From Worship to War
Not finding them there, they dragged out Jason and some of the other believers instead and took them before the city council. “Paul and Silas have caused trouble all over the world,” they shouted, “and now they are here disturbing our city, too.” - (Acts 17:6)
Wherever the apostle Paul went, something was happening. Usually it was either a conversion or a riot. But there seldom was a dull moment.
In Acts 14, we find Paul and Barnabas in Lystra, preaching to people who turned from worship to war. The Greek culture was filled with many gods. And there was a tradition in Lystra that the gods Zeus and Hermes once came to earth, incognito. When they arrived in Lystra, they asked for food and lodging, but everyone refused them. Finally, an old peasant took in these two gods, and all the inhospitable neighbors were drowned in a flood that was sent by the vengeful gods. The peasant and his wife were blessed by their gods, and their humble cottage was turned into a great temple. After their deaths, they were turned into two stately trees.
This was folklore, but the people believed it. So when Paul and Barnabas came along, and God was performing miracles through them, the people thought Zeus and Hermes had returned. So they began to worship them.
But their worship turned to war: “Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowds to their side. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of town, thinking he was dead. But as the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe” (Acts 14:19–20).
G. Campbell Morgan said, “Organized Christianity that fails to make a disturbance is dead.”
I think sometimes that instead of our turning the world upside down, the world is turning us upside down. Instead of us impacting our culture, our culture is impacting us. What we need more of today is a holy disturbance. And if we are not making a disturbance, then something isn’t right.
Copyright © 2012 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
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