Turning the World Upside Down
We live in one messed up world. And if I have to explain that to you, you haven’t been paying attention. The world needs to be turned upside down to be set right. In the book of Acts (Chapter 17), this is the very thing the Apostle Paul was accused of doing by his preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A mob forms and accuses Paul and some others, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also…” They’re proclaiming this King, Jesus! “And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things.” Turning the world upside down! Disturbing people! And from a worldly point of view, this is true. The Gospel does turn the world upside down. It sets all worldly thinking on its head: In Christ, we die to live. The foolishness of God is wiser than men. We can do nothing to save ourselves. There is only one way to the Father, to eternal life, and that is Christ alone. These are things the world of unbelief doesn’t like to hear. And while the Gospel may seem like it turns the world upside down, it’s the one and only thing that puts things right side up, the way they were meant to be before sin turned the world upside down.
If it doesn’t look like we’re turning the world upside down, and we’re not disturbing people, maybe we have accommodated too much to the world. Often people think this is the answer when they see congregations declining in numbers: We need to accommodate to the world, try the latest and greatest fad or gimmick to get people in the door, turn the church into a house of entertainment. None of that is real evangelism, none of it is real mission. Real evangelism, real mission, is to turn the world upside down by proclaiming the full 200 proof, undiluted Gospel of Jesus Christ. It means to disturb people, to infringe on their comfortable unbelief. And you don’t have to go very far to do this. Just be ready to give an answer to anyone who God throws in your way – family, friends, neighbors, strangers – as you go about your daily life. God grant that we disturb people for the sake of Christ. That we turn the world upside down with the message that God has put everything right side up in Jesus Christ, by whom alone we are saved and justified by grace. In His name, Amen.