“And when 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” (Acts 17:6).
Without meaning to, a rioting mob of unbelieving Thessalonians paid the greatest of compliments when they described Paul, Silas, and Timothy as men who had “turned the world upside down.” As one commentator wrote, “God willing and blessing, people would say such things about the effectiveness of Christians today.” The world needs to be turned upside down.
How can a few men turn the world upside down? All they did was bring good news to others. They had no power in themselves, but they did have a powerful message, a gospel that “is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Rom. 1:16). They had a message of a Savior Who came to this world to pay the price for all our sins by His death and to defeat death by rising from the grave. All these men did was talk about Christ wherever they went, and because of people responding in faith and being given true hope and being transformed by God’s grace, the world was turned upside down.
The irony is that, as they faithfully proclaimed the gospel of Christ, these men of God were actually turning the world right-side up! But when one is upside down, right-side up appears to be upside down. When sin and the curse entered the world, the world was instantly turned upside down. Sin deceives, and unbelievers think their version of the world is right-side up, when in fact it is upside down in the sight of a holy and righteous God.
The world thinking the world is right-side up is due to “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Eph. 4:18). But after we trust the gospel of the grace of God, the Holy Spirit, by His Word, changes our thinking, values, and morality to be in line with God and His standards. As a result, the world views believers as strange, different, and upside-down, when in truth, we have been turned right-side up by Christ!
The gospel of grace revolutionized and upset the world as the Thessalonians knew it, but it did so for the eternal best. The gospel is what this upside-down world needs. It is God’s way of making things right.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.