Terry R. Baughman
“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” (Acts 17:6).
With the constant flood of bad news and negativity coming at us on all sides it is easy to assume there is nothing good happening in the world. From raging wildfires destroying homes and communities to devastating hurricanes and flooding that have destroyed many more, there is no lack of events to cause us to despair. Riots and protests, gun violence and murder, sex trafficking and assault, are all indications of a world gone mad. What has happened to respect for law and order? Where have the days of decency and respectability gone? Are decorum and propriety antiquated words of a distant past?
Paul warned Timothy about the last days. He said, “There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people” (2 Timothy 3:1–5 NIV). This is an accurate description of many in our generation. In moments of optimism we trust things will improve and our world will be a better place, but in reality the Scripture is being fulfilled, “Evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13).
While society spirals out of control many rename sin and reframe the wickedness of this world. It is really not a new thing. The prophet Isaiah saw it in his generation and declared, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness” (Isaiah 5:20). He condemned those who gave evil a new name of opposite definition and glossed over wickedness with a new coat of acceptance. Someone said, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.” In our politically correct world we seldom call things out as they are. We have learned to use acceptable terms and the realities are masked with new labels. The blind are visually impaired and the crippled are disabled. The mentally handicapped are people with learning disabilities. There nothing wrong with those terms, but it goes further.
Sin becomes a sickness, addicts become persons who misuse a substance, and therapy is prescribed for the rapists and molesters. John McArthur said, “Today sin is called sickness so people think it requires therapy, not repentance.” It is good to recognize sin, call it out, and repent to God for the wrong in our lives. Paul said, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
We live in a world gone mad, crazy in their own wicked rebellion against God and His Word. It is an upside down world where everything right has become wrong and the wrong is called right. What is needed is an Apostolic revival, a renewal of right thinking, a righting up of everything that was topsy-turvy. In the early church believers were identified as those who turned the world upside down. Their preaching and their teaching challenged the way things were. While the adversary may protest that the church has turned the world upside down, in reality the message of Jesus Christ has turned the world right side up!
“Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (John 4:35).