On Wednesday nights in Modesto, California, a small group of dedicated people in our admin team gather and fellowship.
We’ve been going through 1 Thessalonians. In order to really understand this book, you have to read the small account of Paul’s time in Thessalonica in Acts 17.
Essentially, Paul shared the Gospel with some people who became jealous. They then formed an angry mob who rioted and was out to get them. Later that night, Paul and Silas snuck outside of the city and went on to their next destination. It’s an incredibly brief section of scripture, merely 10 verses. We know Paul only spent 3-4 weeks there before having to flee the city, but what really interests me is in Acts 17:6.
After the mob began looking for Paul and Silas (and had no luck…), we read they say, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here too”. (Acts 17:6 CSB)
Well, that’s an awkward thing to be upset about…
If you know even just a little of Paul’s character in the Bible, I think he’d take that as a huge compliment! It got me thinking though. In America, Christianity is seemingly becoming more obsolete from the public view, and it’s no longer “cool” (for lack of a better phrasing) to be “Christian.”
Not that we want to make people angry or provoke people to riot… but we shouldn’t have a fear of the Gospel and what society thinks or how they react. In fact, the Gospel should turn the world upside down! That is the goal, “to seek and save the lost” and to “make disciples of all nations,” to do planet shaking stuff! Those are radical changes that will sometimes lead us to unfavorable views from the micro-cultures each of us live in.
Simultaneously, let us be encouraged by the fact that Paul’s brief effort ultimately lead to one of the healthier churches we read of in the bible. So, our goal in A Jesus Mission for this team locally and abroad is nothing less than that – to “turn the world upside down” with the hope of the Gospel.