There are things you don’t know, but God has unique, new message

In Acts 17, the Apostle Paul is explaining to the Athenians who God is.

He wants them to see what God has done. He wants them to know something. Better yet, he wants them to know someone they have never known.

In Acts 17:27, he even points out why God created man: “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 one of us.”

These Athenians were god seekers. They were inquirers. They wanted to know the truth. They knew there was some uncertainty. That’s why they built an altar to an unknown god.

But it would be impossible to make an image that fully reflects this big, grand, glorious God that Paul is telling them about. In Acts 17:30, he says, “In the past, God overlooked such ignorance, but now, he commands all people everywhere to repent.”

In the past, people were blind. They were walking in darkness. They seemed to know there was something more than what they could see. That is why they created idols. That was understandable in the past, but not now.

Because God had shown up. He had something to say, not just to the people of Israel or Athens, but to the people of the entire world. God commands all people everywhere to repent.

To repent means to change your mind. Paul says, “Now that God has revealed himself, he wants us to repent, to change our mind about who he is and what he has done.”

Then in Acts 17:31, we read that God “has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” He was talking about Jesus.

God has appointed a man that is so wise, so powerful, so insightful, so godly and so divine that he will have the ability to rule and judge the world with justice. That’s easy to say, but where is the proof?

Paul’s listeners knew there’s no proof in religion. There are some things you just don’t know. You can believe. You can try to have faith. You can try to do the right thing. But Paul is saying there is proof that God is doing a new thing.

That’s why he came to Athens in the first place. He is there to testify to that fact that God is up to something brand new. We will pick up there next time.

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