Tuesday, September 30, 2014

THEY TURNED THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN

“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too” (Acts 17:6, NKJV). Whose world is upside down? It is that religious circle where nobody takes the kingship of Christ seriously.

A minister’s wife here in New York City told me, “Times Square Church has upset just about every charismatic church in the city! You know that, don't you?” I did not know that. I don’t know if, in fact, it is true. But if it is, and if it is because of arrogance in this pulpit or from people going out bragging that this is the only church preaching real holiness, then we would be in great error. But on the other hand, if ministers and congregations are getting “turned upside down” because we preach the uncompromising kingship of Christ—if people are leaving some of those churches because their sin was not exposed and challenged—if people go from here, becoming more like Jesus, walking in His purity—then we are upsetting people for the right reasons!

I can assure you from the Word of God that nothing shakes up or angers dead, compromising churches and preachers more than someone moving in the fullness of Christ—someone who lives and preaches Paul’s demanding gospel of holiness. It’s a reproof! In every church you will find a few “devout” Christians, as Paul called them. But the day you say with Paul, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:8) is the day you are marked as a troublemaker! 


“The brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night” (Acts 17:10). Once again it looked as if Satan had won the battle, with Paul and Silas having to sneak out of town in the dark of night. Just imagine the proud boastings of the people on the next Sabbath: “Some revival that was! We were here before they came and we’re here when they’re gone. People just don’t want that kind of preaching around here! Let’s go on with God with no more interruptions from these holiness agitators!” But Paul and Silas had so turned the converts’ eyes off themselves and onto Jesus that they could leave town and the body would still flourish there. Under persecution the church in Thessalonica became so strong in faith that they became a powerful witness to all of Asia. And they became the joy of Paul’s heart!