“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. “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of 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 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. 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 17:22–31, NIV 1984).
My Musings – According to 2010 statistics compiled by Pew Research, 54.9% of the world population believe “in” the “known” God of the Bible, although their beliefs “about” Him vary. That means that 45.1% of the world population either either do not know “about” Him, or if they know about Him, they do not believe “in” Him.
These statistics can be a bit misleading. Misleading statistics (surprise, surprise)? “Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.” ― Mark Twain.
- First, according to the Christian Bible, no one can claim that they do not know about Him. “What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19–20, NIV 1984).
- Second, just because people believe in God and have knowledge about Him, does not mean that they really know Him. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.” (John 14:6–7, NIV 1984).
- Third, just because people claim to be a Christian, does not mean that they really know Him. “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.'” (Matthew 7:21–23, NIV 1984).
My Advice – “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.” Do you really know Him? This is something you want to be sure of. See my musings on “The Born Again Experience.”