“Who have turned the world upside down” Act 17: 6
One of the unique ways God works is to make even the evil design of the enemy for His glory. We can notice this fact throughout the Bible. One such example is found in Act 17: 6. The attackers who dragged Mr. Jason the host of Paul and party in Thessalonica to the authorities shouted, "These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.”
Unbelieving Jews along with the evil men from market place, filled with envy and fury wanted to accuse the servants of God in the most serious manner. But this very allegation turns out to be the best commentary of the work of Christ in an individual. Three things are noteworthy:
1. The World may see Christians as trouble makers! Act 17: 6, 8; 16:20; 24:5; 28:22 etc.
This is not the first time preachers of the gospel were indicted in this manner. In Philippi Paul and Silas were severely beaten and imprisoned with the same charge. Act 16:20. Before Governor Felix at Caesarea, the High priest and the elders from Jerusalem blamed Paul as “a plague, a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.” Act 24:5
Even the Lord Jesus Christ was accused in the same manner, "We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King." Luke 23: 2. Even when Pilate said, “I find no fault in this Man,” Jews kept saying furiously "He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place." Luke 23:5
No wonder down through the centuries the unbelievers leveled the same charge against the followers of the Lord Jesus. What more can we expect today from this world. The Lord Jesus repeatedly warned His people, “You will be hated by all for My name’s sake.” “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” “The time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.” cf. Matt 10: 22; John 15: 20; 16: 2. Etc
It’s amazing even after 2000 years, followers of Christ face the same response from the world. Not only individuals or communities, even certain authorities criticize Christians for their faith and practice. Why is it so? Shall we try to be neutral or even conformed to the world to avoid such accusations?
A true follower of Christ will soon find it as a solemn duty to imitate Christ in all his ways even when being ridiculed or assaulted. Early Christians in fact considered it as a privilege to bear the reproach for Christ. Act 5:41.
We should never forget that we are different. The Master whom we follow, the doctrines that we believe, and the life-style we maintain, are all just different from the worldly standard. It’s this distinctiveness that prompts the unbeliever to see us as a trouble or nuisance. Cf. Esther 3:8; Numbers 23:9; Titus 2:14; 1Peter 2:9 etc.
So, it’s foolishness to expect any appreciation or applause from this world. Moreover, the word of God frequently exhorts the saints not to conform to this world. Rom 12:2; 2Cor 6: 14 – 17 etc.
Our responsibility is as Apostle Peter urges, live a true Christ-like life among the unbelievers, even as they speak against us so that our life may be a living testimony. Cf. 1Peter 2:12
2. Gospel of Christ turns the world upside down!
The assailants said it as a serious accusation, but actually that is exactly what the gospel of Christ does in the lives of people. Actually this work of turning the world upside is not the work of these preachers but God Himself.
Creation story teaches us that God created everything right and good, but the entrance of sin made everything upside down. Cf. Gen 1:31; 6: 5 – 7. Thus, from the Garden of Eden we see man not in the right order. Evil corrupted the heart of man and but turned his whole world upside down. It’s effect is seen in individual, family, and social life.
Not only he lost the glory and life of God, he also lost the true value system as well as the right standard of living. Evil became good; shameful things became honourable things, darkness became more lovable than light etc. It is this deformity that gospel of Christ addresses.
When one trusts Christ as his Saviour and Lord, He turns his right side up again. That is, his entire life is changed. It’s not just a repairing but a new creation where old things, habits, preference etc will go away and a new life begins. 2Cor 5:17.
Looking at this work of God the unbeliever who is already in the up-side down position, feels Christians are in the wrong direction! He does not know it is he who is in the wrong direction and Christ alone can convert this reprobate state of man.
3. Such radical change should be visible in a believer’s life.
If the world fails to see the evidence of this revolutionary transformation in a believer’s life, that is something to worry about. Because, that is the way gospel works. Christ alters a person radically when he yields to the claims of the Lord. It cannot be hidden. It’s natural for the new life of a Christian to manifest outside through words and deeds. Others will definitely notice and respond accordingly.
Let all our acquaintances know for sure, we are different and our Lord ‘turns the world upside down’!
What God says to Believers – “You are..”
You are of purification. 1Cor 6:11
You are of sanctification. 1Cor 6:11
You are of justification. 1Cor 6:11
You are of union with Christ. 1Cor 6:15
You are of possession with Christ. 1Cor 6:19
You are of purchase by Christ. 1Cor 6:20
You are of a life like Christ. 1Cor 6:20
From One Light to the Next
During a great storm a physician in a small town was called to go some seven or eight miles into the country to visit a sick child. It was evening and the snow was falling so rapidly that it soon blotted out the road and left him in a sore danger of losing his way.
Reaching a farmhouse he telephoned to the next one beyond, asking them to hang out a lantern. They did so, and sent the word on to their next neighbor, who in turn sped the message, and so the doctor with his horse and buggy was enabled to drive forward through the storm, making his way from light to light until he reached the home where he was so sorely needed.
Is not that a picture of the Christian life? We can each throw a light upon that part of the road that runs by our own door to make sure that no one shall miss the way because our light is not burning.
— Christian Age.
Fifteen Facts about Death
There is nothing more frightening than death to most people. Similarly there is nothing more real and uncertain like death. Remember, there is only one life; there is no way to improve earthly life once we die. How we ought to be aware of death and get ready for it.
Truths about death found in the Bible not only enlighten us to live in view of our life beyond this world, but also encourage us to live a full life with hope, confidence and satisfaction.
The only hope for man to face death peacefully and satisfactorily is to trust and receive Christ as His personal saviour and Lord. Then he will be forgiven, regenerated and reconciled to God. He will not be under condemnation again. Romans 8:1. So he will not have to go through that eternal death - the second death - after judgment.
So let us see the basic truths about death found in the word of God without much explanation.
Believer and the world
“We must not pattern our lives after the world. We should be marching to the beat of a different drummer.”
_____________________ William MacDonald
" the will of God for your life is pretty straightforward: Be holy like Jesus, by the power of the Spirit, for the glory of God."
_________ Kevin DeYoung