Upside Down or Rightside Up?

Acts 17:1 through 6

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

This picture is ridiculous! Obviously, it must be a joke because any fool would know the sign is upside down!Yes, any fool would know!

But look what happened in Thessalonica when Paul and Silas came to town!

    ...Paul...for three Sabbaths...went into [the synagogue and]...
    reasoned with...the Jews...from the Scriptures, explaining and 
    demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from 
    the dead, and saying “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the 
    Christ.” And some of [the Jews]...were persuaded; and a great 
    multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading 
    women, joined Paul and Silas. And some of the Jews who were not 
    persuaded, became envious, [and] took...evil men...and gathering 
    a mob...set all the city in an uproar...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 17:1 through 6).

That is quite an accusation! But Paul and Silas (or whomever Paul was traveling with on his missionary journeys) did preach Jesus Christ! And the gospel can stir things up!

  • What is the gospel? It is the good news of Jesus Christ!
     Paul spelled it out quite plainly in I Corinthians 
         15:3 and 4: “...Christ died for our sins according 
         to the Scriptures....He was buried, and...He rose 
         again according to the Scriptures....And the apostle wrote in I Timothy 3:16, “...great 
         is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in 
         the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, 
         preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, 
         received up in glory.Here is what the writer of Hebrews says in chapter 7 
         and verse 25: “...He is also able to save to the ut-
         termost those who come to God through Him, since He 
         always lives to make intercession for them.
  • The gospel can change people!
     In Galatians 5:19 through 23, Paul highlights the 
         change that should come about in a person after ac-
         cepting Christ as Savior! Compare...

         ➔   “...the works of the flesh...” in verses 
              19 through 21 with...

         ➔   “...the fruit of the Spirit...” in verses 
              22 and 23.

     This is the Apostle Paul’s own testimony of how the 
         Lord changed him, from I Timothy 1:15 and 16 (Inter-
         national Standard Version):

             To this world Messiah came, sinful people to 
             reclaim. I am the worst of them. But for that 
             very reason I received mercy, so that in me, 
             as the worst sinner, the Messiah Jesus might 
             demonstrate all of His patience as an example 
             for those who would believe in Him for eternal 
             life. (see also Galatians 1:13 through 16)

     ✞   And the change can be so radical that people, not 
         understanding it, vehemently oppose it!

And so the unbelieving Thessalonians were “…crying out, ‘These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.’

But were Paul and Silas really turning the world upside down? For we are told in Isaiah 24:1 and 6 (Jubilee Bible): “Behold, the LORD makes the earth empty and makes it naked and turns it upside down and scatters abroad its inhabitants….Therefore the curse has consumed the earth, and those that dwell therein are found guilty….

  • So if God turned the earth upside down millennia before Paul and Silas (when the sin of mankind entered the world – see Genesis 3:1-6)…
  • And when God plainly announced that fact through Isaiah the prophet more than 700 years before Paul and Silas…

…what Paul and Silas were doing was
turning the world rightside up!

In sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who are lost, we contribute to reversing what the LORD said He did in Isaiah 24:1 and 6! We are…

  • …helping to fill the earth with righteous people! (see II Corinthians 5:21).
  • …clothing their spiritual nakedness before God with robes of righteousness! (see Isaiah 61:10).
  • …gathering people together into one Body! (see I Corinthians 12:12-27).
  • …assisting in reversing the curse! (see Galatians 3:13).
  • …standing in court, and hearing the Judge say, This one is not condemned!” (see John 5:24).

Now go…and help turn the world
Rightside Up!