Summary: Two small groups turned the world upside down. Compares Paul and Silas and the hijackers of the Attack on America. Speaks of motive.
Making a BIG difference is not as unlikely as it may seem.
We have before us, today, two examples of small groups that turned the world upside down.
The first group: The hijackers. 19 hijackers have turned the world upside down. (Think about that number, only 19!)
Less people than it takes to fill two pews in here this morning have caused trouble all over the world.
19 people, committed enough to sacrifice themselves for the cause, changed our way of life.
Although we disagree with their methods there isn’t a person in the world that questions that they were devoted to what they believed in.
The other group is found in Acts 17:1-9
Group # 2: Paul and Silas (verse 6)
KJV, “These men that have turned the world upside down.”
NIV, “These men who have caused trouble all over the world.”
NRSV, “These people who have been turning the world upside down.”
NASB, “These men who have upset the world.”
Message, “These people who are out to destroy the world, and now they’ve shown up on our doorstep, attacking everything we hold dear.”
At some points, these two groups are night-and-day different.
But in many respects they were both very much the same.
Some of the things that were different about them:
One did it to harm. The other did it to help.
One’s motivation was hate. The other’s motivation was love.
Some of the things that were the same about them:
Both groups believed that if something was not worth dying for it was not worth living for.
Both groups were equally devoted to what they believed in.
They both experienced resistance to their cause.
It only takes a few people, if they are willing to die for what they believe in, to change the world, for good or for bad.
Our world is different today because of the misguided devotion of 19 people.
Our world could be better if we had the same God-guided devotion of P & S.
Two interesting facts immerge as we compare these two groups.
In both cases
The motive defined the movement
Their message disturbed the masses.
Our motives define our movements
We contribute most to what we are committed to.
If we are committed to success we will be successful.
If we are committed to excellence we will bypass mediocrity.
If we are committed to an education we will experience the results of that.
But what is it that motivates us to do what we do?
If money is our motivator we will be miserable. (Ecc 5:10, “Whoever loves money never has money enough…”)
If pride is our motivator we are in for a fall. (Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”)
If we build a business at the expense of our family we will have a thriving business but a dysfunctional family.
Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
Proverbs 22:8, “He who sows wickedness reaps trouble…”
Job 4:8, “…those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.”
It has been said, “You better stand for something or you will fall for anything.”
So what is it that you stand for?
Making a difference is not the battle cry of cowards. To be agents of change we must be courageous. To have an IMPACT we must be confident. To make a difference we must be determined.
To make a stand for God it is not enough to just join a church. When Christianity became fashionable it lost its meaning.
At one time, the first thing expected of a new doctor or a banker who came to town was to join a church. There was a time when someone hiring you would ask you if you were a “church going man or woman.” (Today it is illegal to even ask that question.)
For us to have an IMPACT for Christ we have got to live for Him.
If we come here to be fashionable we are out of style.
Making a real stand is going to cost you something.
Our message will disturb the masses.
When you make a stand you will attract opposition.
Is it wrong to have enthusiasm and zeal for something? (NO)
We can appreciate enthusiasm as long as we share their same viewpoint.
We can even appreciate enthusiasm about something that we don’t like as long as it doesn’t infringe on our lives.
I can respect the fact that Niel Segotta is enthusiastic about the Oakland Raiders—as long as he doesn’t come over to my house on Sunday afternoon when they are playing the Broncos.
When someone is enthusiastic about something that makes us uncomfortable we oppose it.