2020-09-27

 

Key Verse: Acts 17:30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,

We have allowed our lives to be consumed by the distractions of this world. We have created gods among us which have led us to misdirection in our worship and confusion of our God. This is not a new condition. This sad state of affairs is one that has been present since the Garden of Eden. Yet, we have now reached a tipping point, a critical moment in the spiritual journey. The church has arrived at what 1 Peter 4:17 describes.

 

1 Peter 4:17 (NLT) For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News?

 

Acts 17:22-31 Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

1. Refocusing on the one true God

Vs 23b Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:

  • We’ve reached a time when we must recognize God for who He is. He is not a convenience to be counted on when times are tough or the mood allows, He must be the central figure of our daily lives
  • No longer can we allow the things of this world, the distractions of the world, to turn our eyes and attention away from Him
  • Because we have been distracted, we’ve gotten ourselves into a very deep pit

2. The Creator of all

Vss 24-25 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.

  • The idea that our actions, our words, our thoughts drive our ability to see Him at work in our lives must be dismissed. God is present, He is active, and He is able
  • We have given into the notion that God is not capable of delivering us from our present state; nothing could be further from the truth
  • God is more powerful than we can imagine. There is nothing going on within our lives or our world that God cannot overcome

3. Created to seek and worship Him

Vss 26-28 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’

  • Our purpose in life is not to accomplish, achieve or obtain; it is to worship Him
  • The God who orders the steps of the Godly will always lead them to peace
    • Psalm 37:23 (NLT) The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.

4. Not to seek and worship everything else

Vss 29-31 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.

  • We have created a system whereby the things of this world have become the focus of our world
  • We worship the stuff and the pleasure rather than the one who created
  • We must replace our unknown God with the only God

Howard Marshall said, “Until the coming of the revelation of God’s true nature in Christianity men lived in ignorance of him. But now the proclamation of the Christian message brings this time to an end so far as those who hear the gospel are concerned; they no longer have any excuse for their ignorance. God[1]

[1]I. Howard Marshall, Acts: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 5, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1980), 306.

30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

 

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