Upside Down – Lee Moses

Lee Moses

As Paul had been preaching the Gospel in the city of Thessalonica, people began to respond to his preaching. However, a mob formed and dragged certain Christians before the city rulers, crying, “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also” (Acts 17:6). This was not intended as a fair portrayal of what Paul and his preaching companions had been doing—this was part of a smear campaign against them. But there could be no doubt that those three evangelists were turning the Thessalonians’ prior misconceptions on their heads, and turning people over from their beds of comfort.

It has been well said that the church has a duty to “comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.” Consider what Paul wrote the Thessalonians: “And we exhort you, brethren, admonish the disorderly, encourage the fainthearted” (1 Thess. 5:14, ASV). What are some things we need to turn upside down?

We need to turn the God-denying philosophies of the atheists, agnostics, and skeptics upside down. The psalmist warned, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psm. 14:1a). Saying “there is no God” is a foolish affirmation, foremost because it is false. But believing it will utterly corrupt one’s thinking, in turn leading to godless, selfish, and wicked lives. As the psalmist proceeded to say of God-deniers, “They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good” (verse 1b). Solomon offers the superior starting point for right thinking: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:7).

We need to turn the deluded comfort of the denominationalists upside down. Members of denominations generally believe that God created the universe, that Jesus died and rose again, and that Jesus is the way to salvation. They simply refuse to do what they must do to be saved, because they are misled into believing they already are saved (Rom. 10:1-3; 2 Thess. 2:10).

We need to turn the apathy and worldliness of lukewarm members of the church upside down. The book of Revelation portrays the Lord Jesus Christ as a watchful keeper of His churches (Rev. 1:12-13, 20). He is able to say of any church, “I know thy works” (2:2, 9, 13; et al.). When He observes faith, purity, and diligence, He is pleased. But what would He say of many of His professed churches today? Might it be what He said of the church at Laodicea?

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked (Rev. 3:14-17).

Might it be what He said of the church at Ephesus?

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent (Rev. 2:4-5).

There are many false notions that need to be turned upside down. There are many misled ways of living that need to be turned upside down. Just as it was with Paul, it is the bold preaching of the Gospel that will turn those false notions and misled ways of living upside down (Titus 1:9b; 2 Cor. 10:5).

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Author: Editor

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