Summary: Our church journey continues travelling through God's word. What is the plan, the guidelines, the message God has for us through Paul today?
Areopagus Eggheads versus a Seed-Picker
Date: October 2, 2011
Scripture: Acts 17:1-34
Preview chapter 16
• When we last left this 1st century preacher
• Paul had just been released from a Philippian jail.
Magistrates learned they were Roman citizens
They apologized the way treated them.
they knew they Roman citizens had rights
Rights that had been ignored.
Roman law/illegal to flog a citizen of Rome.
o Remember the Philippians were PROUD to be Romans.
magistrates tripped over themselves to apologize
But begged Paul and Silas to leave the city so as not to cause any further disturbance.
Paid a visit to Lydia/members/Philippian church
Then they left.
Note this point, Luke goes back to saying "they" instead of "we" which means that Paul and Silas left but Luke stayed in Philippi.
Timothy did so as well.
Magistrates didn’t ask Timothy/Luke to leave.
they remained/shepherd the new church,
did promise/join Paul/Silas as soon as possible.
Paul/Silas/100 miles to Thessalonica in short time.
Weakened condition/severely flogged.
Probably took horseback
Perhaps/Christians Philippi provided
Or the embarrassed Magistrates provided.
In any case, Paul and Silas journeyed all the way to Thessalonica
They knew it was the capital!
A church started there would spread/faith/surrounding towns.
When/arrived Paul followed/typical church-starting modus operandi
• He went immediately to the synagogue
Three Sabbaths/reasoned from Scriptures.
took their copies/OT scrolls from their shelves
Read the prophecies/prove/Jesus Christ was long awaited Messiah.
Paul told them…
how Jesus died/cross for the sins of all mankind
How He rose from the dead
Then he showed how all this was also foretold/ Jewish Scriptures.
And this tactic worked. Look at verse 4,
"Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women."
Jews saw members of their synagogue embracing the Christian faith, they became jealous and formed sort of a lynch mob.
o Angry mob couldn’t find Paul/Silas
o Went to the home where they staying, found its owner, and dragged him into court.
o Name Jason/judge forced him to post property bail
o promising Paul/Silas would leave town
Before we "leave" Thessalonica look/verse 6 because it lists the exact wording of the charges that were made against Paul and Silas.
The leaders of this mob said, "These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here!"
Greek translation here would read, "These men have been going around TURNING THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN. And now they've come here to do the same."
Now, that's a very interesting definition of two people.
"These that have turned the world upside down."
That’s amazing. It's amazing, just the statement itself,
Can you imagine people saying Craig, "Your turning it upside down?"
There are people who live/whole life/world doesn't even know they're alive.
There/Christians that have absolutely no effect/ anything.
Here were two people of whom the world said, "They've turned us upside down.
But if you think that's amazing, get this. They've only been to one town, Philippi in Europe, and already through the events of one town; the world is convinced these men are turning it upside down.
And the rumor has drifted all the way to Thessalonica, which is over a hundred miles away.
When you turn the world upside down in your lifetime,
That’s what happens.
the world says, "You're turning it upside down
One writer said, "There are only two people that count in the modern world, a committed communist and a committed Christian.
Everybody else is along for the ride."
Some people count. Some just sort of use up space.
Some never amount to anything. They just go along.
They float. They're in limbo.
Then there are people who count.
There are people who make waves in this world.
There are people who upset the system.
There are Christians who disturb the comfort of sinners.
Paul and Silas were those kinds of people.
You know, God's always had those kinds of people.
• God's always had people who made waves.
• God's always had people who upset Satan's apple cart,
• Who took a placid, sinful situation and threw it into chaos.
There was one that I particular like and I'll just share a few illustrations real quickly.
• Elijah, poor Elijah made waves already the place.
• He was always hassling Ahab.
• Ahab would have made a black mark on a piece of coal.
• He was bad and he had a woman that was just as bad by the name of Jezebel.