Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I want to read a text of Scripture in the seventeenth chapter of Acts, so open your Bible, if you will, to Acts again, chapter 17. In verse 16, the Apostle Paul has arrived on his second missionary journey in the great city of Athens. That's where we'll pick up the account...Acts 17 and verse 16.
"Now while Paul was waiting for them...that is Silas and Timothy who were going to join him there...while he was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols. So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be present and also, some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, 'What would this idle babbler wish to say?' Others, 'He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities,' because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, 'May we know what this new teaching is which you're proclaiming? For you are bringing some strange things to our ears; so we want to know what these things mean.' (Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.)
"So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, 'Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, "TO AN UNKNOWN GOD." Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and all things in it since He is Lord of heaven and earth does not dwell in temples made with hands, nor is He served by human hands as though He needed anything since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things. And He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times in the boundaries of their habitation, and they would seek God if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him though He is not far from each one of us, for in Him we move and exist as even some of your own poets have said, for we also are His children. Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to all men that all people everywhere should repent because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.'
Watch the complete message here: