Summary: This is a hard hitting sermon contrasting the American church with the Early Church, highlighting our modern compromise and how we can fix it, This message will preach!
TURNING THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN
A. HUMOR: Good bye, Dad!
1. Did you hear about the young man who was walking around a supermarket and everywhere he went an old man seemed to be shadowing him? Finally he went to the checkout line, but the old man got in line in front of him.
2. The old man said: “Excuse me if my staring at you has made you feel uncomfortable. It's just that you look just like my son who died recently."
3. The young man replied: "I'm very sorry, is there anything I can do for you?" "Yes, as I'm leaving the store, can you say, 'Good bye, Dad!'? It would make me feel so much better." The young man answered: "Sure!"
4. Moments later, as the old man was leaving, the young man waved and said, "Goodbye, Dad!" Then as he stepped up to pay for his groceries, he saw that his total was $298.
5. "How can that be?" he asked, "I only purchased a few things!" The clerk answered: "Your dad said that you were paying for his too!"
17 “…they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas. 5 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. 6 But when they did not find them, 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. 7 Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.” 10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.
C. THESIS: COMPARISON, THEN & TODAY
1. The Bible describes a Christianity that was so strong that it conquered every idea and every culture that it contacted. Cities and nations were turned upside down. People were willing to die the most gruesome deaths for it, or to lose their property and possessions.
2. A supernatural power was loose among them that healed the sick, drove out demons, twice blinded its opponents and made hypocrites fall dead on the spot. Within one generation, only by word of mouth, everyone within the known limits of civilization was reached with the Gospel! Incredible!
3. What a contrast with the Christianity of today, which can’t break the American culture, struggles with worldliness, and knows little of the miraculous.
4. In the United States, Christianity is projected to decline 10% by 2050. Something’s obviously wrong with American Christianity.
5. Part of the answer is internal while part of it is external. The title of this message is “Turning the World Upside Down.”
I. OVERTURNING WORLDS IS NORMAL
A. IT’S GOD’S SERVANT’S JOB DESCRIPTION
1. As the Thessalonians unbelievers saw Paul & Silas coming to town, they said, “Oh no! Here come those guys who’ve turned the world upside down!”
2. Everywhere the apostles went the natural order of things was upset. Why? Were they doing something wrong? Uncivil? No! It was because they boldly spoke the truth!
3. Elijah the prophet was another one labelled (by King Ahab) as a ‘Disturber of the Peace.’ 1 Kg. 18:7.
4. Disturbing the Peace is usually a bad thing. Laws are passed against almost anything people don’t want you doing. Getting loud, getting in the way, bothering them, etc.
5. But sometimes it’s very good to D.T.P., esp. if the people in peace are in danger. The world is in a false peace; they don’t know they’re displeasing God and are under His wrath. It’s our duty to warn them, to sound the alarm!
6. Jesus Himself said He didn’t come to ‘bring peace, but a sword.’ He often confronted people: a). the Woman at the Well; b). Zaccheaus; c). Nicodemus; d). the Man Born blind; and others.
B. BECAUSE OUR WORLD IS UPSIDE DOWN: GOD IS TRYING TO GET THE WORLD’S ATTENTION
1. I remember the story about a farmer driving along on his wagon with his dog beside him on the front seat. The horse slipped and the wagon rolled down the steep bank.