“And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also… “(Acts 17:6)
During the Apostle Paul’s brief stay in Thessalonica, he (and Silas) did something so atrocious and vile that the locals riled the crowds to destroy them. What did Paul say to cause such an uproar worthy of death? The Acts narrative presents the condemning evidence, “And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ” (Acts 17:2-3). The anger at these words was so great that once the crowd realized that Paul had left town they sought to harm Jason and other new converts that were known to provide shelter for Paul. This gospel proclamation caused such anger, bitterness, and jealousy among many of the hearers that they believed the world to have been turned upside down.
Paul understood the inherent dangers of speaking these words as he had previously been beaten, stoned, and left for dead for doing so. Paul, knowing that presenting Christ could lead to torture or even death was unhindered and unrelenting as he carried with him the only remedy for man’s depravity and hopelessness. This message carries the same power and potentially the same consequences 2000 years later as it has truly turned the world upside down while it turns many souls right side up. Modern Christian leaders are commanded to present this same truth regardless of the consequences as the message is truly the difference between life and death.
-Soli Deo Gloria