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.” As was often the case, Paul and those who
traveled with him were once again facing intense persecution for preaching the Gospel and
declaring Jesus as the Son of God. The difficulty Paul faced isn’t what grabbed my attention, but
rather the response of those who opposed him. These would stop at nothing to hinder Paul from
preaching Jesus or “The Truth,” but we find an interesting fact in this verse. Even though they despised Paul and his message “Truth”, these were forced to admit they had “turned the world upside down.”
Adversity seemed present at every stop, but Paul and others were making an impact on the world. They
were reaching people for Jesus. I have read that passage in Acts 17 many times and it always challenges and inspires me. God was using the ministry of Paul in such a way that others were forced to notice. Not everyone received Christ as their Savior, but Paul influenced every society he encountered. I am convinced that is what the Lord desires of us as well. Times have changed, our challenges are different, but our obligation to impact others and reach the world for Christ and with the truth has not. As I pondered Acts 17:6 again, I wondered what made the difference in Paul’s ministry.
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spiritual level Paul did, but God is no respecter of persons. If He was willing to use them in such a
way as to turn the world upside down, He can do the same through us. To understand the magnitude of their influence, we need to go to the beginning of this ministry. Over this series I want to consider the events that led up to this powerful declaration. I trust this study will challenge and equip us to turn the world upside down for Jesus. So, let’s take a few moments to consider the principles revealed in our text as we think on:
The text reveals the starting point that led Paul to have such an impact. If we are to make an impact, we must follow the biblical examples left for us. Notice what the scripture says, “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.” This reveals several simple and yet significant principles in our quest to impact our world for Jesus relating to the church. The text references the church that was at Antioch. Now that may seem insignificant, but it reveals a great challenge to me. It was no accident the church was in Antioch. God had sovereignly placed it there for a purpose.
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We also discover that within the church at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers. Simply God had gifted certain individuals with gifts to carry out the ministry. He had equipped them to be successful in their endeavors. Surely Antioch was different from other churches, but she had what she needed to reach others. God had ensured that through the giving of gifts. Many times, we hear excuses when it comes to the work of the Lord. If only we had the resources a sister church has. If only we had the talent, they have. If only we were better equipped, we could accomplish more. We must look to God through eyes of faith, fully assured that He has equipped us to perform the work He has called us to. You are unique, and you have what you need to be successful for God if we will only use what God has given us by faith in Him.