborn (Exodus 21:22-25). In order to save children from murder, mothers must overcome the lack of natural affection (Romans 1:31) modern feminism has imposed on them. Women should learn to love their children (Titus 2:5) and regard the fruit of the womb as a reward (Psalm 127:3). When women are instilled with a sense of awe for the amazing work God does in creating life (Jeremiah 1:4-5: Psalm 139:1, 13-16), and a sense of joy for bringing life into the world (John 16:21), abortion providers will have no clients.

Pornographers deserve to go bankrupt because they reveal what knowledge demands should be hidden (Genesis 3:1-11). They promote sexual lust (Matthew 5:28), and often do so through direct acts of adultery, fornication, uncleanness, and lewdness (Galatians 5:19). These smut peddlers will remain in business until people resolve to do as David did when he declared, "I will set nothing wicked before my eyes" (Psalm 101:3), and as Job did when he asked, "I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?" (Job 31:1). Only when self-control is exercised (Galatians 5:23) will the skin business close down.

The gaming industry, consisting of state lotteries throughout the country, tribal casinos, and most businesses in Nevada including stores and restaurants that house slot machines, neighborhood casinos, and the major tourist-dependent casinos on the Strip, would all close down if people would take to heart the warning of the apostle Paul: "Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (1st Timothy 6:9-10). Instead of a love for worldly wealth, people should be motivated to store up treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21). When greed is expelled from people's hearts, casinos will close for lack of customers.

The alcoholic beverage industry, including breweries, distilleries, liquor stores, and saloons would shut down permanently if their patrons understood that drunkenness is a "work of the flesh" that stands in the way of heaven (Galatians 5:21). If people could be persuaded to choose the Spirit over wine (Ephesians 5:19), this industry would collapse.

Everyone needs to work in order to supply the needs of this life (2nd Thessalonians 3:10), but far more important is the work that must be done to obtain everlasting life (John 6:27). Therefore, careers must be chosen carefully, in consideration of God's will.

By Bryan Matthew Dockens Via Biblelist, July 9, 2008

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