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Turning the World Upside Down (Pt. 2)

The Verdict / John Munro
The Truth Network Radio
March 4, 2019 9:52 am

Turning the World Upside Down (Pt. 2)

The Verdict / John Munro

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March 4, 2019 9:52 am

Dr. John H. Munro Closing of Missions Conference 2019 March 3, 2019 Acts 17:1-9

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The turn to acts chapter 17 that we looked at last week and is returning there again the reminder about the card at the end of the service of going to challenge you to respond to come forward and leave these cards here.

The front so you may be want to begin to put in your name and address and other details there and that to be praying as to how the Lord will have you respond to the call of missions which is for each one of us. Every believer in Jesus Christ. Acts chapter 17. Now the theme of this conference is turning the world upside down. Again we start in verse two Paul 110 that that is to the synagogue of the Jews in Thessalonica. Paul went in as was his custom and on 37 days. He reasoned with them from the Scriptures. Notice that from the Scriptures explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead and saying this Jesus whom I proclaim to you is the Christ.

Talk about coming the world upside down. How would you approach going to the synagogue to speak to people who do not believe that Jesus is the Christ. Many of us would have been tempted to temper out with the message to take the apartment. Foolishness of the gospel, but notice what Paul does from the Scriptures. He reasons and proves that Jesus is the Christ is the Messiah.

Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas as that a great many of the divided Greeks another few of the leading woman.

But the Jews were jealous and taking some wicked men of the rabble. They formed a mob set the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason seeking to bring them out to the crowd when they could not find find them. They dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting these men who have turned the world upside down have come here also said as a criticism said is an accusation how wonderful here in the first century that is, I head-on attack by the kingdom of God against the kingdom of darkness and these men have turned the world upside down even about a superficial reading of the Gospels makes it very clear that the message of Jesus is countercultural, yet I think here sadly North America.

Many churches are in danger of measuring the culture rather than standing against it. In order to be thought of as cool, exciting, cutting-edge, which in some churches appear to be the highest priority days.

The message sometimes becomes just an inspirational sales pitch quickly applauded and just as quickly forgotten. Many years ago AW tolls or rights. One of the most popular of current errors in his writing. Many years ago and the 100 of which brings most of the noisy blustering religious activity and evangelical circles is the notion that as times change. The church must change with them.

Christians must adapt their methods by the demands of the people Paul warns us against that in two Timothy four. If they want 10 minute sermons give them 10 minute sermons. If you want truth in capsule form given to them. They want pictures, give them plenty of pictures or the like stories tell them stories closer was a prophet is aware and saying this is happening and that his prophecy sadly has become true.

But what was a pattern of the New Testament.

The early Christians as we just read what accused of turning the world upside down. That was countercultural Christianity. They were regarded as troublemakers because their message was in direct conflict with the culture and with the various religions of the day. So as I say, when Paul goes to the synagogue.

He opens the Scriptures and proves that Jesus is the Christ.

Listen to the words of Jesus.

If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you out of the world, the world would love you as its own, but because your knowledge of the world, but I chose you out of the world. Therefore the world hates you. I counter cultural Christianity unsorted the apostles. There they preached Christ crucified that was countercultural and not surprisingly, they were persecuted they were driven from their homes that were beaten there were imprisoned and some of them were martyred. Could it be that one of the reasons why the church of Jesus Christ of North America is largely so weak is because we have blended with a culture we have accommodated the culture rather than standing against it instead of the church of Jesus Christ turning the world upside down. All too often the world turns the church upside down and there becomes little difference between the outside culture and the church. So the quality of the gospel saying holy living.

The teaching of doctrine, the truth of eternal judgment are often downplayed their marginalized if not I will rightly deny and reject what are we to do as a church.

We must stand uncompromising on God's eternal truth and on the gospel. This is the treasurer. This is the deposit of truth entrusted to us.

We must never ever excel out to the ever changing trends and shifting sands of our culture. Much of the present emphasis in churches of his own social justice not authentic followers of Jesus have always been concerned with justice and social justice in society and we should be but our first priority. I say our first priority must always be the mission entrusted to us of being and making authentic followers of Jesus Christ. Have you noticed that unbelievers are quite willing to partner with us are quite willing to and to accept on on crucified Jesus. Jesus was a moral teacher, Jesus and who Jesus was an inspiring example of love. I kind of go to someone who gives you insights into life, even a prophet.

The unbelieving world is willing to have a Jesus like that. But that kind of Jesus rarely offends that kind of Jesus is politically correct but none crucified Jesus never saves under none crucified Christ is not the gospel of God.

