A Daily Email Devotional from the
by Pastor Kevin Sadler
"And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also" (Acts 17:6).
Without meaning to, a rioting mob of unbelieving Thessalonians paid the greatest of compliments when they described Paul, Silas, and Timothy as men who had "turned the world upside down." As one commentator wrote, "God willing and blessing, people would say such things about the effectiveness of Christians today." The world needs to be turned upside down.
How can a few men turn the world upside down? All they did was bring good news to others. They had no power in themselves, but they did have a powerful message, a gospel that "is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Rom. 1:16). They had a message of a Savior Who came to this world to pay the price for all our sins by His death and to defeat death by rising from the grave. All these men did was talk about Christ wherever they went, and because of people responding in faith and being given true hope and being transformed by God's grace, the world was turned upside down.
The irony is that, as they faithfully proclaimed the gospel of Christ, these men of God were actually turning the world right-side up! But when one is upside down, right-side up appears to be upside down. When sin and the curse entered the world, the world was instantly turned upside down. Sin deceives, and unbelievers think their version of the world is right-side up, when in fact it is upside down in the sight of a holy and righteous God.
The world thinking the world is right-side up is due to "Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart" (Eph. 4:18). But after we trust the gospel of the grace of God, the Holy Spirit, by His Word, changes our thinking, values, and morality to be in line with God and His standards. As a result, the world views believers as strange, different, and upside-down, when in truth, we have been turned right-side up by Christ!
The gospel of grace revolutionized and upset the world as the Thessalonians knew it, but it did so for the eternal best. The gospel is what this upside-down world needs. It is God's way of making things right.