“But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, ‘These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.'” – Acts 17:6
Hey friends! I know it’s been a while since I last wrote, but we’re back at it now! Thanks so much for reading and showing me love. Much love to you, and many thanks. As always, I appreciate you!
So, I have an idea….
Let’s turn the world upside down! Together! For Christ!
That’s what the early church did. (Sometimes our worlds may feel upside down in more ways than one, but I’m talking about something different). The first Christians were radical in what they taught and in how they lived.
What they had to say was so different from what everyone in the world around them knew and believed. Many people got angry when they taught the message of Christ. Some attempted to kill them, while others succeeded.
It was so great a message that either people loved them for it or they hated them for it. While at Thessalonica, the people who heard the message of Christ acknowledged its power. They said that the disciples, with their message, had “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). That’s why they dragged Jason and other Christians out of his home and put them in jail. They didn’t know what else to do but to form an angry mob and harass the good people of God.
But it didn’t stop the disciples from preaching and teaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified and risen. Paul and Silas left Thessalonica and went to Berea. There they preached to fair-minded people who searched the Scriptures (Acts 17:11-12). And many of them there believed.
Then Paul travelled to Athens and preached Christ there to the Jews, to the Gentile worshippers, and to the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. The text says that Paul reasoned with them. He didn’t argue or try to force his point. We don’t have to do that either.
It’s interesting that Paul was reasoning with Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. The Epicureans (or followers of Epicurus, who live over 300 years before Christ) believed in living a simple and self-indulgent life. Their belief was that man should enjoy life and fulfill whatever passion suited their tastes. The Stoics believed in living a life of virtue, attained at one’s own doing and by their own self will. They sought to do so by ultimately reaching a point of apathy about all physical or other desires. Some compared them to Pharisees. Neither the Epicureans or the Stoics had faith in the God of heaven. They were considered to be “great representatives of Greek thought,” according to Ellicott’s commentary.
Yet, Paul took the time to reason with them all about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The philosophers wanted to hear more, so they took him to the Areopagus and let him preach. The Areopagus, or Mars Hill, is also known as the Court of the Areopagus. It is unclear whether the Court with officials was convened, but it is certain that Paul preached the resurrected Christ to those who were in attendance.
“And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, ‘We will hear you again on this matter.‘ So Paul departed from among them” (Acts 17:32-33).
Friends, that’s how people are today. When we take the saving message of the gospel to the world, some will mock us like they did Paul. Some will persecute us, like they did Jason. And some will get angry and try to destroy our very lives like they did Stephen, James, and so many other disciples.
But just like Paul, we have to continue to preach the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because He rose, we too have risen to newness of life and we can help others do the same. Without Christ having been raised from the dead, we have nothing; “for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). But, thank God He did rise! And He is alive.
For you, for me, and for my dear friend whose beloved sister has passed away, there is the hope of us being alive in heaven with Him and being with our loved ones again who have died in the Lord. I’m thankful to God for that…and for you.
We need to teach others “that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). The time is now. “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).
If you are not a Christian you can become one. Believe that Jesus is the Christ, repent (turn from doing wrong and do what is right), confess that Jesus is Lord, and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you’ll have the hope of an eternal life with Jesus Christ, the Lord.
We can turn the world upside down by preaching the risen Savior and bringing as many people to Christ as we can. We can tell somebody about Jesus this day and every day. Let’s do it!
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