Acts 17

Day 17, Acts 17.

Paul’s team traveled to Thessalonica and met with the Jews in the synagogue for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, proving that Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.”    The Jews once again became jealous and made problems for the believers.

So Paul traveled to Berea. The Bereans “were more noble-minded than those inThessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, along with a number ofprominent Greek women and men. 13 But when the Jews ofThessalonica found out that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Berea also, they came there as well, agitating and stirring up the crowds.”

This time, Paul went to Athens. Here we see yet anther model of evangelism.  Pual’s spirit “provoked as he was observing the city full of idols.” He reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews andthe God-fearing Gentiles, in the market place with who ever was present (including Epicurean and Stoic philosophers). Some thought he was babbling, others thought he was talking about strange gods, because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection, which is translated from ‘anastasis’ (which some took to be a goddess).

He was invited to the Areopagus to explain more clearly what he was saying. He spoke to them using terms they could understand  – telling them about the UNKNOWN GOD. He told them who God is, what God has done, what God WILL do, what God wants from us and for us – including the fact that He sent Jesus to die and be resurrected.

24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands,as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to allpeople life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps 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 exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’29 Being then the children 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. 30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 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.”

But the resurrection was too much for some of them and they began to sneer. Others wanted to hear more. Others join him and believed. Some think they believed at the time they joined and others believe it occurred afterwards. The important thing is that some believed. This is the case with most evangelism – some disbelieve and sneer, others are unsure and want to know more, while others come to believe.

Are YOU sharing the word of GOD? Are you talking about what God has done in terms your audience can understand? Are you showing God’s love in practical ways to others?

Note: Sermons on Acts 17:  Sermon on Acts 17:24-31 Who Is God? and Paul and Evangelism – Acts 17:16-34 – Why, When, Where, How, Who, What?

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