Summary: The Book of Acts tells how the Gospel spread throughout the world, turning the Roman Empire upside down, what can we learn from it?

Acts: How to turn the World

Upside Down for Jesus

Many times we see how good intending people attempt to change their community with the Gospel, go into not knowing exactly what to do. In reading through the Book of Acts we see how the early church impacted their world turning it upside down for Jesus.

Thesis: The Book of Acts shows how Christians can change their world for the better.

1. Take his message to the World (1:8) “Witnesses”=martys (martys: meaning witness, testimony, martyr.)

a. Jerusalem Chapters 1-7, 22,23

b. Judea/Samaria Chapters 8-12

c. The Ends of the Earth (13,14,16-20, 24-28)

Illustration: Missionaries go to foreign soil to win souls for Jesus, turning the area around from what it was to Jesus. When we go into our community and win souls for Jesus, the impact on the community is the same. We have to take the message to the people, not wait for them to come to us. EXAMPLE? Our missionaries have gone to the Sudan, they have taken the message to the people in “the Bush”. As a result many Sudanese people have responded positively to the Gospel. Think our own conversion, for most of us we heard the Gospel because someone took the time to tell us. For me, it was a fellow postal worker who took the time to come to my house. We must do the same, go to our neighbors, our fellow workers, our relatives, our friends and share the message with them.

2. When we do we should expect opposition

a. The Sanhedrin (4:18, 5:17, 33,40)

b. The Religious (Chapters 7, 8, 15, 18)

c. The Political leaders (C. 12,16,17, 19, 24, 27)

Illustration: The Christians in Sudan have been cut off from their people, set out to starve, no medical attention, and dire actions atrocities put on them by the government. We should expect it; yet not let it stop us from the mission. Paul went back to Derbe even after being stoned there. In our own society we have an anything goes mentality, it is ok to present Pro-abortion material, pro gay rights literature, and the like. Yet let someone mention Jesus, or bring up the subject of prayer, or invite Jr. and Sr. High students to revivals, like what happened in Knoxville in 1999, and the ACLU and it proponents are ready to slap us with lawsuits. In our country the persecution may not be as bad. But we should still expect opposition when we present the message.

3. Great results due to perseverance

a. The Lord added (2:41,47; 4:4,5:14)

b. Great many became believers (8:12ff, 9:31,10)

c. Gentiles believed (13,14, 16-20)

Illustration: Today there are churches growing in desolate areas, millions are being won to Christ, China, former USSR, Africa, Southeast Asia, and maybe even our own neighborhood. The Gospel is changing lives, just look at what it has done for us. When we spread this spark, it can light a fire. Think global, act local and we can win this world for Jesus. When I went to Promise Keepers in NY for the first time, people were calling the radio stations talking about making changes in their lives, in particularly I remember a little girl who called to thank Promise Keepers for coming to the area, she said “My Daddy went, it touched his life, and now he and Mommy are praying together. From this conference, this little girl saw a change in her Daddy. From spreading the gospel we can ignite a change in our world, and add to the Church. We can Go which are the first two letters in the name GOD or we can Sit, which in past tense is the first three letters to Satan. Which do we want to work for?

Conclusion: If we want to know how to turn the world Upside down for Jesus, read the book of Acts. And do likewise.

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