Faithlife Sermons

To Turn the World Upside Down

Book of Acts  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Paul and Silas were accused of "turning the world upside down" because of the impact their ministry had in Thessalonica. What does it take to have such an impact on our world?

Paul and Silas had just been released from the prison in Philippi and were now continuing their journey westward in the region of Macedonia intent on furthering the gospel into new cities and towns who had not yet been reached.
Paul and Silas had varying levels of seeming success at each stop along their missionary journey, but in Thessalonica they would experience a powerful move of God.
The impact there was so tremendous that the opposition to their ministry would accuse them of literally turning their world upside down.
It ought to be our desire to have the same impact in our communities, but there are some hallmarks of Paul and Silas’s ministry that ultimately allowed them to make such a great impact.
We know that what was done was entirely due to the working of the mighty power of God but Paul and Silas would never experienced such a miraculous revival if not for their commitment and their perseverance.
The hallmarks of Paul and Silas’s ministry were:


Paul and Silas were absolutely committed to their missionary ministry.
They would turn the world upside down because of their commitment to:
The Scriptures (Vs. 2-3)
Paul and Silas were absolutely committed to the Word of God and it was the scriptures that they would preach not man’s opinions.
If we are going to turn the world upside down we must also remain committed to the scriptures. There are many today whose message does not originate in the Word of God.
The world will not be turned upside down through motivational speeches or feel good sermons but by the preaching of the scriptures.
If we want to make an impact on our world it begins with the scriptures. Our own opinions and thoughts will not suffice, we need the Word of God.
Hebrews 4:12- the word of God quick and powerful
Paul did not reason with the Thessalonians from his own intellect or from philosophy but from the scriptures.
The Savior (Vs. 3b & 6-8)
There was no doubt where Paul and Silas’s allegiance lay. They were loyally committed to Christ above all others.
The accusation brought against them was that they were not loyal to the Caesar, but instead they insisted that there was another king who had their loyalty, the king of kings, Jesus Christ!
If we are going to turn the world upside down we must have an unassailable loyalty to Jesus Christ. There must be no question where our allegiance lies.
For a temporary time we have made a decision to meet together through means of livestreaming but this is not because of our allegiance to our government, rather it is because of a concern for the health and safety of our church and our community.
As soon as this threat is passed we will again gather together physically to worship our savior. There may come a point in the future when our allegiance could be tested and we must choose sides. For Paul and Silas it was known that they were on the Lord’s side and that He was the one to whom they were committed.
In order to turn the world upside down we must yield our allegiance to Christ and let nothing prevent us following and serving Him.
Many professing believers today are more loyal to a sports team or a television show than they are to Christ and unless we repent and renew our commitment to Christ we will never make much of an impact upon this world.
We must ask ourselves is Christ the one who has our allegiance or are there other things that we have allowed to take priority in our lives?


The second hallmark of Paul and Silas’s ministry springs from the first. Their commitment led them to persevere.
We must recognize that the work of God is not something that we endeavor to do because of the results we see. There may be times when the results seem small and it seems that we have little success but our commitment to the Lord should cause us to persevere.
If not for their perseverance Paul and Silas would never have made it to Thessalonica to witness the mighty work of God that took place there.
Paul and Silas exhibited perseverance in the face of:
Paul and Silas knew that to proclaim the gospel and to preach Christ would bring persecution and danger, but they were determined to persevere.
Even as they arrived in Thessalonica, surely they had not forgotten about the beating and imprisonment at Philippi. Yet they were determined to proclaim the gospel once again no matter the danger.
If we want to turn the world upside down, we must persevere in the midst of danger. Paul and Silas did not seek out danger, but they also did not allow danger to deter them from preaching Christ!
We do not face the threat of physical harm or imprisonment for our preaching of the gospel at this point in time, but if it comes to that will we be deterred because of danger?
Though we may not face physical persecution there are other dangers that are just as real, the danger of being ridiculed by our peers, the danger of being rejected by those we attempt to reach, the danger of being labeled a fanatic or a bigot, the danger of embarrassment and sometimes even harassment because of our stand for the truth.
We must determine now that we will persevere in the face of danger and continue to follow Christ and to proclaim the Word of God.
Paul and Silas also persevered often in the face of great difficulty. Time and time again they would overcome obstacles to continue to carry out the commission that God had given them.
They faced hearts hardened by idolatry and false religion and yet they continued to preach the Word of God. Notice even in Thessalonica Paul reasoned with them for three weeks time before they finally believed.
Paul and Silas would often be presented with great obstacles but in each instance they would trust God and find a way to persevere.
They would face hunger, nakedness, shipwreck, and miles and miles of difficult travel yet they would persevere to carry to gospel to another city!
If we are going to turn the world upside down we must have perseverance. We cannot allow a few obstacles or difficulties to stop us doing what God has called us to do.
Today there are certainly obstacles to proclaiming the gospel, but we must persevere. Why not share your testimony on social media or call or text a friend to tell them about Jesus? Why not turn the obstacles that are before us into an opportunity!
Whatever comes our way we must persevere in the work that God has called us to do because there are still thousands who need to hear the gospel in our community and millions around the world.
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