While Paul was waiting for them [Silas and Timothy] in Athens. . .he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. . .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.” (Acts 17:16–20, NIV 1984).
Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very 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.” (Acts 17:22–23, NIV 1984).
“We should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man’s design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he 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.” (Acts 17:29–31, NIV 1984).
One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you.” (Acts 18:9–10, NIV 1984).
My Musings – The thought occurs to me from time-to-time, that readers of my blog might be saying of me “what is this babbler trying to say?” Especially as I share with my friends and acquaintances on FaceBook that have known me over the years, but have never known me to share my beliefs so openly. Maybe it’s because social media does seem to give us a degree of boldness that we rarely seem to have in our personal interactions. You know, those three taboo topics of sex, politics and religion that we are supposed to avoid.
I do try to avoid those first two topics sex (out of a sense of modesty and decorum) and politics (can be way too divisive and polarizing). But religion…? I guess I feel a certain sense of urgency as we approach the day that God has set “when he will judge the world with justice,” to proclaim the good news of the Gospel. To say what I’ve left unsaid for so many years of my life. To share what I know with others.
I would like to think for most of my readers (if they read it at all), that I am not “bringing some strange ideas to their ears.” Yet to some, even those quite familiar with the story of Christ, the concept of being “born again” sounds cultish or merely the belief of a fringe group of religious weirdos. But the term “born again” was coined by Jesus Himself. Because Jesus said it should make one “want to know what [it] mean[s].” God does not need to be “an unknown God.” But He can only be known though “the man He has appointed” by “raising him from the dead.” We should not think it is strange that the Father appointed the Son to be the only way we can come to Him.
So while I do get discouraged periodically, wondering if anyone is paying attention to what I write, I guess I will “keep on speaking” and “not be silent.” One never knows who might be listening.
My Advice – But don’t just listen to me. Listen to Jesus, the Son of the living God.
Today’s musing was inspired by Lead Teaching Pastor Kevin Rutledge’s sermon on January 19, 2020. Check it out at https://www.fbcsycamore.com/sermons. If you live in or are visiting the area, come and join us Sundays at 10:30 a.m. We’d love to be partners in the Gospel with you.