- Steven Chapman
Turn The World Upside-Down
Do you want to change the world? You might be thinking, “Of course I do but I’m just a pretty ordinary person. Most days I can hardly manage to change my printer cartridge, much less the world.”
I understand, but consider this: Two millennia ago a group of believers in Jesus Christ, led by twelve men, armed with little more than the message of the gospel, turned the world completely upside down. This was a relatively small group of believers who began meeting in an obscure upstairs room. They lacked almost every advantage we enjoy today. They didn’t have mass media, computer and satellite technology, or stadium rallies.
Yet, the church they founded not only survived but flourished. We being attacked spiritually and physically, this small group spread the good news of salvation. From every perspective – spiritual, historical, and political – they left the world a different place from the way they found it.
You might say, “They weren’t like us. They were a bunch of radicals, right?”
Not at all. The early Christians were simply living according to what Jesus taught. What we consider to be radical behavior was nothing more than a sincere attempt to live obediently. What many of us consider normal Christian living -compared to what the first church experienced- is not normal at all. It’s, as author Greg Laurie describes, “woefully inadequate and, as a result, pitifully ineffective.”
When unbelievers said of the early church that they “turned the world upside down”, it was meant as a criticism. Everywhere the disciples shared Christ, they upset the norm. They changed the way people saw religion, God, politics, church and personal relationships.
Jesus said in John 18:36: “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews.” He was saying, “My people aren’t going to act the way you expect because I operate from completely different principles and goals.
Then, as now, it was really sinful people whose ideas were all turned around. So when the early Church was said to be turning the world upside down, the were actually putting right what had been wrong since the fall of humanity in the Garden of Eden.
This is why the greatest compliment the church today could receive would be to have people complain that we are turning the world on its ear. If we aren’t being accused of this, it’s likely because we’re operating according to the principles of this world instead of according to God’s upside-down principles.