And so when Paul in the part of the spirit goes to the pagan city of Corinth. What does he preach he says. First Corinthians 2 verse two I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. He realizes that the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. Yes, he says I know that but to us who believe it's the wisdom of God and the power of God, the power of God. We understand the power of God in our lives because we been saved is this marvelous that the power of God is supremely revealed in the cross of Christ and the redemption of lost sinners being saved through the blood of his cross, and this power, the power of God and the gospel is greater than any other power greater than atomic powder nuclear power.

The power which takes wicked sinners like us from all over the world.

Whether we are, washes us in the blood of Christ dresses us with the righteousness of Christ, that is powder that's the greatest cloud in the universe. That's a part of the cross. That's the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ for salvation to everyone who believes, and it is only that power which is going to turn the world upside down. I have to ask you as you sit there. Do you know the power do you know the plywood of God in your own life. We discard the testimony of this young man in the slums of Kenya whose imprisoned here is the gospel and his life is turned upside down. That happened to you.

You have just sit there. The assurance that your sins are forgiven that you've had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. If that is the case, why should we ever be ashamed of the gospel. Why is it were sometimes fearful and telling our friends and family and neighbors and colleagues that there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. This is the power of God. The last Sunday reminded ourselves of our mission and is a divine mission is amazing that we didn't think our present mission, which originates with Calvary church, but with the risen Christ who tells us to go and make disciples of all the nations, and in that commission. Jesus makes a wonderful promise that we live in that we cherish that he is with us to the end of the age when adult was with one another. Friends and family were not always there were not always with her brothers and sisters I Calvary church. Sometimes as we stand for Christ with a long, but we have this assurance that Christ is with us not only an assurance of his presence, but also these power, the power of God the Holy Spirit, God working in us and through us that the strategy isn't it for turning the world upside time by personally experiencing the gospel ourselves hearing the voice of Christ go and make disciples of all the nations assured of his presence and filled with his power that is our mission of turning the world upside down is going to be accomplished only through the power of the spirit has you to go back a few chapters of human acts 17 to asked to and see what happens to the early church when they obey Christ they hear the commission go and make disciples of all the nations there told to wait in Jerusalem and they will receive the power of the Holy Spirit. What happens then how does this work out how would we know that divine mission is being accomplished with divine power and the power of the Holy Spirit. Well, let me suggest to you for months to three things. First of all biblical and Christ centered preaching and teaching what was the outstanding effect of the pouring out of the spirit in acts chapter 2, the common answer might be times, signs and wonders, but as you read. Acts chapter 2.

That doesn't dominate acts chapter 2. What dominates its leaders powerful preaching which dominates and in his message.

Look at verse 14.

It is Peter, standing up at Pentecost. What's he going to remember these people just crucified the Savior 50 days later he standing is allowed and dying time Jerusalem, standing up with 11, he lifted up his voice and address them.

Men of Judah, Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give ear to my words, for these men are not drunk, as you suppose.

Sins is only the third hour of the day. This is what was altered through the prophet Joel and as you reach what Peter said recommended to your he courts extensively from Scripture from Joel chapter 2 from second Samuel seven from Psalm 16 and Psalm 110 one my saying.

I'm saying that his preaching is grounded in and flows from Scripture. Paul does the same in acts chapter 17 in the synagogue at Thessalonica. As I read Peter does not give his own ideas. Peter does not even talk about his own experience is interesting, although they were.

He demonstrates certainly is not binding by Jewish tradition, he proclaims the word of God and the power of the spirit with super natural consequences and notice leaders. Preaching is not only biblical, it is Christ centered, wicked verse 22. Think of the boldness of this man, Peter, men of Israel, hear these words, Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know this Jesus delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death because it was not possible for him to be held by Peter presents Jesus the one who is exalted to the father's right hand, the one that was put to death on the cross for the sins of the world, the one who was raised from the dead and the one who is now exalted and Peter is saying he is the only Savior of sinners.

Boldness, what transformed Peter how is it that initially when Christ was crucified. There were so afraid.

What made the difference. Only days later he standing up and giving such a powerful message. One is he knows is biblical is based on Scripture. Secondly, he's a witness to the resurrection.

Third, he's filled with the spirit of God is a where we are filled with the spirit of God will not speak so much about ourselves but we will make much of Christ.

Much of the gospel of grace and so as we do missions here locally and globally. Here is our strategy.

