Tuesday, December 24, 2013

How Christ Changed the World

As the Christmas celebration approaches, let us consider how the words of Acts 17:6 came to fruition…

17 Now when they [Paul and Silas] had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, 
“These that have turned the world upside down
are come hither also."
(Acts 17:1-6,  King James Version)

Christ did, indeed, turn the world upside down.

Before the people had knowledge of the Author of self-government, they were unaware of Truth and Light. Think of the Dark Ages…aptly named, eh? Both government and the Church were corrupt. Serfdom. Peasants. Injustice. No hope for the common man.

Then, as God orchestrated the writing of the Bible in English and He placed Scripture into the hands of the people, they learned that they did not need a king to rule over them. As they read the Bible, they learned that they could have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. They discovered they could be self-governed through the Holy Spirit. They had hope!

Once they realized they could govern their personal thoughts and actions, they realized they also had the capacity to govern their families, churches, and communities.

As self-government grew and the Gospel spread, the world saw great advancements in every field: science, math, art, music, literature. Just as the opponents of Christ noted during the times of the early church (Acts 17:6), the Gospel of Christ had turned the world upside down. 

Jesus was the Great Equalizer, for now women were to be held in high esteem. Rich and poor were on equal footing. People of all colors and backgrounds were the same before God.

The Gospel even brought modesty with it. As missionaries took Christianity to remote areas, tribesmen and women desired clothing. It's interesting to note that clothing was the first provision God made for His creation after Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden.

The founding of America demonstrates the Gospel's effect on achievement. America was the only nation whose government was built on this new idea of self-government - this is what makes America exceptional…it was an exception to previous forms of government.  In colonial times the literacy rate was as high as it has ever been, 97-99%! 

What has happened since then? Once post-Christianity began its spread throughout Europe and North America, what have we seen? 

Science has devolved into the acceptance of the theory of evolution as fact in spite of Darwin's own warnings against it. 

Music and art have become disjointed, eclectic arrangements that people find disturbing rather than pleasurable. 

New methods of math are confounding rather than inspiring. 

History, His-Story, the story of Jesus Christ played out on the stage of world geography has been deduced to unrelated facts that bring boredom, disinterest, and apathy.

The literacy rate continues to plunge despite the money poured into its coffers. We have even set aside the poetic King James Version of the Bible written at the 12th-grade level in favor of the 3rd-grade level New International Version. 

And has anyone noticed that modesty has departed along with the Christian influence?

Ah, the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Now, who's ready to turn the world upside down again?

Merry Christmas!

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