On May 9, 1858 Spurgeon preached a sermon titled "The World Turned Upside Down." The text Spurgeon chose was Acts 17:6 - “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also.” Spurgeon spends much time in the sermon endeavoring to show how the gospel of Jesus Christ turns the world upside down. He speaks eloquently of classes of men, maxims, and religious notions all being flipped on their head by the gospel of Jesus Christ, and illustrates each point abundantly throughout. Then, in typical Spurgeon fashion, he applies the text to his hearers by appealing to idea of whether or not their worlds have been turned upside down by the gospel.
"If any of you would be saved, your hearts must be turned upside down. I will now appeal to you, and ask you whether you have ever felt this—whether you know the meaning of it?"
Regeneration is one of the most important and special of Christian doctrines. It states that those whom God saves he also changes. Scripture speaks of being a "new creation." This is what Jesus was speaking about when he told Nicodemus that he must be "born again" before he could even see the kingdom of God. This isn't to say that Christians become perfect. Rather, they experience a radical altering of their desires that ultimately affects their lifestyle choices. Spurgeon explains in vivid detail:
“Again, it is a complete upsetting of all your pleasures. You loved the tavern once; you hate it now. You hated God’s house once; it is now your much-loved habitation. The song, the Sunday newspaper, the lewd novel—all these were sweet to your taste; but you have burned the books that once enchanted you, and now the dusty Bible from the back of the shelf is taken down, and there it lies, wide open, upon the family table, and it is read both morn and night, much loved, much prized and delighted in . . .
. . . Every thing is upside down there. The children say, ‘Father is so altered.’ They never knew such a thing. He used to come home sometimes drunk of a night, and the children used to run up stairs and be in bed before he came in; and now little John and little Sarah sit at the window and watch till he comes home; and they go toddling down the street to meet him, and he takes one in his arms, and the other by the hand, and brings them home with him.
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.’”
Spurgeon affirms what Jesus affirmed, when God saves, he also changes.
Has your life been changed? Reflect on your current state this morning. Are you a different person than you were before you learned of Christ? Perhaps you see little to no difference. I would encourage you to pursue God on the matter in prayer. Assurance of salvation is possible, and it is a gift that God grants in his Son. Seek out Christ while he still may be found.
To the Christian: you see a change in your life. You know that God has moved and you have tasted of his grace and mercy. However, you are constantly discouraged and beset by your apparent lack of progress and struggles with sin. The solution for you is the same. Seek out Christ, and God will grant the victory. However, take heart in the fact that God has caused you to be concerned with holiness. The more Christ becomes to you, the more the carnal world and its lies will fade away. Make much of Christ in your thoughts and dogged pursuits, and he will become precious to you.
C. H. Spurgeon, The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons, vol. 4 (London; Glasgow: Passmore & Alabaster; James Paul; George John Stevenson; George Gallie, 1858), 225, 231-232.