October 5, 2015
Acts 17:5, 6
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Working on last Friday’s blog, I mentioned Paul and Silas’ visit to Thessalonica in Greece. Paul preached Jesus in the Jewish synagogue (Acts 17:2), and some Jews and quite a few devout Gentiles believed (Acts 17:4). Today I want to concentrate on Acts 17:5 and 6:
But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the
evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an
uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to
the people. But when they did not find them [Paul and Silas], 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.”
Lets focus especially on the statement the mob cried out to the city rulers: “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” Consider the perspective from which they made this statement:
• These were unbelieving people, led by “…the Jews who were not persuaded….” As such, they were “…enemies of the cross of Christ….” (Philippians 3:18). Paul described the unsaved further in Ephesians 4:17 through 19:
…[they]…walk…in the futility of their mind, having their understanding
darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance
that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart; who, being past
feeling, have given themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all unclean-
ness with greediness.
These were not the kind of people you would expect to make a godly and accurate assessment of the situation!
• The world – the society – of these unbelievers was (and still is) controlled by Satan, the one called in I Corinthians 4:4 (KJV), “…the god of this world….” When the devil tempted Jesus with the second temptation, recorded in Luke 4:5 through 7, it says:
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the
kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him,
“All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been de-
livered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if you will
worship before me, all will be yours.”
Satan acquired such authority over the kingdoms of the world by deceiving Adam to bow before him, obeying the devil’s will instead of God’s! (See Genesis 3:1-6). So unbelievers ever since have a distorted view of reality!
Why do I point this out? It is because of what these “…Jews who were not persuaded…” said in Acts 17:6: “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.”
Did Paul and Silas turn the world Upside Down Or Rightside Up?
It is enlightening to see what God has to say about it in Isaiah 29:15 and 16 (1965 Bible in Basic English):
Cursed are those who go deep to keep their designs secret from the Lord,
and whose works are in the dark, and who say, Who sees us? and who has
knowledge of our acts? You are turning things upside down! Is the wet
earth the same to you as the one who is forming it? will the thing made say
of him who made it, He made me not: or the thing formed say of him who
gave it form, He has no knowledge?
It is translated in the King James Version as well as the one just quoted that the godless turn things upside down! In several other translations, the phrase is rendered, “O your perversity!” But the idea stands that those estranged from their Creator (unbelievers as well as Satan) have already turned the world upside down! What Paul and Silas were doing in Thessalonica and elsewhere was turning the world Rightside Up!
Now the question: What are you doing to turn your world Rightside Up? So much of society seems to be standing on its head! It needs to be turned over and righted! Too many Christians are not even tilting their world a little bit, let alone flipping it Rightside Up! Think about it! Pray about it! Act on it! Together we can turn the world we influence Rightside Up!