Turning the World Upside Down

Preached by Chris Adams, June 1, 2008

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The Macedonian call rings out today!

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In Acts 16 Paul was apparently the only one who received a vision of a from God of a man from Macedonia asking for help . . . and yet all of his partners in the gospel concluded it was from God. Here we can learn to imitate a great aspect of Paul’s ministry, that not everyone need have their own vision, but how important it is that everyone make that one vision their dream. Kerri-Sue and I are so excited to live out our dream to serve the church here in Syracuse and throughout Central New York. We’re grateful for the vision that Kip and Elena “re-inspired” in Chris and Theresa Broom (now in Chicago), who in turn have inspired in Andrew and Patrique Smellie (soon to be in Washington DC), who have in turn inspired in Kerri-Sue and I! Our prayer is that every single member of the Central New York Church of Christ will have “endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 1:3) as we all live out our dreams to turn this part of our world upside down for Christ!

“Turning the World Upside Down” preached by Chris Adams
Sunday, June 1, 2008

Acts 15:19-28
• It takes great trust to build a great church.
• You know when you do not trust.
Question: Why did Luke write this book?
Question: Do you think that they knew what they were doing?
• God used Peter. (Acts 10:1-48)
• Paul was a murderer of Christians.
• Paul was absolutely wrong.
• God seeks a Kingdom perspective in each and every disciple of Jesus Christ.
• An issue or conflict in the family takes much discussion.
Question: Who gave James this authority?
• The Book of Acts is a narrative.
• Most of the people would have disagreed with James on this decision.
• This is about proclamation–world evangelism!
• James led in the area of trust.

Galatians 3:26-29
• There is nothing more challenging than building a great church.
• It is our sinful nature to want to categorize people.
• God’s plan has always been to bring everyone together as one.

Hebrews 13:7-8
• This is about trust.
• You are to remember and imitate the leaders.
• Imitate James’ trust.
• In the church, majority does not rule.
• Obeying your leaders is God’s commandment.
• The church is not a democracy.
• We need to submit and obedient to the leaders because it is God’s will.
Question: What is the best in each situation?

Acts 15:36-41
• It is not a salvation issue that separated Paul and Barnabas.
• This is an opinion area—the category under which many leadership areas fall!
• The reason why the debate was so intense was because it had a lot to do with the impact on the church, as they went forward towards the goal of the Holy Spirit—world evangelism!
• Inspiring that they did not get to a point where they could not reunite later.
• There is not necessarily going to be agreement in every single area.
• Their mission was far more important than their opinions.

1. Uplifting vision
Acts 16:1-5
• Timothy made a decision to submit to Paul’s leadership.
• It is not about rules.
Question: Do you see how much trust it takes?
• Timothy is a great example as a teen.
• Timothy went from no faith to faith and then had to go and make this decision.
• We might be surprised about what God can do through a teen!
• Pray for the teen ministry in Central New York.

Acts 16:6-10
• Paul had the vision.
• This was one of the turning points in the ministry.
• It was going from one continent to another.
• God stretched Paul’s vision.
Question: Is God stretching your vision and your faith?
• You see how incredible the trust is.
• The key is to make it all your dream.
• To have great trust, you need to have an uplifting vision.
Question: Why did they plant a church in Philippi?

Acts 16:11-12
• They planted a church in Philippi because it was a major city.
• Washington D.C. is a leading city and is the center of the country in so many ways.
• Chicago is a leading city. We want to follow this pattern of Paul’s ministry to spread the gospel to the entire world!
• CNYCOC has planted 2 leading cities in 2 years . . . that’s awesome and that’s God!

2. Side by side preaching.
Acts 17:1-4
• Paul is such a great example of evangelism.
• Lifestyle evangelism.
Question: What is the pattern?
• As was his custom, he continued to share his faith.
Question: What stops you from sharing your faith?
• It is so easy for you to just walk away from people.
• Opinion leaders are found across all walks of life.
Question: How do you know that they were opinion leaders?
Question: Are you reaching out to opinion leaders?
• Being bold with opinion leaders.
Question: Who of your bosses might be open?
Question: Do your bosses know your opinion about God?

Acts 17:5-9
• Central New York needs to know that God is doing something among you.

Acts 17:10-12
i. You got to be fired up about God’s word.
ii. Test everything that the speaker said against God’s Word.
iii. Examine the Word of God everyday.
• Read your Bible everyday.
• If you don’t get your inspiration from God’s Word, then you won’t get inspired by your own words and much less by other people’s words.

3. Knocked down but not knocked out.
Acts 18:5-10
• Christians said that Jesus is Lord but the Jews said that He was not. Because of this controversy, ALL Jews were kicked out of Rome, including Aquila and Priscilla.
• You cannot be bitter when you are called to be flexible.
• God is still sovereign.
• Paul stayed there for a year and a half preaching the Word of God.
• Paul was afraid.
• You see God Himself saying: “Do not be afraid.”
• God wants to encourage your faith today.
• You have to have that kind of encouragement from God.
• You have fear before you can return to God.
• Challenge: You got to be willing to die to the fear.
• Be encouraged to continue speaking to one another.

4. Make the most of today.
Acts 20:16-24
• Paul had a vision.
• Paul had a mission.
• He was doing something for God.
Question: Why was Paul in a rush to get to Jerusalem?
Question: Do you have that purpose driven mindset?
• Paul was compelled to go to Jerusalem.
• He had a chance to influence the people in Jerusalem.
Question: Who were these elders?
• They did not know about the Holy Spirit. (Acts 19:1-7)
• Twelve nameless disciples can turn the world upside down.
• Jesus Christ is running the race with you.
• Jesus Christ ran the race.
• Paul ran the race.
• The task is building a great church.
• Run the race to win it.

What’s the challenge for us today?
Up – from Point # 1 Uplifting Vision
Side – from Point # 2 Side-by-side Preaching
Down – from Point # 3 Knocked down but not Knocked Out
Today – from Point # 4 Make the Most of Today
True disciples of today CAN, WILL AND MUST turn the world upside down in the 21st Century!