03 Sep Causing Riots
It was said of the early Christians, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.” Acts 17:6. And “…These men do exceedingly trouble our city..” Act’s 16:20. Nearly everywhere they went riots broke out! The status quo was over turned, the norm was challenged.
Paul was called a “Riot Starter,” “for having found this man a pestilence, and moving a dissension to all the Jews through the world — a ringleader also of the sect of the Nazarenes.” Acts 24:5
Paul was constantly starting riots and he was constantly being persecuted, run out of town, stoned, jailed and beaten. And what did he have to say about all the persecution, the hardship and suffering he endured for live such a life. Being a “man of pestilence” according to the world, “ For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,” Php 1:29.
What was his response to being a riot starter, for tuning the world upside down, disrupting the acceptable peace as wellbeing of all around him. Caused by perching the gospel, “I consider my life worth nothing to me if only I may finish the job and complete the race…of testifying to the Gospel.” Acts 20:24. He had a job to do…nothing else mattered!
I ask you do you cause riots where ever you go like the first church did, that is turn the world upside down with the gospel, for Christ? Do the other Christians you know cause riots wherever they go like Paul? Why isn’t this the norm today? Could it be because Act 20:24 is not at the heart of our existence as it was Paul’s. That our identity is is not grounded in the Great Commission?
Maybe it is time for Christians to resolve to be riot starters everywhere we go, to be found a people who are tuning the world upside down with the gospel.