Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Permeating the Culture
“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 NLT)
Pastor and Bible commentator G. Campbell Morgan wrote, “Organized Christianity which fails to make a disturbance is dead.”
Wherever the apostle Paul went, there was either conversion or a riot. In Thessalonica, religious leaders complained to the city council, “Paul and Silas have caused trouble all over the world, and now they are here disturbing our city, too” (Acts 17:6 NLT).
It seems that there was never a dull moment with the first-century followers of Jesus. They didn’t have modern technology at their disposal. Thomas didn’t tweet. Paul didn’t have a television show. Peter didn’t use social media. Yet, in a relatively brief period of time, these disciples changed their world. They permeated their culture.
Tertullian, a Christian leader who was a contemporary of these early followers of Christ, made this statement about the first-century Church: “We have filled every place among you—cities, islands, fortresses, towns, marketplaces, camps, tribes, town councils, the palace, the senate, the forum; we have left nothing to you but the temples of your gods.” Tertullian was pointing out that the Church had permeated everything, even Caesar’s palace.
Today, we need Christians who will go out and make a difference. We need more Christians involved in the arts, making great films, and creating graphic design. We need Christians in politics, godly men and women in places of authority, because the Bible says that when the righteous rule, the people rejoice (see Proverbs 29:2). We also need Christian doctors, Christian lawyers, and Christian businesspeople.
In the first century, all believers understood that they were called to do their part. So they left their comfort zones and took risks. In the same way, the believers today need to go out and let their light shine in our present culture. We need believers who will turn the present world upside down.
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