There are a lot of ideas in the world today of how to get to God. Many have come up with all sorts of thoughts and ideas on the subject. Some of these ideas are just out of the mind crazy. Some are so out there; it is hard to keep a straight face when presented with the interpretation. A sad reality is that many are still searching or woefully have landed on a very wrong understanding. It cannot be said of anyone the answer remains hidden from them.
In Acts 17, around the time of 50-52 A.D, the apostle Paul is in Athens. He is troubled to find the city full of idols. The apostle Paul made a point to reason with locals who were God-fearing. At one point, he finds himself to be in dispute with a group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. This is what happened:
Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean.”
Paul stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
The God who made the world and everything in it is the LORD of the heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each of one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, “We are His offspring.” Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone – an image made by man’s design and skill (Acts 17:18b-29).
Paul proclaims to them what they had not understood or worse, had overlooked. He proclaims the God of the Bible, the One True Living God! He is making known to them what they had not known before. This group of deep thinkers made it their life to sit around every day and discuss the latest ideas while in pursuit of knowledge. The sobering fact was, they really had no real knowledge. In all their discussion, they had not yet discovered the truth. The truth that if believed on, would set them free. But the apostle Paul has now given context to their searching and now because of his proclamation of God and the reality that Jesus had come to live a perfect live, die a sinner’s death and now is raised to life and sitting at the right hand of God; they are without excuse. Their ignorance had come to an end!
The next verses clear it up: “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everyone to repent. For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man (Jesus Christ) He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising Him (Jesus Christ) from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).
This is the true reality we live in! Every person alive is aware of the God of the Bible. In Romans 1:18-20, this same apostle makes the statement that we are without excuse. We see the evidence of God in creation and it has been made plain to all men. God’s invisible qualities, His power is seen throughout this creation. With this knowledge, your and my time of ignorance is over and now we must choose what to believe. If there were no God, then why like so many atheists would there be argument against Him. Some have woefully chosen.
Prior to Jesus, salvation was found in God’s mercy. After Christ’s life, death and resurrection; He is now the necessary object of saving faith. The question for you is, what will you do with what you now know? What will you do with Jesus?
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Paul is a Christ Follower. He has been married to his beautiful wife Rebecca and they have two beautiful children, a dog, two cats and a turtle. They love being together as a family and doing the adventure that is ministry. They love the outdoors and enjoying all of God's creation.