And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; ~Acts 17:6
What comes to your mind when you hear the word "chaos"? When I hear this word, I think of confusion, anarchy, and things that have gone haywire. Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke were in the city of Thessalonica. Through bold preaching about the Lord Jesus Christ, a city overcome with religious tradition, ungodly paganism, and a Satanic stronghold began seeing miraculous conversions and changes. A thriving local church was started with believers who were on fire about their faith and the power of the gospel. Those who opposed Paul and his friends accused them of turning the world upside down. They were being falsely accused of bringing havoc into the city. Is your testimony for Christ one that is turning the world upside down?
We see the declaration of truth.
Paul reasoned with them out of the Scriptures and opened and alleged that "Christ must needs have suffered, and risen from the dead." He preached the truth. Truth is absolute. Truth does not bend. Truth does not compromise. Truth is not sugarcoated. The Jews were comfortable staying in their formalistic ceremonies: Paul’s preaching shook this up! The pagan Gentiles were comfortable with a lifestyle that was lascivious and without true commitment: Paul’s preaching condemned sin and showed release through salvation alone in the Lord Jesus. We cannot turn the world upside down apart from fiery gospel preaching and a persistent witness for Christ.
We see the definite transformations.
After three Sabbath days, people started to get saved. If you stay long enough at it, people do get saved! Those who got saved demonstrated a powerful testimony of a life change. Can you imagine the depletion in the synagogues and pagan temples as men and women were getting saved? Can you imagine the homes and marriages that were transformed? Those living profligate lifestyles began witnessing of what Jesus did in their lives. The world can be turned upside down when sinners are transformed.
We see the dynamic trademark.
Churches and Christians who turn the world upside down have a Biblical trademark: they are unashamed of the gospel message. They work incessantly in witnessing and seeing people saved. They go the extra mile in serving others. They are not easily offended by criticism or crude remarks. They pray without ceasing. They redeem the time. They know the enemy is the devil and not each other. The priority by which they live is Jesus first. The community knows the predictability of church services.
We see the disappointing trouble.
Christians who strive to make a difference in this world will experience suffering and trouble. There will be rejection and scorn. There will be false accusations. There will be misunderstandings. Their words and actions will be taken out of context. They will lose friends and even family. They will feel the pain and sorrow of loneliness and being ostracized. Turning the world upside down is not without a price.
Turning the world upside down with the gospel is not chaos; rather, it is a correction. The world is upside down in sin and condemnation. Only transformation through the gospel can make it right side up. Until then, be prepared to be called one of them that turn the world upside down!
Have a gospel-focused God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Corinthians 1-4