Devotional Teaching
Jim Paul

A Man to Follow Part 9: Turning the World Upside Down

Acts 17

Leaving Philippi, Paul and his companions moved on, having established a group of believers where they encouraged them in their faith. Later in writing, Paul thanked God for every remembrance of them. The wonderful bond that exists between the servant of God and those saved through their preaching is very special!

Paul even takes it a little further writing to the Thessalonians

are not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming for you are our glory and joy. (1 Thessalonians 3:19-20)

This also applies to every soul winner

He who wins souls is wise. (Proverbs 11:30)

Whether male or female, the gospel presented by public preaching or personal witnessing, souls need to be saved. The Sunday School teacher, the camp counselor, the door to door enthusiast, the hospital visitor, those who reach out to inmates in prison, women in coffee hours, etc.etc…

Keep on reaching out to the lost and your heaven will be much more thrilling! When you see those there because you (knowingly or unknowingly) sowed the seed of the Word of God into their hearts!

Receptive Thessalonians

Having suffered imprisonment at Philippi, the servants of God move on to Thessalonica. As their custom was, they entered into the synagogue. Here once again Paul reasoned from the Scriptures,

this Jesus whom I preach unto you is Christ. (Acts 17:3)

For three Sabbath days he maintained his objective and it had the desired effect. Some believed, including devout Greeks and chief women. Paul met the Jews on common ground for they knew the scriptures. What a revelation for some who accepted the truth they were given that the crucified and risen Jesus was truly their Messiah!

Even though Paul was only there a short time, souls were saved and an assembly planted.

Antagonistic Jews

The vast majority, however, were moved with envy and gathered a company to cause a riot. They entered into the house of Jason seeking to find Paul and his fellow workers but to no avail.

Bringing Jason and certain others before the rulers, the Jews accused them of doing things contrary to the decrees of Caesar saying there is another king called Jesus.

Opposition in 2018

This is not unusual in our time. In the news we constantly see riots and disturbances bringing in chaos and anarchy. Many Christians are suffering because they are seen to be a thorn in the flesh against governments and rulers of the people.

Evil perpetrators causing violence often blame those who speak the truth and view them as evil so they can continue their evil deeds. The accusation made against Paul’s company was those have turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6).

Where do we stand in relation to this today? The Christian world view is totally different from the way the world views things. Have we become so like the world we have lost that separate character?

Too often our voices are silent because of fear of rejection but we need to be like Paul in Roman 1:16:

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ it is the power of God unto salvation to every who believes.

Let us examine our hearts, making good choices to speak the truth of the Gospel so lives can be changed. This will make an impact in the communities where we dwell.

Faithful Bereans

Once again Paul and company have to escape by night. But what rejoicing would be in their hearts at the testimony left in Thessalonica!

They now come to Berea. Here the Jews were commended

for they received the Word with readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily whether those things were so. (Acts 27:11)

Once more many women and men believed and the Holy Spirit at work was making a major impact through the gospel.

Finally, Paul had to be sent off to Athens to be alone for the unbelieving Jews followed in his path stirring up much trouble. Silas and Timothy stayed on a little longer in Berea, no doubt to strengthen the faith of the new converts.

Jim Paul
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