THEY TURNED THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN

There’s a fascinating scripture in Acts 17:6 that says in part “-These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.”  Paul and Silas had come to Thessalonica to preach the Gospel.  Some of the Jews believed as well as a large number of the Greeks.  The unbelieving Jews dragged some of the converts to the city rulers and made this charge against them, hoping to get them in much trouble.  They were blamed not only for turning the world upside down, but that in so doing they were acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar.  The situation was serious enough that the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away, sending them to Berea for their own safety.

If there is something the church should be doing it is turning the world upside down.  If we would fulfill the great commission; cast out demons, speak with new tongues, lay hands on the sick etc. the world around us would be turned upside down.  See Mark 16:15-18.  Jesus told His disciples that they should go into the whole World and preach the Gospel.  This is exactly what Paul and Silas were doing.  The Gospel (good news of Jesus’s finished work at Calvary) totally changes anyone who believes it.  When people believe, it turns their world upside down, or we might say, right side up!  Unbelievers will always think it is upside down because friends, family and associates, who have accepted Jesus as savior, are now going in a completely different direction.

Colossians 3:2 says “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”  What you think about is what you will receive in this life.  When we become a believer our desires change, we now desire the things of God, not the things of this world.  We must start training ourselves in the things from above and rejecting the things of this world.  “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2.  Once you are born again you don’t want to be a part of the world, (the world system or the world’s way of doing things).  I used to think that worldliness only meant drinking, drugging, lying, stealing, adultery etc. (the big things) and it of course includes these things, but the things of the world that we have to deal with all the time that seem less important, will also cause us to be a failure in our Christian walk.  What are some of these things?  Putting our trust in the world’s provision instead of God’s provision will never turn the world upside down for Jesus.  Philippians 4:19 says “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  Putting our trust in bankers, lawyers, doctors, marriage counsel, psychology, and the list could go on and on, is worldliness.  I certainly am not saying there is anything wrong with bankers, lawyers etc., but I am saying we should be trusting in the Lord’s provision instead of the things that the world system has provided.  Entertainment that teaches things contrary to God’s word is also worldliness.

Probably the most subtle of all these things is the “cares of this world” (Mark 4:18-19) that causes us to not take the time to worship and praise our Heavenly Father and read and study His Word.  Many of these things are not evil in themselves, but anything that draws us away from the Lord will stop us from living in faith and turning the world upside down.  Our citizenship is already in Heaven, not of this world.  We are just sojourners in this world.  The world has rejected our God and Savior, therefore the world is an enemy to God.  James 4:4 says it this way.  “Adulterers and adulteresses!  Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?  Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”  The world hates us believers because they have first hated our God.  See John 15:18-25.  This world as it is in this fallen condition needs to be turned upside down.  

You might say, well what can I do, I’m not the apostle Paul, God didn’t anoint me to write half the New Testament.  Let me remind us of something.  We are all called to spread the Gospel.  We are all to be part of the team called to fulfill the great commission.  We have the Holy Spirit of Almighty God living in us, we have the completed Bible to feed on, we live in the same dispensation as the early church, we have the same mandate to fulfill the great commission as the early church, we live in a much friendlier environment than the early Christians did.  We can do it, we must do it; we can turn the world upside down for Jesus!  Don’t let the doubts stop or slow you down.  I don’t care if some don’t live right, that has nothing to do with me, I don’t care if some churches don’t preach it the way they should, that has nothing to do with me, I don’t care if Hollywood doesn’t like Christians, that has nothing to do with me, I don’t care if Washington would like to pass legislation to outlaw Christianity, that has nothing to do with me, I don’t care if my brother in law makes fun of believers at thanksgiving dinner, that has nothing to do with me.  Jesus has called me to live by His Word, share the good news with my neighbor, live an exemplary life before my peers; that has everything to do with me.  Come on, we can do it; we can and will turn our world upside down for the Lord!

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the truth of His Word be with you.