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“These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also.”—Acts 17:6.
“They said the Apostles turned the world upside down. They meant by that, that they were disturbers of the peace. But they said a great true thing; for Christ’s gospel does turn the world upside down. It was the wrong way upwards before, and now that the gospel is preached, and when it shall prevail, it will just set the world right by turning it upside down.” – C.H.S.
1. Upside down world – 6:57
2. Upside down heart – 39:06
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They said the Apostles turned the world upside down. They meant by that, that they were disturbers of the peace. But they said a great true thing; for Christ’s gospel does turn the world upside down. It was the wrong way upwards before, and now that the gospel is preached, and when it shall prevail, it will just set the world right by turning it upside down.
We will have it, that if a man be righteous, sober, upright, he shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but Christ says—This thou oughtest to have done; but still, not this can ever cleanse thee. “As many as are under the works of the law are under the curse.” “By the works of the law shall no flesh living be justified.” “Believe and live,” is just the upsetting of every human notion. Cast thyself on Christ: trust in him. Have good works afterwards; but first of all trust in him that died upon the tree. This is the overturning of every opinion of man. And hence mortals will always fight against it, so long as the human heart is what it is. Oh! that we knew the gospel! Oh! that we felt the gospel! For it would be the upsetting of all self-righteousness, and the casting down of every high look, and of every proud thing.
Is there not, again, a total change of all your hopes? Why, your hopes used to be all for this world. If you could but get rich, if you could but be great and honoured, you would be happy! You looked forward to it. All you were expecting was a paradise this side the flood. And now where are your hopes?—not on earth; for where your treasure is, there must your heart be also. You are looking for a city that hands have not piled; your desires are heavenly, whereas they were gross and carnal once. Can ye say that? Oh! all ye members of this congregation, can ye say that your hopes and your desires are changed? Are ye looking upward, instead of downward? Are you looking to serve God on earth, and to enjoy him for ever? Or are you still content with thinking “What ye shall eat, and what ye shall drink, and wherewithal ye shall be clothed?”
Now, if you could take a man’s heart out, and put a new heart right into him, it would not be half so good, if it were another natural heart, as the change that God works, when he takes out the heart of stone, and puts in a heart of flesh
Have you been turned upside down? How about your companions? You loved those the best who could swear the loudest, talk the fastest, and tell the greatest falsehoods: now you love those who can pray the most earnestly, and tell you the most of Jesus. Everything is changed with you. If you were to meet your old self going down the street, you would not know him, except by hearsay; you are no relation to him at all.
O you that are rich, have you had a change too? Have the frivolities of this world become sickening things to you? Do you turn away with loathing from the common cant and conventionalism of high life? Have you forsaken it? and can you now say, “Although I am in the world, yet am I not of it; its pomps and vanities I do eschew; its pride and its glory I trample under feet; these are nothing to me; I would follow my Master bearing his cross, through evil report and through good report?” If such be not the case, if you are not changed, remember, there are no exceptions; one truth is true for all—“Except ye be born again, ye cannot see the kingdom of heaven.” And that amounts in substance to my text: except ye be thoroughly renewed, turned upside down, ye cannot be saved. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved;”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon