Summary: Only in a good way! The disciples rocked their world with their unordinary INTEGRITY, INTENSITY, and INVOLVEMENT they practiced. Link included to Formatted Text and Powerpoint Template.

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We Need Some Troublemakers

Acts 17:1-9

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A. What we need in this church are some more troublemakers!

- Troublemakers?

- Yes, Troublemakers!

- That’s what the enemies of the church called the Christians at Thessalonica.


- They said they were the ones, "that have turned the world upside down" (v.6) or, “that have caused trouble all over the world.” [world changers]

- Our Church needs troublemakers like the troublemakers at Thessalonica.

- We need some people ready to shake up our world in the same way that the Thessalonians shook up theirs.

- Where there was darkness, they brought light.

- Where there was hatred, they brought love.

- Where there was sadness, they brought laughter.

- Where there was bondage, they brought liberation.

- Where there was death, they brought life.

- They took a world that was tired & troubled, tangled & tripped up, & they put that world back on its feet.

B. Are you ready to be a world changer?

- Are you ready to turn your world upside down for Jesus Christ?

- Let’s look at some key ingredients that enabled these believers to change their world for Christ.

Transition: The 1st key ingredient that enabled these Christians was their:


- Luke tells us (v.4) that Paul’s preaching was successful in Thessalonica.

- Many believed including a large number of "devout [God-fearing] Greeks."

A. These were Gentiles who were drawn to the morality & monotheism (one God) of the Jewish faith.

- They could never actually become Jews, but they were Jews from a distance. The people of that day were looking for something “real”, just as your family, co-workers, neighbors are!

- They were those who were desirous for something more than their pagan culture could offer them, so they turned to the God of the Jews, & after Paul came to their synagogue they turned to the Messiah.

B. This world in which Christianity was conceived was a world of incomparable immorality.

- Slavery was a universally accepted system.

- Homosexuality was rampant, as evidenced by the Emperor Nero being paraded through the streets of Rome fondling his 12-yr-old male lover in full view.

- Sexual permissiveness was the rule of the day.

- Prostitution & all forms of sexual immorality were a major part of the various religions that they followed.

- Human life was cheap & pleasure was primary.

- And into that world of immorality Christianity introduced a new element--integrity.

C. A letter written to greek teacher Diognetus in the middle of the 2nd century indicated how revolutionary Christian integrity was in this world of paganism.

- The letter marveled that Christians, "have their meals in common, but not their wives. They find themselves in the flesh & yet, live not after the flesh."

D. No wonder these Christians were causing trouble in their world.

- They were doing something that had been forgotten in that pagan culture.

- They were living lives of integrity, and the people didn’t know how to react to it.

- 1 Thess. 1:9 tells us that these Christians had "turned to God from idols to serve the living & true God."

E. A fresh dose of integrity emanating from the lives of Christian men & women today is what we need to cause some trouble in our world.

- We are living in the midst of an integrity crisis.

D.L. Moody said that you can tell a person’s character by what he/she does in the dark.

- "The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out."

-Christians are no exception, cheating on taxes, tests at the same rate as the world…lying at the drop of a hat, thinking nothing of it!

I’m reminded of the man who wrote a letter to the IRS: "Dear Sirs, I can’t sleep. Last year, when I filled out my income tax form, I misrepresented my income. Enclosed is a check for $325. PS--If I still can’t sleep, I’ll send you the rest."

- During the last presidential election people were saying that a person’s character doesn’t reflect on the kind of job he/she will do in public office. Huh???? If a man won’t keep his most sacred vow made before God to his wife, what will he be willing to do w/ those piddly little vows of public trust?!

- In recent years we’ve seen a lot of preachers suffering from a lack of integrity.

- Coaches have been fired & athletic programs have been put on probation because of a lack of integrity.

- We are quickly becoming a nation that doesn’t know what the word "integrity" means.

- Integrity means “The state of being unimpaired; soundness or wholeness.” [space shuttle lost it’s integrity!] And when we lose our integrity, we have lost it all.

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Talk about it...

Dr. Ronald Shultz

commented on Nov 4, 2013

As always, spot on, my Brother!!!!

Deetta Gaither

commented on Sep 14, 2014

So enjoyed reading this sermon!

Stephen Battista

commented on Nov 3, 2015

Thank you, your leading points, helped me greatly in developing this sermon,

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