We communicate not ourselves. We communicate not Calvary church, Calvary church, we communicate the word of God.

The gospel in the power of God to all the nations, and that's what they do next to as the first, second, what is the result the salvation and the transformation of life's verse 14 and with many other words he bore witness and continue to exhort them, saying, save yourselves from this crooked generation not really very seeker friendly as it talk about countercultural preaching.

He says your electrical generation, we say our generation. North America is crooked absolutely was a result so those who received his word were baptized, and what I did that day about 3000 souls. Once a result of Peter's biblical and Christ centered preaching and proclamation 3000 souls are saved, baptized in accordance with the great commission that is at the very heart of our mission is the winning of souls that the gospel of God's grace is central to all that we are and do here and over say sees. We believe that there is a heaven on the hell we believe that what all of eternity will either be in heaven or in the L and therefore our first priority is the preaching of the gospel that men and women than boys and girls wherever they are, may know that there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved for by grace are you saved us safe, says Paul, through faith and that not of yourself. It's a gift of God not of your wrongdoing not of works, lest anyone should boast. And when that glorious simple message is proclaimed.

That is the salvation of lives and the transformation of life's once the third result when divine mission is done in divine power that is a growing church. Verse 42 and they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. What should the church we doing here it is, and all came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles and all who believed were gathered together and had all things in common that were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.

And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes.

They received their foot with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people and the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. Do you find it interesting that the very first thing that liquid cards in acts two, verse 42 that these converts. After they were saved and there were baptized within the first two verse 42 they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching the spirit filled church is devoted to doctrine to biblical teaching. It is Christ centered in this Bible centered. It's not self-centered, but this is also a church. Luke tells us where there is great love. The love and care for one another. We must never forget that every person that we meet is to be loved is to be cared for is to be introduced to the love of God's new community. We are that through the testimonies of these three couples this morning. The importance of the community of believers that when an individual is saved in this baptized the needs to be part of the local church so there that they receive the love in the care and the encouragement and the prayers of the brothers and sisters and to focus on doctrine without love misses the point completely. Doesn't it. The fruit of the spirit is first love. Everything we do must be done in love Paul he said in Romans five verse five to the believers in Rome that God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit is been given to us.

So the mission produces allow for the word of God produces love and care, and then Luke goes on to describe the charges as a praying church and as you read the book of acts. You understand that this early church was a church on their knees church acknowledging that they needed the pilot of God they needed the help of God, they could never do it on their own and is also a church which praises God. There's the spirit of God through his worship and praise to God spirit filled worshiper resonates with the greatness of God and the goodness of God and the grace of God and one happens the church grows Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. Verse 437 then those saved nurtured in the local church are sent out to tell others the same message of the gospel so that they in turn can be saved so that they in turn can be introduced to Christ, so that they in turn become be part of that of a church so that the great commission is accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit to all the nations that what this it mean for you.

Was it mean for me was it mean for Calvary church to turn the world upside down.

What it means first of all, your life must be turned upside down. You must be saved by the grace of God coming to church even being a member of church of Calvary is not the point. I'm glad you're here. Glad to remember Calvary. Another member, you should be, but something more radical as needed. A personal encounter with Christ that determines our world upside down saved by the grace of God. Understanding the God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have ever lasting life. Do you know the Savior you repented of your sin and embrace the Savior, the great opportunity today missions conference to have your personal world turned upside down and this certainly means that those of us who are saved by the grace of God must all every single one of us, not just missionaries, not just pastors but every single one of us.

We must be a witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have to ask myself as I look back over my life. Sometimes why have I sometimes hesitated to share the gospel.

Why is it that we have so many churches in Charlotte and in a sense so little impact in the unbelieving community and culture seeing the power of God in the lives of others, you say well it's hard that's tough. You don't know my family. You don't know who I work with is all right for you.

You work with all of these godly pastors here in Calgary but I got it will do Wells Fargo tomorrow.

I've got to go to UNC Charlotte. I got it with a LogiCal high school. You don't know my neighbors you don't know how disparaging my father is against the gospel. I may not know all of that but have to tell you yes if we are faithful as witnesses of Jesus Christ.

There is opposition, there is hostility, not everyone will believe not everyone enthusiastically embraces Christ. That's what the book of acts is telling us that's why they say they turn the world upside down. Yes, there is opposition. Yes, you may be rejected, but you understand this, Christ is with you and he gives you all of the power all of the help you need to be a witness for Jesus Christ. We must engage our world. Your world, your sphere of influence where you live, where you work, you must engage in will not retreat from it into a kind of holy huddle healer Calvary church. You are to love those around you are a wonderful story from our missionaries who typically were the language and what did they do the show the love of Christ. That's just not forget today that is not just for Senegal mass for Fort Marilyn's Veronica less foresight.

