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Friday, December 14, 2012

Acts 17:6

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;
For further study - Acts 17:1-14

This passage in Acts, "The Action Book" of first century Christianity is a record of Paul's visit to Thessalonica and also to Berea.

This second missionary journey of Paul would result in a number of Greeks and Jews coming to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. The trip also relates the story of how young Timothy got involved in Paul's ministry, Acts 16:1-5.

Paul arrives in Thessalonica and goes to the synagogue for three weeks straight to reason with the Jews about Jesus Christ. This method of evangelism is one that Paul used very effectively.

As a result of Paul's reasoning with the Jews from the scriptures in the synagogues, there were a number who trusted Jesus as Lord and Saviour. We must "reason from the scriptures" when we work at the ministry of evangelism.

It is also interesting that Paul went into the synagogue, "as his manner was", verse 2. The synagogue system was not developed until the Babylonian Captivity when the Jews were out of the land, without a Temple, thus the need for a "worship center".

All along God had a plan to use the "synagogues as centers of evangelism". God's plan always works best. We need to find out what His plan is and join Him as a “partner” in that ministry plan.

By the way, notice that Paul was only there for three weeks and with the converts he started a church. It was to these "young Christians" that Paul wrote a letter, I Thessalonians, explaining the "Rapture".

This was "real meat” for young Christians. The "town fathers" did not like what was happening under Paul's ministry and they called together some of the new converts to try and downplay the working of God.

I love the phrase in verse 6, "these that have turned the world upside down are come hither also". Oh, that we could be referred to as those who are “turning the world upside down”.

The motivation of these "world turners" was their understanding that the return of Jesus Christ could happen at any moment, thus they went forward with intensity to serve Him before He did return.

This is evident by what Paul wrote these new converts in Thessalonica about the Rapture, I Thessalonians 4:13-18. As we become more aware of the soon return of the Lord we will go forth to do ministry as those who were turning the world upside down.

Just one last thought from Paul's sojourn in Berea. He preached there and the Bereans heard the Word and then searched the scriptures to see if Paul was correct, verse 11.

This is a great principle, hear the Word preached and study the Scriptures for yourselves to see if the preacher is Biblically correct. Please apply this principle to my teaching.

PRAYER THOT: Help me dear Lord, to understand the Scriptures, in particular the prophetic Scriptures, and then to apply them to my daily life as I await Your call at the Rapture to join You in the heavenlies.