Making the true God known

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“Being then the offspring 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 men that all 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.”

Acts 17:29-31​

In many ways, the City of Athens is the birthplace of Western culture. The ancient Greek city has a long history, from military successes to the center of art, architecture, and literature. Plato, Socrates ad Aristotle among other famous thinkers had links to Athens. The city was well established in the “golden age” of the Greeks. Athens was the intellectual capital of the world.

On his second missionary journey, Paul visited the city. During his stay, he took the opportunity to do some sightseeing. The Athenians erected many statues to their various gods, one of which was, “to the unknown god.” The Greek city was given over to pagan pluralism. Paul witnessed the pagan worship and many ungodly practices of the city. The self-righteous inhabitants were not interested in Paul’s message of salvation.

Paul came up against great opposition from superstitious idolaters. The sophisticated philosophy was to place trust in the wisdom of man. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Not much has changed since Paul’s day. This moving away from Christianity and turning to knowledge and alternative sources of wisdom are still with us today.

Many in the city of Athens worshiped the god of materialism. They found comfort and meaning in vast wealth and the pursuit of money. Others worshiped the god of drunkenness and lust, such as Venus and Aphrodite. The number of idols was vast. This is contrary to true Christianity. The child of God is content with the blessings of God. He is not a lover of money, nor is he a drunken or sexually immoral man.

Paul took the opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ on Mars Hill. Paul preached about the One true God and made it clear how they could know Him. Paul made it clear to them that God is the creator of the world and everything in it. Paul also declared that God is not like the idols that many were custom to worshipping. The true God is not limited, fixed in stone, or finite in nature.

The God that the Apostle proclaimed was the One who created all mankind and gave the breath of life. God’s grace has provided the comforts of life and daily needs. Alas, most were unresponsive to Paul’s life-giving message. They rejected Paul and thus rejected the resurrection of Christ. They called Paul a babbler. They mocked him and scoffed at the Gospel. They regarded Paul’s message as foolish, but still, Paul remained faithful. Even in the face of adversary and ridicule he was prepared to stand alone for Christ.

The society that we live in today largely has the utmost contempt for the things of God. Modern man thinks that we are far more advance now and have no need for religion. Some will go as far as saying contemporary knowledge has proved that God is an illusion. The one who believes in a deity is foolish, proudly, and boldly declares the intelligent modern man.

Hebrews 3:15 says, “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked me.” Paul preached Christ crucified, most did not believe but some did. During your witness for Christ, some will reject the Gospel while others will accept the truths of Scripture. Many will have questions and desire to know more. It is very important that we are always ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15). Are you prepared to give an answer for your joy?
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