Charlotte has footnotes. Charlotte is whatever God's place to that you are known as a person of love and of kindness and think of all of the marvelous opportunities we have it calibrate numerous of them where we can serve in obedience to Christ's commission and filled with Christ's power. Turn your world in my world and our world upside down for Christ that you want an easy life, you want a comfortable life.

You just go on this to do what you want, but then we the beginning of this year as we look to the opening verses of Romans 12 and I gave the challenge to each one of you who know Christ to accept the challenge for walk total commitment not being conformed to the world. If you conformed to the world 11 easy life will be quite comfortable. You'll just blend in with the unbelievers, but this is the very opposite of what the New Testament is telling us. God calls us to worship him and to serve him of the morning, just a few days ago. I leave the front door to pick up the Charlotte Observer was delivered to her home and that it is as I'm picking it up. I think the sound is just about to come up. I hear a loud noise and I understand then it's a bird singing and we have a trees right outside my study list on the here of course is no leaves and I deny I love conflict is that I choose bird and there. This is you handling other birds at the house for and should not by the red on his hand on this red on his chest and that it was and it was just like that with his head back and it was singing his little heart out making a tremendous knowledge for a little bird so I stood there I saw a right the top. I said little bird. This is a very sophisticated neighborhood and is a very quiet neighborhood and some of our neighbors are still asleep why you're making such a nice a tiny little bird little bird would dine at me and said for my little tree I've seen you studying your Bible, you seem to have forgotten something I said was that he said if you never read the last verse of Psalm 150. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord in this little bird said I'm singing praise to my creator who has chosen to give me a very very powerful voice. You've heard these little birds is amazing isn't it that so it's nice can come from such a tiny tiny creature and we who follow Christ have we not received a powerful voice.

I don't mean that local guards I'm in the parlor of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And just as we communicate that message. People may think sometimes we are noisy people may think what troublemakers people may think were all hard to prove.

The only student in her class pending for Jesus Christ, but God has made us to praise him. God has made us to worship him and God, who is saved us has kept us here on planet earth until that great day when we will see Christ face-to-face and kept us here so that we may sing his praises and that we may declare the wonder, the marvelous wonder of his love, which reaches down to every single person as we point them to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. I would ask you to be a witness for Christ. Take this response card. Just look at it, believing that God has spoken to me about serving him and says I make the following commitment to be available. Are you available career mission service full-time.

I say this every year and I pray for it every year and so far the Lord hasn't answered my prayer.

I pray this year again that one of our pastors will feel called to full-time missions.

You say that because you want to get rid of one or two of them. That's another reason absolutely no privilege to work with very very godly man whom I love in Christ, and who love me know in the last church. Three of our pastors were called to full-time service and their overseas. What about an elders.

What about the deacons what the weather Sunday school teachers online group leaders. What about those who say we really deepen the word of God what is God saying to you, you say well done. I'm not a pastor I'm just a new believer in Christ exactly you're the very person that God is calling to serve a short-term mission service international go trips we have them all the time. What a wonderful opportunity to go to another part of the world normally were partnering with one of our missionaries to encourage them to help them in their ministry.

Think of local missions.

We have sports right here with petabyte sports Minister of Transport always meeting Coach would like some of you doing that teaching English as a second language. We have thousands upon thousands of internationals coming to Charlotte and hundreds of them come here to learn English and we love to teach them English but we also love to teach them the gospel you be willing to serve their street ministry ministry of compassion to the homeless urban ministries prison ministry to the jails. What about your own family. What about your work as you sit there you suddenly realize and are convicted by the spirit that you have worked in that office. In that situation for five years and you have not yet shared Christ maybe wonderful to respond and you see in that others other: to put dine my work, my neighborhood, my family, to tell those around of the wonder of Christ.

What is done in your life.

Just think of all of us in our own little way.

Is it where like that little bird singing praises to God, I was going to say to her by the way, I think it would be flat. I would preferred B-flat, but think about little direct end of the impact so that our neighborhood could hear it.

You may be a little boy little girl you may be a new believer in Christ, and God takes you and from your small voice is aware, but with the power of the Holy Spirit you will see the world turned upside on this is our mission, turning the world upside 94 Jesus Christ and the power of the spirit

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