Faithlife Sermons

Turning The World Upside Down

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Acts 17:6 NKJV
6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.

1. Paul formed a habit of preaching the gospel.

Acts 17:1–2 NKJV
1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
Acts 17:10–12 NKJV
10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.
Paul and Silas faced continuous persecution - yet they continued to preach the gospel!
They were obeying Christ’s command.
Mark 16:15 NKJV
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
This command consumed Paul.
1 Corinthians 9:19 NKJV
19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more;
Paul wanted his fellow man to enjoy the same salvation he enjoyed.
1 John 1:1–10 NKJV
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. 5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Do we really love our neighbors as we love ourselves?

2. Paul formed a strategy for preaching the gospel.

Acts 17:1–2 NKJV
1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
It was Paul’s custom to start at the synagogue.
Acts 22:19–21 NKJV
19 So I said, ‘Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on You. 20 And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ 21 Then He said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.’ ”
So why did Paul go to the synagogues?
He was already known.
Most likely his conversion was known.
His name was known.
It was the easiest place to begin to build relationships.
He had a common thread with the Jews.
He also knew that he would find gentiles that were already interested in the things of God.
Remember Lydia.
This was an important strategy.
Imagine entering a city that has 0% christian population.
Not to mention they are steeped in a tradition of worshiping pagan God’s.
Romans 15:20 NKJV
20 And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation,
THIS should be the church’s church planting strategy.
THINK ABOUT IT… What if God moved our entire church to a third world country that understood nothing of our American culture?
How would we live the great commission?
How would we start a church?
Paul didn’t use programs.
Paul built relationships.
Paul had a simple strategy but it was an intentional strategy.
He had a plan to live the mission God had given him.
What about you? Do you have a strategy?
Do you put yourself in places to build relationships with lost people?
Luke 19:10 NKJV
10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Seek // to plot against - to strategize against.
I can give you two examples of people that Christ strategized against - to bring them to himself.

3. Paul formed his gospel conversations through scripture.

Acts 17:3–4 NKJV
3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.
The fear is often… what do I say?
It is pretty simple but it means you have to do some studying.

(3) A. He reasoned with the lost using scripture.

He dialogued with them - had a conversation with them.
Remember Lydia - he sat down and talked to her.
They had asked questions and he answered them.
He debated with them.
He countered their points.
BUT - he did it all through scripture!!
He didn’t reason with them through his own intellect.
He never took the focus off Christ.

(3) B. He expounded scripture to the lost.

He thoroughly explained it.
The Jews were used to scripture being read, but now Paul was explaining to them what it meant.
Paul was revealing to them something that was previously hidden.
Paul is literally helping them connect the dots to understand salvation!
We always need to be ready to give a tract or walk through the plan of salvation at a moments notice.
However, that is not doing what Paul did here!
Someone asked me the other day about the Romans road. - I NO LONGER THINK IN THOSE TERMS.
Here’s the challenge - could you do what Paul did?
We have the same command that Paul had.

(3) C. He demonstrate scripture to the lost.

Paul illustrated or proved his point.
It is the same word used in the gospels when it says Jesus “put forth” or “put before” them.
Paul has a certain skill and confidence articulating God’s Word.
This is a skill that can and should be learned.
2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
What did Paul demonstrate?
That Christ HAD to suffer and rise again.
We can’t properly share the gospel without talking about the sinfulness and hopelessness of mankind.
We MUST be able to clearly walk someone through scripture.
We are trying to give you every opportunity to do that.
Ephesians clearly says that it is MY role as the pastor to equip you to do that.
So come tonight!

What were the results of Paul’s actions?

Many believed.

Acts 17:4 NKJV
4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.
Acts 17:12 NKJV
12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.
God’s Word is a powerful tool.
We are not necessarily looking for MANY. We are looking for ONE.
If God used His word to bring Many, couldn’t He use His Word for ONE?
Let me share an AHA moment with you that proves the value of Bible study with unbelievers.
I just made a video about context.
We always talk about the Berean church and their love for scripture...
Acts 17:10–12 NKJV
10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.
(SLIDES)
The unsaved Jews received the Word with readiness and they studied them on their own.
This shows how the Holy Spirit works in salvation.
This also shows the fruit of explaining God’s Word well.
SO...
Those in Thessalonica were convinced through Paul’s teaching of the Word.
Those in Berea believed because they studied themselves.

Many were upset.

Acts 17:5–9 NKJV
5 But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. 7 Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.” 8 And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things. 9 So when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.
Acts 17:13 NKJV
13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came there also and stirred up the crowds.
The Jews were upset - ENVIOUS -
The Jewish leaders were jealous of Paul’s success.
They went and found bums -
They got them to create a riot.
They went so far as to attack the person they were staying with.
“taken security” means they let them out on bond.
Once again we see them lying about the message of the gospel.
We should not be surprised when living by biblical principals are made to look like we are breaking the law.
Then they followed them to Berea and ran them out.
Let’s take a minute and look at the bigger picture.
THIS is still the great Macedonian call!
Acts 17:6 NKJV
6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.
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