Right Side Up

thCANMSS8ODuring the Apostle Paul’s second missionary trip he and Silas traveled to Thessalonica. Paul first went into the synagogue as was his custom to reason with the Jews and demonstrate to them using the Scriptures that Jesus was indeed the Christ. The apostle said flat out, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” (Acts 17:3) As a result “some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.” (v4)

Uh-oh! The Jews that were not persuaded got all riled up. They recruited a mob and attacked Jason’s house because they thought the missionaries were staying there. Paul and Silas weren’t there, but they dragged Jason and some of the brethren to the city rulers and cried out: “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” (vs. 5-6)

Is that right? Is that what Paul and Silas were doing in Thessalonica? Were they turning the world upside down? Or were they turning the world right side up? The world got turned upside down in Eden. It was there the ground was cursed and the cattle and every beast of the field. It was there the woman received pain in childbirth – a reminder of sin passing to the children instead of the blessings of Eden. There the woman and the man lost their intended harmony, trading it for contentions and self-will. There the man lost the ease to gather food from the trees and vine and gained sweat-soaked toil, thorns, thistles and a return to the ground from which he came. It was there mankind exchanged walks with God in the cool of the day for self-determination and therefore separation. (Genesis, from chp.3)

And there the Gospel was first made known: “And I (God) will put enmity between you (Satan) and the woman, and between your seed (Devil and his children – John 8:44; Ephesians 2:2-3) and her Seed (Christ); He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15) Those in the woman’s Seed (God’s children – John 1:12-13; Romans 8:14-16) are enjoined to “overcome him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…and have been given the ministry and word of reconciliation.” (Revelation 12:11; II Corinthians 5:18-19) We are ambassadors for Christ (v 20) called to represent Him, engage with Him, and cooperate with Him in the redemption of mankind and all of creation.

What an awesome calling! Herein is the abundant life, the adventurous life – not the accumulation of toys and trinkets and stuff and self-love – but rather being “workers together with Him” (II Corinthians 6:1) turning this world right side up and declaring to the fields white for harvest, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (v 2)

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