This Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. Acts17:3
“If you wonder why the first century church turned the world upside down and why we do not, it is because they preached the gospel, and we do not. ” ~ quote from “Hearts for the Lost”.
The gospel that was preached in the first century offended the establishment Political Leaders (Rome) and the establishment Religious Leaders (of Jerusalem).
One result from their preaching (aside from people converting to faith in Jesus Christ) was that these followers of the Way (Christians) who preached the gospel, were labeled “traitors, treasonous and sacrilegious” by the State and, “heretics, law breakers and insubordinate” by the Religious Leaders. There was a price to pay for preaching this message.
Their preaching was not State Custom compliant (the custom of worshiping Caesar and the gods) nor was it Religious Tradition compliant (the tradition of loveless legalistic dead ritualistic rote religion).
Their preaching of JESUS IS THE WAY THE TRUTH THE LIFE and REPENT THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND and SALVATION ONLY IN CHRIST JESUS THE LORD actually offended the government and the religion! (“The State” and “The Church”, we would say today.) Their gospel threatened the State’s power and control over everyone as they forced allegiance to the gods and to Caesar as lord. Their gospel threatened the Religious Establishment’s power and control over everyone as they forced allegiance to the Religious Establishment and Leaders and Traditions and Rules.
The first century gospel turned the world upside down! What does that mean? The State flipped out when the Christians preached Jesus as Lord and they declared their allegiance to Him alone! (and not to the State or their System!) The Religious Establishment flipped out when the Christians preached Jesus as Lord and declared their allegiance to Him alone! (and not to the Religious Leaders or their System of manmade rules!)
The people flipped out when they heard that Jesus is the Way– NOT Rome or Caesar’s decrees, NOT the Temple in Jerusalem or the Pharisees’ traditions. JESUS IS THE WAY! Many believed and followed Jesus Christ THE WAY.
The people flipped out when they heard that the KINGDOM OF GOD is here and it is NOT the rule of Government’s Caesar in Rome and it is NOT the rule of the Religious Pharisees in Jerusalem. THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS the rule of JESUS CHRIST! In the hearts of His people! Many believed and entered the KINGDOM OF GOD.
The people flipped out when they heard that salvation is NOT through the State (Government) and it is NOT through the “Temple in Jerusalem” (the “Church”) (Established Religion). SALVATION IS IN JESUS CHRIST! Many believed and received SALVATION IN CHRIST ALONE.
Why is it different today? Why are not the Christians turning the world upside down today as in the first century?(I speak primarily of Western Christians.) Because the Christians have forsaken exclusive marriage TO CHRIST and have entered adulterous relationship with The Establishment State, with all its idolatry and false pagan gods. They are not opposing it, not separating from it, but joining it and fornicating with it. They make The State part of the way in their hearts. They make the State part of their salvation in their hearts. They make The State the kingdom of God in their hearts.
The Christians have forsaken exclusive marriage TO CHRIST and have entered adulterous relationship with The Establishment Church with all its pagan idolatry and false doctrines, traditions, rituals and idols, not opposing these things, not separating from these things but joining it and fornicating with it. They make The Church part of the way to God in their hearts. They make The visible institutional Church, the Kingdom of God in their hearts. They make The Church a major factor in their salvation in their hearts.
The gospel that is preached now is weak because it leaves out the fact that “JESUS IS THE WAY” means that State Government and Religion are NOT the way.
The gospel that is preached now is weak because it leaves out the fact that “THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND” means that USA, the world, the government, the presidents, politics, political leaders, parties, laws, constitutions, nations and The Institutional Church is NOT the Kingdom.
The gospel that is preached now is weak because it leaves out the fact that “SALVATION IS ONLY IN CHRIST JESUS” means that it is NOT in Government or politics and it is NOT in Church or Religion or Traditions.
One reason the preachers of the modern gospel do not want to say these things is because they do not believe the truth that the first century believers believed. The other reason is that preaching the truth as the first century believers did, would jeopardize their standing in the world, ie, the Establishment: politics, government, the State, The Church, religion, “important people”….all that is the Establishment of the world system and society. Thus allegiance is given to The State and to The Church, and not exclusively to Christ. And the true gospel is not preached.
The early believers preached in such a way that all hearers knew that their allegiance was ONLY TO CHRIST and that they were not giving any to the state or to the establishment religion. They had left “fear of man” in all its cowering and obedience to State and Religion, to follow Christ. They had faith, courage and boldness to preach the real gospel and were not afraid to declare this truth and declare their exclusive allegiance to Christ. The underlying foundation for their allegiance to Christ alone and their preaching is they had love for Jesus Christ that superseded everything. Their love for Christ superseded their desire for acceptance in the Church and State of the day. They feared not: being labeled “traitor” or “heretic”. They feared not: losing approval, family, friends, job, position, titles, income, benefits, social standing, acceptance, greetings in the marketplace, status, or their very lives.
The World System as it is now is overseen by the god of this world. The World System is that Establishment State and Establishment Religion. These World Systems are “business as usual” in the kingdom of darkness. Jesus was offered “all the kingdoms of the world” if He would bow down and worship the devil. He refused. The World System was humming along when Jesus Christ rose from the dead, appeared to His followers, ascended to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to fill and empower His people. Their allegiance was to Christ alone. Their gospel was “Christ alone”. Their preaching messed with that world system as people were transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God’s Beloved Son. Their preaching upset the world system. They turned the world upside down.
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These that have turned the world upside down Acts17:6